5 Ways to define success: What does it mean to you and your business?

By:  Melanie Colusci


I looked up the definition of success in the dictionary the other day. I did that because I had never really taken the time to truly think about what success meant or how it was actually defined. To me success always seemed to be well, frankly, not real or attainable.  It never seemed to be something achievable because there was always something more that needed to be done. I would tell myself that I would be successful when it was all done, when everything was crossed off the list. But I started wondering was I actually successful and didn’t realize it?  Or, better yet, was I successful and wasn’t allowing myself to see it?


So I felt I should look it up. Here’s the definition of success according to dictionary.com:

Success – noun

  • The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals
  • The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like
  • A performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors


I am definitely a goal oriented person so this definition does resonate with me.  However, is it possible, or even probable, that the definition of success isn’t limited to only the above?


As I have thought more about this I believe there are multiple layers or levels of success and that success actually means something different to all of us.  For example:


My parents owned their own business while I was growing up. They worked a lot of hours and made a modest income. On the surface if we are only looking at the definition above you might not consider their business a success.  However, because they owned their own business they were also able to attend almost every play, sporting event, and band or choir concert my sister and I had. To me, now that I have a family, I realize how important that was and how much being able to do that was truly a success.


What does success mean to you? Does it mean:

  • Taking an annual vacation with your family
  • Paying off debt
  • Hiring an employee
  • Landing that new account you’ve been working on for months
  • Paying your taxes on time


So often it’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and saying “I’ll be successful when”. It’s time to stop and really look at what success means to you.  Success can be little or big things. Sometimes it’s a success just getting out of bed!


Your definition of success is truly unique to you, your family, and your business.


So, how do you define success?


Here’s to you. All my love,


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