Defining Success

When you hear or read the word SUCCESS, what comes to mind? Money? Fame? Prominence in a certain industry? What about personal time? Relaxation? Whatever it may be, everyone has a little bit of a different take on what the true definition of success is, and this is mine.

The thought of being my own boss has always been the metaphorical carrot dangling in front of my face. It has been my goal ever since I started working for other people. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “If I could create a lifestyle where I can make my own schedule and be in direct control of my income, there are no limits to how far I could go!” Needless to say, being a lifetime employee was never in the cards for me. After all, my parents are both entrepreneurs and I have had the opportunity to watch and help them grow a business from the ground up. I am well-aware of the amount of work it takes to succeed as a small business, and I also know it is 100% worth it.

Businesses are typically considered “successful” if their finances reflect profit, and a growing profit at that. What about the business owner or founder? Is he or she still successful if working 80 hours per week is a normal occurrence? I believe that a successful business is one that is self-sustainable. This means that it does not rely on one person (business owner usually) to keep it operating. Instead, it operates with a team of capable people who keep it moving forward.

For me, I have always felt a strong pull towards my personal time. In elementary school, I would bust through homework as fast as I could during class time or recess in order to reserve my evenings for relaxation with my family. I’m serious, even at the age of 10 I was not interested in taking my work home with me. I value my “me time” extremely highly and guard it well.

Don’t get me wrong, I am also very motivated by money and increasing my income. However, if I were asked if I would rather give up my sacred personal time to make a few extra bucks, I would have to politely decline. My time is so important to me, and being in complete control of it is a major part of what I believe makes someone truly successful.

I prefer to measure the level of success one has based on the amount of free time he or she has to dedicate to whatever makes him or her truly happy. This is just one of the reasons becoming self-employed was my ultimate goal.

Image may contain: Mallory Cunningham, smiling, sitting, hat and closeup