Friday, October 23, 2009

Past Success vs. Future Success

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyes

In the movie Napoleon Dynamite, the character Uncle Rico revels in his past. Specifically his high school years of football. It's humorous to watch Uncle Rico talk about his glory days, "Back in '82..." In real life however, whenever you run across people like this it is sad. They're stuck and unable to realize the present, much less the future.

In business, they're not innovating because, "we've always been successful doing it this way." In almost anything you succeed in, it can be tempting to always do it that way and resist change in the future. Even if it that successful way of doing things is no longer working. It's how status quo's come into being.

Past success is no guarantee of future success.


  • If it was, Angel Berroa, Pat Listach, and Bob Hamelin would be household names. Each of them experienced a great deal of success in their first years of Major League Baseball. Each of them won the Rookie of the Year award. Based on their early success, their future appeared bright.
  • Revel in your past success and one day you’ll look around and that’s all you’ll have. Past successes.
  • Ask Venture, K-Mart, or Woolworths how those past successes are working out for them in guaranteeing future success.
  • There's nothing wrong looking back at previous successes and even use them to help you gain leverage in the present or future. Far too often however, people look "back in '82" and want to stay there.
Past success is no guarantee of future success. Innovate, adjust, and grow.

It really is simple to understand. You just have to decide not to get stuck in '82. That's usually the hard part.

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