Pictured: Olympic medalist Aaron Peirsol showing his Gold Medal. I’ve met a lot of successful people; Olympic athletes, business owners, famous actresses, and when I’ve asked about their success and how to get there most of them answer the exact same things. Hard work, keeping your goals high, going after what you want, not giving up. Not even one says, sit at home and wait someone will discover your talent. People like to tell stories of for example Justin Bieber of making little music videos on YouTube until he was “discovered” and skyrocketed to his stardom, but that’s not true. That kid was working hard since he knew how to speak and walk – and he still keeps working hard! I think we live in this illusion that things come easier for other people. Sure, sometimes people get lucky, or they have money, or know right people, heck, sometimes even all of them and that helps them succeed. But some people can also have the right settings for success, and they never make it. Success starts from within. You have to know what to do with the money, know how to act when opportunity knocks, know how to work with the right people you know. Years in college, numerous business books, and several companies later I can still testify that everything that matters in business, success and life I learned from my parents. Should this tell you to listen to your parents? Maybe. But this absolutely should tell you to use the lessons you learn in life in every aspect of your life – and if you are a parent; start teaching the lessons for your children when they are still young. My children are 8, 9 and 11, and I already talk about the business/work world with them. No, I am not pressuring them to seek a specific career, but I answer all of their questions and teach them innovative problem solving skills and to follow their passion. My son is eight years old, and during a recent dinner talk we asked him what he wanted to do when he grows up. An entrepreneur mother and a pilot father, and his answer was wanting to found the Presnal Airlines, and offer private jet experience for travelers. Very cute, huh? But instead of just diminishing his dream as cute, and unattainable, we discussed about ways to make it happen. Too often we are crushed because our goals seem too high and people laugh at us because our dreams seem impossible to achieve. But yet, every day we read about people doing remarkable things, and think why not me. Or worse yet, we tend to think that other people are so much more amazing than we are, we could never start our own business/run a marathon/travel around the world/invent a new product. Success starts with YOU. You can make it happen. And don’t you let anyone ever tell you can’t be successful. And don’t you let anyone ever tell you what your success should look like. YOU define what success means to you, and it is OK if it means different things than for most people.