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Success Advice

Wealth Is an Equal Opportunity Game



Image Credit: Unsplash

Popular myth today asserts the belief that CEOs are earning outrageous amounts. But that’s a narrow view. Let’s look at the facts.

It’s true that the best CEOs among us are making far more money today than they did 50 years ago. It’s a global market now, and opportunities are much larger for everyone today. In 2020, a CEO at one of the top 350 firms in the U.S. was paid on average $24.2 million, including all options that were redeemed in that year.

However, the best actors, musicians, and athletes earned more — much more. In 2021 the average pay for a top 10 actor was $29 million, a 10 top musician $230 million, and a top 50 athlete $280 million! The career choice and sacrifice required to become a top actor, musician, athlete, or entrepreneur in society leads to very few making it all the way. Nobody gets to the top for free. However, the opportunity is there for everyone. 

It helps if your parents are already established. In sports, Brett Hull was Bobby Hull’s son, Stephen Curry is Dell Curry’s son, and Payton and Eli Manning were Archie Manning’s boys. It happens for actors, as well. Dakota Johnson’s parents were Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths, Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen’s father is Martin Sheen, Angelina Jolie’s father is Jon Voight are both are Oscar winners. Music can also be a family business. Jakob Dylan followed his father’s footsteps, as did Carnie and Wendy Wilson, and Julian and Sean Lennon.

“Riches are not an end of life but an instrument of life.” – Henry Ward Beecher

You can see a pattern here. What we’re exposed to growing up can influence possibilities and opportunities for us as adults. My uncle was a physician and so are two of his children, and so, too, are some of their children. Many children follow in their parents’ footsteps, but it’s the exception, not the rule.  

Most CEOs, entrepreneurs, actors, musicians and athletes who made it to the top didn’t come from a privileged family. In fact, coming from privilege can be a burden to the next generation. For a young adult aged 26 with upper-middle-class parents, the odds of being diagnosed with an addiction to drugs or alcohol are two-to-three times higher than national rates in the United States.   

The truth is, anyone can grow up to be a millionaire or even a billionaire. In my native Canada, two-thirds of our millionaires are self-made. In fact, nearly half were either immigrants or first-generation Canadians. According to Forbes, 70 percent of the 400 wealthiest people in America made their money from scratch in their lifetime. In doing so, they created a lot of prosperity for those around them.    

It’s also true for other people who have worked hard to parlay their talent to the top of their profession. Sean Combs is worth $885 million in 2021. Coming from Harlem, he first earned money to buy sneakers on a paper route. LeBron James lived with four generations of his family in a single home near downtown Akron. Now he’s worth $500 million. J.K. Rowling, now a billionaire, was raising a daughter on public assistance while writing the first Harry Potter book in 1994. 

Who is helping to increase the wealth of these CEOs, athletes, actors, musicians and celebrities? You are — and you’re getting value in return. Every time you make a call on your iPhone, search for a place to eat on Google, post a picture of your dog on Instagram, watch the Super Bowl, or listen to a hit song on Spotify you’re enjoying the work of talented and hardworking people. You even helped the top 10 YouTubers average more than $30 million each in 2021.   

It isn’t a crime to earn money in exchange for value. It’s everywhere in society, and what the wealthy earn helps the pie to grow, not shrink. On average, people were many times poorer in the past than we are today. If we compare the economic prosperity of every region today with any earlier times, we see that each is richer than ever before in its history.  

The opportunity to become better at what you do exists for everyone. For a few, they’ll go all the way to becoming the best among us. We should celebrate the work and effort they put into their success, and celebrate, as well, how far we’ve come across all classes. 

Derek Bullen is Founder and CEO of S.i. Systems, one of the largest professional services companies in Canada, with thousands of information technology consultants working on projects for blue-chip corporations and government agencies across Canada. His new book is In Defence of Wealth: A Modest Rebuttal to the Charge the Rich Are Bad for Society (Barlow Books, 2022), and previously published High Velocity, a book to help new IT professionals develop their soft business skills. Learn more at

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Success Advice

How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



Igniting your spark
Image Credit: Midjourney

What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



How to boost your confidence
Image Credit: Midjourney

We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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