Just What Do You Mean You’re a Winner?

November 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

“Win at all costs.” “Winning’s not the only thing.” “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.” We’ve all heard these. They’ve been around for a long time. So how to you get from winning at all costs to winning is not the only thing? Which is right? Which is wrong? Or, is there a place somewhere in between?

You’ve seen them. We all have. I’ve even been one at times. They are the ones driven to win. They will do whatever it takes to win. Long hours, weekends, travel, sacrifice their social and family life, whatever it takes to win that next sales record or land that new account. They thrive on the hunt, the chase, the contest, and of course the winning. They’ll constantly tell you how passionate they are for winning.


Look at me! I'm a winner!

But just at what cost? Are they happy? They may have money, fame, possessions, and power but are they happy? Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Would you be? That’s the question you have to ask yourself. Does winning at all costs make you happy?

In the mid-seventies I worked for a company out of Chicago selling life insurance in Southern Missouri. They sent me to the home office for two weeks of training before going out into the field. It was there they told us the philosophy of the founder and how early on he had discovered that you couldn’t work all the time. Even if you were out in the field you needed to put in a good days work and then quit for the day and enjoy some leisure time. It was a philosophy I could live with. So off to the field I went.

The reality was quite different. My manager expected me to make calls as long as I could see lights. After all, that’s what he did and he was the manager and he was winning. He had a collection of antique cars, a big house, and was on his second marriage. He was gone all the time working and winning. His wife was unhappy and was soon going to divorce him. Yet he considered himself a winner. I, on the other hand was a young married man with a small child and one on the way. I was spending too much time away from home, not making enough money, and missing my family. I was losing and I knew it. Still I put in the hours, won awards, and on paper I was winning.

One Monday morning while I was headed back out to the field, I got about an hour down the road and turned around and headed back home. I had been thinking of all the things I was missing by “winning”. I would be gone when my kids started school. I would be gone when they where in a play, the band or playing a sport. I would be gone when they needed me to give them advice. So I turned in my stuff and went back to what I knew I could win at…construction. I was a winner because maybe construction wouldn’t make me rich but I would be at home more and not lose my family. I would be there when they needed me. To me this was winning.

Winning is different for different people. I am a winner when I design a good piece of artwork or a successful campaign for my client, or in my past when I built a good house for someone. I am a winner when I see my grown sons and their families gathered around the table for a holiday feast. I am a winner when I look into my wife’s eyes and see the love she has for me. I am a winner when I finish raking the leaves in the Fall and stand back and look at the wonderful home I’m blessed with. No, I don’t have a lot of money but I’m comfortable. I have what I need and a few of my wants. Remember winning is not measured by the money in your pocket but by the grin on your face. Do what makes you happy and you will be a winner. I guarantee it!

I’m looking for small business owners who consider themselves true winners. I want to partner with visionary entrepreneurs who know how to win in a balanced way. I want to help them tell their story and come out a winner. My contact info is:

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030

Find me on

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelirvincpm

Plaxo: http://tinyurl.com/nps8o2

Twittter: http://twitter.com/mirvin1129

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mirvin1129

Business Profile: http://www.kconlinecommunity.com/profile/MichaelIrvin

Graphic Design and Illustration Portfolio: http://www.elance.com/experts/mirvin1129

Fine Art Portfolio: http://www.taltopia


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Sky’s the Limit…Why? It Takes More Than Being Clever to be a Good Designer

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