What is your definition of success? What do you need to achieve to feel that you have reached your potential? Are you seeking money and prestige? Are you striving to be an expert in your field? Are you focused on making a meaningful impact on the community? It can be challenging to distinguish our own values from the ones we are constantly bombarded with in the media. While this big-picture thinking isn’t easy, it’s better to do it now so that you can ensure what you are doing today is bringing you closer to your vision of success.
Personal Success vs. Business Success
Do your personal goals and business goals support each other or are they in conflict? When you consider all of your goals together, are they realistic or are you setting yourself up for frustration? For example, are you planning on having two children at home while at the same time running a business that requires your full attention? It’s good to be ambitious, but if you’re biting off more than you can chew, you may be putting a lot of additional stress on both yourself and your family. Be realistic about what you can manage, and if necessary, don’t be afraid to put some of your goals on hold while you prioritize other ones.
Whether or not you will be successful in achieving your goals will be largely determined by your outlook. We all experience setbacks, but your ability to weather them is shaped by how you perceive them. For example, if you lose an important client, do you view that as a fatal blow to your business, or an opportunity to try something new? If you tend to be a bit of a pessimist, this is something to be mindful of and work to change. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Working on it each day.
Once you have determined what success looks like for you, the next step is to make a plan. How are you going to achieve your goals? Break it down into smaller goals and give yourself deadlines. You should be doing something every day that takes you closer to your vision of success. Take a look on your plan at least once a week to determine if you are on the right track, or if your strategy needs a little tweaking. Many people will create an elaborate plan for achieving their goals only to stick it in a drawer and forget about it. You are only going to be successful if you make it a part of your daily routine.
George Sheehan said that “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” Who were you meant to be? What were you meant to accomplish? The life that you want isn’t just going to fall into your lap; you have to take charge and make it happen.