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Success is not what you think

If success is your goal, you’ll never achieve it.  Success is amorphous. 

Success is a result of a series of actions based on decisions and measured by milestones and goals/dreams achieved.

People love to say, ‘I want to be a success;’ or they might say, ‘I want to be successful.’  What does that really mean? How do you know you are a success?  How do you know you’re successful?

Let’s say you want to be a successful bakery owner.  What will determine what success is for a bakery owner?  At what point in your career as a bakery owner will you recognize yourself as being successful?  Success comes as a realization when milestones and goals are achieved…and then only after decisions are acted upon.  What makes someone a successful bakery owner and someone else not?  I believe the answer lies in the decisions and actions we take.

You are a bakery owner and you make the decision to bake wedding cakes.  You made this decision based on two things: your love of cake baking and your research into the marketplace – you discovered there is quite a demand for custom wedding cakes and enough room in the marketplace for another baker.   You have a goal of making enough income in the first 3 years to make a profit…you have a dream of being recognized as a premier wedding cake baker by the top industry publication.  To reach the goal to have profit after 3 years can be measured by your financial spreadsheet…and that will be informed by the types of cakes you make; where, how and to whom you market them; referral business, and demand.  Make and sell enough quality wedding cakes and you will make a profit.  Once that profit has been made, the goal is realized and success is the result.

To be regarded as a successful wedding cake baker you set a milestone of being recognized by a major industry publication.  This comes about by decisions you make and the actions you take.  You decide not to skimp on the quality of ingredients; you decide to offer customization; you decide to offer personal delivery; you decide to offer a guarantee of satisfaction; you attend industry trade shows and competitions; you do complementary work for nonprofits…all of this will grow your business’ reputation.  Eventually you do get the notice from the top industry publication.  This is a milestone reached and your feeling of being successful is the result.

The word success gets thrown around to the point that we tend to think of it as the goal.  Rather our goal should be to take action on good decisions to reach worthy milestones and achieve dreams.  It’s the result of the attainment that is the success.

So – you want to be a successful home-based business owner.  Then decide on your dreams and goals for having such a business; then find the business that fits you; then make the necessary decisions and take the necessary actions to reach the goal and achieve the dreams and then you’ll find success.

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2 Responses

  1. I have to say I’ve never really brought into the theory where you outline what your definition of success is and then say you’re successful when you reach it. I don’t think anyone really reaches a point in their business when they add up the numbers and claim ‘I’m successful’; there’s always more to do and bigger fish to fry (or it’s time to sell the business.

    I prefer the approach of setting a strategic vision and seeing how close you can come to obtaining it. Success is simply being happy with your life and your business IMHO, rather than a hard goal. Heck, hoping to being happy in life is ultimately why people do what they do professionally.

  2. […] nobody@flickr.com (The Bleeding Heart Bakery) created an interesting post today on Success is not what you thinkHere’s a short outlineIf success is your goal, you’ll never achieve it.  Success is amorphous.  Success is a result of a series of actions based on decisions and measured by milestones and goals/dreams achieved. People love to say, ‘I want to be a success;’ or they might say, ‘I want to be successful.’  What… […]

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