Last week we talked about the three hats you wear in a successful creative career – the Maker, the Manager, and the Marketer. This week, we’re discussing the importance of defining what success means to you. When we understand our priorities, our decisions become more focused and more productive to get us to our goals more quickly.
There are three areas of your life that intersect when we talk about success: fame, fortune, and freedom.
There is no right or wrong answer. Each of us must decide which of the three is the most important to us. Once we have a focus, fame, fortune, or freedom becomes our north star by which we make all our career and life decisions.
These three things intersect and overlap. Fame brings fortune, and fortune brings freedom. Dig deep within yourself to figure out which of the three is your most important value. The answer is different for everyone.
Andy Warhol said everyone is famous for 15 minutes. With social media and the Internet, fame can come quickly. You can go from a nobody to an Internet famous video star in a few minutes. If fame is your guiding value, you will make decisions differently than other people. Fame doesn’t just mean going viral. It can mean winning an Academy Award. Hitting the bestseller list. Being interviewed by the New York Times or a guesting as a pundit on Fox News.
It is human nature to want to have money. While money can’t buy happiness, it makes life much easier. And there is nothing wrong with making money your priority. Wanting to be financially successful differs from being greedy. If your definition of success is making money, you are going to make decisions differently than someone whose leading value is fame. For example, producing a viral video doesn’t always make you money. But there are ways to make money from videos whether or not they are viral.
In American culture, we have lots of judgment around money and wealth. But we all need money in our current system and there is nothing wrong with wanting to live a comfortable life.
People who value freedom above everything else build a life where they have choices and feel in charge of their destiny. Freedom people usually want to be their own boss, set their own schedule, and travel. Freedom leading people are usually not nine to fivers and they’re bigger risk takers. They also make compromises in their life, giving up some things like the security of a corporate job for the freedom of being able to go where they want and do what they want.
How Will You Structure Your Life?
I can’t believe we are halfway through the year. When you are planning out the remainder of your year, think about these three values and which is most important to you. Then make your plans accordingly. The direction your life takes with this new perspective might surprise you.
Fame, fortune, and freedom are all fabulous! Go for it!
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