The dictionary definition is – The accomplishment of an aim or purpose – but what is your definition?
During the branding process we talk about your vision for your business and your short and long term business goals.
But in order to see your business’s future, and where you would like it and you to go, you need to know what your definition of success looks like.
Success looks different for everyone and surprise, surprise it’s very rarely defined by how much money you make! We also need to remember that goals and success aren’t a destination to reach but more just part of the journey through your business, career and personal life. People who are deemed successful by society don’t stop what they do when they become “successful”, they continue on through that journey.
Back in 2015 I thought I had worked out what my definition of success was but this year has proved I was wrong. That definition was based on a me from 7 years ago and I’ve clearly changed in that time.
This year has financially been my best since going 100% freelance 6 years ago (which is definitely a reason to celebrate and congratulate myself). I love being creative and helping others achieve their business dreams through thoughtful, aligned branding, but I still haven’t felt completely fulfilled this year. Having identified and started the assessment process for diagnosis of adult ADHD it’s made me reassess my whole identity – exactly who I am and what I want to do.
I thought success to me meant earning a living doing what I love but actually it’s so much more than that. I’ve realised success also looks different in different aspects of life too but ultimately is all measured by the same value
Recently I sat down and developed on my own exercise for defining success and saw a perfect pattern.
For me I’ve broken down my success into 3 areas – career, artistic (as I’m also a visual artist) and general life outside of the other two parameters. Here’s what I found.
Career success – earn a comfortable amount of money for me and my family for now and in the future over 3 days a week doing something that I love and that helps others.
Artistic success – create meaningful work that’s from the heart. If my work can educate others and make them think about their own choices in life or to feel empathy for other beings then that is a bonus.
Life success – to be unapologetically my childish, weird self and be liked and accepted by those that mean something to me.
So what was the pattern I saw? Connection. For someone who actively shies away from social situations my definition of success all about is creating meaningful connections with others, who knew! But also how perfect for someone who loves helping businesses connect with their audience and customers.
Before you embark on any branding work, goal setting or personal or business development, maybe take some time to look at your own definition of success and what that would look like to you.
A great place to start is to list out 10 people who you deem to be successful. Look at that list and see how they are mostly similar to each other (you may a few anomalies).
You will deem people successful in your own vision usually for the same things. Maybe there’s a musical artist you deem successful because they sell a lot of records, but think deeply about it, is it how many sales they make that makes them successful or is it that they earn a living doing what they love, making music that creates beauty in the world and touches people’s souls? Is the person who steps on everyone on their way to the top and pays workers peanuts successful or just rich? These are all questions to ask yourself on the way to finding out what success looks like to you.
Have a go, you may just be surprised at what you find out about your definition of success