Today's success; happiness!

Happy entrepreneur

Business success’ is not what it used to be.

Every entrepreneur has dreams for their business. We have goals we want to attain that, to us, mean we've made it. Our business is successful.

In today’s world, success doesn’t always mean what it used to though.  In the past, it was often focused primarily on careers and businesses.  When we talked about a ‘success’ in business, we were typically talking about growing an international empire and generating billions of dollars. 

In many cases (some would argue most cases) their personal and family lives were, to some degree, a casualty of that focus.  Often, this type of success means working impossibly long hours away from family, high levels of stress, and potentially risking everything.

If you ask people who fit the conventional definition of a successful business person, many will tell you that those achievements aren’t what make them feel accomplished.

Billionaire Richard Branson is one of the world’s most powerful and impressive people, believes success is about happiness;

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.”

In today’s world of higher self-awareness, people’s business ambitions, and what they deem to be a success for them have changed.    People are recognising this when they get into business and goals have shifted.  Success in business and in life means different things to different people, and should mean different things to different people.

Whether or not you feel successful depends on how you define success — and on the tradeoffs you are willing to not just accept but embrace as you pursue your individual definition of success, because tradeoffs are unavoidable.

Want to make more money? You can, but something else has to give.

Want more time with family? Want to help others? Want to pursue a hobby? You can, but something else has to give.

To find your definition of success, think about what motivates you. What do you want to achieve for yourself and your family? What do you value most, spiritually, emotionally, and materially? Those are the things that will make you happy, and probably also have something to do with why you are in business doing what you do, and if you aren’t doing them you won’t be happy.

Sounds simplistic… but think of all the people you know who complain about the results of a path they purposely chose to follow.

Ultimately now though, determining whether you are successful is based on answering one question: How happy am I?

So, Are You Happy?

Defining success is important, but taking a clear-eyed look at the impact of your definition matters even more. As in most things your intent is important but the results provide the real answers.

If helping others is your definition of success, you may make a decent living but you won’t get rich… and you must embrace that fact. If you’re happy, you have.

If turning your business into a $100 million company is your definition of success, you can have a family but it will be almost impossible to have a rich, engaged family life… and you must embrace that fact. If you’re happy, you have.

So forget traditional definitions of success. Forget what other people think. Ask yourself if you feel happy — not just at work, not just at home, not just in those fleeting moments when you do something just for yourself, but overall.

If you are, you’re successful. The happier you are the more successful you are.

If you aren’t happy it’s time to rethink how you define success, and start making changes to your professional and personal life that align with that definition, because what you’re doing now isn’t working for you.

And life is way too short for that.