About This Site, My Background & My Confessions About HR

Welcome to Success in HR!   This site has only ONE goal — to help you take your career, impact and income in Human Resources to the next level.

As a fellow HR professional, I want to provide you with the ideas, the inspiration or the kick in the butt you need to build a career in HR you can be proud of.

Let’s face it, if you’re like most HR pros, you probably spend so much time in meetings, on conference calls, traveling, coaching, mentoring and supporting your clients that you often don’t take enough time to effectively manage your career.   That’s where Success In HR comes in — we’re here to help.

Consider this site as your virtual coach whose mission is to support, motivate and inspire you.

This is a place where you can get no bull, up-to-date insights, advice and resources to help you navigate through the inevitable challenges, setbacks, disappointments and opportunities that occur during the course of building and growing your Human Resources career.

About Me

I’m Alan Collins, the Founder & Chief Editor here at Success In HR.  I’m also author of the following books — all geared for HR professionals:

Formerly, I was Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where I led human resource initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade & Tropicana businesses.

With 25 years of HR experience in recruiting, staffing, talent management, organization development and labor relations, I look forward to sharing experiences and serving you on this blog.

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Your feedback is welcomed!  I want to ensure that every single article or resource provided on this site helps you positively advance and grow your HR career.  Let me know what you think by posting your comments at end of each article — the good, the bad, the ugly, the audacious or the comedic.

This is your blog!  If you’d like, please contact me directly with your ideas, suggestions or improvements at: alan@SuccessInHR.com.

Welcome aboard!

My Background & Candid Confessions About HR

If you’re going to absorb what’s on this blog, you have every right to know more about me, my background and where I’m coming from.  What’s below is perhaps more than what you bargained for.  The excerpts that follow were taken from an interview I gave awhile back to Linked:HR, one of the largest networks on LinkedIn reaching 600,000 global HR professionals.  In case you didn’t catch it the first time, here you go.  Enjoy!

1. Tell us more about you?

Alan:  I’m a lifelong native of Chicago.  For kicks, I love biking, swimming, reading, movies and collecting books.  I’m also an NBA basketball nut and unapologetic Chicago Bulls fan.  On the flip side, I’m horrible at golf…and try to avoid chocolate donuts and stuffy, formal black tie events whenever possible…but sometimes I can’t.

I’ve also spent all of my adult life in HR.   I launched my career as a labor relations trainee at Inland Steel Company and moved through 16 different HR jobs over 25+ years – in both generalist and specialist positions.

For the last eight years my corporate career, I was VP of Human Resources at Quaker Oats and then PepsiCo. In that role, I led HR initiatives for Pepsi’s Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.  This included managing an HR organization of 60 HR directors and managers, spread across 21 different locations in North America.  For five years, our team architected the annual HR strategic plan and supported a workforce of 8500+ employees.

Looking back, the assignments I’ve had have been quite diverse. I’ve done M&A work helping to integrate new business acquisitions — which I found thrilling.  I’ve been directly involved in divesting and closing down existing businesses laying off hundreds of employees — which was absolutely gut-wrenching, painful and the worst work I’ve ever done.  And I provided HR leadership for the largest single change initiative in the history of the PepsiCo-Chicago organization — which gives me a tremendous source of pride.

All of these experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – today, shape my perspectives about HR and how I come at our profession.

2. Clearly, you’ve seen and done a lot in HR.  However, let’s go back to an earlier period of your life.  How did you get into the HR field in the first place?  What put you on the path to pursue Human Resources as your career?    

Alan:  It’s a long story.  I found my way into HR with lots and lots of help from people who had my best interests at heart.

It all started with my grandmother and my parents.  I grew up in Gary, Indiana in an all-black, tough, blue-collar neighborhood where the majority of the hard-working people I knew worked in the steel mills.  Despite what some might call disadvantaged circumstances, I was provided with a loving family structure, firm and decisive discipline (which included spankings) and the motivation to go to college.  In fact, from my grandmother and parents’ perspective, college was the only option after high school and it absolutely wasn’t a question of “if” it was a matter of “which” college I’d go to.  To this day, I’m thankful to them for their strong parenting which put me on the right path, when I could have easily chosen the wrong road.

