In my recent blog post, The Trap Of The Traditional Business Success Model, I shared how easily many entrepreneurs slide into the traditional money centred focus with it being how they define success… and why it’s a trap.
In another recent blog post, Beyond Money, Why Are You Really In Business, I shared my own story of how I chose to define success early on and how it lead to me sliding into this same trap, resulting in devastating consequences.
Furthering those thoughts, Neil Pasricha recently wrote “How To Make More Money Than A Harvard MBA”, built on the age old premise of work smarter not harder (or longer) and the consequences when we don’t.
What if, instead of money being your central and primary focus, it was something else?
What if that something was much deeper and even more important to you than money alone?
What if that something inspires you to reframe how you look at and approach your life and your business so that you do work smarter and not longer or unnecessarily harder?
What if that something, and the reframing you do because of it, actually results in you earning all the income you want WHILE ALSO having the freedom and balance to live the life you love?
Would that be a good thing?
When you define your success at a deeper level than money alone and shift from working harder and working longer, especially when that has been out of habit and an unconscious belief of just the way it is, you open up a pathway of positive productivity resulting in what you had originally wanted all along… money… but with so much more!
So it leads back to my original question. How do you define success?
Your definition. Not the one you arbitrarily follow because it was a repeated message growing up or one that you’ve heard over and over in the media.
Success is exactly what you define it to be. It answers why you are in business, why you wake up and do what you do every day, what is most important to you in life, what you value and any other question on this level.
How I Define Success
When my wife, Gail, and I first began dating we were each planning an amazing life adventure. She was off to Africa while I was heading to Guatemala and Belize. Each unique in their own way. Each an amazing adventure for us in ways we could not have expected. Traveling off the beaten path as few would ever choose to do was something we both loved. In our first number of years together we adventured in this way to several more destinations including Panama, Peru, Bolivia, and the Bahamas.
When our daughter was born our travel continued but wasn’t quite as adventurous. In the first two years of her life our daughter had more stamps in her passport than many adults I know. This was the right form of travel at the time but we knew that one day the adventure travel we did before would be something we wanted to reintroduce into our lives and share with her.
Last year the time was right. We headed on our first family adventure vacation to Thailand and loved it. We flew into Phuket and out of Bangkok and only had our first and last night hotel booked, except for one excursion to an elephant sanctuary. Everything else was backpack style, spur of the moment spontaneous planning and living. We visited five different areas, traveled by air, boat, bus, and tuk tuk! We stayed in nice hotels, in beach front bungalows, at a sanctuary with elephants sleeping just outside our room, and even on a floating hotel on a river in the jungle. We zip lined, SCUBA dove, snorkelled, hiked, learned of culture, talked with monks, and ate some pretty amazing food.
Something I’ve always said is “life is meant to be embraced, enjoyed, and fully lived; not merely endured!” Well on this trip we did all that and much much more. It was an experience we’ll never forget.
Having the freedom and ability to create amazing experiences such as this is one way of defining success. It’s the way I resonate with most but it certainly is not the only way. It’s one that inspires and fuels me to do what I do, to help others achieve their own success, and to create the means to be able to make it happen as often as I want.
So what is success to you? What is important to you? WHY?
Dive a little deeper and you can begin to define success for yourself and in your terms.
Take a look at it this way. If you were to fast forward yourself one year, 5 years, or to the end of your life where you could look back and say… well that was one darn successful year, 5 years or life, then how would you describe that successful period of time?
- Is it centred around things such as a nice home or a great car?
- Is it about the experiences you create such as vacations or travel?
- Is it having ample leisure, recreational, or social time?
- Is it having a happy, healthy family?
- Does success come through your work such as building an empire or impacting an industry or even the world?
- Does success come from another side of your business such as making a difference in lives of staff or partners or delivering quality to clients?
- Is it the ability to freely create and do what you are passionate about doing?
- Then again is success simply being able to go to sleep with a smile on your face from a day well lived and a job well done?
Every one of these can be how you define success. Yours might be something completely different. That’s the beauty of it. Define it in a way that totally resonates with you, that brings a smile to your face just thinking about it, and then use it as part of your inspiration and motivation to make it happen more and more with each passing day.
So, do you have it yet? Fully?
If you feel you do and you’ve designed your business and your life in a way that works for you in delivering this success then congratulations! Hold onto it as part of your Entrepreneurial Compass guiding you each and every day.
If not and some aspect of business or life adds stress and keeps you awake at night or some aspect of the pursuit of your current view of success overwhelms you, drains you then something must change. Start with changing how you define success.
If the path ahead feels daunting, contract me. The support I offer is designed to help you work through that.
Stay tuned for my next post as I take this whole concept even one step further and unveil my new Life Success Model and how it helps reframe your thinking and acting in alignment with the success you desire.