Make It New Grads

Here's why 'success is for amateurs'—and what you should strive for instead

Farnoosh Torabi, host of CNBC's "Follow the Leader" and the award-winning podcast "So Money"
Jenny Anderson | Getty Images
Farnoosh Torabi, host of CNBC's "Follow the Leader" and the award-winning podcast "So Money"

In honor of graduation season, CNBC Make It is rolling out the speeches and pieces of advice that America's leaders are most excited to share with the Class of 2017, using the hashtag #MakeItNewGrads.

Sometimes, success on its own isn't enough. In fact, "success is for amateurs," personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi tells the graduates of Penn State's Smeal College of Business. "Better to raise the bar and seek fulfillment."

It's a concept that comes from life and business strategist Tony Robbins, she tells the class of 2017: "Tony likes to say, and this is probably my favorite of all his sayings: Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure."

Tony Robbins
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tony Robbins

The thing is, anyone has what it takes to be successful, says the host of CNBC's "Follow the Leader": "You can Google success and learn how to connect the dots to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve."

That's exactly what Torabi did after graduating: "I spent the better part of my 20's reverse-engineering my goals. I found people I admired, Googled them, read their bios, read about where they went to school, the jobs they held and how they climbed the ranks. And then, very simply, I mapped out my own professional path using the blueprints of these other successful people. And voila!"

What she found, however, was that "the goal shouldn't just be about becoming 'successful.'"

Sure, "on paper, success is amazing," she tells the class of 2017. "You have your own place, a nice car, a great job that comes with a gym membership and a dental plan. But on the way to achieving success, we sometimes get too distracted to pursue what actually fulfills us — in other words, what makes us feel empowered, happy, brave and loved."

In your pursuit of success, "be sure that you're also looking out for yourself, your well-being, your health," she advises. This means making time to travel, building your relationships with friends and family and trying new things.

Because ultimately, in addition to having a gym membership and dental plan, "you also want to live a life that has you waking up feeling grateful," says Torabi.

Look for more pieces of advice from leaders like Melinda Gates, Dave Ramsey and others, and follow along with the series, as well as other content relating to the Class of 2017, on social media using the hashtag #MakeItNewGrads.

See also:

Mark Cuban, Melinda Gates, Dave Ramsey and others will offer advice to new grads

Mark Cuban gives his 3 best pieces of advice for college grads

4 books every new college grad needs to have on their shelf