Thursday, April 04, 2013

What Does Success Look Like?

Is your company a success?
This is a question I've received from time to time since I became a business owner in 2007.  My response?  "What's your definition of success?"
It's a tough question to answer because success could mean a variety of things.  Is it 10% profits?  Low turnover? Extra time with your children? Not living paycheck to paycheck?  Survival? Large paycheck? 
The definition of success is different for everyone.  The problem is that we often let others define success for us.  We see other businesses that have more employees or more offerings or bigger offices and we all the sudden shift our definition of success.
Is that wise?  Not in my opinion.
Social media has exasperated this issue when each post becomes a competition to see who is more valuable, reliable, wonderful, etc.  It's like little league parents on steroids.
Bottom line: You can't judge yourself (or base your idea of success) on someone else.  Not in business or in life.  We all come from different backgrounds and experiences.  For example, I can't judge my small firm based on a much larger, nationwide company  I'll never measure up.  I can only judge my company on where it was 10 years ago or 5 years ago.  We can only judge ourselves based on where we came from.
In this pursuit of success (mainly defined by others), many businesses loose site of their focus and the vision they built their company on in the first place.
Define your own success and focus on your vision.  Don't try and measure up based on what others are accomplishing.
So, what is my definition of success:  profitable company at the end of each year,  eagerness to come to work each morning, and having fun each day.  Today, my company is a success.
-Ron Ameln, SBM

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