Getting Clear About Success

What does success look like for you personally?

How do you measure if you have a successful business?

We’ve been talking to our son a lot about the idea of success, as he’s been thinking about his future. Where does he want to go to college? What does he want to do after college? He really wants to be “successful,” but I have been challenging him on what that really looks like. Why does he want to be successful?

To me, success is a by-product of a worthy pursuit. The important part is the worthy pursuit. I believe we are all wired as humans to make an impact in the world around us. Each of us is created to do that in a very unique way. Some of us create art, music, or meals that bring great joy to day-to-day life. Some of us design products or services that make life easier. Some of us write, speak or compete in order to inspire others towards excellence. Some of us serve as teachers, nurses, or physicians. The list goes on.

When we do any of those things, I believe we are successful.

Happy, Smart, Useful

Derek Sivers has a neat take on making important decisions, that I believe falls in line with what success is all about. He encourages us to carefully consider 3 things:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What’s smart — meaning long-term good for you?
  • What’s useful to others?

I believe if we genuinely consider each of these things and are disciplined about pursuing them, we will find great meaning and satisfaction out of life.

No Short-Cuts To Success

For owners, the path to success in our business is more complex and requires great perseverance and grit. It’s a bit more defined, so we need to be clear on what we are pursuing and how we should go about it.

Richard Branson recently wrote an article about success: Five Rough Guidelines for Creating a Successful Business. He says there are no short-cuts, and I would agree. Success comes as a result of doing many things well, over and over again.

Here are his top five guidelines:

  1. Create a useful product or service
  2. Simplify your message
  3. Market yourself
  4. Embrace social media
  5. Keep on enjoying what you do

If you are seeking to grow a successful business, it’s great to carefully think through this list. Which are you doing well? In what areas could you do better?

What I loved about this list is how personally connected we can be to the pulse of our business. Richard Branson continues to be the front face for the Virgin Brand, and I think he’s having the time of his life. We can seek to embrace more of the opportunities business affords us – putting ourselves out there socially and keeping an eye out for new opportunities for business and relationships.

Contact Me

I love helping people with #2 and #3 on this list! Let me know if you’d like to meet for a phone call or coffee if you’d like to talk through some ideas.

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