How Do You Measure Success In Business and In Your Life?

Personal and small business success is also about values.


Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part series. Part one is entitled  5 Steps for Increasing Small Business Success.

In the first part of this 2 part series we introduced you to several factors that can impact your ability to find success in business. We explored the observations Malcolm Gladwell shared in his book, ‘Outliers: stories of success”, about the impact of timing and opportunity in achieving success.

We rounded off the discussion by introducing you to 5 steps business owners can follow to begin to create their own opportunities for success. As we completed that conversation we suggested that part of the journey to success involved identifying how you will  measure your own success. In today’s article we will wrap up this two part series by asking you to consider how you will measure success in your own life

Finding and sustaining success should also include understanding what you value as important.  Which brings me to the conversation I referenced in the previous article, as the conversation that promoted this series of articles

One of the people I had been working with asked me how he would know when he was successful.

He was in particular concerned that he would not find financial success if he pursued his interests. This lead us to discuss the idea of what was important to him. He considered that although he wanted to achieve financial success he did not think he could achieve that while still taking care of his family and pursuing his interests, unless, he said, he wins the lottery.

Clayton Christensen has observed that his theory of why big businesses sometimes fail also applies to individual people.

Christensen has said that when we make decisions about balancing our focus between time at work and at home “we generally get more tangible short term pay off from achievements at work than at home.” This then causes us to invest more focus at work, even though many of us say our families, friends, communities or our own personal development are highly important things in our lives.

As part of your own measure of success take the time to consider how you will measure your life.

Consider if the reason you are chasing financial success includes providing yourself with the opportunity to experience a rich life full of travel and entertainment, time with friends and family, good health and a long life. Evaluate what success looks like to you. For many successful people their success is measured by their own legacy of relationships, contributions and impact.

Many people find that the benefit of striving to build relationships, make contributions and have an impact lead them to opportunities to achieve massive success, depending on how they measure their lives.

Keep in mind that it is virtually impossible to catch a running horse when you are chasing after her carrying the saddle on your back.

As to the person I was working with, he realized that he could pursue his own business and although he knew he would be very busy during the first few years he indicated he felt he understood how he would measure his life.

He still wanted to pursue success but he would no longer lose track of the horse while he was buying the saddle.

Related articles:

Part  one:  5 Steps for Increasing Small Business Success.

Small Business Revenue Growth and Success

Self Assessment for Personal and Small Business Success

The Process of Review is Critical to Success

Planning Is Core To Small Business Success 

Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking".

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