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Topic: Success
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jan 29, 2010 08:53AM)
What is "success" to you?

I'm working on a keynote for a client and would love to hear your perception of what being a "success" and leading a "successful" life would look like in your unique and honest vision.

I think that such a thought activity would be beneficial to everyone (including myself) to keep things in perspective. My own answers to this question revealed that I am much more "successful" (by my definition) than I had realized.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 29, 2010 09:17AM)
Scott, besides the obvious definition of "success" being making enough money to live well, I have found another one.

When people say "My kids demanded we see you" or "we brought our friends to see you." This lets me know that I am a success. Creating memories for people is a success.

Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jan 29, 2010 09:35AM)
My definition involves freedom: from having to work a job, to choosing what I want to do when I want to do it, to follow my passion, and having much time (and adequate money) to provide quality experiences for my family. This is my vision and one that drives my actions.

Money is a guidepost to measure my business success. But success, to me, involves much more than money (money is more of a means to an end).
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 29, 2010 12:49PM)
When I can leave every show knowing that I was confident, likable, passionate about my work, caring to the customers needs, and exceeded their expectations. I already began to realize how fortunate I am when yesterday I was playing with new magic toys...how many people can say they play while they work?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 29, 2010 01:24PM)

This is an EXCELLENT thread idea.

For me, FINANCIAL success means making enough to keep up with the bills, putting (say 10% of income) into an IRA, having 3 months reserve in the bank, and maybe 2% for buying wants, as opposed to needs (ie. new TV). [ I ain't quite there yet on the IRA or the extra $ for wants. ]

Paddy kind of nailed CAREER success when he mentioned having people seeking him out for performances. Ya can't beat that for success.

PERSONAL success is generally being happy with my life. My parents moved next to me because they can't do it all for themselves any more. My mom has mild dementia and a few physical disabilities. My dad has a few physical prblems too and is starting to forget stuff. But they tell everyone how happy they are to still be able to do things and that they live near me now. Yeah, I gripe about stuff all the time, but I wouldn't take $10M for my cat, I have more than enough to eat, I own my place free and clear, and I have comfortable shoes. There are problems - some kinda big - but I truly would not trade lives with anyone past, present, or future.

The only things on my wish list is to see the Grand Canyon, play a song with Doc Watson (I did get to play with Pete Seeger) and go to Stonehenge. My father's family is from Wales.

I ain't braggin', just feeling good about it all today.

Scott, Thanks for causing to me to take a minute a reflect.
Message: Posted by: RebelEntertainer (Jan 29, 2010 09:01PM)
Hey Scott,

Success is subjective. It's different for everybody.

I believe the key to success if FINDING WHAT YOU WANT AND ATTAINING IT. Whether it be financial, relational or otherwise.

We all have little successes every single day. The way we look at them affects our perception of how "successful" we are.

Long term, short term, life success. There's so much. If you can enjoy the journey and appreciate what you've accomplished on the way, then life is pretty cool.

Just my thoughts.

-John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and Super Successful Guy (at least that's my perception)

Oh, P.S.- Beano, I was in the U.K. last year and literally stumbled upon Stonehenge unplanned. It was awesome!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 12:36AM)
John, I'm gealous.

My sister visited Cardiff a few years ago, where our great-grandpa came from, but had no interest in seeing Stonehenge. Unbelieveable.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jan 30, 2010 09:31AM)
Dear Beano,

I have had the good fortune to see and hear Pete Seegar play, live, many (many) years ago down at NYC's East River (I seem to recall he was raising funds for the Greenpeace boat back the --circa 1969).

So he made quite the impression on me and I felt fortunate.

Feeling fortunate and appreciating what you have is, indeed, all relative (and so very personal).

...put to actually play music "with" Pete seems like a truly wonderful and unforgettable experience.


You are a lucky man.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 30, 2010 10:18AM)
What ever it is to each of us, success is a trust to be administered.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 30, 2010 11:01AM)
What we have or what we do really has nothing to do with it,
we become successful when we "think" we are. A billionaire
could be very unhappy and see himself as a loser. And then,
a hundred dollar bill could make some feel like a millionaire.

To me, a good definition of success is, "Success is achieving
something that was planned. It is completing what you set out to do."

However, the public perception of a success is probably something
like this: To most, the success will have a nice house, car, etc,
and not seem to be struggling to pay for it. They also own their
own business, or either they have a well paying fun job that they
enjoy doing.

And then there are the super successful,
"Those who do nothing, but seem to have everything." :)

It remains me of the the Mexican Fisherman story.
I have no idea who first told it, but it's been
around for years and is usually reprinted as an
unknown author.

