When I ask colleagues, business owners distributors, suppliers, or customers what they want from their business operation I often get the response “I want to be successful” – I may then ask them what that means and they will often tell me tell me that they are not sure – or they say, “well I want to make loads of money”. I then question them further, “so why do you want to make loads of money?, what will you do with it?” Will it really buy you the happiness that you crave, or will it bring more pressure, give you less time to enjoy your family, or your hobbies?
If I were to ask you – “What is success to you?”, or “what does success look like to you?”, could you tell me? Could you describe it to me in every detail? There are very few people who can, yet “success” is something that we all spend our life striving for.
Success means different things to different people – some people want recognition amongst their peers (this is the basis of competitiveness in amateur sport), others are not worried about recognition (or even shy way from it), but they want financial security, some want time and freedom to do what they want to do, others want the pressure and kudos of running a complex business, some want a house, others want a mansion – opinions differ.
I was once told, “It is your life, you only get one of them, so make sure that you make the most of it” Ask yourself what do you really want out of life?, what does success really look like? There are so many people who work hard all of their lives, and when they get to the point where they have what they thought was success they are disappointed by the reality when they get to their destination.
I am currently very fortunate to be working closely with an individual who I recognise as being very “successful” – she has all of the financial trappings of a self made entrepreneur, but most importantly she enjoys life. She recently made a couple of observations that I consider very poignant.
Her first observation was that many companies, and more importantly many business people do not know what success looks like – they do not really think about what they want out of their life – indeed many of them are just “too busy” to think about such a thing! Because of their lack of vision they often do not know how to develop the business whilst taking this second observation into consideration.
“Business is a Journey” – try to enjoy the journey – you spend a long time on the road. So many individuals get themselves into a situation where the business runs their life, rather than them running the business.
When we ask delegates in our Export Strategy workshops why they want to trade overseas we get a wide range of responses (see the module in ExportSavvy called “Why Export?”) but one of the last to get suggested is invariably ‘to have fun…’ – and when people mention it it is often with a nervous laugh (as though to say it is not something that we should mention). Me personally – I think that it is one of the most important reasons – I have been exporting for over 30 years and I have had a great time. I have seen things that I would not normally see and met some amazing and interesting people.
If you have not done so already, it really is worth to think about what success looks like to you – it could change your life………and your business forever
Try to write down 10 things that you consider makes your business successful
Try to write down 10 things that you consider make your personal life successful
It would be great if you could share some of them with us in the comments section below.
Now to go out and get them………
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