Definitive Success

How do you define success? Is it an end result? Is it something you strive for? Or is success a moving target to which you pace yourself?

What is success?

What is required to ‘be’ a success?

When it comes to success, the first thing I tell myself is that it is relative. The benchmarks I set for myself to be successful will be different to that of my neighbour. The second thing about success that I always remember is that the journey to reach the destination of success is paramount.

It is interesting to consider that there are six types of ‘opulence’, and each can be regarded as a measurement of success: strength; fame; wealth; knowledge; beauty; renunciation. So, when people talk about success, everyone’s definition will be different. Yet, despite the difference in definition, the essence is the same.

But what determines success? I would not want to relate success to wealth or having a certain amount of money in the bank; I would sooner relate success to knowledge and renunciation. Athletes may associate success with strength, while politicians may associate it with power, and a model may regard success as a measurement of beauty.

Fame is also a form of opulence, but you can be famous but not necessarily wealthy, another form of opulence. In life, you can have one and not another… are you still a success? Are you a failure? Such a question has haunted many a man, but in truth, success is not just ‘one’ thing. In light of this realisation, it is truly beneficial to continually challenge your own perception of success, and come to terms with your own relative, definitive benchmark for success.

But not only is success relative, it is a journey. Would I turn my back on an opportunity just because it was a lot of hard work? If I never set myself goals for which I had to better myself in the process of achieving, then how could I consider myself successful? What have I really achieved if the difficulty of the process wasn’t proportionate to the success of the end achievement?

The journey is more important than reaching the destination and it is within that journey that we grow and uncover the true meaning of success. A certain path of activity will bring you to a certain type of destination. Change that activity, change that habit, and you change that destiny.

You can’t change your destiny of NOW because your past is behind you. But you can change your destiny of TOMORROW because the future looms ahead. Change the nature of your activity, then you can change the fruit that you will be enjoying or suffering. This doesn’t allow us to determine success, but it allows us to see it for what it really is… a journey that is unique and relative to each and every one of us.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director
QI Group

Success with a Capital A

When I was a child, I remember how lazy I could be about getting out of bed in the morning. My mother used to have to drag me out of bed to go to school. But I also remember that when it was a holiday, or there was something exciting happening that day, I could hardly sleep the night before and I didn’t need anyone to drag me out of bed in the morning. I’d be up so early and bounding out of bed to start the day.

As I have grown older, I realise that every day should be started like something exciting is happening, because every day, something exciting really is happening. Life. I believe that a person, and especially a leader, should really wake up in the morning. They should Arise and Awake! Arise from their slumber and awake from their ignorance. Every day is the chance to reinvent ourselves. When we truly arise and awake, we then aspire to ‘be’. And if you are aspiring, then you are more open in terms of assimilating.

What do I mean by assimilating? I mean collecting wisdom. Because that is what life is about. Every day of your life, you wake up and meet people and learn things. You assimilate with the people, places and ideas around you. Once you are open to assimilating into the world, you start acquiring new knowledge, new skills, new things. You acquire what you were aspiring for.

You see, if you don’t truly arise and awake each day, then you won’t aspire to be anything. It is because of this aspiration that you assimilate and acquire. And once this happens, you must assess what you have acquired, and analyse its worth. Once you have assessed and analysed what you have taken in from the world around you, you start the step of applying this worthy information and these valuable experiences into your life.

From this application of what you have learnt, the next step is definite. You will start to achieve.

But it doesn’t end there. Achieving is not the end goal. Perhaps the most important part of reaching success – no matter if it is success in your personal life or success in business – is that you must always appreciate what you have. To truly appreciate what you have achieved, you must attribute your success to the people and things that led you to that success. You could not reach this stage in life if you did not assimilate, so how can you take all the credit for yourself? Humility is so important and therefore, hand-in-hand with this attribution, is acknowledgement. And this is where many people fail. There is a need to acknowledge the people who helped you get to where you are. Success is not about competition and putting others down so you appear superior. True success comes from raising others up with you. Acknowledging the role other people have played in your success is basically where your fulfilment comes from. By doing this in life, you will be applauded. And you will truly be happy, content and successful.

Everything in life is a process. It is all step-by-step. Success, too, is a process. It is a very valuable realisation to know that the first step in any process will eventually lead to your end goal. It is a very motivating realisation. If you want to reach success, you have to take the first step. And you have to follow the process through to the end.

Please take a moment to ponder… If you Arise and Awake each morning, you Aspire to be something and are more open to Assimilation, which means you will Acquire. Once you Assess and Analyse what you have acquired, you will Apply this to your life and it is here that Achievement is realised. However, one you achieve, it is important to actually Appreciate what you have and to Attribute that achievement and Acknowledge those who have helped you along your way. Then, you will be Applauded and you will be happy. Then, and only then, will you be truly Successful.

How do you start each day? Do you start each day with the first and important step towards success and towards true achievement and fulfilment? Do you arise and awake?


Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Symbiotic Success

Having adequate resources is vital to a company’s ability to conduct its business. More so, having the right resources is paramount to a company’s success. But let me ask you: what is the most important resource in your company? Which resource is the one that makes all your other resources really work for you?

It is so easy to get caught up in having the latest technological systems; the best office equipment; the strongest branding; the most competitive public image. All of these are important, but what about people? Your employees, your directors, your suppliers, your contractors?

I would argue that it is having the right people – and how we select, develop, educate and support those people – that could be counted as the most important resource that a company has. People are our greatest asset. Without knowledgeable and skilled staff; without polite and enthusiastic customer representatives; without focussed and committed managers; without these people, the company robs itself of the very foundation on which to build corporate success.

Like any asset, we must invest in our people to help them grow to their full potential. The relationship between a company and its employees is a symbiotic one. By raising our employees to achieve greatness, we are fostering greatness in the company. We are also nurturing genuine loyalty amongst the people who, at the end of the day, hold the company’s success in their hands.

We all know that it costs so much more time and money to find, recruit, train and induct talented new staff that it does to retain the staff we have. It is important therefore that we truly realise just how important our people are as a resource to the company. And it is also important that we commit ourselves to encouraging a supportive and satisfying working environment and corporate culture, in which these employees are able to flourish.

Please take a moment to ponder… A happy worker is a good worker. We should never think of our employees as unemotional machines assigned to fulfil a job. Nor should we ever view our staff as being a means to an end. Companies should empower their people to be the very best they can be. The rewards of doing so are great for both employer and employee.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd