I don’t know about you, but I always get reflective around the end of the year. Maybe it has something to do with the weather. Or it could be the sappy holiday music that’s been filling every public space for the last month. At any rate, lately the topic of success has been occupying my brain-space. What is success? How should we measure it? Is success in business different than success in life? For small business owners, that’s a tough distinction. We pour so much of our time, energy, and ourselves into our businesses that it’s hard to separate the two.
With that in mind, I sat down this morning to contemplate what makes me feel successful. And here’s what I’ve discovered.
- Money – a typical measure of success for businesses (and individuals) – does not guarantee that I feel successful at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong: making money feels great and losing money hurts, but that’s not what gets me through the day.
- Feeling successful has more to do with my daily mindset. If I feel productive and accomplished at the end of the day, then it’s been a successful day. But if I feel frustrated or discouraged, I don’t feel successful.
I still don’t have any answers to my initial questions (What is success, etc.). My inclination is that the definition of success is unique to each individual. Personal and business goals are probably different, but for small business owners, they are related. Maybe even dependent (ie. Personal success is dependent on business success and vice versa).
While my morning of contemplation hasn’t lead me to any solid answers, I do have a slew of additional questions. Is there a difference between feeling successful and being successful? What impact does mindset have on actual success? How can I use my desire to be productive to make my business more profit?
I see further explorations of how to measure success in our future. For now though, I’m still ruminating. And listening to some holiday music.