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What You Need to Know About Successful People

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How have we fallen into such a dark pit that those who’ve achieved success in our country are demonized – with government leaders leading the charge?

I know many successful people and not one of them has had success handed to them on a silver platter. They have demonstrated the admirable qualities of hard work, sacrifice, courage to take risks, and perseverance. 

See that guy in the picture? That’s my husband.

He’s one of the best men I know – and he’s successful. He has all the qualities I just mentioned.

My Successful Husband

Paul Ryan said, “Behind every small business is a story worth knowing.” 

This is my husband’s back story (in a nutshell) . . . 

  • When my husband was five-years-old, his 18-month-old brother drowned.
  • When he was nine, his mother died of a brain aneurysm – just three days before Christmas. He had to open the Christmas gift he had made for her. That beautiful dried flower arrangement stuffed in a glass bottle now has a cherished spot in our home!
  • Just before graduating from high school, his dad (an air traffic controller) was fired from his job. He received no support from his family for college. He worked glamorous jobs as a vacuum cleaner salesman and a shoe salesman! He stocked up on student loans – and eventually paid back every penny of every one. I know this because we were still paying them back in our early years of marriage!
  • After ups-and-downs in the corporate world, my survivor man started his own company. He was out of work and our financial situation was horrible. A company who believed in him offered him a draw (like a loan) to help him get his business off the ground. Once my survivor man’s commissions started to come in, those funds were used to pay down the draw. It took years, but he paid back every penny.
  • My husband sacrificed, sweated, stressed, risked, and worked diligently to build his business with stellar integrity. I know from experience that behind every business owner is a family who has sacrificed too. It really makes me angry when I hear our president say, “If you have a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
  • Survivor man has always been compassionate and generous. He has given faithfully to his church, to charitable organizations, and to individuals in need. His goal has always been to give anonymously to individuals if possible. He wants the credit to go to God – never to himself. (He’ll probably be unhappy that I’m writing about his generosity!) He’s also devoted an extraordinary number of hours helping as a volunteer. Don’t let anyone fool you. Most of the successful people I know are extremely generous. Without them, many of our charities would collapse.

A Tribute to Successful People

So to all of you productive citizens who have worked so hard, sacrificed, taken great risks, honored your debts, provided employment to others, given generously to those in need, and paid more than your fair share of taxes (blog.heritage.org-nearly half of americans don’t pay income taxes) . . . I applaud you. 


So what do you need to know about successful people? They aren’t bad people because they’re successful. The qualities many of them possess are commendable – not contemptible.


Teaching Your Children

If you’re a parent – you’ve got to be very intentional with your children if you want to counter cultural influences. Teach them about work ethic and that success is honorable and achievable – but it only comes with hard work, sacrifice, and courage.

  • Give them opportunities to develop work ethic.
  • Talk to them about it.
  • Model it in your own life.
  • Equip them for success.

Finally, keep in mind how important it is to elect leaders who recognize the value of those who are productive and who want to help their citizens achieve success. Your child just may be one of those business owners one day!

How do you feel about the class warfare being nurtured in our society? What positive character qualities do you see in the financially successful people you know?


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  1. So good and so inspiring. I think your point about the need to clearly speak this to our children is important. My husband has also started businesses and run them and thus helped provide not only needed goods and services but most also employment for a lot of people. He tells our 4 boys,”Men are producers; Boys are consumers.” Our culture gets it all wrong with people defining themselves by what they buy/wear/drive.

  2. Kathy says:

    Well spoken, Lisa. I was inspired reading your story of Mike and his personal story. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. martha carter says:

    This was an excellent read. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Mike and people like him are truly the strong backbone of our society.

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