What Does Success Look Like for You?

11 Sep 2020 | Biz Strategy

‘Success’ is such a fuzzy word. Does it mean buckets full of money, fancy titles, public recognition? For most people, their definition of success is quite different. 


When it comes to business, we’ve found that for most people, the typical “growing your business” is not an accurate goal or means by which they want to measure their success. Not every business owner wants their business to grow exponentially and make loads of money. 

For some, lifestyle is more important than anything else. Instead of a rapidly-increasing bank account, they’d prefer a well-oiled machine that allows them to have more time to spend with their family, especially those with young kids. Or maybe they want to have more time to travel and just need a business that can sustain that type of lifestyle. 

The more entrepreneurial types may want their business to grow aggressively – from idea-stage to taking the world by storm in a couple of years – before they move on to the next thing. They may want to sell the business after they’ve created a money-making machine, or just live off the dividends while they’re working on their next big idea. 

Others want to create a legacy. Maybe that means creating a product that becomes a household name, or a steady business that their kids can take over one day, or they want to become known as one of the best places to work for. These businesses may want to grow steadily, but not too aggressively. 

For others, impact is their measuring stick: The difference they make in the community, their industry, the environment, or in the lives of others, that’s what drives them. This may be through their involvement in charities, i.e. using their profits to invest in good causes, or through building a social enterprise where impact is ingrained into everything they do. 

There are broadly four success-categories most businesses fall into: 

  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Impact
  • Personal achievement

So, to get back to our initial question, what does success look like for you?

Get Clarity on What Success Means to You

To help you avoid cookie-cutter statements that sound good when someone else says it, here are a few questions to ask yourself to figure out what success means to you. 

1. How much money do I want to take home?

2. How much time do I want to spend at work?

3. What do I want to spend my time on?

4. How flexible do I want to be with both my time and the tasks I perform in the business?

5. Do I want to be involved in every day-to-day decision, or do I want to let other (maybe more qualified) people take over the reins?

6. What excites me? Is it…

  • Inventing new products or services?
  • Talking to clients?
  • Negotiating and making deals?
  • Improving systems and getting the best out of employees?
  • Making a difference in others’ lives?
  • Something else?

7. What causes do I feel strongly about?

8. What is the legacy I want to leave behind?


Set Your Business on the Right Path

Defining success and personalising it to fit you like a glove is the first – very crucial – step in building a business you love. It becomes easy to not only set goals but also to reach them.

Once you’ve clarified your success-parameters, come chat to us about the next steps and how we can help you to set your business on the right path. And, if you’re torn between different ideals and you need someone to bounce your ideas off, we’d love to be your sounding board.