In Change, Leaders

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Someone I’ve been fortunate to work with over the past 5 years asked me last week asked me how I define “success”, or “being successful”. She mentioned that she’d read & heard & used that word in the past but that it seemed that her version of what that meant and somebody else’s version weren’t always the same.

And she’s right. I think everyone has their own definition of success. Quite often in our society when you hear someone defined as successful it has to do with entirely with money. So and so is successful because they’re rich. To me, there’s way more to it than that.

For me, success is having balance in my life and feeling good about it. To steal a visual image from a good friend of mine, I think of life as being like a wheel with six spokes. If the spokes are all balanced the wheel turns smoothly. But if some spokes are way too long and some are way too short, the wheel doesn’t go anywhere.

For me, I would label those spokes Family, Health, Career, Spiritual, Mental and Social. I don’t mean that I need to spend an equal amount of time on each of those, but I need to feel good about each of them. If I feel good about 4 things but the other 2 are a disaster, that’s not success & I need to make changes.

In our world there are people who are considered successful because they have lots of money who also have 3+ failed marriages, a drinking problem, and no relationship whatsoever with their children. I would not call that success. That said, maybe they’re OK with that. The point is that the definition is different for everyone.

Think about your definition of success. What has to happen in your business or your life for you to feel like you’re successful? Are those things happening? If so, congratulations. If not, what are you prepared to do about it? If you don’t feel like you having success in your life or your business, then change it. Don’t get to the end of the race and feel like you failed.

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