A Measure of Success

How do you know when you’ve succeeded in life? What will it take for you to measure your life as a success? I have friends who are practicing surgeons and Ph.D’s. I have friends who are successfully parenting four or more children and are cultivating real romance with their spouse. I have friends who are completely debt free and have bodies now that would make their 16 year old selves green with envy. I know person after person who, when ranking my accomplishments against theirs, will out perform mine time after time. 

In trying to live what we would consider a successful life, accomplishments rarely tell the entire story. It’s easy to see how we fall short because we aren’t as rich, skinny, popular, healthy or spiritual as the next person. We aren’t as gregarious or well spoken and dang it, I can’t even make sure all members of my house are well fed, much less compete on all the levels with all the people! 

I’ve found that the story often ends in the same way: I will always find someone out there with more accomplishments than me. Someone who has made more of their business than I have and someone who has capitalized on turning their skills into a dream job.

However, when we take accomplishments away and stop the comparison game, we find that we each have our own sphere of influence. We are fully capable of reaching the people in our sphere of influence and the messages we send to them can radiate in ways we never could have imagined. Some of us have Beyoncé level spheres of influence. Some of us have spheres of influence that may touch our partner or our children or our parents. 

Regardless of how large or small our reach goes, the messages we send are still of critical importance. Do we empower the people we interact with? Are we intentional in lifting them up and leaving them better than we found them? In interacting with your 3 clients or your 30,000 clients, the fundamentals are the same. We are all worthy of encouragement and we are all capable of speaking life-giving truth to those we touch. We are able to treat each person like they matter, because the truth is that they do. The truth is also that no one story is more or less important than the other. When we make this a fundamental philosophy of how we run our businesses, customer service does not need to be a notch on a checklist, because it comes naturally. 

Now, I’m also not here to say that you can’t experience disappointment. It can be difficult to see others achieve the dreams that you have. It can be hard to see others succeed in the areas you had hoped for. I don’t have all of the answers, but what I do know is that we all have our own path to take. What is meant for us will find us, in life and in business. If you’re walking through a moment or an extend time of frustration with not being able to reach your goals, it is important to acknowledge that and feel that frustration. When you give it a voice, you empower yourself to walk through why you may be disappointed and frustrated and what you can do to change it. 

The process of business ownership is a journey. It ebbs and flows. As we navigate through the process of building and growing our businesses, it is important to recognize and celebrate the successes that come our way- from each new, individual client to the realization of the big, scary, out of this world dreams that have come true. The small, barely noticeable successes eventually collect to become the big dreams coming to life. Keep at it, friend. you are making a difference by showing up, and that's something I'd call a success. 

Cheering you on,