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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Success, What Does It Mean to You?

Success.  It's a many-faceted word.  To paraphrase Webster's, it's wealth, favor or eminence which is favorable, desired.  Or it can be a person who succeeds.

What does success look like for you?  You need to know so that you will recognize it when it appears in your life.

For me, success is not about the money so much as the freedom it brings me.  I am my own boss.  To me, that is my topmost sole definition of success.  Now, I do require a certain level of income to pay my bills, my mortgage, purchase food, etc.  And I look forward to increasing those earnings to have savings, investments, donations.  A cushion.  A mad money fund.

Yet, in the various self-help books I have read over the decades, there was a common thread found in many about how you succeed financially within your own business--not someone else's.  Not that you cannot become wealthy working for others.  You can.  You start early, you save consistently, you live off of seventy percent of your income.  You retire wealthy.  Still, America was founded on the efforts of the entrepreneur.  There are interesting statistics about entrepreneurs even today.  But I digress.

Stop.  Take even thirty minutes to define your version of success.  Maybe you need to brainstorm words to start.  Or you may prefer the visual approach and need to daydream your perfect twenty-four-hour period in order to translate that vision into the verbal or written mode.  Whichever, I believe we would all benefit from knowing our personal success definition.

That would explain why some books or methods don't reach us.  One may focus on making millions when $400,000 would set us up for life for all our wildest dreams.  Another may offer living off the land and funded largely by elbow grease, which would upset our more comfort-oriented people.  It's not that either approach is wrong as it is "wrong for them."

Keep an open mind.  Take half an hour and delve into your rational and emotional markers for your success.  Then watch as they unfold.

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