Creating Your Personal Definition Of Success

Personal Development

Success can mean different things to different people. Have you ever reflected on your definition of success? What would you define success as?

Would it mean margins and profits, or would you want to see yourself changing a customer’s life? Would you want to see a happy and satisfied customer or would you prefer a new customer who knocks at your doorstep without any advertisement? Would you want a combination of all these factors?

Each small business owner defines and measures his definition of success differently. Success is a very relative term. While some business owners like to have objective definitions of success like gross margins and revenue, there are others who view success as a more subjective term. For them, success is to do with customer satisfaction and complaint resolution. There may be yet others, who would want to appear number one on a web search.

Whatever your definition of success is, the key is to be happy – happy with the way you have defined success. It can even be family time!

Have you created your definition of success?

However you may want to define success, an important point to be kept in mind is who created that definition for you? Did you look up the fancy success factors on the web, or checked with a friend whose business you thought was doing great?

Your definition of success has to be created by YOU! Those success factors that you read might not hold true for you! Your friend may be happy travelling twenty days in a month, you may not want to!

Your definition of success should be based on what you want and not where others want to see you.

Is it a healthy definition of success?

Does your definition of success focus on pleasing the people around you or is it focused on your happiness? May be seeing people around you happy, makes you happy. A healthy definition of success will always focus on the person who created it. If it is your definition and you are happy about it, it means you are doing this for yourself and not people around you. That’s enough!

That is exactly how you should define success – something that makes you happy!

Is it a fair definition of success?

Do you feel that the definition that you have created is a fair definition? You may want to be the number one service provider in your industry. You may also be aware that this may mean long hours, no weekends, no family time and no self-time. And still consider this fair, because that is YOUR definition of success.

The deal here is if you consider it as fair, it is fair!

You have to know what is more important to you and be happy about it. If you are happy with working 365 days a year because you want to reach the summit of business success, then you may have to compromise on your hobbies, interests and family life.

On the other hand, a completely balanced life with loads of time for your family and friends may make you happy and you may have to trade off your business results here.

Whatever makes you happy should be defined as success for you!

Forget how others perceive you

Ask yourself time and again: Are you happy?

If you are happy overall, you have worked towards your definition of success. When you measure your happiness, do not look at a particular moment or a particular day. Look at the overall scenario: are you happy overall?  Do not look at how others would define your success or where they would like to see you. Your definition of success is about you. Does it make you happy? Are you having fun in the ride of life?


A well-drawn business strategy as a result of a careful planning process generally helps you identify your success factors. A huge profit, lots of happy customers and constant cash flow are some of the factors that can define your success. But they may not be the only factors.

You may want to introspect on what you have achieved so far and how happy are you as a result of this achievement?

If you are thoroughly happy with your results, (and we are not talking business only results here – we are looking at overall results, including the time that you spend with your family), then you have achieved success. You have mastered the art of defining success and worked towards achieving it.

But, if there is doubt in your mind – a doubt that raises the question, “Is this what I wanted?”, then it is time to work on your definition of success.

This time, focus on a definition that makes you happy and incorporate specific strategies targeted towards your happiness!

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