What Makes You A Success?

I’ve pondered this question for a while…

I don’t think it’s a question that has just one answer nor do I think there is a right or wrong answer.  Obviously we’re all different, so what success means to me might be quite different to what it means for you or other people.

Rich and Powerful?

If you ask people what they think makes someone an achiever, I’m sure many of them would talk about a person who earns a lot of money.  Money is after all what makes the world go round and often brings with it power and recognition.  All of these things are what many people strive for.

With the credit crunch and recent austerity measures though, getting rich quick and having financial independence is probably further away for many people than it was a few years ago.

But does being rich necessarily make you happy?  I don’t know but I think there are probably more stressed and miserable powerful rich people than there are happy poor people!

In my mind, you can’t define your accomplishments without taking into account how happy you are.

Happy and Successful?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all rich people are miserable and that all poor people are blissfully happy as I know this isn’t the case.  However, is there any point in being rich if you don’t enjoy what you do and aren’t happy?

Being unhappy and poor, I’m sure would spur many people to try to change their lives for the better but being miserable and rich, well, money can’t buy happiness.

What really inspired me to write this post was the decision my wife and I made at the end of 2011.  That was for me to give up my career in pensions and concentrate on being a stay at home dad for the foreseeable future.  This has opened up new opportunities for both me and my family.

Any free time I have from looking after the kids I spend on my blog, networking with other bloggers, trying to write an eBook and scaling up my affiliate marketing efforts.  By being a stay at home dad, my kids in particular are benefiting from a much less stressful and more content home life.  Hey, I do also get some free time too to have fun though!

The best part about it is that it allowed my wife the scope to go out and get a promotion at work.  This in turn will hopefully allow us to live mortgage-free soon!

My Success

My greatest triumph so far is my family.  Before I gave up my career, my wife and I juggled childcare with working long hours and our quality of life suffered.  Now we are all much happier and with that I think more coherent as a family.  There have been many milestones in my life but this is the most important to me.

Before I left work, I considered myself quite successful in my career but I wasn’t happy in my employment.  I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but now when I think back because I wasn’t happy in my work my achievements were superficial.

There are different stresses and strains to being a stay at home dad compared to being in paid employment but the rewards outweigh any of these.  There are still certain aspects of working in an office job which I miss but they can’t compare to the added value I am giving to my kids by staying at home whilst they grow up.

By being happy at home with the family, I think I have a greater chance of making things happen with my blog and internet marketing.  Maybe even one day I will become rich and happy!

Success as I said at the start of this post is something different for every person.  Your achievements can help you towards your goals in life and to measure how you are doing against these goals.

What Makes You A Success?

So, that leads me to two questions.

  • What are your victories in life so far?
  • What does success mean to you?

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner is a Stay At Home Dad, Blogger and Internet Marketer. Learn more about him here.

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  • Simmeon

    Howdy Tim,

    That’s an interesting story, I’m sure your kids appreciate seeing you more compared to when you were working. Success can mean different things to different people. But I relate to the being a success at work bit.

    Although I had a great job for someone of my age, I didn’t enjoy it nor did the money make me truly happy. For me being a success is having building my own websites and earning income online. For some people would deem being a Doctor a success or the large house and car.

    But I would never frictionlessly chance a job for the sole intention of money, It really needs to be something I love doing. Life is short and I’m not going to spend it doing something I hate.

    We just need to make the right decision for us personally – not anyone else.

    • Tim Bonner

      Hey Simmeon

      My kids are so much happier since I’ve been at home! I guess for me, success comes down to how much impact what you are doing has on you and others around you.

      My giving up work had a hugely positive impact on family life and I think that is why I think of it as my greatest success so far.

      Sounds as though you are on your way to your own success though. You have some great stuff on your blog.

      I’ll definitely take you up on looking over any changes I make to my squeeze page. Thanks for the offer.


  • Ilka Flood

    Hi Tim,

    Congratulations on being a stay-at-home dad! I’m sure your kids appreciate having dad around for their milestones. So many dads miss out because they are stuck in their jobs.

