Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “what does success looks like for me and my business?”

It's not always a question we take time to really think about or analyze at any depth.  But if you haven't really thought about it, you could be making a mistake for you and your business.

When you start with the end in mind, you can build a business that supports the life you want to live and allows you to define your own version of success.

When I was going through my downsizing journey and tiny house adventure, I spent a lot of time analyzing what made me happy and started getting really clear on what I wanted out of life.

Although I had started life with a very conventional view of what success looked like, my attitude and views shifted as I started downsizing.  I went from wanting the traditional American Dream (you know a good degree, secure job, happy marriage, nice house and a dog) to wanting my own dream that looked a little different than what others said I should want.

Success was a lot less about accumulating all the trappings of a "successful" life and a lot more about collecting experiences that added value to my life. I was clear on who I was and what I wanted, and that was an incredibly liberating experience.

SO imagine my surprise when I realized that my vision of success for my business had been hijacked by the "experts" in the coaching and business world...after all I just KNEW I wanted to create a million dollar business.  If I could earn that much money, my business would be a success!

UGH...why is it so easy to get sucked into the conventional image of success?

I had bought into the lie that my business was only successful if it was generating a certain amount of income.  Now don't get me wrong, most of us build businesses to create at least some profit.  Otherwise we would just have expensive hobbies, but why I had decided that success was tied to the revenue my business generated?

Luckily, I realized pretty early in my business journey, that the income generated by my business was only part of the success equation.  I also realized I didn't need to earn seven figures to be completely satisfied.

Today my version of business success looks a little different.

Success is being able to use my skills and gifts on a daily basis and feel completely in alignment with my purpose and passion.

I'm proud of the clients I have worked with and I get immense joy from watching them move forward with their businesses.

I am reminded that success is living authentically and in alignment with my values even in my business adventures.

As your virtual coach, I want to keep you from ever falling into the trap of chasing a particular income goal without being really clear on the why behind it.  Today I challenge you to really identify what success looks like in your life and business.  Answer the following questions to get really clear on your version of success.

1. How much does your dream life really cost?

I had a coach that once challenged me to map out my ideal life and then associate a dollar amount with it.  It was an incredibly powerful exercise.

I dreamed as big as I could!  I imagined living every day in alignment with my values and having the financial resources to pursue my dreams and goals.  It turns out that the number I needed from a financial perspective was significantly less that one might imagine.  It turns out that my dream life doesn't require seven figures, or even half of that.

Take the time to map out what success would look like for you and your family and put a dollar amount to all the things you want to do.

If you want to build your dream home, take vacations three times a year or pay for all your children's college expenses, great!  Figure out what those things cost and create a plan.

It turns out that most of us don't have 7 figure dreams, and therefore don't need 7 figure business to be successful.  If your dream life does require a 7 figure income, that's okay least you know what you are shooting for and more importantly why that number will allow you to be successful in business.

2. How do you want to spend your time?

It's also important to figure out what success looks like in terms of a time commitment in your business.   How do you want to spend your days?  What activities give you joy?  How much time do you want to spend working on your business each day that works with the rest of your life?  What does your ideal day, week and month look like?

When I looked at these questions, I realized that I wanted to have time to work in my business, but I also wanted time to pursue my hobbies, spend time with my family and travel.  That picture of my ideal day, week and month gave me insight into what type of business model I needed to create to be content.

3. How can you build a business that helps you fund your dream life without consuming your life?

Once you have your income goals based on a realistic understanding of what your dream life looks like, you can begin to build your business offerings.

This is where you start deliberately planning how you are going to spend your time in your business to meet your financial goals.  It might mean that you spend a little more time on the business up front to create systems and programs that can fund your dream in the future.  Or maybe your business goals are always to have a side-hustle that gives you extra cash for those family vacations, but doesn't require 40 hours a week to run.

When I did this exercise I realized I didn't want to coach one-on-one for more than 5-10 hours a week. That meant I needed to focus on building group programs, online courses and speaking engagements to help build my ideal business.

Balance is going to look a little different for everyone, and it's okay for it to shift over time.  Don't get caught into believing the way you run your business now is necessarily how it's going to run in a year, 5 years or 10 years.  Create a plan for what fits into your life today and always be willing to adjust your business model as your priorities shift.

Hopefully, by taking a conscious look at what success looks like for you, you'll be able to build a business that you love to support the life you want to lead.

I'd love to hear your version of success.

Share your vision with us!