In This Episode

Do you consider yourself successful?  This is a question that’s easy to ask, but really takes some thought to answer.  Too many small business owners wouldn’t use the word successful to describe themselves.  You’re more likely to hear them use words with more negative connotations like overwhelmed, frustrated, or just simply worn out.  I guess it’s a matter of what you focus on.

A few weeks ago we were meeting with a prospect for our coaching business and she asked us to share some success stories with clients.  Our initial response wasn’t to rattle off a bunch of canned stories.  Instead, we asked the question, “how do you define success?”  Once she gave us some clarity on her definition of success we were then able to share success stories that were relevant to her.

Maybe it helps if we adjust the question a little bit to focus on this year.  So what would make this a successful year for you?  Try to narrow it down to a handful of things to focus on.  We’re big sports fans and with sports teams a successful year is often focused around winning.  It could be winning a certain number of games, winning a division, or winning a championship.

So what are those “games” or “divisions” or “championship” with your business?  Maybe it’s adding a certain number of new customers this year or adding to your team.  Perhaps it comes down to a certain level of profitability or making an acquisition to grow your business.

What about on the personal front?  To stick with the sports analogy, there will be those team goals like winning the division, but there will also be individual goals.  Ideally those individual goals will tie into the team goals.  So while the athlete may be focused on a certain number of home runs or touchdowns or 3-point shots made, you and your team should also have some personal goals that help you define what a successful year looks like.  It could be something simple like making sure you’re home for family dinner a couple nights a week or to take your spouse on a date each month.

In the end, it should be a very personal thing in terms of how you define success.  But it all starts with you deciding what success looks like.  Not someone else!

People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show