The Secret to Success – by Lynn Whetham

Some people believe that there is a secret to success that only rich people know. Today I’m going to tell you the secret of success and how I came to know this secret.

When I was a little girl we lived in a big farm house on a hill. My grandparents lived in a little house across the laneway from us, so my grandparents had a big influence on me. My grandparents were cash crop farmers. They grew corn, wheat, soybeans. They took great pride in the way the fields looked. No weeds were allowed. They spent hours and hours walking up and down the rows of grain, hoeing the fields by hand. They would have been embarrassed if the neighbours could see just one measly weed.

Every spring, I would help my grandparents plant the vegetable and flower gardens. We put stakes in at the end of every row with a string between them. Someone would read the package to see how deep the seed should be planted and then carefully follow the string to make a straight row at photo_504_20051113exactly the correct depth. Then we would carefully and gently cover the row of seeds exactly as the package said.

From this garden we had beautiful tomatoes, beets, carrots and lettuce.

The first time I tried to plant a garden with my husband, he took a hoe and dug a trench, dropped seed in it and kicked dirt on it! I was flabbergasted! I told him we were supposed to use stakes and a string and measure. He could not understand why. I decided I just could not garden with my husband because he didn’t know how to do it the right way.

From Neil’s garden we had beautiful tomatoes, beets, carrots and lettuce.

So here’s the secret of success. The secret of success is that there isn’t any one secret. We are all capable of having our own individualized secret. Many people look at someone they believe is successful and they look at what that person has done and they say “I could never do that” and they are right. They can’t be successful the way someone else is successful. Everyone is capable of finding success in their own way.

When you plan a trip, some people want to use the freeway and take the most direct route. Some people want to take the scenic route and follow the winding trails, meander up the hills and make stops along the way. They arrive at the same destination.

They are both correct! The freeway personality wouldn’t be happy on the winding road and the meandering personality wouldn’t be happy on the freeway and they both get to the same place!

Here’s what I have learned in 20 years of financial planning:

1. There isn’t one secret to success.

2. You need to decide where you want to go. This first step – deciding what you want is one where many people do not take enough time.

3. You need a plan: your own unique plan.

4. Do not measure your success based on what someone else wants.

5. Success is determined by behaviour not by income, IQ or education. You can control your behaviour. Take the time to develop solid money management behaviours.

So the secret is that there isn’t a secret. Take the time to know what you want and your unique approach to get there. Develop good behaviours regarding your finances. Get some help to create a written plan; your future is too important to leave to chance.  Follow these simple guidelines and you will be capable of finding your own unique version of success.

For more reading check out 10 Secrets to Success by Victor Stachura.

Need help finding your path to success? Contact Lynn Whetham from Stepright Capital Planning with any questions you may have.

Phone: 519.448.3477
Toll Free: 1.866.218.6467

About author

This article was written by Lynn Whetham

Lynn Whetham is a Certified Financial Planner with Assante Wealth Management and Assante Estate & Insurance Services Inc. Lynn believes in community involvement and enjoys sharing others' inspiring stories through her podcast Mindful Money Management. The podcast is dedicated to empowering socially conscious individuals to manage their financial resources for the benefit of themselves, their families, and the greater community.


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