What Defines Success for You?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

As a kid I was involved in competitive sports. I realized pretty early on that to achieve what I definied as success, I needed to be specific in my goals.

One of my definitions of success was to earn a college scholarship for track and field to a Division I school. To achieve that particular success, my goals were crystal clear. General goals like making it to state competition or even placing in the top 5 at the state competition weren’t specific enough to help me achieve my definition of success. I had to set a time goal for running the 2 mile on the track and by a certain date to get college coaches to recognize my value.

Small business owners have the opportunity to define what success in your career looks like. Nobody else can define it for you. But if the goals you set to measure whether or not you are successful aren’t measurable, you’ll never truly know if you have achieved success.

For example, success for your small business may consist of being able to comfortably support your family on one income, take vacations, and have a respected business. With specific goals to get there, vacations with the family may consist of a trip to the local lake for a long weekend instead of 2 weeks in Europe. Supporting your family on one income may require you to work 100 hours a week in your current business model instead of working 40 hour weeks and attending your children’s soccer games.

To achieve your definition of success in business, set a gross revenue goal for your business, an income goal, a guideline number of hours you want to work a week to achieve these goals. Make your goals measurable when you can – not only defining what success looks like for you, but also in setting the goals to help you achieve success. When you do this, you’re already 2 steps ahead to achieving your definition of success. Don’t hide in ambiguity. Get specific and hold yourself accountable.