Chasing Your Shadow With the Sun at Your Back

You bought it for 50 cents.
You sold it for a dollar.
You made 50 cents.

What was your percentage of profit?

You could say “100 percent” because the 50-cent profit you made is equal to your original investment of 50 cents.

But if we look at it from the basis of your selling price, you sold it for a dollar and only 50% of that was profit.

So did you make 100% or was it 50%? There is a valid argument for each perspective.

It’s not my intention to lecture you today about the difference between markup and margin or to fill your ears with chatter about inventory turn or the concept of zero marginal cost.

We’re talking about something bigger.
We’re talking about your success.

Profit is easy to identify, but tricky to measure.

Success is like that, too.

Does your pursuit of success ever make you feel like you’re chasing your shadow with the sun at your back; no matter how fast you run, you can never quite grasp it? Is success a forever carrot-on-a-stick, just a little further away than the length of your arm?

Most of us live with the hope of accomplishing a series of goals, but rarely do I meet anyone who can tell me how they plan to measure their progress toward those goals.

How will you measure success?

Before you can answer that question clearly, you have to recognize that success comes in three different colors.

You can make money.
You can make a name.
You can make a difference.

If you make enough money, it will make you something of a name. But whether or not you ever make a difference is an entirely different question. Many successful people keep their money and their name clamped tightly within their fists.

If you make a name for yourself, money will likely follow. But will you then care enough about others to try and make a difference in their lives?

My advice to you is to first make a difference. Do what you do so very well that people take notice of it and speak highly of you. The money will quickly follow.

What are you trying to make happen?
How will you measure progress-to-goal?
In what way will you make a difference?

Roy H. Williams