Once they decided the college question for me, the late and legendary Dr. Cornell Bell of Purdue University entered my life.  He came at an opportune time because I had no idea what college life entailed or which college to pick.  He made my choice very easy by convincing me (and my parents) of the merits of starting my undergraduate studies at the Krannert School of Business at Purdue.  He recruited me out of high school, helped me secure needed financial aid and jobs on campus, provided career guidance and became an indispensable mentor throughout my college years.  One of the crucial doors he opened for me was the opportunity to interview and land my first summer job after my junior year – a job that ultimately led to my career in HR.

That job was with the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. As an undergraduate marketing major, Dow hired me as a marketing research intern for the summer.  However, when I arrived for my first day of work, the project I was to have worked on was de-funded.  So instead, I was offered a chance to work in the Human Resources department (then called Personnel) on a project evaluating the effectiveness of their engineering college recruitment program.

Upon hearing this news, I was pissed off.  I was a freaking marketing major.  I didn’t give a rip about HR.  I talked to my grandmother and actually considered declining the opportunity and going back home.  However, she wisely advised that I needed the money for school and that there was nothing waiting for me at home.

So, I accepted the situation and it proved to be life-changing!

It gave me my first exposure to HR and a fun, truly memorable learning experience that summer.  And it turned me on for the first time to the field of HR.  And, I decided then and there that Human Resources – not Marketing – was the field I’d major in.

So, when I returned to Purdue, I finished my undergrad degree and decided to pursue a Masters degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. After graduation, I landed my first job in HR.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

As I look back, I’m thankful to have had people that provided a kick in the butt and extraordinary guidance and support along the way — my grandmother, parents, a terrific mentor and numerous others.  They, along with landing that job at Dow at precisely the right time, played a significant role in providing the path for my career and my entrée into HR.

3.  What did you enjoy most about your time as an HR executive at Quaker Oats and PepsiCo?

Alan:  I really enjoyed the culture and the people.  The work environments at these two companies were innovative, fast-moving, competitive with a strong focus on results.  If you couldn’t live with tight deadlines, corporate politics and meeting unbelievably high expectations, you didn’t last long.

However, I found the work stimulating.  I was blessed to have HR colleagues and clients that were terrific, smart, hard-working and fun to be around.  I also profited greatly from the abundance of leaders throughout these organizations who were tremendously inspiring.

I also found it very easy to forge a personal and emotional connection with their businesses because they were all about making and marketing food and beverage products that I grew up with, enjoyed as a child and that everyone has in their kitchen cabinets.  I believe having this type of deep emotional tie to the company you work for is critical.  It makes you proud to represent the organization to others and more excited about connecting your HR work to the company’s mission.

However, I must say that what thrilled me most was being accountable for my own HR team — being answerable for their performance, guiding their careers and helping them succeed.  Today, I’m proud to say that I helped develop four HR leaders who are now CHROs at different organizations, who at one point were direct reports of mine at Quaker Oats and PepsiCo.   I can’t tell you how honored I am at what they’ve been able to accomplish — despite the disadvantage they had working for me for a few years (smiles).

Overall, it was a great, great ride.

4.  What were the biggest disappointments in your HR career?

Alan:  Early in my career, there were many times when I was disappointed at being rejected for HR positions I wanted badly and felt I was ready for.   For example, I was passed over three times before I was finally promoted to my first HR Manager position.  It took me four attempts to move up to the HR Director level.   Becoming an HR VP was easy, I was only turned down twice.

Every time I was passed over or told “No,”  it was crushingly frustrating and disheartening.  It’s not easy carrying around the feeling that you’re being rejected by people you look up to and respect.  It’s also tough to keep negative thoughts from creeping into your mind that you may not ever achieve the goals you set for yourself.  Needless to say, I took some of my early setbacks hard and on a few occasions I’d be depressed for weeks at a time.

After these events, I learned that it was crucial to aggressively seek out candid personal feedback and career coaching.  Sometimes the comments I received were immensely helpful.  Sometimes they were a waste of time.

But I absolutely needed to gather that feedback even if was vague, didn’t make sense, inconsistent or even unfair.  Without it, I was overlooking important perspectives that could hold back my career.

