What Is Success

Success is a moving target.


For the entrepreneur, it can – or really, it should – continually be examined. Success can be one measured goal today, and years from now something quite different.


When starting a business, your definition of success might have been just to be able to pay the bills each month. When you think about it, you really had very low expectations. The bills were paid … Success!


But that’s OK! You were learning the industry. You were learning the business. You were establishing processes and procedures. You might have been learning how to be a sales person for the very first time. Accomplishing all of this was a huge success, actually.


But what next? If you’re “just paying the bills each month,” eventually success will end up being failure. After all, you didn’t go into business to just pay bills. So your initial vision of success must be revisited.

The next step to success

Now that the functions of the business are established, and you’re paying your bills, you must move your targeted goal upward. What is the “new” success? It might be making a final payment on your business loan. It could be that you are so busy, and bring in enough revenue that you can hire your first employee. Or possibly add a product or service to your current offerings.


Your next step could be evaluating your clients. Were you previously just taking anyone who was willing to pay you? Now it’s time to evaluate your ideal client and focus on that niche market. Will success be when the majority of your customers are the market you’ve chosen to pursue?


With Nationwide Inventory Professionals, refining our processes and improving the features of our business package was our next step. We continually ask ourselves how we can make it better. For instance, we upgraded our website, improved the newsletter, and added new features to the License Agreement. Our manual has grown from less than 125 pages to over 200. Pages full of more experiences to share, more marketing efforts to pursue, and more knowledge for our Licensees. These were huge successes for us because we are improving our Licensees’ opportunities for success as well as our own.

What do you want besides owning your own business?

There must be other identifiers of success in addition to just being able to say “I own my own business.” Not working 7 days a week, 18 or more hours a day, would be a great way to measure success. Reducing your working hours to just 5 days a week, with weekends off is another way to look at how to define success. Better yet, taking a full week or longer vacation is a great yardstick to realize you made it! Maybe you are seeking work/family/social balance. What a wonderful sign of success when you’ve achieved that goal!


If you want to be successful, feel successful, and reap the benefits of your success, you will get there faster and with less anxiety if you define what it means to you, and what it looks like when you get there. “I’ll know it when I see it,” is not the answer. You must know it first or you’ll never get there.


Once you have defined success, you’ll feel empowered to actually take the bold and often scary steps needed to make it happen.


The next step toward success

The next step is to take the next step.


Whatever your definition of success is, you must still revisit it. Notice the change in yourself as you and your business grow. Achieving success gives you a building block to search for the next level of success. Without tackling new initiatives, new ideas, new goals, you will not experience new success. Growth will only happen when you redefine what your next success will be. Continue to grow by knowing, and then redefining, what success means to you.