Why Success Should Not be Measured in Money

Image of Umair Abid's brother

This is a guest post from Umair Abid, a blogger I am mentoring who lives in New York who is one of my many regular readers and commenters whose native language is not English.

I encourage all people who have
something worth sharing to interact here.

Some complain about those whose English is not perfect and many bloggers delete their comments and do not publish their posts. To them I have this to say:

How many languages can YOU understand, speak, read, or write?

I believe in SUBSTANCE over appearances.

Umair has something important to say, and I for one do not wish
to miss out on that because his English is not perfect.

Even when I do not agree with all the points someone makes or they use examples that I would not have used – I will defend and facilitate their ability to express their opinions freely. None of us knows everything.

Wisdom comes to us all a little at a time over decades
rather than springing from us fully formed.

As celebrated writer Mark Twain wrote:
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.

It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
(which, by the way, is really bad English.)

You can learn more from Umair by visiting his Internet Marketing blog and following him on Twitter @SeoAdviceSS.

Changed Priorities

Image Credit: Broke Grad Click Image to Read How To Establish Financial Priorities


When our parents raise us, their first preference is usually our studies. They cut down the luxurious expenses from budget just to make sure that we study well, stood first in every grade, got admission in most famous university and finally get the luxurious job with exceptionally high pay.

This is exactly what our grand parents did with our parents and what may we do to our children.

I swear I will not do this to my children because of these two reasons:

  1. First, I am a human who will give birth to a human – not horses which need to win the race of making more money
  2. Secondly, because I love them and will not let them suffer like I did for opposing the rules and standards of my society.

When I was in school, I had much interest in the Internet –
not because of chatting, Facebook, Youtube or any other stuff
which can be used for wasting time – but due to my
interest in reading, exploring and creating things.

Apart from how I stumbled into the practical job of Internet Marketing, I started doing well in the very beginning for the company which hired me as an SEO. I remember my colleagues were talking about how to get projects from freelancing sites to make some extra bucks. I was not really interested in making money at that time I was only 19 and 110$ / month was well enough for me.

The reason I was not interested in making the extra cash was that
I had different goals compared to the people in my surroundings.

The people of our age have a very strange approach of getting inspired from a public figure. They don’t get inspiration from the creative skills, knowledge, and hard work of individuals like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs (R.I.P) or Mark Zuckerburg. Instead they get inspired by how much money their companies generate.

This is really very funny approach when we see that many such public figures are living a very simple life and their major goal is not simply to multiply their earnings. All they want to do is to create something new every day or keep trying it.

They actually do not enjoy earning – what they enjoy is working!
Working on something which they love to do.
Not on something only because it makes them more money.

Luckily I understood this thing at a very early age and right from that time I have worked to become something close to my ideal – not in terms of social status – but in terms of knowledge and skills. I do what I love to do, ignoring how much money I will make.  I will learn what I want to learn whether it has any obvious monetary benefits in the future or not.

I admit that I am not earning that much,
but the thing which makes me feel happy is that
I have been constantly learning and doing the work
which I have always dreamed of doing.

This is my success – this is actually what I consider success:
I have achieved my dream without sacrificing what is important.

Sometimes people say to me,
“But you can make more than what you are earning right now”

I want to ask them this question:
Can you limit how much you think you really need?

Corrupt people earn exceptional amounts of money daily,
but at the end of day they can’t sleep,
because all they can think about is how to earn more!

Many people earn the same amount of money,
but they don’t make how much money is in their
bank accounts so important.

They are not so concerned with how much they accumulate.

They focus instead on the work they are doing
and the level of excellence they have achieved.

They don’t worry about which car they are driving
or how big and impressive the home they live in is.
They live simple.

Really think about this! I truly believe
This is the secret of a successful life.
I have limited sources of income so I keep my expenses modest
And still I have fulfilled all my wishes.
That is what I call SUCCESS.

