Touching the Lives of Teens Across the Nation

America’s Youth Speaker

Guest Author: Mike Marino

My name is Mike Marino: speaker, author, and entrepreneur. I have written 2 leaderships books and traveled around the country speaking on the topic of leadership and success to businesses and some well-known colleges such as Penn State University. Experiencing success at a very young age, I can say I have learned things the hard way and learned how not to be successful. Many people want to experience success in life but not many people are willing to work hard for it. That’s right I said work! It’s a word that most people don’t truly understand. In my generation (the millennial generation) I have seen “the norm” of free hand outs and instant gratification. I learned that by sitting on the couch hoping and wishing for success will not only get you behind in life, but you will also miss out on opportunities in life to become successful. I have always told people that you have to start doing the things today in order to be successful tomorrow. You have to work at it each and every day in order to get to where you want to be.

Success is defined by many things such as how much money you make, how big your house is, and how many friends you have on Facebook. The measure of success to me is far different from what the world says success is. First, you have to understand a few things.

#1. Understand that people will get you down and distract you from your goals. When I was writing my first book in college I was so excited to share what I was doing with friends and co-workers but they didn’t share the same excitement as I did. They told me that what I was doing was worthless and was never going happen. I started to believe them and every time I sat down to write in my book I felt the pressure of their comments and the disbelief that I was never going to reach my dreams. I finally came to the realization that they were telling me that because they didn’t want me to be more successful than they were. I had to cut those people out of my life and it wasn’t until I did that I got back on track with finishing my book. You need to ensure that you are around people who are like you. In fact, the very people that criticized me bought my book because they found value in it.

#2. Understand that people have value. I have seen many successful people in life forget about those who have helped them. When success comes life gets busy and we forget to value others. I am telling you, if you want to crash and burn then don’t value people. If you want to reach limits that you never thought were possible then take the time to value the people around you. Take the time to write them a card or stop and talk to them. Even something as simple as saying thank you. Trust me you can’t be successful without others.

#3. Understand that to become successful you have to be a good leader that serves others. It’s a funny thing to think about. A leader tends to be thought of as someone who should be served, not the servant. I can tell you that if you are planning on succeeding then you have to be a leader who is willing to serve others. If you are not willing to serve those around you, then the truth is no one will follow you. Whether it’s the account manager down to the person who scrubs the toilets. John Maxwell said it best, “He who thinks he is leading without any followers is just taking a walk.” There is no greater service than serving another human.

Over the years I have made many mistakes, learned the hard way, and spent a lot of time and money failing.  These simple tips will save you more money, more time, more relationships, and help you become successful in whatever you want to do in life. It’s simple, you have people who talk about being successful, and then you have others who truly are successful. Let me ask you…do you have the willingness to be successful or just the wish to be successful? Do you talk about being successful or do you take action on the things today to become successful tomorrow?

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