Sunday, August 7, 2011

Give Me Your Definitions

Don't just give me your words... Give me your definitions.

Everybody wants to be successful. Go up to any random stranger on the street and ask them. "If you could pick success or failure, which would you pick?" After asking you if it was a trick question, it would be the rare oddity for anyone to choose failure. But if you were to ask them what "success" meant... they would have a much harder time giving you a complete answer.

Here in the U.S., most people equate success with income and while that may be true to some degree it is incomplete. As the owner of (for all intents and purposes) a new business startup, I had to define success for myself.

You see, I currently own a business in the same industry and the same market as the company that I previously worked for. Don't you know that ruffled some feathers. But it simplified a few things for me, outside of the effort to get a new client base, there really was no learning curve or proving ground that I had to go through. I had already established myself as somewhat of an expert in the field and had nearly 10 years of experience to draw from.

However, going into this endeavor I knew that I was taking a big risk. I had never owned or operated a full-time business before. I've had some sideline projects that have generated some extra money from time to time, but nothing that required 40, 50, 60 hours a week to make it succeed.

And that was key to me. I wanted this to be a success. I wanted to be a success.

Years ago I too would have said that success was something along the lines of how much money you had, how many and what kind of cars you had, how big your house was, etc.

In recent years, I've come to believe that the financial picture is only a portion of the bigger picture when it comes to defining what personal success is.

To use the cliche, "success is a journey not a destination," in my mind cheapens the success itself. I have come to believe that TRUE personal success is a series of these so-called destinations or (more accurately) waypoints with the final endpoint being the legacy we leave behind. An endpoint that may or may not yet be reached when we die. There are numerous stories of people who were never given the spotlight for their deeds until after their deaths because their efforts did not come to fruition until after they passed away.

I guess that's what it boils down to - legacy. Regardless of the financial outcome of any business I start or any project I work on or any task that I put my hand to, I want (at the very least) my family to know that I totally devoted myself to the task. Win or lose, tears of joy or tears of pain, financial reward or (heaven forbid) financial ruin... when the dust settles, I want it known beyond a shadow of a doubt that I left it all on the "field of battle."

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  1. thank you for sharing. I am inspired to know that I am not alone in this journey of "live and work your Passion".

  2. Thanks for reading Maria. We're all in this together. Just know that even if no one else is being your cheerleader, I will be. (Just don't ask me to wear the skirt).


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