I Define My Own Success
“You will never achieve success
if you don’t define it for yourself first.”
Author, BadAss Your Brand
How do you define success?
I’ve read a lot of blogs about success, how to make your business successful, what success is, but I really believe success is subjective; its different for everyone. I’ve also come to believe that we judge each other too much based on what we think success looks like. Being judgmental about others’ success or receiving that judgment is what messes with our heads and confidence.
Does any of this sound familiar?
“She has a large team and always earns incentive trips. I’ve never earned a trip and my team is so small. I’m not successful in my business at all!”
Meanwhile, that Trip Earner is struggling to overcome thousands of dollars of debt and tells herself she won’t be successful until she does.
“She lives in this huge beautiful house and is a VP at a corporation. Just LOOK at her! I bet she doesn’t appreciate how successful and easy her life is!”
What you don't know is this VP travels for work so much she has missed games, shows, birthdays and other family events and wishes every day to be successful enough in her finances that she can leave her job for more time at home.
“She speaks about how her business earns 7 figures and trains others all the time to do the same. I don’t see my business ever getting to that level of success. There are only a few who are lucky enough to do it!”
In the meantime, the business owner battles with depression, anxiety and daily self doubt. She doesn’t feel successful because she worries all the time and doesn’t feel joy.
I read Pia Silva’s recent article on Forbes.com about defining success for yourself and it inspired me to write this. This is what I asked myself when coming up with my definition:
Am I making six figures in my business? No
Do I struggle to pay bills each month? Yup
Do I own my own home? Not yet.
Do I take vacations every year? Hell, I rarely take A vacation!
Am I an in-demand speaker or trainer? Nope
Am I thinking way too small in my business? My coach will say I am!
Have I grown enough to add staff? Nah-I like being a solopreneur!
Does this mean I’m NOT SUCCESSFUL? Maybe to some. But to me, NO, that is not what it means at all. Nope. Nope. Nope. The Judgers may look at me and think I’m not, but they don’t know what success means to me.
How I Define Success
This month marks 5 years since I left my corporate job and my employee mentality in the dust.
Every day I stay out of corporate America and off someone’s payroll is a successful day. Five years I’ve made it on my own!!!
I made BIG sacrifices to start my business with my #1 goal to keep my daughter (who was in 6th grade when I left corp America) enrolled in the amazing private school she had been since kindergarten. Her education and time at that school was my priority always.
Every month I make the tuition payment is a successful month. I cried when she graduated from elementary school because we made it happen financially. Now, I make tuition payments to an amazing private high school and feel that same pride.
My daughter is a 3 sport athlete and plays on the Varsity team as a sophomore on two of the 3 sports. She has played on a school team since 6th grade (that’s 15 seasons of games so far!)
Every 3pm game that I attend to watch her and cheer her on means I’m successful. I went from being the Working Parent who no one knew because I rarely could attend school functions, to being the one who her coaches know by first name because I’m always there. Her dad rarely can make the time or drive to see her play, but she’ll remember Mom being there when she looks back on this part of her life.
I have a healthy relationship with a pretty incredible guy whom I get to put down my work and “play” with whenever we want that time together. He supports me and is proud that I work my business like I do every day. Success to me, is having that supportive person who makes you laugh and enjoy life.
My business may be “small”; it may just be me, but I get to meet and collaborate with so many incredible, supportive people for business and to help me grow personally and professionally. They are all badasses! Every day I connect with my tribe brings instant success because I'm inspired and confident!
You can’t tell me any of this isn’t a measure of success!! Don't get me wrong, I still have a lot of growth and goals to achieve. And I will and when I do there will be new goals. See, success is never-ending and always changing. You don't get to success and stop.
So you see, in my eyes, I’m very successful. Others may not agree, but it is not their opinion or definition that matters to me.
I challenge you to reflect on your own definition of success. I’d love to hear how you define it for yourself.