What? As a smart, ambitious, innovative entrepreneur, you thought you had defined your business success, right? Think again! Most entrepreneurs believe they have created their unique definition of business success yet, once engaged in business coaching, they discover that their definition of success is not the success they really wanted for themselves. The success they are so passionately pursuing is influenced mightily by the expectations of others.
Wait a minute! Who are these elusive others defining success for you? These vague, indescribable others come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and degrees of influence. From our early days, parents and teachers told us to ‘stand up straight, respect your elders, and give it all we’ve got’. Today, business influencers and thought leaders profess that one needs to achieve monetary wealth, create a Fortune 500 company, be on the cover of Fast Company magazine for fill-in-the-blank, or pen a best-selling business book to achieve success.
I may be stretching it a bit but I think you get my point. It’s very common to adopt the principles, guidelines or standards of those we respect and admire without giving much thought to what success looks and feels like for us. And, you know what happens when you fail to adopt your personal definition of business success - not only does your true “success” elude you but the growing frustration and disappointment can become unbearable as the intangibility of attempting to achieve someone else’s success continues. Sound familiar? If so, it might be time for a little scavenger hunt to find the definition of success for you and your business.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Disconnect from the persuasion of others. To put your personal signature on your definition of success means disengaging from other’s description of success. This can be more difficult than you realize. In many ways, society and our circle of friends set the bar for what they define as success. Again, the thing to remember is that is about their expectations of and for you – not yours.
- Get clear on what success means to you. One of the biggest challenges most entrepreneurs face when deciding what success means to them is getting clear on what they really want. Like most, you’ve probably traveled down a dusty road in pursuit of success for so long that you’ve forgotten what’s most important to you. Don’t get frustrated if the image of success doesn’t come to you in a flash of brilliance. You may have to practice patience as you peel back the layers of other’s influence.
- Determine your own course. Like a salmon swimming upstream, it’s not always the path of least resistance that gets you to where you want to go. Sometimes it’s about being a bit unconventional in the way you approach your goals despite what the so-called ‘experts’ say or think.
Be honest with yourself. It’s much more exciting. And, btw, it's okay to want what you want.
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