Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Success is a lifelong goal. Everybody seems to want to be successful in one way or another. Success is often associated with a positive result or end-goal, but I believe that success can have a lot to do with the journey to a goal. Not all goals that are set are met. Maybe it's because we set our sights too high or maybe it's because we just failed to achieve what we desired.

I want to feel successful. If others don't think I'm successful in life but I do, then I'm sure I'll be happy with the results. Nobody is viewed by everybody as successful. Perhaps the biggest determining factor for success is personal accomplishment. If you feel good about what you have accomplished then you should feel like a success. You should set your goals up a notch and strive to accomplish even more.

As I strive to be successful in life, I like to look at the examples of people I classify as a success. One such person is Shay Carl Butler from Pocatello, ID. If you've toured my blog before, you may have seen links to some of his YouTube videos. This man is a self-described social media expert. He is in his early thirties, married, and has four kids. I'd estimate that roughly one million people in this world would recognize his name (that's probably less than 0.2% of Americans). That's a pretty small piece of popularity when compared to someone like President Obama but pretty large considering it's twenty times the number of people that live in his city.

Three to four years ago Shay was making ends meet working multiple jobs including installing granite counter tops and being the night radio DJ for a local station. With three kids (at that time) he was doing all he could to keep his family afloat. One day he learned about YouTube and was up all night searching and watching videos. Soon after, he decided that he should make some videos himself. He arose almost overnight as one of YouTube's stars. Thanks to Google Ad revenue, he quit his jobs and works "full-time" as a social media expert making videos that hundreds of thousands of people watch everyday. He loves his life. He is successful.

Now what I like about Shay is that he recognizes where his success came from. Sure, a lot of it had to do with the fact that he works hard at putting humorous/adorable/exciting content up on the web everyday. He realizes that the only reason he is successful is because there are others out there who watch and like his videos and shamelessly promote them. He is happier (not waking up at five to install granite everyday has its benefits), his family is happier (that or he has improved his editing skills to make them appear to be happier in the newer videos than the older ones), and his viewers are happier (video comments are often gushing with happiness).

In the 1000+ videos Shay has uploaded in the past few years (no, I have not seen all of them), I had never seen him cry until today. Due to his internet successes, a singer named James Blunt used one of his photographs (a shot of his daughter flying through the air) as the cover of his new album. He was featured on Jay Leno and this is a video of Shay watching on television.

He looks pretty happy to me. And this leads me to my conclusion of what success is. Shay is not successful because he achieved his goals of providing for his family. Shay is not successful because he spends his days doing what he loves. Shay is not successful because one million people in this world know everything about him. Shay is not successful because his daughter was on Jay Leno. Shay is successful because he set goals, achieved them at levels much higher than he ever anticipated, and recognizes that there is no way he could have every achieved them on his own. And for that he is extremely thankful.

I want to be like Shay, not because he is well know, has a great job, or has an enviable beard. I want to be like Shay because he is grateful for all that he has and realizes that in spite of his best efforts, he doesn't even deserve it. Success is accomplishing your goals, being proud of yourself, and realizing that there is no way you could have accomplished what you achieved on your own.

1 comment:

Dallin Webb said...

No doubt about it, my friend. I agree completely.