Interestingly, it took me many years to embrace the fact that many of these setbacks were positive, though I didn’t realize it at the time. Quite a few of them permitted me to pursue other amazing opportunities that I hadn’t anticipated and couldn’t have ever planned for.  Others caused me to re-think my approach and take a different, alternative path that often jerked me out of my comfort zone.  On many occasions I found myself saying,  “Thank goodness, I’m now glad I didn’t get that promotion a few months ago.”

I’ve now concluded that both good and bad situations happen in your HR career for a reason.  And that if you’re strong enough to persist through the disappointments, seek out feedback, stay focused on doing great work and continue to have confidence in yourself, that there is more than one pathway to achieving your career goals.

5.  Why did you decide to leave Corporate America and start Success in HR?

Alan:  It was a difficult, life-changing decision that I reached over fourteen months.

The catalyst was my son’s death in an automobile accident.  When he passed away, the realization that life is precious and brief hit me with a galactic, emotional force that I’d never felt before.  I was disoriented and in a fog for for months as I grieved.  And it caused me to dramatically reassess my own personal, career and life priorities.

As I worked through the raw feelings associated with losing my only child, I struggled with what direction my career should take.  I wanted it to have more meaning beyond just going to work every day and collecting a paycheck.   One thing I kept coming back to was the notion of owning my own business that could make a difference.  I always said that I’d do it “someday.”  However, my son’s tragedy painfully drove home the point that nothing is promised, that there are no guarantees in life, that people die unexpected and that this ultimate dream of mine could end at any day…unrealized!

So, with this in mind and after months of angst, reflection and lots of advice, I concluded that it was time to take the plunge.  I decided to “graduate” from corporate America to pursue the new challenge of starting Success in HR.

And it’s the best career move I’ve ever made!

Success in HR builds on what I’ve enjoyed doing most in my career…helping HR people grow.  Today, my company provides career advice to 12,000+ Human Resources professionals through books, articles, speaking and coaching. As the leader of this company, my objective is to motivate HR professionals to embrace their careers a “gift” – one that can be used to get ahead, make a difference and impact peoples’ lives in a positive way.

And, I’m excited every day collaborating with people and figuring out innovative ways to make that happen.  I consider HR my life’s calling and my company represents my way of giving back to the profession.

6.  Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I’m sure that was a very difficult time for you to go through.  You mentioned as part of your journey that you re-purposed your career. What advice would you give HR professionals working in corporations to help them better manage their own HR careers?

Alan:  There are a number of strategies, many of which can be found in my books and blog, but let me give you a couple.

First of all, I would strongly urge corporate HR professionals to make sure they’re highly visible in their organizations.  It’s crucial that you step up and make sure that you’re consistently selling yourself and your HR accomplishments.  Just working hard and expecting that your HR results alone will be recognized, noticed, or appreciated guarantees only two things:  old age and a long career laboring in oblivion.

Now let me be clear.  Any efforts you do towards promoting yourself, have to be done subtly.  If they’re not, no one will want to work with you and you’ll alienate the hell out of every single person that can help you.  My book, Unwritten HR Rules, shares a number of different techniques you can use to do this successfully.

Secondly, I would suggest building a good network.  Most headhunters will tell you that networking will deliver more career opportunities to you — both inside and outside of your current organization — than any other method.  If you’re in the job market, it’s more effective than than answering ads.  More successful than searching on the internet. And more helpful than putting your resume down Facebook, Twitter and Monster’s black hole and hoping that you’ll get some hits.

However, pulling a network together takes effort, sincerity and time, so it’s important to start now and stay at it.   The tough thing about networking is depending on your personality, it’s either a lot of fun or a lot of work.  For me, I’m not a natural networker, so it’s work for me.  So, if you’re like me, you have to discipline yourself to do it.

But you must do it. Start taking people to lunch. Start attending after-work gatherings — cocktails, dinners, and networking events. Set goals for yourself. For example: “I want to have a good conversation and exchange business cards with at least 3 people during this event or add 5 new people to my LinkedIn account.”

There’s an old saying that you should dig the well before you’re thirsty. Well, this applies to networking.

7. Let’s shift gears.  In an age where an abundance of information is available to us, whether through the Internet or other resources, it can sometimes be difficult to stay focused. What has helped you stay focused in your career over the years?