    Money isn’t everything, but happiness is. I like what John Lennon said: “When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.”

    You’re right, success means different things to different people. If you love what you are doing and you can make a living from it and are happy, that to me is success.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story!


    • Tim Bonner

      Hi Ilka

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      My kids are definitely so much happier and my wife is so much less stressed since I’ve been at home. It’s been a steep learning curve for me though ;-).

      We almost decided to do this a few years earlier when my son was born but were concerned about the financial implications. In the end though, we’ve never looked back after going down this road!

      And you’re right, money isn’t everything. Although, things just seem to have fallen into place that have lessened any financial worries. In fact, if anything, it has made us better off!

      I love the John Lennon quote. It’s perfect, so thanks for sharing that. It made me smile.

      So, my next goal is making my blog and internet marketing business a success too ;-).

      Have a great week Ilka.


  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Tim,

    Well I do not consider or see myself as a success story yet. At least not with Internet Marketing.

    Yes, I have made some money online but it is definitely far away from being able to live from the internet like many gurus say.

    Having the right mindset definitely helps a lot and you already have yours in place. There is no bigger motivation and drive to succeed that our own family and if you already are happy then business success will just follow along.

    Hope the best for you and your loved ones Tim and let’s get this started already!

    Hope you have a great week ahead and speak soon again my friend, take care.


    • Tim Bonner

      Hey Sergio

      I agree. Family is such a big motivation to succeed in every aspect of our lives. I hope this success comes in business too Sergio, I really do ;-). Let’s get this Internet Marketing thing started!

      I’m learning new stuff every day and I really enjoy it. I’m meeting some great people on the way too.

      Maybe one day me and you can make a living from the internet as well. Hey, we could even become gurus! It’s important to have goals afterall :-).

      I hope you have a great week too mate.


  • Adrienne

    Hi Tim,

    What a wonderful post and I know everyone appreciates you sharing your story. I’m glad we’ve had the time to chat back and forth and I was able to learn this about you before this post.

    You are right, success means different things to different people. I consider myself very successful in life. I love life, I’m so very happy and I have everything really anyone could ever want. To me that is and I’m nowhere near being financially secure but I’m on my way.

    Things aren’t important to me Tim, relationships are much more important because they are the ones you can keep throughout your entire life.

    I think we are all very blessed and fortunate to be able to work at home and provide for our families. Not too many people are willing to take those steps and provide a better future. I’m so glad I was able to step outside my own comfort zone and do this for myself.

    Yep, success is different for everyone and I hope everyone finds their own path.


    • Tim Bonner

      Hi Adrienne

      Thanks for such great comments. I feel priviledged that you have looked at my blog.

      It’s so true that relationships are hugely important. I’m right with you on that one, both online and offline. I’m gradually getting to know a lot of really great people through blogging.

      I have to pick my moments though in terms of working from home as I’m daddy first and everything else second for the time being!

      Here’s to our successes! :-)


      P.S. I’m going to have a look over your relationship marketing report tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Abdul Rauf


    You’re superb infact. I really love reading every word of it, especially I love your ‘My Success’ segment in which you’ve discussed about your family which definitely a great achievement.

    Stay blessed.

    • Tim Bonner

      Hi Abdul

      Thanks so much for your comments. I really enjoyed looking through your blog earlier as well and will definitely be back!

      Have a great weekend.



  • Susan Velez

    Tim, I totally agree with you that being successful does not always focus around the money aspect. Sure it’s nice to have money, but what good is having a lot of money if you are stuck doing something that you don’t love doing?

    What is more important is enjoying life and in the process making money. Even if you don’t make a lot, at least you get to call the shots and do what you choose to do.

    It seems like your blog is coming along fine. The best part is that you get to stay home with your kids while you work on it. There is nothing better than that.

    • Tim Bonner

      That’s the best thing about blogging for me Susan.

      Being able to be at home with the kids is great but blogging gives me a focus.

      And who knows I may eventually make some money!