Hopefully, now you know why I felt that Umair had something important to share with us.  In editing this post I focused on making his important points more clear and helped them stand out and made a few changes to his English; however, I did NOT make his English perfect because I feel we all should learn to overlook such details and seek wisdom instead.

Now might be a good time for me to share that yes, I am aware that my blog is not polished and that highlighting text and boxes and especially red text does not look “professional”.

I consider it more important to make sure my readers grasp important
points and understand the concepts than I am about appearances.

Doing this has the added advantage of having those who care only about appearance and not substance leaving. They are not my target audience and would not agree with much of what is published here anyway.

If you liked the wisdom that Umair has shared with us, remember to follow Umair on Twitter and check out his SEO Advice and Social Strategies blog.

The following two tabs change content below.

Umair Abid

Latest posts by Umair Abid (see all)


  1. I find that the greatest joy in my life comes from the relationships that I make and not the amount of money that I have in my bank account.

  2. This is a fantastic post for me. I was personally having this discussion with my wife just last night. And what our priorities in life are and what they should be. I came upon this post from an email I received. So I was a bit surprised, but pleasantly so.
    Greg would love you to read ..Album Review: Ruben Studdard – “Letters From Birmingham”My Profile

  3. Success certainly not measured by money at all even others will say that practically it is, but for those that really knows the true value of success will really know that it’s more meaningful through the goals we do have not just for ourselves but for our love ones.
    joe would love you to read ..Bosch GL6 Ariston 6- Gallon Point-of-Use Indoor Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater ReviewsMy Profile

  4. Hi Umair,
    I really like your post. It’s so true, success is not measured by money. I think success is achieving your goal. And not everybody’s goal is to make lots of money. Sacrificing people you love or things you like just to be rich and “successful”….will make you very unhappy.

  5. Saif Murtaza says:

    I would like to thanks Miss Gale who appreciated my friend Umair so much. Umair i’m saluting you man..

  6. This is because different people define success differently.

  7. i agree with u guys! succes shouldn’t be measured in money, u should think about how many ppl u’re helping, or making happy, or whatever! i mean, if u do something for the right cause, u have more chances to succeed!

  8. As I read this post I can feel Umair’s passion for his craft. He is definitely right that we should not live and learn only for the purpose of making money. We should work to make a difference in this world and contribute in our society.
    Noel Addison would love you to read ..5 Things to Look for in a Web Dev CompanyMy Profile

  9. Very interesting post! My parents always restrict me in using internet because they thought I was using it for my games, (Yes, sometimes) but the thing is its very nice to explore things in the internet! For me, success is measured through achieved goals. :)

  10. Hi Umair,

    Very interesting topic, isn’t it? How you define success might be different from how I define mine. Although I agree with you that money is not the most important thing, but money is needed to buy many important things in our lives. Agree with it or not is up to you, but it’s a fact. But thanks for speaking your mind, I appreciate that man!

  11. While I agree with many of the expressed sentiments, as a parent myself, I strongly disagree with the opening remarks. Yes, many parents cut down on their expenses to give their children the best education they can. However, the statement, “I will not do this as I am a human who will give birth to a human – not horses which need to win the race of making more money” is making a massive generalisation. I want my children to be well educated so that they can be wise and have the best opportunities to be happy. It’s nothing to so with making money.
    Creative Team Events would love you to read ..Strictly Non-Contact Come Dancing!My Profile

  12. Yes, that was really great.
    Very true, most of the really big earners in the world make those big bucks because they are driven to do something they are passionate about, not because their sole ambition was to become rich. I’d add that those wealthy people whose only ambition was to get rich are pretty uninspiring people. Who would you rather be, Paul McCartney or Donald Trump?
    Tim would love you to read ..Neck Lift SurgeryMy Profile

  13. Hey Umair.

    Awesome work buddy, you have shared an awesome theme about honesty and money.
    I have been in the field of internet marketing from last 3 years and i have not looked towards the money which i have earned. I am jut looking that what i have learned in last 3 years and how can over come the whole world by using these three years ???