Alan:  I believe staying focused always starts with having specific goals in front of you that drive you to become your best. In my case, when I was in college, my goal was to graduate with a 3.2 grade point average.  When I graduated, my objective became to get a fantastic job in HR and someday earn $30,000 a year. When I achieved that, I set other very specific goals every year related to improving my skills and advancing my career that ultimately led to my becoming a Vice-President in HR at Quaker Oats and PepsiCo and launching Success in HR.  I’m a big proponent of setting goals and targets for yourself, writing them down, carrying them with you and measuring your progress against them.

Another important key to staying focused is to eliminate as many distractions as possible. I’ve found that it’s very easy to get diverted into activities that waste valuable time and are not related to achieving your major objectives – too much TV, too much time on social media or bad social habits.  Along these lines, I think it’s crucial to eliminate distractions when working on your top priorities.   Find the ideal place or a “hide-out” for you to concentrate and get your work done.   It may be your office with the door closed, a Starbucks, or a cozy corner of a space nobody knows about — but find a place that works best for you to complete your work – anywhere that will allow you to avoid diversions away from your main priorities.

Finally, seek balance.   Juggling work and personal priorities can be stressful.  Don’t tip the scale too far in either direction.  I believe in the motto: “work hard to play hard.”  It’s important to make time for YOU.  Be sure you set aside some time and activities that help you relax, take the tension out of your day or week and to recharge your batteries. Whether that’s spending quality time with your family, golf, tennis, yoga, working out, dating, shopping — or yes, even watching TV, video gaming or hanging out online.

8.   Speaking of priorities, let’s talk about those on the people side of business.  As a former human resources VP, what would you consider to be the top priority for HR in corporations today?

Alan:  The answer you’ll hear most often from HR VPs is to make sure that your HR strategy is aligned to your business strategy. And that’s true, but let me go even deeper and be more specific.

As an HR leader, you absolutely have an obligation to your company to lead initiatives that help them retain their top talent.

This is especially true when the economy is strong or improving.   During this time, your best people get voicemails from headhunters three and four times a week. And they will always, at least, listen to a great opportunity if it’s presented in the right way at the right time. And, when this happens there’s a big risk to your organization.

When your top people run your regions, divisions or markets, they know your organization cold.  That means that losing any one of them creates a big hole, destroys continuity and could dramatically impact your P&L.   Think about what happened when the Cleveland Cavaliers lost LeBron James the first time.  When that occurred, the performance of that team and the profitability of the Cavaliers organization dropped like a rock.

To combat the risk of losing your own “LeBrons”, HR leaders need to work hard to ensure that talent retention programs are in place that recognize, reward, stretch and let your best people know they don’t have to jump ship to achieve their career goals.

Keeping your top talent isn’t enough, though. You have to have great leadership too.

You can’t just throw a bunch of highly talented, hard charging, type A personalities into a room and expect them to work together productively without a war. Now a little bloodletting is okay, that’s all part of building a team. But, this is where leadership comes in. You need to have great leaders at all levels of your organization who can bring together A players, get them to collaborate and not bicker, get them to keep their egos in check, establish business priorities and tradeoffs and channel their best collective energies into your business agenda.

Most great leaders are good at this and able to attract great talent and get them focused on their agenda with minimal drama.  However, the role of HR is crucial in helping develop mechanisms for developing leaders who can do this.

We should be making sure that there are HR initiatives and programs in place for grooming and developing these types of leaders in our organizations…and that these stays front and center on the senior management’s agenda, especially when budgets are being cut.

9.  What HR skills or competencies are most important for HR professionals to possess?

Alan:  First, let me confess that I hate complex HR skill and competency models.  I especially despise those developed by university professors with tenure who live in ivory towers teaching Human Resources topics in classrooms — never having worked a single day in HR dealing with executives under pressure to make money or listening to dissatisfied employees on a factory floor.

That said, Professor David Ulrich is an exception.   I’m a big fan of his and I buy-in to his HR competency model 100%.  At University of Michigan, I think he’s done a phenomenal job of defining HR skills needed for success so I see no need to reinvent his wheel.  It’s simple, clear yet robust.  He’s based it on over 20 years of research with over 30,000 HR professionals, so he’s got a terrific data base that supports his model.

