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Why Founders Should Never Define What Success Is

Why Founders Should Never Define What Success Is

I take a course at a business school. And there is no final exam for that course. Just one question instead

“List at least 3 things you learnt during the course.”

All those who list 3 things fail the exam.

“List at least 3 things you learnt during the course”

We are all fucked up in our heads to believe that success is determined by the world.

  • The 3 things define my success.
  • The task my manager has given to me defines my success.
  • The call my spouse has asked me to make everyday defines my success.
  • The career my parents have asked me to pursue defines my success.
  • This much money defines my success.

And yet, one simple glance at all those who we define as successful will prove conclusively that none of them took the world’s definition of success as theirs.

In fact, I think successful people are scared to define what success is. They are scared they might reach it one day and wouldn’t know what to do thereafter. Do yourself a favour:

Don’t let the world define success for you. Don’t even define it yourself.

[This post by Ankur Warikoo first appeared on LinkedIn and has been reproduced with permission.]

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Ankur Warikoo


Ankur Warikoo is Cofounder & CEO of nearbuy – online marketplace for discovering and buying offline services. Prior to nearbuy, Warikoo was Head of Groupon’s India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines business. He holds a management degree from the Indian School of Business (Class of 2006) where he was awarded the Young Leader Award and a Masters degree in Physics from Michigan State University and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hindu College, Delhi University.
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