    Same as you described, Success should not be measured in money rather then it should be measured in what you have gained ? What were you before that experience and what are you now ?? ..!!!!

    If end is well then all i well..!!!


  14. I love that post!
    Not… I REALLY love your post! :)
    It’s so true! My native language is Polish and even so my English is not horrible (Isn’t it?) I had many situations like this which you are describing.

  15. You were right Gail… great post!

    Ah, Umair, a man after my heart. I love what you wrote. Mainly because it came from the heart and filled with such integrity and honesty.

    You’ve learned a lesson many people still haven’t figured out; and that is that success comes from within and sources outside of yourself, no matter how abundant, will ever fill your feeling of success if you don’t feel it from the inside out.

    It always starts with you… your choices, your beliefs, your values.

    Your English may not be perfect, but I got the message loud and clear. 😉

    Well done my friend.
    Michele Welch would love you to read ..I May Lose Readers For This One!My Profile

  16. Hey Umair,

    Yes i am agree with you that no one should look up to the money they have earned. They should look at their mind that what skills they have ?
    What they have learned from previous working and what are the out comes ?
    They should take precautionary measures so that they can convert experience into money in long term. Successful business man is one who plan for long terms. :)


  17. Karylle Lynch says:

    Thank you so much for teaching me today the true meaning of being successful. This is really a very powerful and highly informative post! I’m glad I stumbled onto your blog. I simply love this post. And absolutely learned a lot by just reading it. It’s full of substance and valuable insights. It’s very precise, easy to understand and direct to the point. I will surely share this to my friends and colleague.
    Karylle Lynch would love you to read ..BLS Announces 2010 Injury and Illness Rates, OSHA Concerned about Injury and Illness RecordkeepingMy Profile

  18. @Cristian Balau if you don’t expect success you’re making it harder for yourself to achieve. You need to think a bit more positive.

  19. Working jobs we hate is the most dumb thing we can do. If you have the possibility of doing what you enjoy, do it, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. At least try. That’s what I’m doing at the moment, my real profession is Maritime Navigation, yet love the internet and I want to try my luck here first and I don’t expect success.

  20. Nice point of view.

    Success could mean something different to everyone one of us. It could be happiness, health, achieving goals and the general consensus, money. If you ask me, success is everything combined into one. Defining the true meaning of success might take days, because there is no one meaning to it.

    And I’m with you, substance over matter. All the time.

  21. money doesn’t make you happy, but at the same time it’s very difficult to be happy if you can’t afford a house or food for your family. It doesn’t matter how fullfilling you find your job if your family are cold and hungry.

  22. Hi Umir,

    I have to say that I agree with you. Unfortunately, sometimes life makes us worry about the money too much and we have to work harder because we are not the only ones that depend on our pay check at the end of the month.

    I have to make compromises in order to be able to support my family. However, I’ve started working as a freelancer for money (and I grow to like it), but I kept my job as a teacher so that I can be entirely happy with what I do.
    Ana would love you to read ..Días Fértiles De La Mujer Para Quedar EmbarazadaMy Profile

  23. Money is not the real measurement of success. Anyone with a family who watch their children grow and mature understands that life is not just about money. I think success is better measured by how much happiness you spread to others.
    Richard would love you to read ..How to Promote Your Affiliate ProductsMy Profile

  24. Umair – great blog. I do thing that people sometimes get lost, and starts to focus on all the wrong things, for all the wrong reasons.

    I recently attended a very interesting seminar by Dalai Lama in Copenhagen about mindfullness, where he actually discussed the very nature of money and material wealth. Money will only provide hapiness for a very brief moment, but never lasting – we tend to strive for more and more.

    Not that I am very much into religion or mindfullness – but it certainly started to put things into perspective.

    Thanks again

  25. basement waterproofing new york says:

    Hello, Umair,

    I must admit that you are right. You are spreading an interesting idea. Everything does NOT depend on money. To me being honest is the big thing. Thanks for sharing this.

