How To Determine If Your Business Is A “success”

canstockphoto17476617-450x297“Success” is among the most overused words when it comes to talking about business. I’m guilty of using this word. But I’ve come to realize that using the word “success” to measure or describe our business puts a lot of pressure on us to achieve certain things, and if we don’t, we feel like we failed in some way.

How we define success is personal and yet too often we compare ourselves to others, whether it be in our business or personal lives, to measure our success.

It reminds me of the time I went to the hardware store and asked for a gallon of white paint. You would think that would be easy. I had no idea there were so many shades of white (or gray for that matter). Similarly, there are many “shades” when it comes to defining success, and a lot of gray areas.

People go into business for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes it’s to do something we love and get paid for it. For others it’s the desire for flexibility. Some have full-time jobs and operate part-time businesses to make extra money. Others go into business for themselves because they live in an area with limited job opportunities and self-employment is the only option.

Others start businesses in their retirement years as a way to keep busy and pay some bills. Others go into business with the intent to make a lot of money and create jobs for others.

But money is not the only way to measure whether a business is successful.

Take my sister, for example. She had a job as a grant writer and fundraiser for an organization and it paid well. When two children came along, she wanted to spend less time at the office and more time with them. She wanted to continue to work — but desired more flexibility. Continue Reading

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