Feeling Successful

As a Business Coach, I talk to a lot of business owners in my day. Business owners are people who started out with a dream, an idea for what they’d like their business to become. But relatively few of them “feel” successful, regardless of how their business is performing.

I’ve found there are two major reasons that people feel unsuccessful:

1. Not having worked out measures to determine when you’ve attained success.

If you haven’t sat down and really planned where you’re going, in life and in business, it’s hard to know when you’ve “got there”. Many people have vague ideas of what “successful” is to them – ‘being rich’, ‘having time to do what I want’, or ‘being the best in my field’, for example.

You need to define what those things mean to you – are you rich when you have a million dollars in the bank? When you have an income of $200,000 a year? £100,000? Break your goal down into small, achievable steps, and celebrate them when you attain them.

It’s no fun feeling like you’re not “successful” every year that you don’t make £200,000, but what if your goal was instead to increase your income by £25,000 every year until you got there?

2. What’s going on outside you and what’s going on inside you don’t match.

You might have made your million, and achieved what you defined as success. But something’s wrong: you still feel unsuccessful. Maybe, in making your million, you neglected some other area of your life that was important to you. Maybe what you wanted all along was more time with your family, not a million in the bank. Maybe your definition of success includes both, and you need to work on that.

The important thing when setting your business and life goals is to be true to what you really want, regardless of what you think someone else might call success, what you “should” do, or even, sometimes, realising that your goals may have changed.

What you wanted five years ago might not be what you want now, and that’s okay. Be ready to change your goals when they’re not working for you any more.

If you know what you want, how you’re going to get there, and celebrate your wins along the way, you’re much more likely to know when you’ve “got there”, and you’ll get there faster as well.

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