When someone says success is luck and happiness is money, I freak out…

I received this message on Facebook. It didn’t spoil my day but I had to reply. My response is below:
FB Msg

Dear unlucky friend…

I had every intention to reply to your message but I’m no longer your Facebook friend. It’s OK, you don’t want to read my posts and I don’t blame you. But let me reply publicly and tell you my side of the story. In fact, the people reading my blog, will read this and learn from it. I don’t know if you would have done the same.

I want to address two things in your message: “lucky” and “positivity”

Lucky… I don’t have wealthy parents but I do have my own businesses. Was that luck? When I was in high school I used to wash cars and cut other people’s grass to make money. With the cash I made, I paid my OWN school fees. I worked my butt off, got 98% for accounting and because of that I got offered a job at an auditing firm (until today I am most grateful for the opportunity and the great mentor I had (thanks Fred Enslin)).

I started at a staggering R1800 per month. R600 went towards studies. I worked 15 hour days. I would open the office at 06h00 and leave well past 21h00 at night. Then I would go and study. I finished my degree in 3 years (working full time) and articles after 4 years. I opened my own accounting firm, 15 hour days became 20 hour days, I went to every single networking event, I read hundreds of books, I dreamt, slept and ate my business. 2 years later I was earning my dream salary and was financially free. Was that luck? You decide!

And now that we got lucky, do we sit back and enjoy life? No, we need to create our next lucky. One of my current goals is to build up our IT company into a big player in the market. Yesterday was a Sunday. I was up at 04h00. You? I worked all day until I fell asleep this morning at 01h00 with a software manual on my lap. Did you work? In the last two weeks, I’ve read two books and I’ve spent no less than 10 hours studying Mark Cuban’s success. How many have you read? I listen to audio books when I’m on the road. Do you? I spend my time with friends in the same industry, I spend my time with successful people. Who do you spend time with? I learn from them, I get motivated by them. I guess, you delete them? My partners are all the same. On Sunday nights we will work and send Whatsapp messages of how excited we are for the week. Do you complain that it is the end of the weekend? In 3 years, this company will be worth millions. And you will say we are lucky?

You say my positivity irritates you. But you see, your attitude pisses me off… It’s easy to sit on the couch and tell others they got lucky, but it’s not the case, never. Effort = success. Not sometimes, but always. If you work 16 hour days, read 1 book a month and wake up before 05h00 in the morning for 5 years, there is NO WAY that you won’t have whatever you worked for. No way!

Positivity… I can’t preach about this, because you either feel it or you don’t. What I do know is that it is not related to money as you claim. I’ve been on both sides and I was equally positive. People in India and Thailand are some of the happiest, most positive people I’ve seen, yet they have nothing. Every morning, you can be depressed or you can celebrate the miracle of life. I choose the latter.

Be positive and remember that you don’t get lucky, you create lucky!


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  • twitter_RizwanaShahrukh
    May 8, 2014 at 8:52 am — Reply


    Must say having known you (on a personal level) way before your “lucky” days, I was mighty pissed off at what this person said about you. Extremely glad with your response, if you hadn’t done so, I would’ve given it to him/her.

    I hope he/she reads this and reads your book too.

    It’s sad that instead of learning from success, he/she chose to hate from it.

  • Erinda
    June 8, 2016 at 11:43 am — Reply

    Ek is saam met jou ‘n harde werker en positief well done Marnus! Jy raak baie mense se lewens! Ons volg jou journey, moenie ophou skryf nie. Ek is self ‘n accountant met my eie besigheid en geniet die SME wêreld. Sal jou graag eendag wil ontmoet.

  • MoneyChief
    April 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    That last sentence of the message: “ek dog ek se maar net” or the classic smiley face, after insulting a person, is the hallmark of passive aggressive people.

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