I do various features for different blogs each month and they generally include an interview for me to fill out. The other day I was typing up my responses when a question stopped me in success: how do you measure success, what makes you a successful business owner? This question is one I can spew a lot of words at but when I sat there and really thought about it, I smiled. The truth is, there are a million ways to measure success: income, awards, accolades, followers, or busyness. But when I thought long and hard about how I wanted to answer the question, one thing stayed in my mind: happiness. Being your own boss has a lot of perks but one of the hardships in running a business is that only you can determine how you measure your success. Gone are the days of promotions, vacation time, feedback sessions or office parties and you are left, alone to decide how and when you have “made it.”
I was stopped in my tracks the other day when I stumbled upon a post I had wrote three years ago (as I was starting my business.) These were my 2012 words: “How do you know when you’ve made it? And what is this “it” that we are so blindly are chasing, getting our toes into any foothold that can hold us if only for a moment in time? Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely goal oriented, always making lists and chasing dreams. As I cross something off of the list I quickly add another three things that I feel will bring value to me, my life, my work… but will this list really mean I made it? Say, what if I ever get to this “it” place, will I know it or will I be so focused on getting to the next best place that I miss it entirely. I pray that I can stop and celebrate each accomplishment and bask in the moments that surround life’s victories, big and small.”
As I answered the question, these were the words I shared: The fact that I get to wake up and do what I love every day and go to bed next to the man I love with two little rescue pups snuggled along side of us. Also, the fact that I get to work in yoga pants everyday, that totally makes me a successful business owner. This year I chased happiness over money or fame or societies vision of success and I can truly say I have never felt more balanced, more happy, or able to chase these dreams that I’m dreaming. At the end of the day, I just want to be happy. True success to me is waking up and being thankful to be alive, to live fully, to do what you love and do it well. Success is coming fully alive in the work you produce and feeling fully content at the end of my days. Chasing happiness has been the key to the lock in my life of “successful” endeavors.