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Stick Around

What's the staying power of your personal success?

This story appears in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jerry Porras co-wrote the bestselling book Built to Last, changing how millions of entrepreneurs view business success. In Success Built to Last (Wharton School Publishing, $22.99), he joins human potential guru Stewart Emery and executive coach Mark Thompson to tackle personal success. Based on interviews with more than 200 people, from Steve Jobs to Sir Richard Branson, they conclude that achieving maximum long-term personal success has less to do with having the best idea, organization or business model than with discovering what matters to the individual pursuing it.

Some of their assertions seem a trifle thin, such as the dismissal of life balance as an unachievable and irrelevant goal. Other observations--like the warning against pursuing being loved rather than doing what we love--ring truer. Porras works in Built to Last icons like Big Hairy Audacious Goals with idiosyncratic observations and startling quotes from all sorts of people, concluding that it's not just preferable to do what you love for a living, it's actually dangerous to do anything else.

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