I recently spent quite a lengthy session with my team and a gentlemen who was seeking our services for a new business venture on behalf of his adult son.  It was through this lengthy session that I was reminded of the origin of our company’s umbrella name “reThink Success,” which is the first “R” in “r3.”

You see this gentleman has significant net worth.  He’s not bashful about sharing that tidbit – in a very humble way of course.  He mentioned several times that money is not an issue for him, and as result of his stoic parenting intent, he made it clear that money would never be a issue for his adult son.  However, during the course of our meeting, the conversation turned to the future and someone on our team had the audacity let the word “success” slip through their lips (now the objective of our strategic business counseling group, after all, is to help business owners and CEO’s realize the success they envision for their business endeavor – so the word is bound to arise at least once in each of our sessions).

Upon hearing the utterance of the word “success,” this gentleman visibly jerked into an arrested posture, sported a bit of a scowl on his face, glared at my colleague and cut him off mid sentence to say, “I don’t care if my son is successful or not.”  That was it.  Right there.  I remembered where reThink in reThink Success came from.

To this man, he was making a righteous, bold statement about his purest desire for his son’s happiness – I know what he meant, and where his heart was.  But to me, his words just sounded ridiculous.   To him and many people like him, the word success might as well be a cuss word, banned from conversational usage of all upstanding, respectable citizens.   That awful word success – the word that money hungry, dollar motivated, slick talking,  fancy clothes wearing, schmoozey cheesy-types aspire to.  Up to this point in the session, my two colleagues had taken the lead, however, it was here, that I couldn’t hold back.  Resisting the natural rush and instinct to lecture as adrenalin shot through my veins – I calmed quickly, realizing that this is simply a misunderstanding of vocabulary – an all too common misunderstanding of the word that I believe to be the desire of every human at our core as created beings.  So it is here, in writing, that I share with future clients, current clients, and colleagues, how the word success is understood and used by our organization.

In the most basic of forms, we believe success is achieving your desire. The word, therefore, is a word practically without meaning until it is personalized by each individual.  In fact, WordBook defines Success as “an event that accomplishes its intended purpose.”  For the word to have any meaning at all, then, it must first become intensely personal.  It is a fluid process of realizing a goal and either intently or passively achieving that goal through trial, error, perseverance, courage, failure and ultimately success.

So, with all due respect sir, I want nothing more for my son than his own success, no matter how much money I have or don’t have.  For him to set his passion on the future and then experience the sense of accomplishment from achieving his goals in any portion – is to be alive.  That is a desire I not only have for my son, but for each and every individual.  And I am remarkably blessed to help each of our clients achieve their own success – as they define it.

So here’s to you…. and your very own success.