June 13, 2018
August 13, 2018



It seems we get bills for everything. Electricity bills, water bills, rent bills, car bills, food bills, tax bills. Hell, every time I pull up at a traffic light there’s a person standing with a board reminding me of my social conscience bill. I hear people talk about the price of success. The cost of Fame. The personal and financial commitment to a successful marriage and family. So, when I was recently asked what is the price of success, it got me thinking. A lot of people talk about wanting to be rich and successful but very few people understand the cost, the investment that it takes to have a successful business, practice or relationship. In fact, the cost is sometimes so high that a lot of people aren’t willing to pay the price or invest the time and sacrifice.  In the movie Fame, the head dance teacher delivers a famous line. “If you want to be famous, fame costs, and you start paying here.”  I’m paraphrasing of course, but like buying a car or a house I think it’s important to understand all of the costs of being successful.

Most people don’t do a proper due diligence, and just like their financial lives they jump in only to find that the water is too deep. They don’t have a flotation device or rescue plan and their business folds, their career tanks and their relationships drown. This month I am going to be a success auditor and present you with a quote or estimate, a cost account if you will – for success.



Knowing the cost of something allows you to prepare so you will not be shocked or surprised when you get the bill.

When you know the price of something you can decide whether it’s worth it or not and whether you are going to invest in it or not.




Your Bill

INVOICE 1: Dedication – some think that if they dabble in an area for a while they may get lucky and strike it rich. Dedication is not a “sometimes” thing; it is a total commitment to the project at hand. A dedicated person is an unstoppable force because they refuse to split their time, interest or activities with anyone or anything that is not moving towards their goal. Because of this dedication they are labelled anti-social, greedy, selfish, and stubborn. It is because of this dedication they are able to pay the second item on the success account.

INVOICE 2: Sacrifice – this means often turning down drinks, cocktail parties, functions, events and even holidays. Some of the biggest sacrifices one will have to make in order to be successful is sleep and quality time at home. Hours, days, month’s even years of home study, innovation, experimentation and effort will result in you growing and perhaps even becoming a new person. Not a popular person, especially with your friends and family, a lonely person perhaps, but it’s an invoice you are going to have to settle.

INVOICE 3: Change – the death of the “old you”. The success journey will require you to give up, change, adapt and renew old limiting beliefs and attitudes. Many limiting beliefs have been with you since childhood. Learning the new is tough but it doesn’t come close to the price of having to unlearn and un-habit. Until you realise that the success journey requires the old to pass away to make place for the new, true growth is impossible. Just like the seasons everything must die in winter in order for there to be new, progressive life. And as you go through these changes you will receive probably your biggest account, and one that most are not prepared to pay.

INVOICE 4: Judgement – the laughter, scorn, and opinions of others. It is sad and true that many people pay homage to the false god called “OOP’s”.  Opinions of Other People. It amazes me how some people never try to improve their circumstances for fear of what others might say and think!

It is impossible to live a full life, the one you were destined to live, if you continuously worry what other people will think and say. Try and remember this little saying when you next find yourself immobilized by Oops: “If your friends and your enemies are not talking about you, you’re doing something wrong”.

INVOICE 5: Fear – of the unknown. This is probably what stops us not even trying to pay the price. We have become creatures of habit and comfort, and not knowing what the future holds is frightening. As a result of this we rush out and demand basic salaries, insurance, medical aids, unemployment funds, job descriptions, fixed annual leave, set hours and as much predictability as possible.

The future is only unpredictable to those who seek security and who have no plans of their own. Someone once said “If you don’t have a plan for your life someone else has got a plan for your life”.

TOTAL INVOICE: Let’s try and get to a total – rejection, failure, stress, hard work, cancelled orders, delivery problems, nasty people, corporate politics, office politics, back stabbing, lies, deceit, power plays, faulty products, delays, incompetence, betrayal, disappointment, school fees, (these have nothing to do with school) court cases, legal fees, lost friends, broken promises, frustration, tears, tantrums, anger, apathy and brick walls. Oh, and that will be due monthly until … well let’s just say the bills stop when you throw in the towel.



