Hello! It’s me, Mic. This blog post is about the topic that so many people seem to be obsessed with these days (and have been for decades)…SUCCESS…and some of my personal thoughts around the topic.
The reason I’ m writing this post is because my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and RSS feeds are bombarded every single day with posts about how to be successful.
In fact, as I was writing this blog post (no joke), my sister in law sent me and my wife Missy an email to an article titled “10 Habits of Highly Successful Small Business Owners.” (We own MJMeetings, LLC)
Heck, you can read an entire magazine every month dedicated to success. The name of the magazine? You guessed it…SUCCESS.
When I Google’d “How To Be Successful” it came back with 158,000,000 hits! Here are just a few of the articles from that search:
For those of you that want a simple “How To”, try One Easy Trick That Will Make You Successful In Every Situation
For those of you that like to feel bad about how you’ve been doing things up to this point, try 6 Things You Should Quit Doing To Be More Successful
For those of you focused on making as much money as soon as you can in life, check out How I Became Rich Before 30 And You Can Too
For those of you that want to leave no stone unturned, here’s How To Be A Success At Everything
For those of you that want success tips from more than one person yet all at the same time, check out How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Tips From The World’s Most Successful People
For those of you that like lists, you can check out 10 Things Successful People Do Every Day
I think you get the point. If you want to be “successful”, there are literally millions of articles out there that tell you everything you have to do. It’s really that simple. Ok, I lied. It’s not that simple.
The road to success has been paved by people with lots of opinions.
With that in mind, here are a few opinions of my own:
You won’t ever truly be successful if you don’t first define what success looks like for YOU.
The reality is the definition of success varies from person to person. Only YOU can define what success looks like in your life and career.
And hey, here’s the cool thing…you can change that definition as time goes on. There aren’t any “success cops” waiting around to arrest you if you fail.
Unfortunately I believe many (most?) people haven’t taken the time to define what success looks like for them.
So start with a definition and then figure out what it will take to get there.
Personally, I’ve never thought success was all about the money.
It’s important for you to know that my idea of success not being all about the money was shaped for me when I was 23. That’s when my dad died of cancer. He was 46. He had a 6 figure job, a company car, a beautiful house, nice clothes, got to travel, and was well respected in his career. And then he died. When you speak at your dad’s funeral and see his casket out of the corner of your eye as you thank everyone for being there, the idea of success being all about money is blown to smithereens. At least it was for me.
If I thought success was all about the money, I wouldn’t have left the corporate world to work for 3 startups in the last 7 years. I make less today than I did at my last corporate job.
But I’ve had more fun, learned more, met more people, and have helped more people in the last 4 years than I did in my entire career combined before joining Blue Gurus.
Jason and I have said countless times that we (1) Want to have fun doing what we do (2) Want to help people every day (3) Want a REAL work/life balance, and (4) Want to make a reasonable living.
We’ve been in business for 5 years and have accomplished all of those things. For me and my personal/professional life, our Blue Gurus story is a success. But that’s because we defined it early on and then followed a (albeit winding) path to get there.
But, Mic, if success isn’t all about the money, then what is it about?
I wish I could tell you. But, as I said earlier, YOU, and only YOU, can define what success looks like for your life and career. Once you do that, then you can work on the plan (and determine if you’re willing to make the sacrifices) to make it happen.
No matter what you do, I hope you take a deep and honest look at simplifying how you define success before you go out and read an article/book/magazine on success and hope that it will somehow magically change your life.
Here are a few things I’m going to focus on adding to my definition of success:
-Be thankful for waking up every day
-Appreciate that I have running water/electricity/food/shelter
-Be a good husband/brother/uncle/cousin/friend
-Be thankful for the friends and family who love and support me unconditionally
-Live a healthy lifestyle
-Do work that makes me happy and helps other people
-Keep my stress level low
-Make choices to include people in my life that raise me up and avoid those who don’t
-Give to others
-Treat people fairly and with respect
-Embrace the wonders of life experiences
-Stop sweating the small stuff
-Help someone personally or professionally every day
-Tell people how much I appreciate them
-Inspire others through my thoughts/actions/words
-Laugh every day
-Get out of my comfort zone
If I can live every day putting those ideas into practice, then I will know that I’ve lived a successful life…on my own terms.
What about you? How do you define success? Has your definition changed over time? Is there a core definition of success that you live by? Share your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.