The Leading Edge: Your Downtime Determines Your Path to Success

LE Contributor Marie Cosgrove

By: Marie Cosgrove

Imagine that, right now, you have everything you have ever dreamed of. You have the perfect job.  You have a perfect family. You have perfect health. You have _____ (fill in the blank). You are a success. Imagine your perfect life right now. How would life be different than your current situation?

I suppose, if you have all these things, you are happy and fulfilled. And that’s great news. Congratulations to you.

If you don’t have fulfillment and success, what would you be willing to sacrifice to get what you want?

Would you be interested to know the secret to obtaining your every dream, desire and massive success?

I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is no secret to success. Despite all the webinars, books, and seminars promising to give you the “secret” to achieving success, you will not find it in some hidden message. You will not find it in a secret potion. You will not find it via a psychic guru, intellectual guru or once-in-a-lifetime seminar.

However, if you keep reading, you will find one of the formulas for success.

One of my good friends, who recently performed in the Selena Auditorium in Corpus Christi, Texas, for his sold-out comedic act, was laughing when he read the headline about his act in the local paper: “Overnight Success.”

The reality is that it took him years of discipline, determination, and dedication. Yes, that was his formula for success. Discipline, determination, and dedication.

Unfortunately, there are innumerable other elements needed to reach massive success—too many to cover in one blog, but we will cover the three main points. If you dedicate yourself to these three points, it is possible for you to reach massive success—even millionaire status.

My favorite law in John Maxwell’s Book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is the Law of Trade-Offs. John Maxwell states, “While we don’t always get what we want, we always get what we choose.

Below are three steps you, too, can take to reach success.

1. Discipline. Are you disciplined enough to do what it takes during your downtime to engage in activities that will help you reach success?  

For example, when I was a single mom of four young children, I took steps that would help me grow. Although being a single parent rarely gives you extra time, the downtime I did have I used to study and grow to advance my career. Eventually, I became very successful within the company I was working for.

2. Determination. How determined are you to reach success?

Unfortunately, I was fired from the company in which I had achieved great success. Regardless, I maintained my determination to be a success. Instead of becoming bitter, I decided to become better. I had to reinvent myself and stay determined. I started a new career with another company and eventually earned enough to start my own company.

3. Dedication.  The Law of Trade-Offs states that, “The Law of Trade-Offs is often felt long before the gain.”

Imagine my shock at being fired after I had given up so much to reach high levels of success becoming the #1 national sales representative for the company that fired me. My dedication did not diminish when I was fired. In fact, instead of being diminished, my dedication grew stronger. Within two years of hard work, discipline, determination and dedication, I purchased the same company that had fired me.

When I purchased the company, many in my industry predicted I would bankrupt the company and myself within six months. Seven years later, we are still strong—proving The Law of Trade-Offs is an invaluable law of growth you can’t afford to ignore if you want to reach success.

Remember, what you do during your downtime determines your path to success. It’s your choice. What will you choose to do with your downtime today?


Marie Cosgrove is an accomplished entrepreneur who has had the privilege of working with some of the most recognizable Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx and Sprint.  Marie has successfully launched several medical device-manufacturing companies and serves as part of The John Maxwell Team, serving on the Presidential Advisory Council and as an independent speaker, mentor and coach. Marie has 4 adult children, a 7-year-old and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys all things outdoors (beaches, hiking, camping and sledding).  You can learn more about Marie at