struggling to be successful

Why you’re struggling to be “successful”

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that people seem to struggle with being successful.  It’s almost as if success is some sort of elusive, intangible that people never achieve.  This entire idea came into focus for me recently.  Here’s the story…

This weekend I had lunch with a friend of mine who makes roughly $75,000 – $100,000 per month (yes, you read that right) and we were taking about music, business, life and much more. The conversation lead to him asking me a few questions, including: “What do you want out of life….what is your goal?”

My answer was simple: “I want to continue dong what I’m doing with drumming and with Drummer’s Resource and I want to be successful in all other aspects of my life.

Then…..the tough question came:

“Nick, define “successful.” Does successful mean $50K per year? $100K per year, $100K per month? Having enough money in the bank to pay the rent for two months? Travel? What is your definition of success? I make a lot of money but I could make a lot more if I started a few other business ideas that I have but that would force me to work more hours and spend less time with my wife and kids – I don’t want that. My measure of success is the freedom that I have and time I spend with my family, not the money in my bank account.

After a few short seconds, I had my answer.: “I want to play music, travel, spend time with my fiancé and family and have the freedom and flexibility to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.” And his response was: “So you’re already successful…congrats!” (which reminded me of the fisherman story)

The conversation completely blew my mind. See, in the midst of trying to keep up with the jones’, buying a bigger house and a more expensive car, we all have to take a moment to ask what we want out of life – what drives and inspires us? At the end of the day, that’s all that truly matters and once we strip away all the noise and concentrate on what is important I think that we can all see things a whole lot clearer.

So, I ask you: What’s your definition of success? Leave your comments in the section below…

10 replies
  1. Jordan Clark
    Jordan Clark says:

    Great point! My definition of success is living with a purpose. Money does create opportunities but over emphasizing that one aspect will create an unbalanced lifestyle; then one has a lot of money & no time to enjoy it. But PURPOSE is what wakes people up, puts them to work without feeling like they’re at work & enables them to feel accomplished. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life… Because it’s just what you do.

    • Nick
      Nick says:

      Living with purpose is my main goal as well. I want to help and support as many people as possible.I totally agree…too much of anything is a problem….money, commitments, etc. Balance is key! Thanks for reading!

  2. Sean
    Sean says:

    Keeping my girls as healthy and happy as I can as long as I can. Keeping my marriage together. Playing drums as my therapy. I have not been able to get my therapy in much due to my inability to say no to others when they ask me for help. I enjoy helping others but it is mostly during my meager amounts of free (Me) time so my drum time sometimes is nonexistent.

    • Nick
      Nick says:

      I think that’s a worth wild goal…and yes, you definitely need some “ME” time in your life. Sometimes, you just have to say no! I know it’s hard, because I love helping people too and it’s hard for me to say no but sometimes I do. haha. Thanks for reading!

  3. Kai
    Kai says:

    First of all, this is a wonderful short article. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I hope the Drummer’s Resource continues to grow exponentially. You have my support 🙂

    My definition of more immediate success is to have refined my drumming by the time I finish high school and continue to have the time to play through college and still be able to maintain a stable, happy relationship. My idea of long term success is being able to keep all of these aspects in balance and ultimately have happiness.

  4. Dave Mohn
    Dave Mohn says:

    I’ll add my thanks to you too Nick!
    I’ve found that the struggle is part of the process. I’ve been fortunate to have made a living drumming for most of my life but not without struggling from time to time. Struggling to keep improving, struggling in the early days to maintain a decent lifestyle and care for my wife and family. My wife has been there for me through it all, helping out working, helping me stay focused and not to get too involved in the extra curricular aspects of the business. I consider success being able to do what I love and make a decent living. That sometimes has been a modest living, sometimes more than modest. I also think of success as being able to share me talent and experiences with younger, up and coming players, I get to do that doing clinics and workshops at secondary schools and colleges and with private instruction and coaching.
    You have to have the passion and be able to take the struggles, learn from them and keep going.

    • Nick
      Nick says:


      Thanks for this! GREAT points! Yeah man, I think that your success is based on your happiness and doing what you love…nothing better than that. Hope all is well with you!

  5. Chris Silvestri
    Chris Silvestri says:

    Stop, reflect and evaluate, that’s a nice guideline Nick. Truth is I too often think I’ve got it figured out, when in reality our vision is constantly changing. I thought having a nice job as a software developer would be great and I could be happy doing that AND playing drums on the side, but as years go by, my vision changed and now I have other goals and another definition of “successful”.

    Right now it’s pretty much similar to yours, freedom and ability to manage and influence what’s around me without time and location constraints, are my core values and goals right now.

    • Nick
      Nick says:


      Thanks for the feedback! I think happiness is the key. And for me, the key to that is progress. The opposite of happiness isn’t sadness…it’s boredom.


Comments are closed.