Cultural views of Success

I was in Galicia this summer enjoying the beautiful town of Moaña and a delicious churrasco (brazilian barbeque) thanks to my brazilian friends. After the salty meat, I was craving something sweet and decided to try some crepes I saw at a stand. But it actually wasn’t a stand, it was a cool converted vintage trailer.

The business was booming! They were pumping out crepes for everyone in the park to enjoy and they were amazing! When it was my turn, I asked about their business. Specifically I saw that this concept could be an amazing franchise that could make them money and spread all over Spain and Europe. They had the system, they had the look, and they had the product. Win, win win!

I asked, “This is awesome, why don’t you franchise? It would be really successful.”

He looked at me a bit puzzled as though this thought had never crossed his mind and wouldn’t again. His answer was matter-of-fact simple, “I live here in Galicia, we have a good life, and make good money, why would I want to make things more complicated?” (my paraphrase of his spanish)

I realized our cultures were clashing at that moment. I was American and he was French and his wife Gallega (Galician) and we all grew up in different environments with different ideas of success.

Meus amigos brasileiros fazendo churrasco 😉 My Brazilian friends doing their magic with meat.

Perhaps you are American and reading this saying yes and amen to my idea of franchising unto greater and greater success. America was built on this: can’t stop, won’t stop performance attitude. It’s been a key to its prosperity. “Anyone can do anything, if they just work hard!” is the motto.

It IS a great attitude to have in life…to a point, but the questions to ask are: when is enough, enough? and what are our actual core motivators? Perhaps our french crepe-making business man has found his sweet spot and his motivating success factors: He can be with his family, enjoy life and business at a good pace.

I listened to a recent sermon by Jon Tyson on Godly ambition and he said they did a study of millionaires and asked how much money they would need to be completely satisfied, the majority said more. Something doesn’t seem right, does it? I hear study after study about the more money and success you have, the harder it is to be happy.

What then should motivate us? What will satisfy us?

Ultimately, we don’t need an american view or a french view of success, we need a Godly view of success. This type of success more than anything comes down to connection. Connection with God and Godly community.

We need connection to God the author of our passions and great ideas. When we stay connected to him, we will keep money off the throne of our hearts and create more god-oriented motivating success factors. We need connection to a godly community that shares in our victories and pushes us farther.

Success is awesome, but if it’s done through a false goal of money/success bringing satisfaction or fulfillment, we won’t reach that goal. The flip side is if we use business as a platform to connect, bless and help others, the rewards will be more than just monetary.

Tell us about your journey in understanding faith, success and money! What have you learned?

Here is the Jon Tyson Podcast, for those interested:

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