The 21st century definition of success isn’t concrete, but often times people are considered successful if they drive a luxury car, live in a multi-million dollar home, have a lot of social media followers, and/or travel the world. Whether you agree with this, it’s important to know what makes people successful in your eyes.
And then you need to check yourself.
Let me be honest: it's very easy to get caught up with notions of success, but they belong to someone else entirely. As entrepreneurs we’re tempted to look at others and long for what they have simply because we don’t have it…but do we even want it? That’s the most important question. How you define your success will guide and direct your future decisions, so please be very careful as you move forward. You are the captain of your destiny, so stay away from tempestuous waters that might sway your ship.
Not having hundreds of thousands of followers is okay.
Working as a part-time business owner is okay.
Not running a large company is okay.
Not having hundreds of employees is okay.
Not making a million dollars a year is okay.
I doubt the above paragraph is grammatically correct, but I tried to show that what others consider success might be the last thing you want. It is okay (and totally suggested) for you to make your own rules, play your own game, and succeed on your terms.
My version of success is:
- Working from my pajamas most days
- Creating new projects from crazy ideas
- Writing everyday
- Traveling the world with my husband (and best friend)
- Homemade meals with my family
- Long lunches (that turn into happy hour) with my friends
- Practicing yoga everyday
- Running a profitable business that sustains my personal and professional goals
- Saving money to invest in future projects
For all intents and purposes, I’m a success. And I am successful. I can say this with confidence because I defined my own terms. And I want you to do the same. Someone might look at my idea of success and scoff, but guess what? I don’t care.
For me, owning a yacht, driving a Bentley, and/or having a butler open the front door to a mansion isn’t success, they are simply outward manifestations of having money. And while I wouldn’t mind having these things (especially a butler like Jeffrey from Fresh Prince of Bel Air), they wouldn’t define success. Why? Because if getting the yacht meant working so much I couldn’t write every day or make my family a meal to eat together, then I would be left empty and unfulfilled.
Having things isn’t success; living the life of your dreams by on your terms is. Now it’s your turn. As captain of your destiny, where do you want to go?