Do You Love Yourself Enough? How to Be More Successful and Make More Money by Being Self-ish

by John Cummings on February 14, 2013

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Did I just suggest you should be selfish so you can be successful and make more money? You bet. Although being “selfish” is usually connected with greed, lack of consideration for others and a focus on one’s own needs at the expense of others, I am referring to a different form of selfishness altogether.

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival. ~Audre Lord

You probably know selfish people and don’t care for them very much. “He’s SO selfish!” is not the way you want someone to describe you, I’m sure. But you would you like it if everyone said of you, “He’s so successful and yet always generous to others! How does he do that?”  What may not be obvious is that the men and women you most admire for their calm success and their consistent consideration of others, are usually very self-ish people. Notice that I added a hypen in the word selfish to make it self-ish.  I did this in order to focus on another form of self-ishness known as self-care, sometimes also referred to as self love.

One of the most common traits of successful, wealthy and fulfilled people is that they are attractive. Not physically attractive, necessarily, but able to attract others to them because of their strengths, their virtues and both their willingness and ability to serve others with their talents. Each of us, whether we think about it each day, will succeed based on how effectively we draw others to us and make them believe that they should trust us, buy from us, work with us and partner with us. That process of drawing others to us is based on attraction.

What is attractive? Well, beyond the obvious characteristics of our appearance and our clothing, some of the things most people find attractive are confidence, strength, health, joyfulness and positive energy. When people with these traits walk into a room, others want to sit with them, talk to them, work with them, be with them. That creates the opportunity for you to serve someone with your talents and succeed, both financially and otherwise.

What is unattractive? The opposite. People who complain about their circumstances and failures, blame others for walking all over them and wasting their precious time, filling the room with stories of how much they NEED from everyone else. The natural response is repulsion. People begin to mentally (and often physically) back away from such people. This type of person does not cause others to become attracted to them.

So how can you be more attractive? First, set your mind on a goal of helping others. To serve others, you need to have a strong foundation. The less baggage you’re bringing to the table, the more likely you are to be an asset rather than a liability.

Get Your Body in Shape – there are many physical conditions or illnesses you can’t avoid but if you’re out of shape, out of breath and sweaty from exhaustion when you walk into your next meeting, you’re not creating attraction. And it’s not because of just appearances. The fact of the matter is that people question all of your strengths when you’re weak in body. Take some time to set up time for yourself and begin to exercise and eat right. People will believe in you when you appear strong.

Get Your Schedule in Shape – if you find yourself apologizing because of your inability to manage all of your responsibilities and saying “sorry I’m late” for phone calls and meetings, people don’t have trust you’ll be able to help them. What’s keeping you from better time management? If it’s other people intruding on your schedule all day long, put an end to it. Those who are interrupting you and asking for your attention usually don’t need your time, but they’re preventing you from having the stable foundation to help those who you might actually be able to help. Ironically, you’re trying to be selfless when you agree to help everyone who demands something but the opposite is happening. Start saying “NO”, not because you’re selfish, but because you have to help yourself first to be able to serve others.

Take Time for Yourself – be intentional about making time for your own mental clarity. Get up early every day and spend some time alone or in prayer before time vampires conspire to take away your joy for the day. Plan your day, carefully, and include a 30-minutes block of time in your calendar that is just for you. When I was a young lawyer in a big law firm, I used to steal away nearly every day to take a quick nap or just be quiet, in my car.  It’s a reset like no other. And you’ll come back stronger than ever.

Let Go of the Past – one of the things that consumes many of my clients’ time is dwelling on the failures of the past. Doing this is a form of self-abuse and creates a cycle of failing confidence and weakness. Everything you’ve done up to this point in your life has been a lesson. In every disappointment, there is an “appointment” or a purpose. Don’t waste the pain you’ve already experienced. Lean forward and use what you’ve learned to strengthen yourself and your resolve to meet the purposes you were created for.

Most of all, seek to serve . . .

If you first seek wealth, you’ll never achieve your purpose.  But if you seek to serve the greatest number of people with your knowledge, you will, as a by-product (blessing) enjoy more money than you imagined possible. ~ John Cummings

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love yourself so you can love others.  For some really great tips on how to say “no” and start building a stronger foundation for yourself, please grab a copy of my book Killing Time Vampires on the right hand side of this page.

(psssst. share the love with the little icons below. you know you know someone who needs to hear this today!)

Kristina says:

Thank you! Your website is so inspirational! :)


Thanks for your comment. Congrats on your accomplishments. Your blog at Danger Girl is very cool!> :)


kristina says:

This is a great piece of advice! Thank you for sharing! :)

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