Question #9: How will I know if I am successful?
This is the ninth in a series of thoughts and opinions by Graham Edwards and Renée Cormier — click here to read the backstory and inspiration (if only for the entertainment). It should be noted that neither of us have seen or discussed our answers before they are posted, which in our mind makes this all the more interesting.
In this blog series we will attempt to answer ten different questions business owners may need answered, using our individual and unique perspectives and approaches. It is our hope that this series will inspire both action and interaction. Please feel free to comment and ask more questions.
I don’t know — you will have to tell me.
Since success needs to be measured against the goals and objectives you set for yourself, it goes without saying only you will know if you’re successful. Sure, there are societal norms and conventions that you can use to benchmark yourself against, but in the end you define your own success.
Oh everyone has an opinion on this; just ask anyone and they will have quite the perspective on it — although I’ve found if you keep pressing you may find they actually struggle to articulate what success really is. I’ve even checked the Internet and found a site called Lifehack — sure enough Missy Yost offered up 20 definitions of success you should never ignore (bless her heart).
- Success is always doing your best
- Success is properly setting concrete goals
- Success is having a place to call home
- Success is understanding the difference between need and want
- Success is believing you can
- Success is remembering to balance work with passion
- Success is taking care of your needs
- Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no
- Success is knowing your life is filled with abundance
- Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away
- Success is overcoming fear
- Success is seeing your child graduate
- Success is learning something new each day
- Success is learning that losing a few battles can help you win a war
- Success is loving and being loved back
- Success is standing your ground when you believe in something
- Success is not giving up
- Success is celebrating small victories
- Success is never letting a disability hold you back
- Success is understanding you control your destiny
So there you go.
You may be saying to yourself, “But gpe, we are talking about how will I know I’m successful with my business.” Again, I will say, “I don’t know — you will have to tell me”. You have goals and objectives for your business don’t you?
PS: The only perspective I can really offer is when you set your Goals & Objectives, set them HIGH.
I think this may be a bit of a lame question, but as I recall, I was the one who came up with it, so I’m going to provide you with my best answer. People define success in many ways, and it is different for everybody. For some, you are successful if you have a lot of money. For others success is the result of having completed any goal. Are you successful if you don’t have a spouse and 2.4 children? Are you successful if you never own a house or a car? Ask the Dalai Lama.
Years ago, I was listening to a Brian Tracey tape (yes, it was a while ago) about success. He gave a definition that always stuck with me, which was something along the line of achieving any goal with integrity. He went on to say that money is not a measure of success per se. Drug dealers have enormous amounts of money, but you can’t really call a criminal a successful person. They lie, cheat, steal, kill and corrupt to reach their goals. A runner who shoves a competitor out of the way in order to win, is not a successful runner, even if he is first over the finish line. The journey to success is as important as the end result.
So how will you know if you are successful? Look around you. What are you grateful for? Have you set goals in your life? Have you achieved any of them? Have you achieved your goals with integrity? Have you ever failed?
I think truly successful people, never really arrive. Not that they cannot be satisfied, but rather, they find it difficult to stop challenging themselves. Success breeds success. I also think that failure breeds success. You cannot know what you want until you experience what you don’t want. Most successful business people have had their share of failures too. Being able to recognize what is not working and why is a good thing. Have you made mistakes? Did you learn from them? Are you still moving toward your next goal? Do you feel good about the things you have done? Are you a happy person? I daresay, if you can answer yes to these questions, you are likely quite successful.
The definition of success to me is not necessarily a price tag, not fame, but having a good life, and being able to say I did the right thing at the end of the day. - Jeremy Luke
Thanks to the social media platform beBee, Renée Cormier & Graham Edwards developed a business relationship and friendship that typically involves regular meetings, goal setting sessions, etc. Our meetings often provide the fuel for plans around business strategy, blog ideas and more.