It’s a familiar feeling for entrepreneurs: you know, the one you get when something goes wrong, something fails, or something doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped.
You get to feeling pretty down about yourself, your business, and your progress.
The frustration starts to rise, that little voice inside your head begins throwing around negative talk about your abilities, and finally, you become oh-so-close to giving into the imposter syndrome, which right about now is telling you that you aren’t capable.
Not to mention the added grossness of comparing yourselves to others, or actually letting others’ criticisms get you down.
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ~ Aristotle
We all know what that’s like
What I’ve just described is not foreign to you.
What I’ve just described is how every single one of us as entrepreneurs have at one time or another let frustrations and negativity take away from our journey.
This post is not about riding yourself completely of everything described above.
Of course we’re going to feel frustrated and hear that little voice every now and then.
But how we react is up to us. How we choose to continue our day is up to us.
This post is about flipping the script and realizing that once you know what your definition of success is – and you actually give yourself permission to celebrate the wins you have along your journey – it’ll be much easier to move past and overcome the tough times.
Why defining success is important
In 2011 I lost a promotion that I wanted really bad.
It wasn’t just the new title, the new office – with a door, which I’d never had before – or the pay raise. It was also me proving to myself and others around me that I was capable of being so much more than just an admin.
At the time, that was my definition of success. My definition of success was a title, an office, more money, and being able to prove to myself and others that I was capable.
Today, my definition of success is MUCH different.
Today, my definition of success has nothing to do with a title, an office, more money, or being able to prove anything to anyone.
Today, my definition of success is being able to choose how I spend my time, and with whom I spend it.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
Well, not exactly.
Unfortunately, there are way more people in this world who have the same definition of success that I had back in 2011 than there are who have the same definition of success that I have today.
What’s even worse is people don’t even know why that’s their definition. They simply borrowed it from the people they surround themselves with.
They don’t know any better.
And I know this because that’s exactly why it was my definition of success back in 2011.
Success is different for everyone
Reflecting on all of this has taught me that success truly is different for everyone.
Understand and accept this, and you will open up a whole new world for yourself.
I’m not here to tell you what your definition should be, but rather to show you how important it is to know what it is.
What does success mean for you, your business, your family, and your future?
Because once you define what success means for you as an individual, you have a true north star – a set of values, and a clearly defined reason to celebrate the many wins you’ll experience as an entrepreneur (versus focusing or dwelling on the times when something goes wrong, something fails, or something doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped.)
It’s a rollercoaster
Regardless of your definition of success, there will be days when you feel you can conquer the world!
You’ll be high, up on top of a mountain waving your flag of success.
But not every day will be like that, which is why it’s so key to know what success means for you, and better yet, to actually celebrate it when it happens.
Recognizing when we’ve made progress, congratulating ourselves on figuring something out that we’ve been struggling with for weeks, and taking time to be excited about what it is we’re creating is going to help you tip the scale.
What if you spent more time celebrating your successes than you did dwelling on your missteps?
What if you focused more on the progress you’re making every single day – even if it’s tiny – rather than beating yourself up for not accomplishing something that was probably unrealistic and unattainable in the first place?
Don’t you think you’d enjoy your journey more?
That the positive momentum you’re building for yourself will start to overflow into other areas of your life?
I think so.
Success happens every single day to those who know what it means for them and are willing to commit to obtaining it. Yet more often than not, we don’t even pay attention to it.
Instead, we pay attention to the negative things.
When frustration starts to rise, and that little voice inside your head begins throwing around negative talk about your abilities, the one thing that will help you flip the script and move past and overcome the tough times is you wanting success more.
When you commit to your success, you can achieve it.
Jodi Flynn writes in her book Accomplished:
“Commitment is a game-changer. It’s not sexy and a lot of people don’t like to talk about it, but that’s the reason why many of us are living a shadow of the life we want to be living. It’s because we haven’t fully committed to it.”
What if you fully committed to not only redefining what success means for you today, but also committed to taking actions every single day that will help you achieve and live in that definition of success?
Wouldn’t you enjoy your journey so much more?
Up next in Season 4 on What it means to be an entrepreneur
Up next, we’re going to be talking about the roadblocks we face as entrepreneurs.
You can visit our home base right here to find all the posts and episodes in Season 4!