Let’s Talk About Success Baby!

by | BiggerPockets.com

Let’s talk about success for now to the people at home or in the crowd.
It keeps coming up anyhow.
Don’t decoy, avoid, or make void the topic.
Cuz that ain’t gonna stop it.

For all those people who weren’t born in the 70’s or early 80’s to know I am referencing an old song by Salt N Pepa I can only say sorry that you don’t know the song because it’s a classic.

Today, inspired by some hip hop music, I want to talk about success. But, I am not going to teach you how to succeed or what it means to be a successful real estate investor. My only objective is to get you thinking about the labels you use because I think many of us use certain words without thinking. And yet by using these words in a certain way I believe we hold ourselves back from achieving the things in life that we truly want and from becoming the great people we all can be.

Success and failure are two such words that I believe are used all too often in a way that restricts all of us.

I used to think that if I earned a six figure per year salary I would be a success or if someone was a millionaire that meant that person was successful. I achieved both those marks in my life by the age of 31 (as long as you define a millionaire as someone with a million dollars worth of equity … I sure didn’t have a million in cash sitting in the bank!).

But, I am not a success. And it’s not because there are times when I am so cash poor I don’t have enough money for a sandwich – although that has happened.

It’s because nobody is a success.

The same goes for the word failure. Nobody is a failure.

We, as humans, fail at some things just like we succeed at some things. Success is the achievement of something good but it is not a word that can be used to describe a person. Success is a noun not an adjective.

Now we talk about success on the radio and video shows.
Many will know anything goes.
Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be.
How it was, and of course, how it should be.

And how it should be is that we’re humans. And we set goals and we dare to dream. And sometimes our dreams come true and we succeed at something we try. And sometimes we dare to dream and that action turns out to be a failure.

But, we, as humans are never a success nor are we ever a failure.

Remember that next time you fear failure. Or even if you fear success.

If you aren’t making an offer on a property or if you aren’t getting up in front of your real estate investing club to pitch your deal because you don’t want to be a failure … let it go. There is no such thing.

Sure, that action may not go that well but it WILL NOT DEFINE YOU. Whether you succeed at that one thing will not change WHO YOU ARE!

The fact that you take action, fight to achieve your dream life and keep on pushing
on despite achieving the odd failure or the odd success defines you. And it will define you in a way that will make you proud of who you are and hopefully of what you contribute to those around you.

You can succeed and you can fail … but those events do not define you. They can’t.

Let’s talk about success, baby (sing it)
Let’s talk about you and me (sing it, sing it)
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about success (come on)
Let’s talk about success (do it)!

>>Props to Salt N Pepa for their song “Let’s Talk About Sex” for the inspiration for this simple but important message.<<?

Images: © Shineart | Dreamstime.com, Richard0

About Author

Buy and hold real estate investing in Canada since 2001, Julie Broad is now a full time real estate investor and investing educator.


  1. Julie, thanks for the great post. You got my attention by the catchy title and kept it by thoughtful, insightful writing. Surely we have all experienced failures at some points in our lives (I know I have multiple times), but by no means does that qualify who we are as individuals. Looking forward to more posts from you.

  2. Julie, What a great article! People so often are defined by their perceived successes or failures and that is NOT what defines who you are! I can try 100 different things in my life (and I have) and never reach the level I had hoped for. That in no way defines me though.

    We are all much more valuable than others in the world may value us. We will always feel better about ourselves when we lock in to where we are the best “fit.” We were all created with different gifts and talents. Find the gifting and you’ll find the talents.

    All the best,

  3. Thank you so much Alex and Steve. I really appreciate your comments!!

    It really is such an important message for people to understand … so many people fear failure because they are afraid of BEING a failure. But you can’t BE a failure. And if you REALLY get that I think you’ll be more willing to try & try again like you have done Steve.

    Wishing you a fabulous week!!

  4. Haha! I can’t believe you’re referencing that song. Pretty creative. I never thought about it before yet everyone says it “he is a success” like success actually is a noun. Thanks for the new way of thinking about this.

  5. Great article, Julie! I agree 100% – success and failure should not define you.

    I think in our society we take both (success and failure) as what defines us in life. It’s not. I don’t think one can be without the other. I’ve made many, many mistakes in my REI career and have had many failures. But, it’s those failures and learning from the mistakes that I’ve made that has led to success.

    On the flip side, I think some people who are very successful measure themselves up to people who may be less successful and define themselves that way. In the end, it really doesen’t matter.

    What matters is that people take the steps to get to their goals, do what they want to do and just be happy! It’s the journey, not the destination where we learn the most.

    I enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing!

    p.s. I had to laugh with the Salt N Pepa music tie-in, nicely done! 🙂

    • Rachel you really are a gal after my own heart!! It really is about the journey and on our journey we will succeed at certain things and fail at others. And in fact, I actually believe it’s how we handle the successes and the failures along the way that really tells us and others who we are and what we’re made of!! 🙂

      Glad you appreciate the Salt N Pepa tie in … sometimes you just need to have a little fun with it.

  6. I cannot recall the song or the band but assume that is because I am an old but broad minded soul. I do agree with you about success and failure. We can achieve both in our life and are defined by our perceptions and what we do with them.
    Great post thanks Julie!

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