You’re More Successful Than You Think

Promise me you’ll read this entire article, because if you stop at the first paragraph you’ll get the wrong idea about my business. But more importantly, you’ll miss the point.

C’mon, pinky swear you will. Ok, here goes:

My business isn’t where I want it to be.
  • We haven’t reached some big milestones that I believe we should have passed by now.
  • We’re not the size, revenue, or profitability that I dream of.
  • We’re short staffed at the moment.
  • To be totally honest, we’re even falling a little short of the goals that we set for ourselves this year.

And yet…

On Friday I found myself reflecting on some recent happenings:

  • I’ve conducted several workshops this month with client teams that really needed them and really benefitted from them. Afterward one client even said “We need to send ALL of our employees through this. It was phenomenal.
  • One of my employees recently pulled me aside to tell me how much he enjoys his job (and how much his wife enjoys that he enjoys his job).
  • Another employee is dealing with a serious family medical problem and we are supporting her with care, prayer, flexibility, and time to deal with it.
  • We’ve celebrated with, and said a fond farewell, to a couple of departing employees: one returning to school for her master’s degree and one moving on to another exciting career challenge.
  • I have a team of employees, collaborative partners, and service providers that I absolutely love working with.
  • We are located in an amazing city that we adore.
  • My business may not be as strong as I’d like it to be at the moment, but it’s healthy, it’s growing, it’s debt-free, it’s profitable, and it has a great reputation.

And then it hit me:

THIS is the business I always wanted to create.

I always dreamed of creating a business that produced amazing products, delivered unbelievable service, had a roster of awesome clients, treated its employees like friends and family through good times and bad, and never had to worry about paying the bills. And it exists…right here, right now.

And, oh yeah, I get PAID to do this! Pinch me.

I’ve achieved a fair amount of success in my life (i.e., “achievement”), but Friday was one of those rare moments when I actually felt successful. It sounds silly, but you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? So why did I suddenly FEEL successful? There are three very important reasons why:

1. I let go of the world’s definition of success. The world (especially the business world) views success as numbers and money. Achieving a number has never made me feel successful. Never ever. Instead — for the moment anyway — I thought about the value we provide to our customers and the values we live and breathe inside and outside of our business every day.

2. I took the time to reflect on recent events. I’m a pretty future-oriented guy, so I don’t usually pause to look back. Hey, I’ve got places to go and people to see. Nostalgia is not my thing. Just ask my high school friends that I never talk to.

3. I focused on the positive. Like many, when I do pause to look back, I’m usually replaying a movie in my head of something that went wrong. Our heads are all too often a big old sloppy mess of negative energy, so we have to SEEK OUT and FOCUS ON the good stuff. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Do I still look at the numbers and money part of my business? Are you crazy? Of course I do, every single week. I have to pay attention to that stuff or my business can easily slip away before I even know it’s happening. But, boy am I glad something inspired me to think differently on Friday. Ever since, I’ve felt, well, different. In a really, really good way.

I truly don’t know why I stopped to think about these things, but I know deep down that I need to do it way more often.

I also know I have to share this with you today to encourage YOU to really define what success looks like to you, to take the time to reflect, and to focus on the positive on a more regular basis. When you do, you’ll discover the surprise that I did on Friday:

You’re more successful than you think.

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