Who’s really responsible for your success?

An old bud sends me a note today announcing his new network marketing site. There, they quote my old friend, Art Jonak:

Today I heard Art Jonak say, “The height of maturity is taking full responsibility for where you are today.”

Two thoughts as I read this. Does it seem to you that is this directed at folks who are not where they want to be (yet) or – folks you know who are not where you wish them to be?

Now, imagine someone making this same statement – but this time to a room with only self-made folks making millions per year. The handfuls of Wall Street executives to computer builders to top preachers and NMers. That’s perhaps 1-2 percent of all of us.

Wouldn’t the same words “I have all this because I took responsibility” suddenly seem arrogant and vain?

And often, after attaining great wealth based on intense self-effort, that is the time some wildly successful people credit others. “God gave me my money,” said John D. Rockefeller at the end of his life.

Clearly, taking responsibility may be a good and necessary step. (Although even ‘necessary’ is not always so. Look at top NM folks who literally bumped into someone early in their NM career. And that someone turned out to build a huge organization. Without any help from the sponsor. That was Jeff Olson in NSA. He built a huge business and the gal who sponsored him had no role in his business. It’s the story of one of the top NuSkin folks who has 95% of his giant business under one person. She built it, he didn’t. That’s not unusual.

Still, taking responsibility is a good thing. But it is not a sufficient thing for big success.

Your take?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Well Kim, this may be the first thing you’ve ever, ever written that doesn’t make sense to me.

    “how much one should rely on one’s own actions only, to result in certain financial outcomes. You know, versus getting really good and enjoying the process of doing the thing.”

    IMO getting really good and enjoying the process are both things that happen when you do take personal responsibility for your success, ie rely on your own actions.
    Timing and luck play roles of course, but that is why the saying “The harder I work (including getting really good) the luckier I get”
    In other words, timing and luck aren’t going to get you there if you haven’t already taken responsibility to get really good.
    I’ve been following your work for years and this is the very first time your conclusions seem off to me.
    All the best,

  • Kim,

    I see it this way: My life is up to me, but if I am to accomplish great things it’s not JUST hard work and specific methods, systems, programs, or “who I know”. The key element, the most important element, is my clear connection with the greatest force and source in the universe, which is the universe itself.

    There is no distinction or rational difference between my own being and all that is. I’ve had great successes, I’ve had interesting “failures” and in all cases I cannot claim that I alone, nor my efforts or methods were the sole cause(s).

    I do wish I’d understood this better earlier on (I’m 62) but I’m grateful to know it now. When I’m experiencing something really great, I try to take time (often) to quiet down, go inside myself, find my heart, and thank my spiritual connection to the universe. And the same when things aren’t going so hot.

    I’m really pumped about the next 62 years because for me, understanding the connection is super-empowering.

    Thanks for the chance to “out” myself on this.

    Bruce Brown

  • Glenn–
    I had inadvertantly jammed two post ideas together and removed the gibberish. It will be the subject of the next post though, and I hope to be more clear.

    Then it will be easier to agree or disagree. Thanks for your eagle eye!

    Bruce —

    Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, it seems easy to imagine that we can control outcomes where others are concerned. We can barely control our own – i.e. I didn’t exercise AGAIN, today!

    I’m totally aligned with your comment:
    “There is no distinction or rational difference between my own being and all that is. I’ve had great successes, I’ve had interesting “failures” and in all cases I cannot claim that I alone, nor my efforts or methods were the sole cause(s).”

  • yeah kim….sometimes it’s just dumb luck. doesn’t matter how good/great of a person you’ve become. it’s being at the right place at the right time.

    having said that, i hope that all the groundwork i lay, will lead me to some of that dumb luck….. 🙂

  • There are many people who work their heart out in a MLM business and never make headway because they didn't

    a)run into the right person to bring into their organization or
    b)know the right person in the company to help them & that does happen

    I agree with you. Something I've heard, but not for a long time, is "Maybe your dream's not big enough" when that person is working very hard!

    Maybe instead, they should reach down and help that person.

  • >An old bud.

    So, I'm 'an old bud' now. I must be mellowing. Thanks, I'm genuinely pleased to be so considered. (And the site plug is always welcome.)

    I'm sure you're right about 'responsibility being a good thing, but not enough for success' – particularly in a business like NM, where so much can be so dependent on the efforts of others we don't even know or have contact with.

  • I’ve said this in my trainings before: “He (or she) who talks to the most people wins.” That means taking responsibility and getting to work.

    By talking to more people, we increase our luck factor exponentially. They seem to go hand in hand to me…

  • There are so many variables to success.

    – Do you love it?

    – Are you willing to put in the time?

    – Do you have the talent, at least to some extent, in your chosen field?

    And obviously, much more.

    Having a background in sports, this post made me think of a scenario where a football team drafts a quarterback, who goes on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.

    When his career is analyzed, everyone talks about how all the pieces came together for this player, the right offensive system, the right coach, and the right surrounding personnel. It all just worked out beautifully.

    And yet, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins, never won a Super Bowl. Why? He never had a a good defense. His teams had to outscore teams in order to have a chance to win.

    But Marino was also known as one of the hardest working quarterbacks and a fierce, competitive leader.

    The moral. Sometimes it works out for you, sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe it just isn’t meant to be.

    But at the same token, we still should strive to do and be the best we can be.

    Don’t leave behind a life of regrets.

  • You yourself are absolutely responsible for your own success. Not your upline, or company. Once you are able to get that fixed into your mindset, you will be able to achieve true success.

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