Permanent Success

Napoleon Hill wrote, “No person has a chance to enjoy permanent success until he begins to look in a mirror for the real cause of all his mistakes.”

I was at a conference the past few days where they were teaching about obtaining funding for charities and businesses. Part of the program was set up with around 10 investors and around 20 individuals were given the opportunity to pitch to the investors. It wasn’t designed around you really getting the money (although that could happen), but to give you feedback about what was missing in the presentation, and how they could improve.

Out of the 20 probably 2 or 3 did a good job. Most of them didn’t have it practiced enough, didn’t cover what all needed to be covered and repeated almost verbatim the same mistakes. It was interesting how because they were so nervous and focused on what they were going to say when they went on the stage, that they didn’t take the opportunity presented as they watched, to edit what they were doing to avoid the same mistakes.

How many times in our lives have we watched someone walk down the wrong path, and because we were so invested in what we were doing have we repeated the same mistake in ours?

What I also thought was interesting, was how many people pitch to investors looking for money and come away thinking that there isn’t any money available? When the real reason they didn’t get funded, is that they didn’t hook or engage the investor because they weren’t prepared with the right information.

How many people today go into a job interview and blow it, and walk away saying that there aren’t any jobs?

Real success is admitting when you blow it, and not trying to hide behind blaming someone or something else. I would rather work with someone who admits their mistake, learns from it where they went wrong and doesn’t repeat it.

That is a person of integrity, because none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes, the key is admitting and learning from them. That baggage is actually honed life skills. A different perspective is all that is needed to turn lemons into lemonade.

I like that thought – I don’t have baggage, I have honed life skills. Instead of baggage, I have a tool belt that has my honed life skills, ready to be used for any future life storm. My life skills are an asset instead of a liability, because I learned valuable lessons that enable me to make better choices, not bitter ones.

Isn’t life interesting?

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.