For those that haven't heard it:

The American investment banker was at the pier of a
small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with
just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were
several large fish.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality
of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The American then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer
and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough
to support my family’s needs.”

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children,
take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where
I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.
You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy
a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could
buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.
Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell
directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery.
You would control the product, processing and distribution.
You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village
and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually
New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this
all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Fisherman.

The American laughed and said that’s the best part.
“When the time is right you would announce an IPO and
sell your company stock to the public and become very
rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?…Then what?” asked the Fisherman.

The American said, “This is the best part. Then you would retire.
Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late,
fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your
wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could
sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 30, 2010 08:38PM)

Welcome to Dixie.

One day folks will understand. (Car tags here say "Sweet Home Alabama".)

I've had my airplanes, personal pilots, fancy cars, home in LA, and office in New York. I've been CEO, CFO, COO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Magic Valley Ranch is the center of the earth. I can even pet a horse and go fishing without having to put on my shoes. There is a saddle and decks of cards in my office now. Yesterday I spent two hours on the phone with my daughter at the ranch in Wyoming and this morning looking at a 1939 Chevy to restore. I've been off nearly two weeks. Today I talked with professional magicians in UK, Singapore, New Zealand, and Europe. As well my friends here on The Magic Café. Plus I visited my sister and my niece.

Now next week I'm booked Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sunday I get to go to my church here. Wednesday is reserved for Lucy.

What about success should interest me? LOL

Besides, now it's time for Mardi Gras. Work, Work, Work! Success? Sorry, all my time is invested. (And they pay me to do magic!)

Don't forget to smell the roses.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 09:36PM)

Thank you. I don't say that to brag, I do feel lucky.

I can remember when my last ex-wife was on my case about trying to make a living with my music. Her favorite thing was to say, "Pete Seeger's just not going to call you up some day and ask yo to play with him."

When he DID call and invite me to Beacon to play, she was happy to go along though. We got to go out on the Clearwater and I played for a group of kids on an educational trip. Many good memories and incredible stories came out of that weekend. If I never get to do anything like that again, I'll still be content with that.

Thanks for causing me to think about that again.

Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 30, 2010 09:40PM)
Go Bob Go.

A good attitude to have, success can wait, I got things to do.

Message: Posted by: pearljamjeff (Jan 30, 2010 09:41PM)
For me, success isn't localized. I don't consider myself successful unless I'm touching other people's living, caring about them truly, and helping them succeed based on their definition of success, their goals, and their dreams.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 09:51PM)

Cool story. I never heard that before.

I was just watching an old video tape of TV shows, and a commercial came on for Oldsmobile. Remember the one that said, "This ain't your father's Oldsmobile"?

Ir reminded me of the funniest (but most distigusting at the same time) quote may of is saw on that auction site. "This is NOT Tom Boleware's book."

We have a running joke here. Every now and then one of us will hold up "The Daycare Magician" and say, "Hey, this IS Tom Boleware's book."

Tee Hee,
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 10:00PM)

Very well put. It a past life I was an electrical engineer, designer and inventor. I left one company, started the sold another, went to work for a small broadcast network that got big and cut some of us loose. Made some money, spent most of it lost the rest to bad investments.

I'm so glad I don't have all that (not there was a lot) money to worry about anymore. I got ducks and cats to feed, kids to teach and entertain, and parents to look after (just paying them back for looking after me).

My grampa told me to measure wealth by friends not dollars. I find that the more you have of one, the less you think you have need for the other.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jan 30, 2010 10:00PM)
...Beano, of course you are right --the name of the boat that Pete was playing to raise money for was the "Clearwater". I believe its mission was to clean up the Hudson River and or the East River.

Must have been a wonderful experience that you have to cherish.

Do you happen to know if the Clearwater (boat) is still sailing up rivers and the volunteers helping to clean those rivers up?

I also seem to recall reading an article not too long ago saying that Pete Seeger was touring the country, playing music with his very own Grandson. Now that is success (...spending time with ones grandson! ;)

Jonathan (aka "Max")
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 10:22PM)

Yes it is.


Old Pete will be 91 in May. I think it was 1991 when I went to Beacon. He was playing with his grandson, Tao Rodriguez, for a few years by then.

Tao also had a band with Woody Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie (Arlo's daughter), and her husband.

It's a pleasure to meet another Seeger fan.

Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 30, 2010 10:25PM)
Thanks Beano.

That is very funny about the book. :)
Thieves are like that. They're so stupid at times they are funny.:)