#CollectiveWisdom: Redefining Success + Tony Bellagamba

#CollectiveWisdom: Redefining Success

Tony Bellagamba is an alumnus of The Collective and a sales executive, transitioning to an exciting leadership role at a Sentic Technologies, Inc. in mid-July. You can follow him on LinkedIn for more wisdom.

2596514I can honestly say that being a part of The Collective was a life-changing experience for me, albeit an unexpected one. When I signed up I assumed that the program would focus on networking with other professionals and developing a road map to what I considered success – a “grand position,” and more money. I had built a great career over 10 years and wanted to leverage the program to earn even more “success” by that definition. As I soon learned, that was not The Collective’s purpose.

Instead of pushing me further along the proverbial path to career “success,” The Collective developed a group structure that focused on outside-the-box thinking and pushing us to question our personal definition of success.

At first, I must admit that this irked me a bit, because I was there to figure out how to become a CEO and make a million dollars. I didn’t want to think of success in any other form outside of more money in the bank.

But after a while I decided to at least open my mind to different opinions and hear what others had to say.

As I listened to the group share their definitions of success (e.g. time with family, relationships with friends, and enjoyment in the journey), I started to think that maybe there was more to my career and life.

I thought about my 10-year career which was successful in the traditional sense: an upward trajectory, titles, and money. As I thought about it, though, I realized that despite my “success” I wasn’t very happy during most of that 10-year journey. It was a grind continuously filled with stress and chasing the next carrot. I had sacrificed time, enjoyment, and even my health at times.

The Collective woke me up to the bigger picture, allowing me to see that success does not have to be so black and white. Our careers will unavoidably have ups and downs and thus if you hinge your definition of success to tangible items within that career spectrum, like job title and money, you will inevitably be let down.

Instead, when we focus on enjoying the journey of our careers, pursuing passions, learning, and relationships we will have success no matter where we wind up with title and money.

But, make no mistake: career “success” and true success are hardly mutually exclusive. You can find success in the journey and in your relationships while still achieving upward career trajectory and earning the type of money that you desire to support your family. And I intend to.

The difference in me from the day I started The Collective to today is that now my success is not dependent on tangible things exclusively. My success today is shaped (not defined) by my time with my family, my relationships, and my enjoyment of the journey through life. And for that, I owe The Collective everything.

About The Collective

A career and leadership journey is not meant to be a solo endeavor. The most fulfilling careers are built in community, with a personal board of advisors involved – asking critical questions, providing affirmation and applying pressure where needed to help you be brave, bold and inch toward mastery. The Collective is a ready-made board of advisors, led by a trained facilitator, that delivers engaging and intelligent career development strategy in a small group coaching format. Become a member of The Collective.