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Success Is Only Rented and the Rent is Due Every Day

While in the midst of packing for my trip last week, I was listening to my new podcast “addiction” EntreLeadership. (Now I know why my husband has been telling me over and over that I must start listening to it!)

Chris LoCurto was interviewing Rory Vaden on the topic of procrastination. Truthfully, I’m not sure what all they said about procrastination because I got so stuck on this one phrase Rory said:

“Success is not owned; it’s rented — and the rent is due every day.”

Stop and ponder that for a minute. It’s powerful.

I think we often think that once we reach a certain level of success, we’ll have “made it”. But truly, like I talked about yesterday, there is never a point in which someone has truly “arrived”.

Think of those who are celebrities or in high-profile positions. Their success could be stripped from them at any time if they stop paying rent.

  • If a CEO of a multi-million dollar company checks out, starts making foolish decisions, or starts spending money without accounting for it, the company is eventually going to topple. And we’ve seen this happen many times in the last decade.
  • If a talented basketball player stops working out, eats whatever he wants, and doesn’t show up for practice, his career is going to be over very quickly.
  • If a highly-acclaimed blogger with a large audience stops blogging, doesn’t respond to emails, never posts on Facebook, and just disappears from the face of the earth for awhile, people are going to eventually stop coming to the blog.

If you want to be successful at anything in life, you have to be willing to pay the rent. You have to work hard, persevere, and keep at it even when you’d rather be doing something else.

Every day you have an opportunity to pay the rent toward your current or future success. You can choose to make little steps in the right direction — not eating that piece of cake if you’re working on losing weight, getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes, making that phone call, honing a skill, reaching out to someone, and writing 500 words on your manuscript.

Or, on the flip side, you can choose to make deductions from your rent payment on your future success. You can choose to stay home from the gym, procrastinate on that phone call, say “no” to that opportunity for growth that scares you too much, eat that extra brownie, or skip working on that side project.

The choice is yours. What are you doing today to pay your rent on the future?

{By the way, if you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to go check out it. There was some very thought-provoking discussion in the comments!}

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  1. says

    I love this. The rent I pay everyday is getting my patootie in the chair and fingers on the keyboard. What I have a harder time carving out is the “thinking work”. Finding a quiet place and ignoring the distractions for a while to do the hard, planning work. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I’m off to pay my rent…

    • Sally says

      Thank you for saying that! Sometimes I forget that the “thinking work” takes effort and I need to be prepared for it.

  2. Daniela says

    Great post! One of my favorite running shirts that I got says “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.” It’s kind of the same principle… don’t procrastinate and get it done. And keep going… :)

  3. says

    How did you know about that piece of cake that is calling to me? LOL. Seriously though this is true. There is nothing in life we can truly ignore and expect it to be just the same as we left it.

  4. says

    As soon as I saw your email subject line I had to open this! That is one of my favorite quotes and it hangs on my desk every single day.

    I heard it in the midst of a training call last year and the presenter just said it in passing but it just HIT ME! You know how something just slaps you in the face? It was a moment that I will never forget. It’s such a great way to put things into perspective especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or down.

    Thanks for the great post, you just renewed my concentration for today’s tasks:)

  5. says

    I needed this reminder, just as I’ve needed the cleaning reminders. These are things that I knew to do, but somehow I’ve been falling down on the job and it just became overwhelming. But paying a little cleaning rent every day is keeping me successful in that area, and paying my dues in other areas will have the same result.

    Thanks for posting this!

  6. Anna Ruth says

    When I thought back on this quote later in the day, I remembered it as “Success is not owned, it is loaned.” I could not figure out exactly why someone who avoids debt would find that so inspiring! 😀

    In its original words–this quote challenges me. I flip between optimistically seeing arrival in the near future only to soon despair that I lack the abilities to match my unrealistic expectations. I leave this seesaw feeling disheartened and questioning the value of my efforts. To stay focused in my piano practice, I constantly remind myself to be content rather than to compare, and to thank God for using an enjoyable medium to teach me discipline. This quote adds to that: I need consistently put in the time. I also appreciated your focus that arrival cannot be the goal. Faithfulness provides so many better blessings in the long run!

  7. says

    That’s pretty deep. I know I needed to hear it because I’m really tired this morning and was thinking of all the things I could skip important things today. :( Thanks…

  8. Caroline says

    Really needed this one today. I am in such a battle over how I want to live regarding my eating and weight issues. I keep losing the same 15 pounds, but as soon as I come close to my goal, I start the climb right back up. I am realizing that it has to be a lifestyle and am I willing to “pay the rent” every day to look and feel better. Homeschooling with 4 small children as well as nursing takes a toll. So will power is just one more stress. This is started to sound like a journal. Any way thanks for the quote!

  9. says

    Thanks for this post! I needed this slap in the face. I have been putting things off due mainly to insecurities. Just the quote I needed to get my rump in gear!

  10. Lora C says

    WOW!!!!!!!!! That is great!!!! I am going to use that quote to remind me that paying the rent daily is required for everything that I want in life: weight loss, healthy relationships, finances in order, and more.

  11. D says

    Loved this post! What stuck out to me was when you said…

    If you want to be successful at ANYTHING in life, you have to be willing to pay the rent. You have to WORK HARD, PERSEVERE, and KEEP AT IT even when you’d rather be doing something else.

    Mothering can be so trying. My desire is to be the best mom I can be. So often when I find myself going around the SAME mountain, the mundane routines, the daily reminders, the discipline lessons….it can be exhausting and it can feel like you are not being very successful at all! This is a great piece of hope to chew on today and to keep reminding myself that I need to keep going!! I find mothering (as well as other goals) can be so synonymous with marathon training! You can’t give up when you are right in the middle and the training gets tougher. The prize is just around the corner if you will just keep on going!! Thanks for the encouraging post! 😉

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