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The Myth of Success

There’s always one. That person who’s soared in their career leaving others in their wake as they rapidly move up the corporate ladder. While this is a common pursuit for many professionals, and many deserve the rewards they work so hard for, there’s one type of person who doesn’t.

Courtesy of Wix Media


There's that person who, like their enterprising peers, skyrocketed, but without breaking a sweat. Well, maybe they sweat a little, but not due to sweat equity, nor sweat from the hard work required, but rather from fear. Fear that they will be discovered.

They’re the quintessential fraud. They’ve lied, cheated, and masqueraded in costumes of credentials that are not theirs to claim. They’ve gotten away with it repeatedly. They are the scammers who've embraced the myth of success. They don't realize that success is much more than the lifestyle that results from income and their networks. They don’t understand this. They miss out on one key ingredient of success—character.

Who cares if you’re not driving a fancy car or living in a residential estate? That’s not where the riches are. You know it when you look someone in the eye and are able to have a reflective, authentic, and honest conversation about your journey. The struggles, the pain, and the frustration all build character. Because success is much more than what you have; it's above all else, who you become.

Those who steal from you, whether it’s your time, your ideas, your clients or your opportunities, perpetuate the myth of success. At the same time, they can serve to enhance your character. They give you multiple reasons to retreat into a fetal position, but somewhere along the way your strength, faith, therapy sessions, and support systems help you rise again. Stronger than ever before.

You come to terms with the fact that many people believe in this myth of success—doing whatever it takes, no matter who it hurts, to get to the top. But you also come to terms with the notion that it’s going to happen again. You won’t be hijacked or surprised, and it's unlikely to bounce off without you feeling hurt. But you will know what character is and know that there are some people out there who sorely lack this ingredient of success. Next time around you’ll be more resilient, stronger, and better prepared to manage through the struggles when the frauds appear.

There’s a significant piece that is missed when others steal and take shortcuts to the top, or worse, lie about who they are. You can’t just show up one day as a beautiful sculpture, successful, and at the top of your game. It takes time, sacrifice and delayed gratification. Don’t for one second believe that showing up in a fancy car, or flashy suit of clothing means you've made it. No, it doesn’t. That’s a myth.

Imagine yourself a raw block of stone that is sculpted to reveal the magnificent details of a beautiful person filled with character. This transformation can only happen because of the chiseling away of imperfections over the course of time. What is revealed is better than ever before, because of the process you were willing to endure.

That’s character.


Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He is actively engaged as an entrepreneur, advisor and executive coach to business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn .


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