Self-Made: Flipping the Coin of Truth

I love reading biographies. More importantly, I’m thrilled by autobiographies, reading the author’s thoughts on his or her path to success. Yet, what seems so shocking are the tales of ‘self-made’ men and women, who readily claim a rather lonely path to success.

The term Self-made is used by both the successful and their supporters to describe “a person who was born poor or otherwise disadvantaged, but who achieved great economic or other success thanks to their own hard work and ingenuity rather than because of any inherited fortune, family connections, or other privileges.” (1)

In the article Seven secret habits of self-made millionaires, Sarah Berry as with other articles on this concept focuses on their habits, which are often centred on hard work, determination, discipline and persistence. This is glaring in the testimonies we hear about the Self-made Man or Woman.

Some of my earlier articles on Comeback plans, like 7 Steps To Turning Any Dream To Reality and You Messed Up! So What?, Quick Comebacks! encourage hard work, endurance, focus and determination, while paying the necessary price for success.

To succeed, to turn your pains to gain, to have successful comebacks and fulfill your dreams through trying times, pain and setbacks, you need to stay focused, determined and committed to your dreams, driving yourself beyond the limits of yours fears. These form part of the “self-made” stories we read. Yet, there’s more.

Is anyone truly self made?

I hope not to discredit anyone’s success story, but to prepare you on your path to success with a more realistic and inclusive perspective.

The Self-Made concept is a lie.

Self-made stories often flip the coin of truth. It alienates us from the true satisfaction that comes with success: I am, because You are.

Every journey is made of 3 phases: the beginning, the middle and the end. All through these phases, we meet people. We meet guides, we meet guards and we meet our fans. Whatever we may call them, these three sets of people stand with us and form part of the success story.

At the beginning, we have parents and tutors. They prepare us consciously and unconsciously for what and who we eventually become. In the middle, while we’er struggling to become, we have guards and supporters. They encourage and motivate us through this phase. They are the shoulders we lean on during our days of despair and support in times of failure.

Then at the end, we have the fans at the point of success. Without them, we remain unsung heroes and heroines. They spread the news. They share our story and we enjoy the geometric progression of success, suddenly becoming larger and more famous than we were.


frompaintogainquotes I am

Here’s a simple explanation:

I woke up this morning to a beautiful day, a day I did not create.

Got off the bed I did not build. Even if I did, I did not manufacture all the materials I used to build it.

Had a breakfast I bought with my money. Yet, someone opened a shop, was on duty, and ready to sell what I bought.

Drove to woke in a car I did not manufacture, on a road I did not build, through a traffic that was not congested because someone obeyed traffic rules, or the result of a highly organised town planning.

Got to work to a clean office, because the cleaner took her job seriously. Had a successful day at work because every other person walked their path allowing me the opportunity to put in my best.

More so, I closed sales, made huge profits, opened new client opportunities for the company because of the platforms provided by the company and its vast network.

For Christ’s sake, I succeeded because someone else did his or her job.

No matter where you are at the moment, either chilling out with your fans and smiling at your 7 digit bank account, or struggling to climb to the next level, we all need a hand.

To deny the help and support of friends, family, society and even perceived enemies as instrumental to one’s success is the biggest discredit to our human existence.

I am because You are.

If you were not reading this piece, it remains a piss of trash, stashed in my head. It only becomes meaningful and appreciated because you chose to read it.

The next time you hear anyone’s success story, wait for the background story.

There is always that person, who became the bridge, the rock and helping hand through whom You succeeded.

With these in mind,

  • We learn humility.

  • We learn to see our successes beyond our nose.

  • We learn to give honour to whom it’s due.

  • We learn to create the platform for greater things.

  • We kill the tendency to lie and deny our true history.

  • We learn to be grateful.

  • We learn to be human, co-existing to help one another succeed.

In case you’ve already written your story, check again. Who’s missing?

It could be a parent, a teacher, a brother, spouse, child, friend, colleague, workplace, boss, secretary, driver, janitor, salesperson, pet or even the government. To ignore them, is to join the lie of the “Self-made”.

I pray that as you strive to become your best, never forget the true story.

Yes, you’ll certainly turn your pains to gain. You’ll always succeed and be all the best you can.

But I pray you climb through the ranks and look back at the sweats and blood of men and women who helped you become who you are.

I pray you never forget that

You are because I am, and I am because You are.

I wish you a lovely day and remember to leave a comment and share with a friend.



1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for such a passionate comment. Wow! “A Slap back to reality”…that’s quite deep you know. They inspire me too, and I know the best is yet to come. Well, I thank the Lord and hope that we all get more inspired unto greater things. God bless you dear.

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