One of the things that those of us who own our own businesses have in common is that we don’t find it imperative to do things the way everyone else does.
A 9-5 job with paid vacation and benefits? Corporate politics, the same routine every day and a cubicle without a window. No thanks.
Our definition of success probably looks a little different too. Corner office, company car and expense account? Nah.
If you are running your own business, doing work you truly enjoy, in your pajamas, in your living room at midnight after the family is asleep, how do you define success?
Probably a bit differently than our corporate counterparts, that’s for sure. After all it’s not the success we’ve been trained to see.
You may consider your business a success if it pays the rent or mortgage leaving your mind free to conjure up new creations instead of worrying about where you will live next month.
Does success look like being able to knock off for the day when the kids come home from school, or to be able to take a day off if one of them is sick?
Does getting your work published or reaching the 12,000th sale feel successful?
The thing is that your success and the success of your business is determined by you. And you only. This is where having a business plan and goals comes in pretty handy.
But what about the less tangible things? Free time, flexible schedule, the ability to work from anywhere?
Here are some ways to help you define what success means to you.
Write out, on paper, what success means to you. What do you want to accomplish? Pretend you are at the end of your life and write out all of the things you, and your business have accomplished. Read this now and then.
Make sure your business goals and your life goals are compatible. Your personal life affects your business and your business affects your personal life. Maybe you want to have X number of employees and X amount of annual revenue, but how does that fit with your personal goals? Compare the two sets of goals and make sure they are compatible. If they aren’t, adjust.
Keep a daily business journal. Simply jot down the days accomplishments and each day read the entry from the year before. You will probably be amazed at how far you’ve come in a year.
Celebrate all of your successes, even the little ones.
Every business owner will have a different idea of success. Some may look more like what we are used to seeing but others want a simple life. The good part is that you get to decide.
What does success look like for you?