Success is an option

I love the show “Shark Tank” and I have a quote from Mark Cuban, one of the “sharks” and the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, taped above my desk: “FINAO – my word for my companies: Failure Is Not An Option.”

When thinking about his quote one day I decided to seek out differing opinions and found one from Seth Godin, an American author and entrepreneur.  Godin writes: “If failure is not an option, than neither is success.”

At that moment I realized a great many people simply don’t choose success.


“It’s not how many times you get knocked down; it’s how many times you get back up.” George Armstrong Custer

Success is defined differently for each of us.  No matter, though, if it’s personal, financial, or corporate, success takes hard work and energy.

There will be hard times – times when you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Times when getting up after a knockdown seems like too much work.

Times when choosing the “hard right over the easy wrong” seems not worth the effort.

But it’s what you do during the hard times that define you as a person.

Success doesn’t only happen between the hours of 9-5.  It doesn’t only do the bare minimum required, nor does it embrace a “good enough” attitude.  Success doesn’t know the meaning of the word “mediocre.”

It definitely doesn’t believe “everyone is a winner” and it doesn’t care about your dreams.

Success loves quitters and it kicks the unworthy to the curb and doesn’t look back.


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”   Sir Winston Churchill

Self-doubt and fear of success can be crippling.  The fear of failure can overwhelm even the best of us.

Sometimes it’s hard to look at ourselves and believe we are worthy of the success we desire. We tell ourselves we can’t do something even before we try.

It’s easier to not believe in ourselves and not have to tell others our goals and dreams than to believe not only can we do it, but that we are supposed to do it.

It’s not easy.  Believing in yourself takes courage, dedication, and conviction.


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”  Michael Jordan

Success isn’t only the result of in-action; it’s also the result of the deliberate choices we make along the path of life.

We all know people who have the brains, the insights, and the ability – just not the drive.  We all know people who desire success, but are too comfortable or fearful to get up, chase it, and go work for it.

Too many people simply don’t choose to be successful because that choice is hard.  They’ve made their choice and it’s impossible to change their mind.

Don’t let them influence you, because trust me: they will try.

Choose success.  Understand it will be difficult and may often seem like it isn’t worth the effort – but stay the course.  Nothing good comes easy.

Define and set attainable action steps to get you there.   Learn from your mistakes and celebrate victories along the way.  Even the small ones.

And remember – don’t let the fearful of this world sway you.  Don’t give them the satisfaction of bringing you to their side – they don’t deserve it.

You can do far more than you think are able to do – just realize it won’t be easy, but good things never are.

Remember the adage: How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

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