Oh hey! Did you think this was going to be a quick and easy instructional to magically make your business successful? Sorry — running your own business is seriously tough stuff, and there’s no secret formula to make it work. I’m not talking about raking in the benjamins here — I’m talking personal success.
Think about it. Every person has a different way that they would define success. For Jim Bob over there, success is making a ton of money and never having to worry about finances. For Jilly Sue, it means that she finished school and has a steady job with which she can make ends meet. Amy Lou’s idea of success means that she accomplished the task she set out to do on any given day. See? Success is different for each person.
Define Your Success.
In order to say you’re successful, you first need to set your own definition of success. There is no single path to success. Is your success related to financial gain? Making a sale? Earning referrals? Satisfied customers? Completing a task, finishing an order? A combination of everything? WRITE IT DOWN. Actually, don’t just write it down. Make it visible to you, somewhere, so that you see it every day. Remind yourself of it.
Set Your Goal.
Defining your success is cool and all, but how are you going to make it happen? Without a plan and a tangible goal, your idea of success is just that…an idea. Make it a reality. Come up with a realistic goal that you can meet in a realistic period of time. Have an order to finish in a week? Make that your goal, and get to work. Need to rack up some positive feedback? Set your goal for five positive feedbacks, and start reaching out to your clients, asking them to leave a review.
Yes, celebrate! Have a cold beer, a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back, or call your mom and tell her about your small victory. Whatever it is you choose to do, take a moment and congratulate yourself. Each small goal you set and accomplish is one step closer to your overall success.
When you’re done doing your celebratory dance, start over. Take a look at where your accomplishment leaves you, set a new goal, and keep congratulating yourself on each accomplishment you can check off.
What if I don’t….
I hear you over, there — what if I don’t reach my goal? Set a new one.
But evaluate, first.
What kept you from reaching your goal? Was it too lofty? Not enough time? Someone else didn’t follow through? Were you lazy?
Asking yourself tough questions will help you come up with a solution or a new approach. Your course of action won’t work every single time, and you should expect bumps in the road. It’s better to be safe than sorry, I always say. Back-up plans are amazing, but so are creative, spur-of-the-moment plans that arise because you’re in a bind. If you have to take a breather and re-evaluate success and your goals, do it. Continuing to push forward after a failure without adjusting your trajectory or considering the reasons for the hiccup will only serve to add to your frustration.
Above all, keep your head up. Involve others in your goal-digging — a cheering section never hurt anyone! Invite others to share in your successes and goal-meeting.