Let’s Take A Fresh Look on Defining Success
We’ve been thinking a lot about success lately. For instance, what does it look like for us? What should it look like? Does success for us look like success for “them” (whomever “them” is)? It’s not a simple question to answer, and if you’re a business owner, we consequently assume you’ve tried to answer it at some point, too.
I mean, we’re told all day from every direction to keep hustling and keep pressing on. And one day we will get “there,” wherever that may be. But, if you don’t know where you’re headed, how will you know if you’ve gotten there? Furthermore, how will you know which roads to take on the way?
So. We’ve decided to define success in our own way. Well, in God’s way, really. Ultimately, that’s what we want our way to be. We want our way to align with His way. This verse rings in my head when I think about defining success:
I always like to look at verses in The Message Bible, too, because even though the translation is less “correct,” it is so sweet to hear it in the way we speak. The Message says it like this: “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.” Micah 6:8 MSG. I love hearing it like that.
Our Success Doesn’t Have to Look Like Theirs
So, this year, I am going to work on defining success God’s way. If I want my way to reflect His, then this business is a perfect place to implement that practice. It is so easy to get caught up in the game and measure my life by what others are achieving, or even want to achieve.
When I was setting goals for 2019, one of the prompts I was working with was this:
What do you want your life to look like when you’re 80?
I know that thinking about being 80 years old can seem daunting, but it gave some much-needed focus on what is truly important. For instance, I want to look back and know I spent time, money, and energy on what will last beyond my years. And I will work each day (and fail often) at making what I do count as an investment in that future.
What does success look like for you?
The Businessman and The Fisherman
One of my favorite Instagrammers, Emily Ley, posted this story the other day and I thought. I’d share it here:
An American businessman was on vacation in Mexico. As he relaxed on the beach, he noticed a fisherman coming in on his boat. The businessman complimented the fisherman on his catch and asked him how long it took him to catch that many fish.
“Not long,” was the reply.
“Then why don’t you stay out longer?” asked the tourist.
“Because this is enough for me and my family,” explained the fisherman.
“What do you with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish for awhile, play with my children, take a siesta, and spend time with my wide. Then in the evening, I go into the village to visit my friends. I sip wine, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”
The American was surprised. “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you. You should spend more time on the water fishing, then you can sell the extra fish, make more money and buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?”
“With the extra money from the bigger boat, you can buy two or three boats and eventually hire more people to operate a fleet of fishing trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can start to negotiate directly with the processing plants. After awhile you would be able to open your own plant. Then you could leave this little village for Mexico City, and eventually, New York! From there you could operate the whole enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” Asked the fisherman.
“Twenty to twenty-five years.”
“And after that?”
“Well, my friend, that’s when the fun starts,” explained the tourist. “When the business gets really big, you can sell stock in the company and make millions!”
“Wow, millions. What happens after that?” Asked the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire on the coast, sleep in every day, do some fishing, play with your grandkids, take a siesta, and spend time with your wife. In the evenings, you will be able to sip wine and sing with your friends.”
A Little Freebie…
If this was encouraging to you, feel free to screen shot the graphics in this post and use them to share with others, or as your own phone’s wallpaper. We hope they lift you up!