Success Should Never Be A Solo Journey

Richard Shrapnel's 'Success Should Never Be A Solo Journey'.

You will accomplish your greatest potential and successes if you invite others on your quest to achieve all you can in life. The key, however, is to make sure they are the right people in the right roles.


Active Knowledge Questions:

If you had to list the people who are the most influential in your life, who would they be? And why do you consider them the most influential?


Your Circle

There are many people who we interact with on a daily basis and throughout the course of our lives. The more years of living you have under your belt, the bigger that number logically gets. But, of course, we are all different people who choose and live different lives and, therefore, that number and mix of people will and does vary greatly.

Your circle likely includes family, friends, school and university peers, work colleagues, customers, and then others like people we see travelling to work, at our gym, favourite cafe, local shops, and friends of friends. Add to this list, people we meet through social media, gaming, dating sites and the like. And then again add in people we may have never met, but who we admire and follow. These are the people who can influence and support us in our quest to be successful.

This prospective list of people who may be in the circle of people who influence us is prospectively huge and ever-evolving. However, in reality, I think most of us actually have a quite limited circle of people who really have the potential to influence us. We simply do not have the capacity to truly interact with that many people over an enduring period of time.

And even though this number of potential influencers may be small, many of us do not pause to reflect on who is in our circle of influencers and what impact they may be having on us.

If, as individuals, we are serious about being successful in our lives, then assessing who is in our circle influencing and supporting us in being successful is critical. Consider for a moment, what names are on your list and whose list would you be on?


Success Is Not A Solo Journey.

Success is never a solo journey. No matter who you are or what you are seeking to achieve, we all need to have someone in our corner. Trying to do it alone is likely to doom us to failure.

There are personal traits that we need to develop if we are to achieve enduring success. We need to recognise that self-interest is likely to undermine our chances of achieving our greatest potential. And we need to have a clear image of what success is for us. These are the foundations but we need supporters as well.

We need supporters who help us navigate our way to that success. I believe there is a range of qualities we should all seek in our supporters. They are people who will:

  • Share their knowledge and experiences of life with us.
  • Listen to us when we just need someone to listen.
  • Be full of energy and ideas to ignite our passions.
  • Hold us accountable to what we should be doing.
  • Encourage us to pursue and commit to our interests.
  • People we can just have fun with and enjoy time out with socially.

Note these are not technical advisors who bring their expertise to help us build a business or alike. These are individuals who help us grow as successful people and achieve what is important in our lives.

On the flip side, there are also people who are unlikely to support us to become all we could be. For me, these are people who are only interested in themselves and what they can achieve, those who only have a negative view of the world and those who are full of fear and doubt. These are not traits that will uplift you to your greatest potential.


Setting Depths Of Influence

While we may not be able to meet and mix with all the people we would like to know, we can usually decide who we don’t mix with. And we can usually choose how much influence we allow someone to have on us.

There are depths of influence and roles that we can ask and allow people to play. It’s important that we consciously recognise where people sit on this scale and whether that is appropriate.

It’s also critical to remember that this is a two-way street. It’s likely that you may well influence someone else’s life and you must recognise, consent and commit, or withdraw to this role.

The other part of the two-way street is that every relationship requires a give and take, a balance of yin and yang, where each party contributes and receives, to sustain the health of the relationship. This can come in many forms, and often one party benefits by simply seeing the other person grow.

Consider the following six basic categories:

  1. Interesting people: ‘Someone who I admire, is a good example for me, and is a source of information. Someone who I will follow and take in what is useful.’
  2. Friends‘I enjoy my social interaction with them, but I do not allow their views of the world to overly influence me.’
  3. Energiser‘A person who I interact and have a great synergy with. We ignite ideas within each other and I come away from the exchange recharged and ready to meet any challenge.’
  4. Mentor:‘A mature, trusted soul who has my interests at heart, knows who l am, understands my values and priorities, and who will give me an honest response on whatever I may place before them.’
  5. Accountability partner‘Someone who calls me out and is willing to say: “No, this is not good enough. This is what you said you were going to do, the standard you were going to achieve, and I won’t let you excuse your way out of it.” And I do the same for them.’
  6. Soulmate‘The person who I can be totally vulnerable with and I tell them my deepest fears and failings. The person who makes no judgement but is there to listen, offer advice when asked for, and cares for my welfare. I feel completely safe with them and know they are on this journey to success with me.’

The depth of the relationship I have with each category of person intensifies as I move from one to six on this scale (with six being the most intimate relationship). As you move from category one to six your circle will narrow significantly. Where you may have many interesting people and friends in your circle, you will only have a couple of people who energise you and who may be mentors, and it’s, most likely, you’ll only have one accountability partner and one soulmate.

If you find one person who fills a number of these roles for you, hang on to them, they are golden and few and far between. It can take a lifetime to find people who can and will act for you in these capacities. And remember, it’s a two-way street so you must invest in them as well, not just take from them.


On Your Team

All of these relationships are important, and all play a role in helping us become the best person we can and want to be.

We often think about what we need to do to become successful, but the more important question is, who is it we need to become? Then, committing ourselves to this journey; a lifelong journey of enduring success.

Having people around you who support you on your journey is vital and will make the difference between a life of enduring success and one of struggle. Think carefully about who is in your life: who can and does support you in the ways required for enduring success? Ask for their support and help. Do not take them for granted and invest in these vital relationships.

And, if there is no one in these key roles, seek them out, build relationships with them, and the benefits will be immense.

Success is not a solo journey and a life of enduring success is exactly that: a life’s journey. Find your partners early and invest in their and your lives, and the benefits will compound over your lifetime.



 An entirely new level of performance.

Want to become a part of the Entrepreneurs+ Community and learn how to make your business competitively fitJoin now.


All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel