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At what price success

When I do my interviews with business owners, I ask the question “What does success mean to you?” The answer varies from person to person but they are similar. The standard definition I often hear is, setting goals and accomplishing them. With that being said, what would you do to be a “success”. Putting food on the table every night is a success. Keeping the lights and heat on is a success. Keeping clean clothes on the kids and yourself is a success. Having at least one working vehicle is a success. Being in a neighborhood where you can walk down the street without being harassed is a success.

Some athletes work tirelessly to hone their craft. Practice, practice, and more practice to iron out any wrinkles in their “game”. In our community, an athlete that can “make it” can uplift an entire generation. I know plumbers that invest in themselves by buying equipment, technology and advertising to ensure that their version of success includes being able to take a job that others may not be able to. These same plumbers study new technologies because more modern houses require more elaborate fixtures and toilets. I know store owners and small business owners that have a constant flow of regular customers. These same customers have helped the owners pay bills and send their kids to college.

But with all of that being said, what would you do to be labeled as a “success”? I know some would rob, steal and kill to make it. This doesn’t only count for the small-time street crook. This also goes for the corporate kat (I know I spelled cat with a k) wearing a tailor made suit and tie. Their schemes are just on a grander scale. Some would steal the identity of a relative or a stranger. Some would put a bill in the name of their kids. Even though doing so would mess up their children’s credit. Eh, it's a small price to pay to achieve a goal.

I remember being younger and my friends would ask, if a person put a gun to your head would you…… Some of them said they wouldn’t have a choice. Some of them said they don’t know what they would do …. But I think you do have a choice. You stick to what you believe and not let the gun or person holding it cause you to deter from your code.

I know some would snitch their way to hell and back. Maaaaaannnnnnn, they know who is snitching and they are still doing business with them. Because of that “success” mentality. To deal with known snitches just so you can be successful for one year but lose 10 - 20 years of your life due to incarceration. The main crime figures in Deep Cover and The Departed ended up being snitches and working for the folks.

Would you do anything to succeed?

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