Why one size of success does not fit all

Linda Business Leave a Comment

Success. It’s a funny word with a thousand different meanings. Very rarely can one word mean so many different things to so many different people. In the Oxford dictionary it’s defined as i) the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; ii) the attainment of fame, wealth or social status; iii) a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame or wealth.

Looking at definition (i), one can make the assumption that everyone has had success at some point, regardless of the level of such. A success may be taking the self-employed plunge and launching your own business, it may be taking on your first employee, or the year you turn a profit.

What an individual or organisation may deem as success, someone else may not. Success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. As busy business owners, the small successes can often almost go unnoticed, but it’s the amass of small successes that make for a big success. For example, your goal may be to increase takings by £2,000 per month. This isn’t likely to happen in one leap – more so, it will be a number of smaller new clients that may add up to that figure, giving you that big success and the goal achievement you were after.

In order to not miss these successes, it’s good practice to analyse your business strategy at the end of every working week. Make a list – what worked for you? What didn’t work for you? List at least 3 successes (no matter how small)  that are worthy of a celebration and be sure to do just that – celebrate.

In their first year of trading, Coca Cola averaged a taking (in today’s terms) of just 36p, selling just 9 bottles a day at 5 cents per unit. While those figures and statistics are relatively low, they continued to grow and now sell 1.4 billion servings of the popular drink every single day, across the world. These statistics prove that sales in the early days do not equate to long term success and longevity, they do prove that successes, regardless of how small, should be celebrated. While it would be unworthy of someone to work for 36p per day in our current climate, it may also not be of interest to them to own a multi-billion dollar global corporation with over 146,000 employees.

I love love love reading Ariana Huffington viewpoint and recently in an interview with Dan Schawbel of Forbes she said that while we tend to think of success along two metrics –  money and power, we need to add a third.

“To live the lives we truly want and deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need a Third Metric.  A third measure of success that goes beyond the two metrics of money and power, and consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.”

So therefore success really is dependant on your own definition of the term. How much do you need to earn each month to live comfortable and enjoy your hobbies? How many clients do you need each month to feel like your business is progressing? What profit margin would make you happy? While this is different for each and every one of us, the one thing that does remain true throughout, is how it makes us feel. Regardless of whether your business takes £1,500 a month or £15,000 a month, the feeling of achieving success really is synonymous across all industries. Now money does not make you happy, but it does give you choices and its up there with oxygen.

You should feel proud, accomplished and a real sense of achievement. Your success isn’t anyone else, and likewise their’s isn’t yours. Don’t compare yours to what you see on social media, everyone is different, every business is different and every success is different.

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To your success!


Linda x


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