The Secrets of Success: How an Unhappy High Achiever Set New and Different Goals to Find Satisfaction

By Sullivan, Dan | CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine, September 1998 | Go to article overview

The Secrets of Success: How an Unhappy High Achiever Set New and Different Goals to Find Satisfaction


Sullivan, Dan, CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine


Twelve years ago I met a man in Toronto who told me that at 38 years of age he had already achieved all of his goals. He had an impressive list of accomplishments. Recognition as one of the top performers in his industry. A $400,000 plus income. A great house, on a great street, in a great part of town. A cottage, a Mercedes, a 34-foot cruiser, a plane, every new electronic tool under the sun, and so on.

So, what could I, as president of The Strategic Coach in Toronto, do for him? Well, for starters, I asked him if he had really achieved his goals, or had he simply achieved all of the things that other people said were important? All of the things he had listed were probably other people's goals for him. But what were his goals?

My question must have been the right thing to ask at the right time, because he didn't say anything for a few minutes. Then he said, "You're right, what I want in life I haven't really begun to achieve."

A week later, in an all-day strategic planning session, he told me (and himself, for the first time) what he really wanted:

First, he had been at the $400,000 level for three straight years, and was feeling stagnant. He wanted to get to $1 million in three years.

Second, he had remarried after a badly failed first marriage, and wanted to become a great husband and parent the second time around.

Third, he was not satisfied with his relationship with the large financial institution he was working for, and in fact, felt his organization didn't supply the support, services or resources he needed to build larger money-making relationships. He wanted to become more independent from them, perhaps moving to a less bureaucratic organization or try out something more entrepreneurial on his own.

Fourth, he wanted a systematic marketing program that would continually introduce him to entrepreneurial business owners.

Fifth, he had some great innovations about wealth creation in his brain, but didn't know how to communicate them to the people who were his main centres of influence. He wanted a professional presentation, with high-impact graphics, backed up with numbers, that would help further some of his more creative work.

Sixth, and certainly not least, he was in poor physical shape. He wasn't eating right, wasn't exercising at all, wasn't sleeping well, and wasn't taking free time that really rejuvenated him. He wanted to establish a systematic fitness program that would leave him in better shape when he was 50 than when he was 30.

So, these were some of the most important goals that this high achiever really wanted to reach. As far as he was concerned, when he became clear about his goals and game plan, everything that he had already accomplished was just the beginning.

Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of other individuals in many industries who had similar stories to tell. In other people's eyes they were at the top, but they weren't satisfied. Other people looked to them as role models, but if the truth were told, they felt like failures. They felt trapped at a high level of income, expenditures, obligations, and complexity.

Dramatic breakthroughs

This was exactly the situation that was facing my client back in 1984, but by establishing a new long-range strategic game plan for himself, and implementing it on a quarterly basis over the past 12 years, he has made some remarkable breakthroughs in his life. Quite simply, he has achieved every one of the goals that he put down in that first plan, and has gone way beyond them.

Along the way he has created a unique market niche for himself that, in 1998, seems unlimited in terms of opportunity and creative satisfaction. He is now 50 and the first to admit that even at close to $3 million income for the past year he has only begun to scratch the surface of his ability and the potential of his market.

His support staff now numbers 10, all of them skilled with computers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Secrets of Success: How an Unhappy High Achiever Set New and Different Goals to Find Satisfaction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.