Success Is Never Owned, It Is Only Rented: The Rent Axiom

Inspirational Living

Updated on:

success is never owned, it is rented

Success Is Never Owned

“Success is not owned, it is rented – and that rent is due everyday.”- Rory Vaden

I love quotes, you can probably tell because I have a lot of them on this site. There is so much wisdom shared in quotes, and this one from The Rent Axiom by Rory Vaden has become one of my mantras as I wake up each morning. It helps provide me with a specific focus each day.


The Rent Axiom: Success is never owned- don’t stop moving

The premise of this quote is that success is not something we get hold of and then lock it up in the safe with our name written all over it! It is something we need to keep working on.  In order to stay successful we must keep moving. In his book The Strangest Secret,   Earl Nightingale says,  “Success is really nothing more than the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Note the word progressive. It is not an ‘over and done with’ scenario, but a case of continous effort to maintain our success.  Nightingale continues to say, “This means that any person who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person.” So as long as you are putting in the work daily then you can be sure success is yours. This is the rent axiom. 

Rory Vaden recommends that to fully reap the benefit we should apply the rent axiom to any area of our lives. For example,

  • A pass mark is never owned. It is only rented- and the rent is due everyday.
  • A prosperous business is never owned. It is only rented — and the rent is due everyday.
  • A beautiful garden is never owned. It is only rented — and the rent is due everyday.
  • A happy marriage is never owned. It is only rented — and the rent is due everyday.
  • Fitness is never owned. It is only rented — and the rent is due everyday.

So you can ask yourself as you begin each day, what dues you are required to pay towards succeeding in areas that are important to you.  Instead of random actions, this mantra gives focus.

The Rent Axiom success is never owned, it is rented

The Rent Axiom: Success is never owned- small steps count

The saying, “Success is never owned, it is rented” emphasises the power of little steps.  Babies do not get up and walk, instead every day from the day they are born, they begin to work towards walking. I have been blessed with 4 children and it has been a joy to watch them prepare for that first step. The rolling over, the kicking, the raising of their little necks, all those little steps are the necessary steps to get them to be able to walk.


In the same way, we must contribute each day, in little steps if we want to get to where we want in life. The actress/actor must work on their skills each day, learning new tricks and hone in on their skills. The athlete must take steps every day to keep their bodies and stamina in shape. Business owners must continue to reinvent themselves and keep up adapting to technology and the ever changing customer needs.

We all know of businesses that were once household names but quickly disappeared. We know of relationships that turned from great to terrible. We all know of A star students who came out with disappointing results. Athletes that were once at the top of their game but whose success fizzled out. Therefore no matter how small the steps are, it is important we take them. Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a slow walker but I never walk back. ” This is the rent axiom, something being paid in day by day, step by step.

success is never owned

The Rent Axiom: Success is never owned- it is earned depending on the value provided

Ever heard of one hit wonders, they earned success on producing a single hit. However their success soon faded either because they stopped producing music or they produced music their fans considered poor. The musician’s success is in the hands of their fans. The day that people fail to find value in Amazon is the day Amazon will fail. But as long as Amazon continues to provide value and a great service, the online giant will maintain its top position. To fulfill the rent axiom, success is earned through value.


The Rent Axiom: Success is never owned- neither is failure


I have flipped this statement into

  • Failure is never owned. It is only rented- and the rent is due everyday.

The rent axiom swings both ways. Just like success, failure does not happen overnight. Failure happens in small steps. You don’t wake up out of shape, weight creeps on. As you make those unhealthy food choices each day, gradually the weight piles on. The athlete do not lose their physical fitness in a single day, but slowly over time. Therefore, when you fail at something it is important to realise that you can quickly move on. You can make the choice to either continue renting the failure by negativity and inaction. Or you can decide to change direction and move towards success. If you have failed an exam, you can either give up all together or you can go back and start revising like a warrior.  If you are a business that has lost customers you can either feed into the failure or take steps towards bettering your business.  Success is never owned, neither is failure.

The Rent Axiom success is never owned, it is rented
This is such a useful mantra to live by. As we start each day we have a choice to make, to either pay dues towards success or dues towards failure. Each day is a new start and we can choose which direction we want to move towards on a daily basis. What do you think? If you have enjoyed the post please remember to share, one can never get too much inspiration!