So, is it worth it? Is the price worth the rewards?

You decide – it’s your call! If you are a successful person, in any field, then the above invoices will make you smile as you look back on every account that you paid personally. A lot of you might be smiling and thinking, if you knew then what you know now you probably would have stayed single, never had kids, got a 9 to 5 job, and spent all of your money on drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a good thing you didn’t know because you would have missed out on the ride of all rides that got you to a place where you could look at yourself in the mirror and be proud. When you can look at the relationships you have built, the things you have achieved, the places you have gone, the friends that you have made and the family that is priceless. Is it worth it? Ask any “successful” person who has the freedom, power, love and recognition they’ve worked for, if they would have it any other way!




“Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you are willing to pay the price.” Vince Lombardi




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  1. Monica Horn says:

    Loved that!

    Kind Regards

    Monica Horn

  2. Maria says:

    Thank you. Great food got thought (as always)??

  3. Gerda Kotze says:

    Stunning! To the point and spot one. Well said Gavin.

  4. Ntethelelo Dlungwana says:

    This hit home!

  5. Katlego says:

    The most mentally invigorating message I got today.

    Thanks Gav.

  6. Rene says:

    Good day Gavin

    Always a pleasure reading your articles


  7. Mthakazi says:

    This is too good. I have to share it!

  8. Phineus says:

    I will always be aware of “oops”

  9. Esther van der Walt says:

    Thank you for the fuel to help keep this vehicles running!

  10. Martin Cornelius says:

    Now that puts everything in perspective !
    I thought i was eccentric ,makes me feel good.
    Thanks Gav

  11. Ethel Lottering says:

    You always hit the mark Gavin! Thanks!

  12. Cecelia Gerber says:

    Wow, really give a person something to think about.

    Thank you

  13. Olga Muronga says:

    Good day Gavin
    You just made my day, especially Fear! has to change.

  14. Lucille Maujean says:

    Wonderful – with so many changes happening at work, which affects a whole revamp of my personal life too, this is really motivating and allows for the ‘get up and go’ approach.
    Thanks Gavin.

  15. Lluwelyn says:

    A great story – July 18th, thanks Mr Sharples ! I need to share this.

  16. robert says:

    Hi Gavin it seems everyone is chasing that big work called success, trying to be the successful person. But what is success….. One of the invoices issued is sacrifice. I sacrificed but the success never came. Until i realised the success I saw is not the one that I needed or wanted.

    Define your success, real success,. And NOT having a plan might be just the plan that one needs.

    Always great reading your articles.

    Keep them coming

  17. Marianne Hendrikse says:

    Thanks for a great article Gavin. I’ve realised some time ago that “success” means something different for every person.

  18. Vusi Musawenkosi Mahlangu says:

    This is beautiful.

  19. Sharon says:

    Thank you for these and all the morning inspirations – I love them!

  20. Pushpa Govender says:

    Thanks Gavin, always love reading your posts.
    Had to share this with family and friends

  21. Kerapetse Mauba says:

    Wow , great article

  22. Avril Swartz says:

    So true, well articulated too. Love ‘Invoice 4″ – OOP’s

  23. Hellenic says:

    Thanks Gavin.

    Sjoe just what i needed. Absolutely brilliant.

  24. Nono says:

    Thanks 4 word of inspiration. It really works for me.

  25. Marcel Fynn says:

    Always good food for thought, especially when you having a rough week……….

  26. Maya says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. Have fallen prey to OOP a few times.

  27. Mabongi says:

    Oops judgement !!!! It’s killing us.

  28. Paul Bowes says:


  29. Rose says:

    Morning Gavin, just got around to reading your July newsletter…thank you. Apart from my job I am an artist and five years ago I decided to put in the hard work to get my art career off the ground. I paint, study and practice EVERY day. Now the monster is Oops! Too scared to exhibit! Thanks again for keeping lots of us motivated daily ?

  30. Masego Ngakane says:

    There is God and Jesus in You Gavin

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