Success vs. fulfillment. Which is it for you?

Success vs. fulfillment. Which is it for you?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

People make life choices, career choices, and business choices, even relationship choices based in large part on their tolerance for risk – weighted against their greed. As life progresses, these decisions will be mitigated and compromised based on existing conditions of family and debt. Often not in that order.

When you’re young you have goals and dreams, often verbalized by the statement, “When I grow up, I want to be a (fill in the blank).” And as you mature, you may, based on your life experiences, change your mind.

Here are the elements of achievement:

  • You have a drive.
  • You have a desire.
  • You have a goal.
  • You have a dream.
  • Your dream may be different than your goal.

Your goal may be to make your quota, or become the number one salesperson in your company. But your dream may be to live on the ocean or start your own business.

The question is: Do you have a love for what you are striving for, and is it the same love as what you’re dreaming for?

Love drives true passion. Passion drives achievement.

If you don’t love what you do, odds are you will not achieve your goal, let alone your dream. Why would you put that much energy into something you don’t love? The answer is: you probably wouldn’t. Love is also the breeding ground for intention. And intention is the first step in achievement.

Why do you want to succeed? What are your success intentions?
For the money?
For the safety?
For the status?
To show others?
For short-term gratification?
For the greed of having success at the expense of happiness?

Or are your intentions more honorable and more personally gratifying?
Are you striving to be the best at what you do?
Do you have real passion for what you do?

You often hear people described as “driven.” I would rather hear “he has passion,” or “he loves what he does.”

Over the years, I have given audiences an opportunity to comment on my talks. I ask them what they liked best, I ask them what they intend to do tomorrow, and I ask them for a candid comment. As you can imagine, I have received thousands of comments, but the ones I cherish all say the same thing, “Jeffrey loves what he does and it shows.” That’s a complement that has no peers.

What do you love? Not who do you love. For many, who you love changes over time.
For those of you (me included) who have children, they are who you love – forever and unconditionally. And hopefully, you love yourself.

What you love is different. What you love leads to success AND fulfillment.

You know what it is you love at the moment. Think about what you do with passion. Play ball, ski, travel, sew, read, golf, race. Don’t you love it? Then think about what sports team you love to watch, or who you cheer for. How much do you (or would you) pay to see them play?

The real “what do you love” questions are:

  • Do you love what you do for a living?
  • Do you love your career?
  • Do you love your job?

Passion needs to be discovered – then unleashed. “What do you love?” is easily discovered. You’ve heard the expressions: “He found his passion.” or “He found his true calling.” “He’s a natural.”

When you love what you do, it’s not just self-evident, it’s evident to others. Your enthusiasm is transferable. One of the best saleswomen I ever met talked to me about her love of sales and love of job. She said, “I do everything full force.” Me? I say it a slightly different way, “I strive to do my best at what I love to do.”

How do you say it? How do you feel about it?

MAJOR CLUE: Every day your road to fulfillment starts in the bathroom. And everyday, whether you realize it or not, you can take the “Bathroom Mirror Test.”

All you have to do is ask and answer these 4.5 critical questions – every day:

1. Am I happy on the inside?
2. Am I doing what I love?
3. Am I doing my best for those I love?
4. Am I doing my best for myself?
4.5. Am I smiling?

This is not a sales lesson. It’s a life lesson. Sales is just part of life.

If you love what you do, your passion will lead you to success,
and your success will lead to your fulfillment.


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