  26. Am yet to stop measuring success in terms of the amount of money that I have, because that is what makes me work harder. Any way thanx for this great post
    Dan Mo would love you to read ..By: shakinahMy Profile

  27. Educational Technology says:

    I loved this blog post…certainly, even i believe exactly the same.
    Even i believe that contentment is very important in life and it cant be achieved with money.

    excellent blog post.
    from now onwards u are in my favorite’s list.

  28. If one is able to build reputation and brand initially definitely money would come in later…
    Ashish would love you to read ..Nokia 710 Features,Specs & Price in IndiaMy Profile

  29. I agree, success shouldn’t be measured by the amount of money one has. There are many people who would be considered successful that don’t make much money. I think money should be looked at as a tool, that should be used to get things done. You may need a certain amount of tools to get a project done. Then, it looks foolish if you have a lot of tools in storage, but don’t use them to do anything productive.

  30. Great post Umair!
    I have always envied people who have found their passion much more than rich/”succesful” people.
    You named some big names but you forgot about Warren Buffett. The sometimes number 1 and sometimes number 2 richest man of the world.
    This man is 81 years old and lives in the same house he bought in 1957. doesn’t carry a cell phone with him, plays bridge for 12 hours. Drives his car himself. And doesn’t have a computer on his desk.
    He gives himself an annual salary of $100.000.

    Now that is passion :)
    Danny would love you to read ..Earthwise PS40008 8-inch Electric Pole Chain SawMy Profile

  31. Impressiveeee……., great post I have ever visited, nicely shared…..
    Rebi would love you to read ..Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Market to Reach $6 Billion in 2011My Profile

  32. Umair really has what to say and he should be listened to.
    I, too, speak English only as my second language. So, sometimes, I might not be able to fully express myself. However, I try my best and I keep upgrading my knowledge on it. I am speaking five languages, so a lot of times I might even mix some of them, although not on purpose. I salute your idea of giving a chance to people whose primary language is not English. Believing in substance over appearances is something worth the support.
    Kristina L. would love you to read ..Daisy Trail Coupon CodeMy Profile

  33. This post put a big smile on my face and reminded me of a similar post I made 5 years ago: How to Measure Success.

    What good is it to make tons of money and surround yourself with all the expensive stuff you want, if you are spending most of your time doing things you really don’t want to do, leaving very little time to enjoy life? Doesn’t sound like success to me. Sounds like a recipe for misery.
    app103 would love you to read ..What Republicans Do Not Want You To Know About Poverty and TaxesMy Profile

  34. Hello, Umair! Interesting post you have! I must admit that you are absolutely right! Not everything in this world depends on money. The same thing deals with success, it also shouldn’t be measured in money.
    Jeanie would love you to read ..Free TV Channel Video Facebook TemplateMy Profile

  35. I still a little confused with this system, Any one can help me to more explain about some list and the system How can I get my backlink from here?
    Thank you
    James Lambert would love you to read ..Niche Conqueror Review & Exclusive BonusMy Profile

  36. Hi to you both,

    Just wanted to say to Umair that you make a really good point. When I think about what I enjoy learning about, its never going to make me money (I love music and have classes in various instruments), I also almost never play for anyone else, but I do it purely for my own enjoyment. There’s nothing wrong with learning for the sake of learning…I’ve always wanted to learn German, but haven’t cause I can’t see how it would help me, but why not give it a go?

    Also, just wanted to say that I like the boxes and points that stand out…it makes the article/blog easier to read!
    Kirst would love you to read ..Eforcity – Free Shipping on $25 plus order at eForCity when using this Delivery CodeMy Profile

  37. This is so well put, excellent writing. Thank you for posting this, I 100% agree. Success should never be measured with money, but with friends, family and all the other good things in Life. I hate people bragging about how successful they are because of all their money-and at the end of the day they such horrible people.

  38. It’s very true we can’t buy each and every thing with money in human life many things are like that which he/she don’t think to purchase by money.

