Success And A singer Who Came Back To Life.

In his second album photo, COMING FROM REALITY, Sixto Rodriguez is a singer-songwriter.

Sixto Rodriguez’s success story is surreal! It leaves you with sentiments of inspiration and amazement. You may become curious and start seeking answers about life once again. 

Before we go there, let us discuss “success” for a while.

Measuring success is easy yet…

Success is attainable. At school, measuring success was easy. They set an average score for a subject, which shows who is successful and who is a failure. (deep ha?!) 

But numbers aren’t a fair indicator of one’s success. What about the student who gets the score by chance or through cheating? What about the ones who build successful careers even though they failed school?

Another indicator to measure success is the amount of money. Yet a lot argue that so-called wealthy, successful people are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. They are not so happy nor fulfilled.

Age is also considered a criterion. Success is to achieve certain things at a certain age. But what about the people that achieve everything “on time “and end up feeling miserable? And what about the people who make it at an older age? 

Ray Kroc bought Macdonald’s at 59 and made a revolution in the American food industry, while Mark Zuckerberg became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at 23. Does it make the former more successful? I don’t think so. 

We can conclude that Numbers alone are not a good indicator of success. Research published by Boston College researcher Karen Arnold agrees with this conclusion. The study showed that 90% of students with the highest grades at school became professionals, 40% reached top ranks in their field, but none became visionaries. 

Schools build conformists, people who are ready to follow the system without questioning it. People who leave a mark and induce change aren’t usually following the system. 

Sixto Rodriguez, the singer who committed suicide and came back to life

“Searching For Sugarman” is a documentary I watched lately that left me inspired. It tells the story of the singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez who released two failed albums in America and became very successful in South Africa without knowing it.

Rodriguez developed an enormous fan base in Africa. He became a mystery that his fans wanted to discover. A journalist started doing research about him. Rumors said that Rodriguez killed himself on stage during one of his performances and disappeared. No one knew anything about him.

Hopefully, the journalist didn’t give up and opened a website asking people to contact him if they knew anything about the person in the photo. One day, Rodriguez’s daughter saw the photo and contacted the journalist.

Rodriguez was working as a lumper in Detroit and forgot all about being a singer. His fans managed a concert for Rodriguez, and for the first time, he met his fans live in a concert that were more than happy to see and hear him sing.

Two Identical Albums with different impact

The identical albums made by the same person were a failure in one country and a win in another one. It wasn’t a good marketing plan that made the difference, nor an additional effort.

Life is full of inspiring stories. It is the best teacher whether success we want to learn about or any other subject. In the previous decades, the majority defined success. But in our era, with the rise of individuality, and the change and improvements that happen daily, it has become essential to redefine success based on our skills, needs, and values.

I invite you to write your own definition of success based on your values and what is important to you.

Subscribe to my email and get a free template to help you define your success.


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Ninette Abi Atallah

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