I attended a recent webinar he put on where he laid out six competencies that HR folks should have. They are:

  1. Being a business ally:  Possessing a solid understanding of the business financials, strategies, and context to make better decisions.  Hands down, this is the number one HR competency in my view.  The best HR leaders know their business cold.
  2. Being a credible activist: Someone that earns and maintains the trust of employees and managers, while taking proactive business positions.
  3. Becoming a strategic architect: Being able to take the organization’s strategic direction and translate it into HR practices, key initiatives and organization behaviors.
  4. Operational execution: Mastering the day-to-day basics and ensuring that the HR trains run on time, every time.
  5. Being a talent manager and organization designer: Someone who can shape HR practices that deliver talented people and inspiring organizations.
  6. Being a change agent: Someone who can make change happen, persist through resistence and can shape new cultures support the new direction.

I believe as an HR leader, these are the key competencies you must have.  If you don’t, you risk being replaced by someone who does and you miss a great opportunity to make your mark in your organization for the better.

10.  Lots of HR people talk about how difficult it is to be taken seriously as a member of the leadership team.  They cite old articles like “Why We Hate HR” (Fast Company) and “Memo To CFOs: Don’t Trust HR” (CFO magazine).   Everyone seems to be taking their pound of flesh out of HR. What’s your perspective on all this?

Alan:  Here’s my take.  Both of those articles talk about HR’s lack of credibility and ineffectiveness in impacting the business. And, they are absolutely right — but only if you’re an HR professional who sees your role solely as being an employee advocate and doing social work.  If that’s the case, then you’re a drag on the organization and all that disparaging stuff written about in those articles applies directly to YOU.

On the other hand, I believe it’s easy to gain credibility and impress your business leaders as an HR professional….when you’ve impressed them with your knowledge of their business first!

Those with off-the-charts credibility in HR are those who, in addition to being employee advocates, are also brilliant on their business.  I don’t mean the HR business. But the business that is providing them with a paycheck. Succeeding in HR requires high degrees of influence and personal persuasion with business leaders. And that only comes by knowing your business well enough that you can tie your HR programs and initiatives to how you can move that businesses forward.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say, you’re an HR manager in the Gatorade business at Pepsi, and your Gatorade general manager was out sick, could you step in and give his 30 minute monthly financial update to the leadership team? Could you describe the current challenges facing the business? Or talk with confidence about how Gatorade is made, where it’s made, how it makes money, and how the product has been positioned to attract consumers in the marketplace? And could you describe how the P&L impact of the HR programs and initiatives you’re accountable for.

Tough standard? Yes. Impossible. Definitely not.

There are many HR managers that could pass this test for their organizations with flying colors. And you’d be amazed that how much credibility they have in their companies and how much they’re valued and are able to influence the performance their business.  They don’t worry about articles like the ones you mentioned.

11.  What’s the best thing that new people coming into the HR profession can do for themselves?

Alan:  I believe that the first few organizations you join are critical.

I advise newcomers to our profession, if possible, to try to work for a large company with a formal HR development program.  Companies like Pepsi, GE and Johnson & Johnson are examples of companies that will actually invest up to two years of the company’s money in a new HR person’s development.  They are great places for making rookie mistakes, which are critical in your early development in HR.  These companies have well-developed HR practices you can learn from, world-class HR talent that you will motivate you to be your best and they are constantly innovating which make them great learning labs.

Sure, you can launch a great career at a smaller company or a start-up too, but it’s a lot more difficult.  Smaller firms often don’t have the resources and the structure and you often have to do things without an experienced, savvy, “old hand” available helping to guide you — which is not a good situation if you’re trying to learn the profession from the ground floor up.

If your company doesn’t have a formal development program, then work with your boss to create one that works for you and the company. It’s worth it.

12.  On a daily basis, what’s the toughest aspect of being in HR?

Alan:  For me, on a day to day basis, it was working with individuals and groups to resolve disputes.

Often in HR, you frequently work across functions and help differing groups that are at war try to find common ground. It happens during labor negotiations. It also happens when you’re trying to resolve disputes between a manager and employee over compensation, a promotion, an appraisal rating or in alleged discrimination or sexual harassment complaint. The role you play in these situations is important and tough.

