Whose definition of success are you aligning as your own? Growing up, the definition of success for our nuclear family would have sounded something like: grow up, complete college, find meaningful work that you can be paid a living wage for, and serve the community where you can. Love your family and steward your gifts so that they may serve others. In my friend’s family the answer would have been: Find a job you can enjoy, commit to a marriage you can be proud of, and don’t let money be the determiner of your happiness. Yet the television, media and many blaring outlets would sound more like ” Make a million dollars and your life will be fulfilled.” If you ask my four year old neighbor, the answer will change daily, but today’s was “Success is about not being in time out because you messed yourself up.” Pretty astute don’t you think, he’s often the wise one among us.
Before you can define if you’re successful you may wish to consider what it is you want for an outcome in life and that includes your outcome in business too.
How do I want to show up every day?
What kinds of engagement/work do I prefer to create?
How will I spend the majority of my work time? What setting? What kind of cohorts or peers? What kind of clients will I serve?
Who is important to me in my life, how do I show up for them?
What choices do I have that I perhaps am not owning are a choice?
- Where I live
- What I do
- How I engage with others
- When I am paid
- How I transact my skills for income
- When do I laugh, what brings joy? How do I have fun?
What rhythms could be different?
- Times of day I work
- Sounds in my environment…music…ease…work space….
- What am I fed by visually?
- Do I like the schedule I am working…do I need intense days and quiet days?
- Do I like rigid routines or am I bored if I do not have some space to change it up?
- Where do I feed my mind? Classes, Courses, Sports, Communications?
What areas am I not supporting in my life that might need focused support?
- Spiritual needs?
- Business paperwork?
What’s working in my life that I’d like more of?
In the last few years, my husband and I changed a good bit of how I work, how we work together, and how we enact daily life at home. Why? We had a good life, we had a home in the “right” part of town, we liked ourselves and our life. We realized, however, that our hearts were more about re-enacting a life we had known as children, we sought and bought a little piece of land. We purchased a home that would require work, but would be ours to grow this part of our life in. We focused on the things that worked in our marriage and work and decided that we would focus more on what worked for us and let go of some “standard” thinking that wasn’t working for us. I tend to be in an environment where “more, more, more” is thought to be the driving factor for success. However, Les and I continue to witness in our work separately and together, that accelerated income is only worthwhile to the point it doesn’t become the driving factor of your existence. We are simple folks, and we have an idea where “enough” is for our lives. Now don’t get me wrong, we love financial success and we live a formula in our incomes that produces it, but that’s just ONE part of what we define as success for our family.
What are your definers of success? We included the thoughts below in ours:
- Time that focuses each other and our children as important weekly
- A pace of living that allows for peace, not chaos internally, despite supporting complex projects.
- Debt Freedom
- The ability to share with others in time and in service
- A relationship to each other that allows us both to grow
- Stewardship of the gifts we were given in such a way that others can be given to in relationship, in time, and in giving
- Dedicated time and places to cherish those we have chosen as family throughout the year.
Success is so much more than income earned, it’s a building a life that uses the foundation of who you are to support raising the life purpose that makes your heart whole. Are you ready to define what success is for you? Isn’t it important to take an exit time to time and check your map, fuel, and experience along the journey of your success?