Are you looking for the secret or magical formula for success? Do you think itís a well-guarded, password-protected valuable locked away in some private vault? Good news! In this article I open the vault wide.
Here's The Secret...
The secret to success is having a strong vision and the will to overcome whatever obstacles get in your way. Not what you wanted to hear? Read on.
When Amadeo Peter Giannini (better known as A.P.) was only 7, his father died in a fight over one dollar. Times got real hard. Eventually A.P.ís mother married a man in the produce business. At age 14 A.P. quit school to work with his stepfather. By 19 he was a partner in their thriving enterprise. It was here that A.P. built his reputation for integrity and honesty. At 31 years of age he had all the money he needed or wanted, and announced his retirement.
At 32, A.Pís real career started when he was asked to join the board of the Columbus Savings & Loan society. It wasn't long before A.P found himself at odds with the other directors. He wanted the bank to loan money to hard-working immigrants, but at that time banks catered only to business men and the wealthy. His ideas of loaning money to the working class were scoffed at.
But A.P. had the vision and the will. He raised $150,000, and bought a converted saloon across the street from the Columbus S&L. A. P. kept the bartender on as an assistant teller, and opened the Bank of Italy.
It was considered improper and uncouth, but A.P. began ringing doorbells and talking to everyone he could about his bank. He advertised. He kept the bank open longer hours and on weekends to fit into working people's schedules. Business boomed.
But making money wasnít A.P.ís sole measurement of success. He believed in making other people's dreams come true, too. He helped the California Wine Industry get started. He bankrolled Hollywood when they were trying to make movies popular. When Walt Disney ran $2 million dollars over budget on Snow White, he stepped in with a loan.
A.P.'s story exemplifies the secret to success -- a strong vision and the will to overcome obstacles thrown your way.
OK, I Gave Away The Secret -- Now Here's The Formula
Integrity combined with "giving back" is the formula for success. This was A.P.ís success formula. What began in 1904 as the Bank of Italy is now the Bank of America Ė the world's largest bank.
And what about A.P.? Did he die a billionaire?
When he passed away at age 79, A.P.ís estate was worth less than $500,000. This was purely by choice. A.P. looked down on great wealth. He believed it would make him lose touch with the people he wanted to serve. He worked without pay for years. One year he was given a surprise $1.5 million bonus and promptly gave it to the University of California.
It's a winning formula -- integrity plus "giving back."
Thereís One More ThingÖ
By every standard, Amadeo Peter Giannini was a success. But his true measure of success was making a difference every day of his life. I hope that will be your measuring stick as well. To achieve success, youíve got to have a strong vision, and the will to overcome the obstacles that will come your way permeated with integrity. Add to that giving back to your community and youíll be successful indeed!