Success Isn’t from What You Do, but Who You Become


“If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something your pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become. For things to improve, you have to improve. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to change, you have to change. When you change, everything changes for you.”

– Jim Rohn

(This is post is an excerpt from my upcoming 30 day course coming out next week.)

When most people set a new goal they think, “Ok what do I need to do to get it?” They find the steps and just follow them. It’s natural to think that and it’s not a bad question. But it’s not the first question we should ask.

The question we should ask ourselves is “Who do I need to become?”

If you’ve never realized this, then this post will change how you achieve success.

When I learned this, I figured I would try it this way. I needed to stop doing it the way I had done it before, which was just finding out what I needed to do. My past efforts at change in all areas of my life all failed since college. On the outside, life may have seemed great, but on the inside I felt hollow.

I did what most people do, which was try and change my external world. If I did that, I figured I would change as a person on the inside.

Well…that strategy never worked out for me. This time I needed to take a different approach.

It turned out Jim Rohn’s words were the important to my current personal development success.

Before my goal was to make money to become financially independent. If I could do that, life would be great. I thought all my self-confidence, unhappiness, and motivation problems would go away.

I didn’t find success though for a long time. The reason I didn’t was because of ME. I didn’t become the type of person that would achieve the goal I wanted. I just tried to do step 1, step 2, step 3, etc.

I thought knowing how to do it was enough, but it wasn’t.

If you’ve been failing at changing your life and achieving your biggest goals in life, you need a new approach.

It’s all about us

No matter what it is we want to change, we’ll never achieve lasting change until WE change. Once WE improve, everything else around us will improve. When it comes to achieving our goals, remember it is not our goals that need to be worked on; it is US.

It is important to understand that we don’t get in life what we want; we get in life what we are. We will only achieve the level of success in our life that equals our level of self-worth.

Re-read these last two sentences so you really understand it.

But it’s natural tendency to look at the results and figure out why we didn’t get what we wanted, while giving little attention to the cause.

This time when I finally decided I was tired of how my life was, I looked to change myself from the inside out first. It wasn’t about writing down a list of goals (again), putting my head down, and focus on achieving it. I had to change first. I didn’t like the type of person I had become. I was pessimistic, didn’t take responsibility for my life, hated life, jealous, and frustrated cause I felt stuck.

My level of self-worth sucked. Yes I wanted to reach these big goals I had. Yes I wanted to change my life. But I didn’t truly believe I could achieve it. I still felt success was hopeless.

I needed to change myself FIRST, so I could have success. Not the other way around.

Let me give you an example of how I used to approach my goals. I’ve tried to make money online for so long. I’ve always loved how I could do work from anywhere. I spent a lot of time online so it interested me. I’ve joined courses that taught me how to do it. For example, I tried to set up niche websites and make money from Google ads. I followed the steps, worked hard to set it up, tweaked it, and waited to see what kind of results I would get. I didn’t get much. I quit that and move to the next get rich quick opportunity.

I had the steps I need to take to make money. The reason I never found success was because I didn’t change. I didn’t have the attributes that a successful online entrepreneur would possess.

With my mindset, I also believe I didn’t attract the type of opportunities that were right for me either. My mindset was get rich quick with as little work as possible. Guess what? That’s what I attracted because that’s what I was looking for.

I was the same old Benny trying to make money online with every new opportunity I came across.

Who I Needed to Become

Just knowing what I needed to do wasn’t enough for me. Like Jim Rohn said, “Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue eludes you. Success is something you attract by the person you become. If you want to have more, you must become more.”

So in late 2010, I learned to ask myself, “What kind of person would I need to become to be an successful online entrepreneur? What successful traits does a person like this posses?”

I wanted a real business. Not just 100 different websites with Google ads. It works for some people, but it’s not what gets me excited.

Here are a list of questions I needed to answer:

  • What new habits, disciplines, or behaviors do I need to START?
  • What good habits, disciplines, or behaviors do I need to DO MORE OF?
  • What poor habits or behaviors do I need to STOP?

I knew there were a bunch of bad habits and behaviors I was doing that needed to stop. I knew successful people don’t sit and watch TV all day. I knew they took massive action. I had to stop complaining and blaming others. I needed to go on a media diet. I had to take responsibility for my life. I had to change how I talked to myself. I needed to start exercising so I began training for a half marathon.

I stared to read books because I knew that’s what successful people do. I began to believe in myself. I didn’t have thoughts of “What if…” racing through my mind. Successful entrepreneurs don’t think that way.

I needed to shift my focus from what I didn’t have to abundance so I began writing in a gratitude journal. I started to connect with other people online who were doing what I wanted to do.

Giving up wasn’t an option this time. That was my new mindset. When I developed my first iPhone app, Photo 365, I took a risk spending $1,900 on it. I didn’t know how it would sell, but I was going to get it done and do it well no matter what.

Because I changed myself first, I’ve had success beyond what I could imagine back when I began in 2010. You’re reading this blog now, so that’s a great sign. It’s been two years already and I still love blogging here.

