How can ambition lead to success

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Reid The Ambitious

Since his early years Reid was obsessed with the idea of leaving a great impact and changing the world. As he grew older he started becoming interested in the internet and the tech industry.

The people who knew Reid back then said that he was always looking for the next big thing that can improve people's lives. Reid started a social network before Facebook was there but he faced serious problems that forced him to quit.

One day Reid got a brilliant idea. The idea was creating a payment soloution to allow people to pay online using their emails instead of a credit card. Reid called his idea PayPal.

PayPal was facing tough competition from large credit card companies and it was hardly profitable. After a long struggle with competition PayPal was acquired and Reid became a millionaire overnight.

Even though Reid was already a millionaire he kept searching for the next big thing that can help him change the world. One day he discovered that people spend a lot of time looking for jobs online so he decided to create a website that connects employers with job seekers and called it LinkedIn.

Within a short period of time LinkedIn became a very successful business generating over 850 million dollars a year. Reid didn't stop and he kept looking for more great ideas. Reid Hoffman was among the first people to invest in Facebook,Zynga, groupon and many other successful tech giants. Reid's net worth today is 4.4 billion dollars according to wikipedia.

How can ambition lead to success

So what can we learn from Reid Hoffman's story?

  • 1) Ambitious people always find the right opportunities: You might mistakenly think that Reid found great opportunities because he was lucky but the truth is that he found them because he was actively seeking them.
  • 2) This is why ambitious people succeed: Just like most successful people Reid didn't succeed from the first attempt and the reason he kept going is that he was really ambitious. Ambitious people keep going forward even when they fail and this is why they end up becoming successful. The people you see successful today are the ones who went through the failed attempts until they found out the right thing.
  • 3) Ambitious people don't stop: Had Reid spend his life celebrating the millions he made from paypal he would have never been the Reid Hoffman we know today. Ambition has no limits and this is why ambitious people usually keep climbing up as long as they live

What can this story teach us about luck?

Didn't you notice that most ambitious people are lucky?
Because ambitious people keep trying and trying they always end up reaching their goals and that's why people consider them lucky. (see also Does luck has anything to do with success)

Had you met Reid after his first social network failed you would have never thought that he is a lucky guy. Here is a fact about luck that few people will tell you: lucky people are those who persist enough until their plans work. Luck is created not inherited.

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