The Top 3 Reasons Why You’re Not That Successful

They’re not what you think.

Jessica Wildfire
6 min readJan 2


Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash

Recently I found myself asking this question:

“Why aren’t you more successful?”

Everyone defines success in their own way, but most definitions have a few things in common. They share a degree of recognition and financial independence. Even if they talk about meaning and purpose, most of these people still have a roof over their heads and don’t worry about their children’s future. Sadly, fewer of us are achieving that than ever. The average zoomer today makes $33,800.

My partner struggles to understand my attitude sometimes. He went to a private high school. He went to a private college. His parents supported him for a year after graduating while he worked a low-paying job that fueled his passion. His family paid for him to travel around the world. Over time, he had to learn about his privilege.

While my husband was hiking through the Alps or whatever, I was teaching at tech schools and HBCUs. I was fighting poverty and injustice in the corridor of shame. (Look it up.)

When questions of success start nagging me, I get curious about all of these people making fortunes online.

I read up.

Here’s why I’m not that successful.

Maybe it applies to you:

1. Your parents weren’t rich.

I’ve read a lot of those articles that profile young people who managed to achieve financial independence and retire early. About halfway down the article, there’s a little confession:

Their parents had money.

There’s no judgment here, I’m just making an observation. Almost every single person who achieves financial success early in life had considerable help from their parents.

Money plays a bigger role than you think.

It’s not just the numbers in your parents’ bank account. Money decides where you live. It decides where you go to school. It decides the kind of clothes you wear. Money buys SAT coaches.

Sometimes it buys you a better grade.