I'm a big believer that everyone can be successful. Yet, there's a caveat to that statement--success doesn't come without hard work and sacrifices, few of which others will ever see.
I have worked to be a good mom, a successful business person, and a writer...a few of my lifelong ambitions. Raising children meant passing on many of the things I wanted to do to make sure the kids were doing what was important. When they were babies, there were sleepless nights trying to comfort them. When they grew older, there were sleepless nights waiting for them to return with the car.
Business is akin to raising children. To do it right, there are lots of sacrifices. If we choose a career, and not just a job, chances are we will work long hours and juggle numerous responsibilities to climb the corporate ladder. We will be the person who bosses know they can trust with work because it gets done quickly and flawlessly. We will be the ones working at night and rising early in the morning. We will be the ones knowing a deal closed because of our attention to detail.
As a writer, I spent endless hours at conferences, courses, and my desk, pecking at the keyboard. I returned to school not once, but twice to get the degrees which ultimately helped me land an agent. There were days when the family frolicked in the pool, and I worked at my computer. There were gatherings I missed and mornings I rose before the crack of daylight to meet deadlines while juggling my career and hobby. I sometimes wondered if it was time to give up because I was sacrificing so much. But I never did.
Occasionally, we will see the person who rises to success with what appears to be little effort. Like Stephen King tells want-to-be writers who think they can take shortcuts--Fugheddaboudit! He should know, having worked and sacrificed his whole life to achieve the success he enjoys today.
If you are working towards your dreams, look at sacrifices like building blocks of success. The same as building a house - once the foundation is laid, the walls are up, the decorations are in place, and the garden is planted you will have years to enjoy your efforts. Life is no different - sacrifice today and tomorrow, like the great Zig Ziglar once said, we'll see you at the top.