How do you define success?
I thought I’d be successful when I reached 10K months in my skincare business. Isn’t that the financial goal everyone aspires to, the goal post that signifies you made it?
But once I got there, the money didn’t make me feel safe or excited. If anything, I felt bored with the work I was doing. It paid well, but I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me.
Can you really call yourself successful when you’re making lots of money doing something you’re not passionate about?
There were times in my life when I was broke and struggling to pay my bills… and yet I felt excited because I was finally building the right business and doing the work that made my soul happy.
Can you really call yourself successful when you’re pursuing your calling but haven’t reaped the financial rewards yet?
You could drive yourself crazy with these questions. Even if we all agreed on one definition of success, would it align with your own unique mix of values and goals? What happens if it doesn’t?
A better approach is defining what success means to YOU, so you can create the right business for you and live your life on your own terms. Here’s how to define success on your own terms and finally achieve what YOU desire – and feel good about it:
How I Found Out What Success Means To Me
Once I realised skincare wasn’t it, I decided to start to pursue my true calling and help ambitious female entrepreneurs master their mindset and heal their number one block to success, so they can ditch the hustle and overwhelm and reach their big income and business goals with ease.
My original idea was to create online courses and membership sites, but all my mentors told me there was no money in it. The key to 6-figures was starting with high ticket 1:1 coaching programmes, move onto group coaching programmes and, eventually, if I really still wanted to do it, I could create an online course or a membership site.
So, I did what they recommended and… I got results. I signed up clients. I made money. But… I still was not happy. I did NOT feel successful. I felt like I was betraying myself and my mission and building a different business from the one my soul wanted me to build. When I voiced these concerns to my coaches, they told me it was just fear rearing its ugly head and to keep going.
Months went by and my resistance to this model grew so strong, I sabotaged big time. Let’s just say it took a big financial crisis to make me realise I wasn’t willing to keep investing my money and time in the wrong business. So, I decided to pull the brakes on the action plan I had created with my coaches, take time off and re-evalute what I wanted to do and the business I wanted to build.
I still have big financial goals for this business. But money is NOT what drives me. To me, the real definition of success is pursuing your calling, doing the work you’re meant to do in the world (even when it’s challenging and everyone else thinks you’re crazy), and having enough money to enjoy my life.
Success to me is not a number in my bank account. It’s pursuing my calling and living life on my own terms. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. I finally feel successful.
How do you define success?
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Why You Need To Define Success On Your Terms
If you don’t know what success means to you, how can you achieve it?
You’ll spend your entire life making my mistake and chasing someone else’s definition of success. Even if you get there, you’ll never feel happy and fulfilled. Here’s what happens when you follow the wrong definition of success:
- You lose track of the things that are important to you.
- You get the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome and can’t enjoy the journey until you get to your destination.
- You feel dissatisfied when you reach your goals because they don’t bring you the happiness they promised you.
- You constantly push the goal further, thinking that a bigger house or a higher paycheck will fulfil you.
- You become bitter, resentful, and angry because all your hard work isn’t paying off.
- You never fulfil your own potential and do the work you came on this planet to do.
I don’t want this to happen to you. That’s why one of the first things I do with my clients is to help them define success on their own terms and get clear on what they want, so they can build the right business for them and a life on their own terms.
How to Define Success On Your Own Terms
It’s time to come up with your own definition of success.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Grab pen and paper and answer the following questions:
- What are your career goals? What contribution do you want to make through your work?
- What are your financial goals? What kind of lifestyle do you want to live?
- What are your relationship goals? What kind of daughter/sister/mother/friend/girlfriend/wife do you want to be?
- What do you want to give back to your community?
These are some of the areas to consider when jotting down your definition of success. But free feel to include anything else that is meaningful to you.
Once you’ve answered all the questions, look at the common themes and what’s really important to you.
Then, write down: My definition of success is _____________________________
Here are a few examples:
- Success is spending a lot of time in nature and connect with people on a deeper, spiritual level.
- Success is prioritising the people I love over external achievements.
- Success is being my own boss, becoming financially independent, and prioritising self-care.
- Success is surrounding myself with beautiful designs and immersing myself in the beauty of nature.
- Success is being fun, carefree, and living life on my own terms without guilt.
- Success is building my own empire in an ethical and sustainable way and creating meaningful relationships with my loved ones.
Success comes in all shapes and forms. Find the one that fits you and pursue it.
How To Pursue Success On Your Own Terms
Now that you have YOUR OWN definition of success, how do you make sure you’re building a business that’s aligned with it? Here are a few questions to get you started:
1. Is This Really My Dream Business?
Are you downsizing your dreams because you think they’re not realistic? Maybe you want to run a membership site with 100.000 members, but you tell yourself it’s not possible, so you keep doing 1:1 coaching instead.
Or maybe you’re starting a Youtube channel so that you can become famous, travel the world all expenses paid, and receive lots of designer goods for free – all the thing society tells you you should strive for -, but deep down, you feel unhappy and you don’t even know why.
Or maybe your friends told you that you’d be a great personal assistant and you thought that’d be a better job than working at Starbucks… But now you’re bored to death.
In all these cases, you’re pursuing what you think you should be doing, NOT what you really want to do. Deep down, you know it. When you pursue a dream that’s not your own, you’re just not excited about it. Your true dreams and desires give you butterflies in your stomach – and they scare you a little, too.
Before we go any further, let’s evaluate if you’re really building YOUR dream business.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Grab pen and paper and answer these questions:
- What goals and dreams are you pursuing right now?
- Did someone push you to pursue this dream or was it your idea?
- Does it excite you or bore you?
2. What’s Your Why?
Once you know you’re pursuing YOUR dream, get clear on why you want to make it come true.
As a multi-passionate, I have dreams of becoming a fashion stylist, a West End actress, write for Vogue, have my own skincare line… Most of these dreams will never come true. Why? Because my why is not strong enough. They’re all things I’d like to do, but they don’t fulfil me near as much as coaching does.
Pursuing a dream – any dream – takes hard work, perseverance, and dedication. You’ll encounter challenges and, at times, you’ll want to give up. If you’re pursuing it just for the sheer fun of it, what happens when it’s not fun anymore? If you’re going after the money and the fame, what happens when you realise you need to work way harder than you thought?
To keep going, you need a strong why, a mission that’s bigger than yourself, that you just can’t not do.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Journal on why you’re pursuing this dream:
- Why is this dream so important to you?
- What impact do you want to make?
- How would making this dream come true change your life?
- How would it change other people’s lives?
- Is this something you can’t not do?
3. Does This Dream Fit Into My Definition Of Success?
By this point, you know how you define success. Before you commit to any dream – or anything else – make sure that it fits into that definition. If not, you’re pursing the wrong thing.
Let’s say you’re starting your coaching business. You receive an email asking you to speak at this popular conference on the other side of the world. The money is good and you know you may get several high-ticket clients this way.
But your definition of success is to impact people in your local community and spend more time with your family. When you look at this speaking opportunity through this lens, you realise it’s not aligned with your definition of success. So, you turn it down. Guilt-free.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Are the dreams and goals you’re pushing now aligned with your definition of success? Why? Why not?
If they are, great! Keep pursuing them. If not, time to ditch them and focus on what truly matters to you.
Wrapping It Up
When you define success on your own terms, you can start pursuing only those goals and dreams that are aligned with it and create the business and life YOU have always been dreaming about.