More on Success, Rudyard Kipling and “If”

The last few of weeks, I’ve been riffing off of Rudyard Kipling’s monumental poem, “If,” both in the context of pushing through tough times, and in the context of it being a roadmap for success. You can read the entire poem here.

Since then, I’ve run into a speed bump in my road to success.

A few weeks ago I signed a Joint Venture agreement to sell the software I’m using to develop the Stand Up Right Canada smart phone app. It was a really exciting opportunity. Make no mistake, when they offered this chance, I jumped at it, without hesitation.

The Bump in the Road

The bump in the road should be apparent from my repeated use of the past tense.

  • It was and exciting opportunity
  • When offered I jumped at it

Unfortunately, as they were developing the JV program, the developers realized that dealing with the tax laws, in the large number of jurisdictions that their partners were in, was going to be too much trouble for them. The cost of compliance would have been prohibitively expensive, so they pulled the plug before it got going.

I was in the process of creating my JV marketing campaign:

  • Defining the market I wanted to sell to
  • Developing the list of prospect I wanted to pitch
  • Writing the pitch emails
  • Mentally spending my commissions

Then, poof, it was gone.


Okay, Andrew, but what does this have to do with the poem, “If?” Well, how about this part?

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

I’m not saying that losing the JV program and potential income was a disaster, it wasn’t, but it was a setback. It was also a thought, and a dream, but it was in no way my master, just a plan for a new income stream.

In the end, all I lost was a thought/plan/wish and some effort. Even then, the effort wasn’t really lost, because the efforts that went into creating my JV plan can be re-tasked to something else.

In the end, on my path forward, the roadmap may have changed, but the direction I’m taking, and the efforts I’m making have not. That is what Kipling was writing about, and that is success.