One of the most important and personal decisions we can make as business owners is how we define success for ourselves.
I recently asked some friends in the business to describe what success looks like to them using only three words.
The answers ranged from “No money worries”, “Long lunch hours” to “Peer group praise”.
When was the last time you looked at the big picture? The one that you painted when you first started your business? That image you dreamed up that shows you when you’ve really made it.
How do you define success? What does it look like?
Is it all fast cars and big houses? Or is it simplicity and fulfillment? Is it freedom and happiness?
If your definition of success involves expensive metal with wheels or houses with rooms you’ll never use maybe you need a reality check. Or a piece of humble pie. Greed and materialism are so last centuries.
In my opinion, defining success for yourself allows you to live an authentic life and change the world.
Your definition of success might be measured by the amount of time you can spend with your family and friends or being able to spend 3 months of the year traveling while knowing that your business is running smoothly without you.
Whatever the picture looks like to you – living authentically can change the world.
When others see you living your life with passion and purpose it will inspire them – it will create change.
Look at internet business celebrity Gary Vaynerchuk – he doesn’t talk about how money can help the poor or improve literacy in third world countries – he wants to buy the New York Jets.
He has embraced his values and passions and by living accordingly he is helping other businesses owners learn from his techniques and strategies.
Don’t want to change the world? Too hard?
We’re all in business for financial gain – whether it’s simply to replace the income we could receive working for someone else or to provide for our families and reach our personal goals. But what happens after you’ve achieved that?
Before you think I’m going all hippy on you, don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of money and I’m all for fulfilling your dreams (I’m more partial to experiences than materials). But I wonder: where does making a positive difference fit in?
As business owners, we are the type of people who achieve things. We put our mind to something and we make it happen. Imagine if we spent a bit of time using this drive for someone’s benefit other than our own?
Imagine if we sketched out the cost of achieving our dreams and stopped taking from our business when we reached that amount. What if we truly did define success according to our values? What would you do next?
Would you support a cause that needed help? Something that was close to your heart? Or would you think of new ways to spend your money?
One thing is for certain: taking the time to define success for yourself, with your own unique performance indicators, means that your hard work will pay off in the way that is most fulfilling to you and those around you. You could even change the world. #