The challenge is that often there is no common ground.  If you take a stance in favor of a company value or principle, some people are bound to take it personally and believe that you’re taking a stand against them.  If you take a position against the employee, they’ll hate you and consider you simply a stooge for management.  And if you side against the manager, he or she can feel like you’re not a business partner and instead, trying to work some social agenda or be this annoying do-gooder.  Some days, you can feel like a double agent trapped in the middle of this crossfire with no way to win in sight.

In all these situations, I’ve tried to keep in mind the title of the old Spike Lee’s movie, “Do The Right Thing.”   You can’t waffle, you must do your homework, gather the information, and get input from the right people to guide you. But then take a stand and do the right thing. HR folks that lack a point of view or are indecisive don’t last long. Stay true to your values and the company’s principles and you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. Sure, you’ll make enemies now and then. But you’ll be able to control who they are and how many there are. And you’ll feel better about yourself.

13.  Where do you see HR headed in the future?

Alan:  I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but I believe the future is bright for HR. Obviously I’m biased, but I’ve never met a CEO who is not interested in improving the performance of the business through people. And working with the CEO and his business leaders on crafting initiatives that do this is exactly what HR is all about. So in the future, I don’t see HR going away any time soon. However, I do see the work that HR does changing dramatically.

For example, most large businesses are rapidly going global or are already, so the HR executive of the future will absolutely need to have international experience and be able to design HR strategies that can fit the cultures of Brazil, Russia, India, China and other key countries around the globe.

As more millennials, GenX, GenY employees mature in the workforce and Baby Boomers opt to stay longer, the HR leader will need to help address generational issues at work. We’ll see more innovations in benefits like working remotely from home, elder care, pet care, concierge services, paid time off and flextime. With companies competing for top talent, HR folks will need to come up with these and other newer benefits to meet the diverse generational needs of the top talent they want to attract and keep.

Technology innovations will continue to be big.  Enterprise-wide platforms like SAP and PeopleSoft that simplify and standardize HR transactions will continue to evolve. So will the use of social networks in recruiting and the use of virtual teams of employees who communicate through video-conferencing, e-mail, and text messaging.  Mobile devices, tablets and online technologies that allow more work to be done without much face-to-face interaction will also grow by leaps and bounds in the future. And, HR will need to stay on the leading edge of all of this – both for HR’s own use and to ensure that people issues are being considered as their organizations make these types of technology investment decisions.

I believe we’ll also see, as a result of the recession and the financial banking crisis that occurred a few years ago, that HR will continue to step up and playing a stronger internal role in the regulation of issues such as fairness in the workplace, executive pay, 401k’s, and ethics. Or at least, I hope so.

Finally, in the future, I hope to see an HR executive appointed as CEO of a Fortune 100 company. I don’t know when it’ll happen, but certainly it will happen in my lifetime.  HR executives have already moved into senior-level operations roles, marketing and sales positions for years with great success. So I believe it’s only a matter of time. And when that does happen, it’ll be a great sign that the HR profession has finally arrived.

14.  Finally, at this stage in your career, what do you see as your personal mission? 

Alan:  I’m a lifer in HR, though I don’t work in the corporate trenches anymore.  At this stage of my career, my mission is to serve the Human Resources profession, contribute to causes that I care deeply about and continue to use my strengths to empower others.

I’m thrilled by the contributions and the ways that Success in HR has given back to our profession.   Though our advice, we have helped HR professionals find more fulfilling jobs, advance their careers, write books, start blogs, launch consulting firms and have provided ideas and inspiration to thousands of others looking to do the same.  This has been immensely gratifying to me.

Besides Success in HR, six years ago I co-founded the Bryan A. Collins Memorial Scholarship program in honor of my son at Tennessee State University.  It was then and now my main vehicle for keeping his memory alive and for helping high potential, minority students achieve their dream of becoming college graduates.  To date, through this program, we have provided over 100 scholarship grants to deserving students with 20 graduates so far.  It is by far the most rewarding achievement of my career.

Both of these initiatives and a few others represent the legacy I want to leave.

My advice to all HR professionals is to find your own personal mission and pursue it with vengeance!  Make sure as you’re pursuing it, that you:  (1) make time for your family, (2) invest your earnings and build wealth for the future and (3) find a cause that’s bigger than you are and that benefits other people that you truly and passionately believe in and can commit yourself to.  I think these things are what achieving true success is all about.

15.  Thanks much for your time.

It was my pleasure.  Let’s do this again soon.

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