How do you define success?
Studies have shown that new business owners, especially women, tend to start a business for reasons other than “money”. They want more flexible scheduling, to be able to work from home, to have more control, or they feel “stuck” with little option for advancements. Perhaps there has been a layoff, or downsizing and they are out of work, or it’s time to retire, and you’d like to monetize your hobby or passion.
With all these “reasons” to start a business, it’s amazing to think that almost every solopreneur measures success by the amount of money they make!
Is it time to change your definition?
What if you were to evaluate your success based on how close you’ve come to reaching your “non-money” goals?
While you may not be making that 6 figure income (you dream about) in 9 months – chances are you are spending your days doing what you love!
Perhaps for the first time you have the ability to attend your children’s school plays. You may love working in your PJ’s! Or at a cafe.
Celebrate these successes. Focus on the joy you get from your business. (I know, I know, owning a business is tough. Really tough. There are a lot of challenges. But if there weren’t any “perks” you’d quickly get back to a 9-5 job and drop the business all together.)
Of course money IS important.
I’m not suggesting that you turn away from your finances and measuring your income. In fact, now more than ever, you need to completely understand where you are financially. You need know how every single decision will impact you financially. Running out of money is not an option.
In addition to making money, you have to carefully consider how you spend it. What investments are important. (If you aren’t a techie you really do need to get someone to build that website for you. If you can learn and use a great template, you can save some money)
But money isn’t the true measure of success.
If it were, you’d still be in a job that pays more, even if it made you miserable. You would deal with the things that are missing in your life (like attending your child’s school event)
Jay Conrad Levinson, in his book “The Way of the Guerilla – Achieving success and balance as an entrepreneur in the 21st Century” explains success in this way:
“Success for the entrepreneur will be measured by inner satisfaction more than any other criterion”
Ask yourself what gives you that sense of inner satisfaction… not quite sure? Here is a bit more help from Jay:
“Inner satisfaction is something you get not by seeking it, but by seeking work that ignites your passion and then doing that work”
Identify and focus your actions on those areas you are passionate about. Enjoy the process. Let your passion flow through you – focus on the actions – not on what money it will or will not provide. Trust in the process and give yourself credit for any success you have – even it it’s not financial.
If you believe at all in the premise that you get what you think about, feeling yourself a success will only breed more success and with that, the flow of money.