A Case for Why Your Definition of Success Should Change Every. Single. Day.

I’ve always been a firm advocate for each and every person being entitled to have their own personal definition of success, and having that be respected by other entrepreneurs.

If you pop me next to a fellow entrepreneur, you might see some stark differences in what we both define as “success”.

I know a lot of entrepreneurs, my fiancé included, who have the big vision of investing several years into a company with dreams of making a full million dollars from their efforts. That’s the dream for some entrepreneurs.

But then, there are others, like me, who define success differently. Others who happily feel “they’ve made it” when they’re making a comfortable income, working from home, and have an abundance of freedom and flexibility to work with. That’s my dream.

And that’s exactly what I have.

So by all definitions, my personal “higher-level” version of success has been achieved.

But that’s not where success ends for me.

And it’s not where success should end for you, either.

I dissect each day differently, based on the variables of that day.

Maybe I have a ton of meetings, or have a coffee date with a fellow entrepreneur, or maybe my anxiety is acting up and it’s simply just a massive task to get out of bed. These variables, also known as the “moving pieces” in my business, are going to directly affect what my definition of “success” looks like at any given time.

I practice a lot of grace and patience with myself, rather than tearing myself down when feeling like I’m having a hard day.

So that said, every single day I sit down at my desk, look at the Post It note on the wall to the right of me, and ask myself:

As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to be your biggest advocate. You can’t expect anyone else to do that for you. It’s possible when you’re running your own shit, and things have been pretty repetitive for a while, that you risk becoming apathetic in your business. I only just resurfaced from a 3–4 month highly apathetic phase with my own, and it was terrible.

I understood that feeling this way didn’t mean, “I guess this is all there is for me”. No, no. Instead, it was my gut raising a red flag and saying:

It’s never great to feel apathetic in your career, or life, in general. But I can definitely say that when I was working a 9–5 and began to get a little bored with things, it wasn’t as big a deal as when that apathy exists in my business.

Because at the end of the day, with a 9–5, I always found it far easier to just walk out those doors of the marketing agency, and turn off. Once my stiletto heels hit the concrete, I was off the clock and my to-do list for tomorrow wasn’t even a consideration.

My biggest concern was whether or not I would get a seat on the bus.

But when you run your own business, it’s a hell of a lot harder to turn off at the end of the day. I can say for a fact that having my own working space, in a separate room of my house, has made a world of difference with this. Because when I’m done for the day, I can just close the door, and both mentally and physically separate my awareness and attention from my business dealings — at least a little bit.

But still, even with that door closed, my business and I are still interconnected.

Its brand is my brand, its goals are my goals, its reputation is my reputation.

So, your business is part of the slim 10% of businesses that survive, when 90% of your counterparts did not. Imagine, sitting in a room with 10 entrepreneurs, you included, and statistically considering that only one of you is going to be successful in your business venture.

Wild. Amazing — you deserve every bit of success you have earned to get here!

If only that meant you were set for life, right?

No, now you have to continue to make your business thrive from month to month, and year to year. Your business is its own breathing being, with a life force and energy, and you have to keep this being alive — because while it is its own entity, it is also part of you.

So when something is feeling off in your business, it doesn’t just stay behind that closed door of your office. It seeps out from underneath the crack between the carpet and the hardwood of the hallway, and it drifts through your home until it finds you.

When my business feels off, I feel off. Life feels off.

And then suddenly, everything goes into red-alert.

My goals from a few months ago aren’t even on my radar anymore — if my living and breathing business is going to survive, I have to be adaptable in changing with its natural currents, and the tons of variables which are simply out of my control.

So having a business in red-alert is just an example — this is not to say you should only redefine your definition of success each day solely when your business is in trouble.

As we actively recommit to our business and the entrepreneurial lifestyle each day by choosing to invest and build directly into it, we too are intentionally accepting the risks which come with this commitment. We accept the uncertainty, and the fluctuations in the market, and the instability of our income, which depends on some elements we have absolutely no say in.

Scary, right?

Yeah well, there’s a reason those 9 other people in the room with you didn’t achieve what you have.

It’s a tumultuous landscape to work in every day, and it takes a really special kind of person to be able to make that shit happen.

So that said, when things are unstable, we have to be able to adapt quickly to the circumstances of any given day, hour or minute.

Being in-tune with the beating heart of your business is key to catching red-flags or issues as soon as possible, so that you can find a remedy, cure or even a temporary band-aid to stop the bleeding. The faster we can apply pressure, the better we can protect the health of our businesses, and keep them thriving for another day.

Checking in with ourselves as entrepreneurs is a must to being able to make it through this hectic, changing and often intimidating career we’ve chosen and built of ourselves.

But when we do make it through this beautiful chaos, satisfaction and achievement are waiting for us at the finish line.

Every. Single. Damn. Day.

And that’s what makes all of this so completely and utterly worth it.

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A Case for Why Your Definition of Success Should Change Every. Single. Day.

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