I wanted to build a business that I could run from anywhere in the world.  I’m actually writing this post from Sydney, where I’ve been for over a week now. I got here on a ticket I only paid $362.80 for my wife and I and it was in first class (post coming up on how that flight was. I didn’t want to get off the plane). Next week we’re heading to Hong Kong for 10 days.

My first app and brought recognition by Apple that every developer craves and has earned over $70,000 in sales to date. Now I have three more apps and have a course where I teach others how to develop their own apps.

My wife has even said I’ve changed as a person since she first met me in 2008. She said I’ve grown up a lot. That change has come from the inside. The outside looks pretty much the same except with more gray hairs, but the inside is a much better version of me.

So who do you need to become?

What’s holding you back is that you haven’t become the type of person you need to be.

Before you can have it, you must do it. Before you do it, you must become it. Are you ready to become the person who can achieve your goals?

Stop focusing everything on what you need to do, and answer those questions above to find out the type of person you need to become first.

I’ll leave you with a great quote that sums up today’s lesson.

“To achieve something you have never achieved before you must become someone you have never been.” – Les Brown


(This post is an email from my upcoming 30 day course. It’s for those who want to make 2013 the best year yet. If you feel stuck, confused in life and need some help, the course is for you. I share the principles I used and plan of action that helped me turn around my life to how it is today. Stay tuned here or get on my mailing list to be the first to know.)


Photo by Xurble

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13 responses to Success Isn’t from What You Do, but Who You Become

  1. This is interesting concept I believe. When we like to achieve success most of us focus on what need to be done yet never think of how to be someone else

    • I didn’t know about it before. I always just tried to achieve my goals by taking action, but it was never enough. I believe most people don’t realize that it’s important to become that type of person first, in order to have success.

  2. This is a lesson I just started learning within the past few months. As 2013 began a new year, I knew I needed a new me, and along with it new business inspiration. Becoming a better you also reflects in your business, and if you want your business to be successful you need to ask yourself the same type of questions.

    You make some excellent and thought-provoking points Benny. Success in both life and business isn’t what you do, but who you become. Thanks for sharing your perspective and I can’t wait to read more about your upcoming adventures.

    • Thanks for your comment Carrie! Glad to hear you learned about it. It’ll really take you and your success to a whole new level when you focus on having the traits that a successful person in your field would have.

  3. Well said, Benny. Who we are is who we bring into every experience and every circumstance. There is nothing more important than becoming the person we want to be. I’ve always thought that one of the most important reasons for setting goals is what happens to us in the process of pursuing them, the qualities we develop, the character traits we grow, the person we become. Even if the goal has nothing to do with becoming a better person, the process encourages it nonetheless. We develop perseverance, determination, commitment, internal strength, gratitude as invariably we get help along the way. And if we keep at it and keep our eyes wide open, learning from those who reach their goals, we pick up new attitudes and perspectives and self-confidence as well.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us, Benny, and sharing your personal experiences with that process.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable lesson! I have been a devoted housewife for 33 years and now I’m getting divorced. Life is more than just a little bit scary and uncertain at this point! But thanks to your article I do believe I can make it happen, I can be successful! Please keep me posted! Thank you! My mother has been talking to me about a venture that I was uncertain about. It isn’t that the idea is not a good one, it’s that I didn’t think I could be successful. Now I am optimistic and ready to succeed!

  5. I got this same thing from Jim Rohn. Too many of start out with the ambition of wanting to make a profit in business, which is good – certainly nothing wrong with that, but in order to have success you have to ‘invest in yourself’ first.

    I’ve noticed the difference that ‘investing in myself’ has had on me over the years and although I am haven’t had my first 5 figure month yet I know that as I continue to become the persona that I want to be, I will naturally attract what I seek.

  6. Dude I’m seriously going to have to buy all of Jim Rohn’s books hahaa. I always read the quotes you post and he seems like one hell of a smart guy (and I resonate a lot with him). Wasn’t he the dude that Tony Robbins originally was inspired from?

    Any recommendations on books?

  7. I totally agree with you and I standby this. World doesn’t count What You Do. They just see Who You Are. So everyone should know Who You Become.

  8. Hi Benny,
    I agree with you. There is nothing more important than becoming the person we want to be. But we should not be disappointed if you can’t reach our dreams. Becoming a better you also reflects in your business, and if you want your business to be successful you need to ask yourself the same type of questions.
    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for this article. I hope that it will help me to become succesful 🙂
    Best regards, Brunner Nathan

  9. Very true, in the end what we have become it matters. I wanted to become a film director but culdnt crack it for 2 years now I’m a part time blogger earning decent money but not satisfied. You have shared an inspiring post, thanks a ton.

  10. I completely agree with this. As Zig Ziglar said, you’ve got to be before you can do, and you’ve got to do before you can have. This is why I believe very much in personal development. Thanks for sharing this Benny.