What Does Success Mean to You?

My favorite part of the Agency Jumpstart Course is having one-on-one calls with agency owners and budding freelancers. Each conversation is dynamic, intense, and highly valuable for everyone involved.

But most of them start the same exact way. Rather than talking about the strategies and tactics needed to run a business, I ask the toughest question up front.

“What does success mean to you?”

Everything builds off the answer this question.

What does it mean to be successful?

Success comes in many forms, and is usually a moving target. Your goals today may seem silly when you achieve them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t define success.

Why? Because it’s human nature to undermine all that we have achieved. To be dissatisfied with the status-quo. To yearn for more.

So be honest, and ask yourself this question. What does success mean to you?

Do you want to be a successful freelancer, have enough clients to pay the bills, and travel the world?

Do you want to build a long lasting company? Not necessarily with your name on it, but something lives on without you. Do you wan to build a team that you can rely on? Do you want to build a sellable asset?

Do you want to help small businesses and underdogs? Do you want to be a corporation whisperer? Do you want to be an anti-agency?

Where do you want to take your business? 

Be explicit.

Say your goals out loud.

Actively strive toward achieving that goal.

Give it life, and you will make better decisions at every step.

An aimless business is a business wasted

Most small businesses fail. I won’t hazard to guess the exact reasons, but I’ve been around the block to know one thing: most expectations are unrealistic. Entrepreneurs have champagne wishes and caviar dreams, even when their reality is Budweiser and Ramen Noodles.

A reality distortion field is perfect if you aspire to be the next Steve Jobs. But it’s not necessary if you want to be successful as a freelancer or agency owner.

What you really need is to define what success means to you. And then run that definition past someone who is willing to call bull$hit if necessary.

Enjoy the weekend. It’s my favorite holiday in the US on Tuesday. I’ll be celebrating with Budweiser and Ramen.