    A good example for that a human can’t buy good relative with help of money.
    sam would love you to read ..Goa Carnival 2012My Profile

  39. metformin side effects says:

    I don’t agree with you actually, we all know that money is a big part of life, and without it you can live miserably and not get what you want.
    metformin side effects would love you to read ..Using Metformin During PregnancyMy Profile

  40. That is a very nice post Umer i am greatly impressed by your style of writing and how you discussed qualitative aspects and quantitative aspects…
    Ahmad would love you to read ..Photoshop Borders TutorialMy Profile

  41. That is a very nice post Umer i am greatly impressed by your style of writing and how you discussed qualitative aspects and quantitative aspects…
    How to Photoshop would love you to read ..Photoshop Borders TutorialMy Profile

  42. Ptctrusted says:

    Hi Umair. Nice to meet you as it is the first time posting here. As you said to your post i think that success should not be measured with money.I like especially the part of your post where you say that our parents first preference was studies.It is really an interesting post and as you said big names (Gates,Zuckerburg) really live a simple life and for these persons their goal is to keep learning all the time.And because they were passionate with their goal for this reason they become popular and millionaires.
    Ptctrusted would love you to read ..Best plugins for wordpressMy Profile

  43. Only few people live simple lives. Most of us want more and more and sometimes we can not even stop and realize that we can’t take everything there to afterlife. I know some people who really do what they like and get enough money for it. But most people are money concerned and you become like this when you are surrounded by such people

  44. After a point of time, people come to realize that all the money in this world cannot buy them lasting happiness. They get to realize that they are struck up in the mad maze of trying to outdo one another by making more and more money, without actually doing anything worthwhile with the money earned.

    Usually, these people realize their folly when their children and grandchildren splash their money all around, becoming spoiled brats. But by that time, its too late.

    Follow your heart, not the purse. Excellent message.

    Destination Infinity
    Raj would love you to read ..How Aggressive Do You Have To Be In Order To Make Money Blogging?My Profile

    • Umair Abid says:

      Well Raj, thank you so much for adding the point which I forgot to mention. It is true and very interesting fact that one who earns do not spend much, and one who spends much is not aware from the value of money and how people earn it.
      Umair Abid would love you to read ..How To Make Right Use of Yahoo AnswersMy Profile

  45. Hi Umair Abid:

    Enjoyed readig your well written and well thought guest post. I agree with it all the way.

    Fran A

  46. Allan Nkata says:

    Interesting post Umair. You are right, it aint all about the money! I believe you gotta do something you are really passionate about and always strive to add value to the people around you. Success can be measured in many different ways! Keep at it Umair and best of luck!

  47. Good point! All of the happiness in this world cannot be bought by money. People should realize that.
    sanjay would love you to read ..Gain Traffic by Submitting your Design Tutorial to this ListMy Profile

  48. Great post, Umair. I have the same problem with my family. They’re constantly worrying about me because I don’t have a lot of money and a big fancy house and car. They don’t understand when I tell them that I have everything I need and I’m perfectly happy just the way I am. Good for you for recognizing that money really can’t buy happiness. I wish you much happiness and joy and thank you for this thought provoking post.
    Donna Anderson would love you to read ..Online Marketing Tips – Keywords and MoreMy Profile

  49. This has been beautifully written and you made a wonderful point here. The way umair got his priorities right reminds me of my brother. He had an amazing interest in sofware and internet marketing, neglected his formal studies for that. So while all of us were in full time studies getting amazing marks, he was failing some of his subjects and creating websites etc Now he works full time as a software engineer, owns several websites and makes more money than any of us in the family-the so called bright kids. Oh n by the way, my brother’s english and french leave much to be desired!
    Laura Vennon would love you to read ..What Everyone Should Know About The Standard DeductionMy Profile

  50. Yes, Money is not everything to live. I do my job as worship and don’t care about profits which force me to go in hell.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge