"Mom, I want to be a billionaire."
"Dad, I want to have all the cars in the world."
"Grandma, I'm going to have a big house with housekeepers, and maids, and butlers."
Every kid dreams of achieving a status of material wealth and at an early age, they also dream of changing the world.
I say, at an early age, because they haven't been made aware of what the world considers success. I mean, let's just compare this idea between a 5-year-old and a 16-year-old. Ask a 5-year-old, who's successful and they'll say something along the life of Batman or maybe even Dora. Ask a 16-year-old, and you're guaranteed to hear someone along the lines of Beyonce or Kim Kardashian.
There is a distinct difference in those two responses. The 5-year-old is going to categorize success as someone they hear about everyday in their Pre-K class, someone who is saving the world, "One villain at a time!". However, the 16-year-old is going to see success as someone who's driving the nicest Rolls Royce Phantom or has the house with 15 bathrooms and a spa in the basement.
The world as we know it has decided that an individual's financial net-worth is the measure of success. Just look at Forbes Magazine, they have an entire issue on the world's wealthiest. To my knowledge, I don't think they have an issue on the world's biggest philanthropists or humanitarians.
Setting the precedent that success is simply the amount of money you've gained, personally, is the worst thing ever. This is why I'm redefining success!
I'm Redefining Success
If we look at the billionaires in the world, we can see that they only began to build financial wealth when they started to develop products or services to make lives better...to make the world better.
Mark Zuckerberg didn't create Facebook to become an overnight billionaire, he created Facebook to connect people, to makes lives easier.
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Bill Gates didn't create Microsoft to become an overnight billionaire and to become the World's richest person, he created it to makes lives easier.
Microsoft's mission is to enable people and business throughout the world to realize their full potential.
Before their businesses became what they are today, their measurement of success wasn't the amount of money made through the ad placement or sales that were being driven in through the development of their ideas. Their measurement of success was simply the number of active machines or active users. Neither of their missions state that their purpose is to amass billions, they both specifically mention people.
I've come to the understanding in my life as I travel the country speaking to youth, hoping to change lives, that the word "net-worth" doesn't have to apply simply be the equation of, "Your Assests minus your Liabilities".
I see greater meaning in knowing that I've motivated someone with my story, inspired someone with my words, or impacted someone with my business rather than just enjoying the check that's offered.
I believe your net-worth is people. More specifically, I believe the number of people you have impacted or the lives you have changed is your net-worth.
Success is your net-worth. Your net-worth not being your financial possessions, but your net-worth being the number of lives you've changed. So maybe even instead of calling it just being your "net-worth," it's also called your "network."
The next time you think to start a new business, or applying for a new job...think about how you're going to impact the world, and impact people., I'm sure if you're focused on changing lives, then the money will follow.