We all want to be successful. However you define success, we crave and work for it for ourselves, and most of us enjoy seeing the success of our friends and family.
There was a time, though, that I wished against the type of success that some of my friends, and looking back, I have no regrets about my wishes. As it turns out, my wish came true. They weren’t successful as they had hoped. And I think that is the best outcome.
So what success were they looking for that they didn’t get?
Simple. They were in a band and they wanted to make it big.
A few college buddies got together after school and decided to form a band. I was not musically inclined, but good on the business and money side of things, so I was their manager, responsible for booking dates and keep track of the finances.
The band was a lot of fun and they actually had a pretty good run where they played regularly at a few Metro Detroit area spots. But, when they started dreaming of bigger and better things, I secretly wished that they wouldn’t get there.
Why? Not because I didn’t think they were good (they were) and not because I wouldn’t have enjoyed seeing them get financially successful (and riding their coattails as much as they’d allow *lol*), but because I saw what fame and fortune all too often did.
These were really good friends of mine. They weren’t into drugs. They weren’t into blowing money on stupid stuff. They weren’t into trashing hotel rooms. They weren’t into sleeping around. They were good guys that just loved having fun, and you see so many stories about how money and/or celebrity can change that. I didn’t want that for them. I knew the odds and I knew that if this band ended up taking off, at least one if not all would probably be changed somehow.
And not for the better.
As it turns out, the band flamed out before they could hit it big.
Two of the guys I wasn’t all that close with, but of the three that I was friends with, they probably all are glad for the life they had, even if they never got their names or music in front of everybody.
One of my buddies is married with two kids, and a vice president of commercial lending at a bank, where he’s worked for over 16 years (right out of college), something that’s relatively unheared of these days.
Another buddy is married with a kid on the way. He and I don’t really talk much anymore, but he’s had a professional career that has taken him into multiple industries and he’s had the opportunity to buy and sell houses in four states. He’s a wanderer who still dreams, but I admire that.
The last of the guys is a math teacher, and coaches football at a local high school. He can play the drums like nobody I’ve ever heard, but he’s one of those guys that you know is making a difference to kids and that they’ll remember him. In other words, he’ll be famous in a much more important way, albeit to a smaller group of people.
You never know the ‘what if’, but for these three friends of mine, I can honestly say that I’m glad the ‘what if’ never took place. They wouldn’t be the men that they are today, and I’m guessing that each of them, now that they’ve had a chance to enjoy the lives without fame and fortune, would agree that they’re happier not having had the fame and fortune they once wanted.
Just like I wished.