Success! It’s a word that gets thrown around quite a bit. Google the words “Business Success” and you get 1.23 BILLION results. (No, I’m not joking.) And yet, the definition for success is not only different for each person and each business, but more and more we are hearing a call for a general re-thinking and re-definition of what it means to be successful.
In order to truly BE successful, you must define what success means for you. Once you define it, each decision you make in your business and your life can be made with that definition in mind. If something is not in line with your success definition, the answer is no. If it will move you towards that definition, then go for it!
For example, perhaps your definition of success involves growing your business to a certain revenue level, or number of employees. Perhaps success for you means selling your business for a large amount of money, while for someone else it means having a thriving business to pass down to your children, and for another, it means making enough to pay the bills while enjoying lots of time with your family. Perhaps you will know you’re successful when you achieve status and recognition. Or power and influence. The list goes on.
The key is to be crystal clear about what success means to you, and not to chase someone else’s idea of success. Once you are clear about what you want to achieve, you can set your priorities accordingly.
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines success as “the gaining of wealth, fame, etc.” But in her latest book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder,” Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, suggests that this definition of success is not only misguided, but that “our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success – money and power – has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers.” After collapsing from exhaustion in 2007, she realized that she needed to redefine success for herself, and accordingly, she changed the way she ran her company and the way she lived her life. Among other things, she added nap rooms to her company offices, and now takes regular “digital detox” days on the weekends.
I recently attended the Mom Grows a Business Conference where Traci Bild, founder of Bild & Company and the Get Your Girl Back Movement, spoke about how to achieve success on your own terms. She told the audience that while she doesn’t believe you can have IT all, you can define YOUR all, and then build your goals around that definition. Set your priorities based on what your ALL, your definition of success, is, own those priorities without guilt, and you are on your way to a truly successful business and life.