Can you imagine waking up every day, and feeling successful regardless of what's happening in your small business?
That would be a nice place to be -- especially with the myriad of details constantly on your mind. Your marketing plan, cash flow, managing time and deadlines.
It's normal to sometimes wonder if you'll ultimately be successful, or if you'll have to eventually throw in the towel and go back to being employed.
Obviously, you want your growing business to be successful. It's what you're passionate about --- it's what you give your all for every day. Furthermore, it's what gives you the freedom and self determination you want and why you started your business in the first place.
But attaining success can be elusive and paradoxical.
The problem is, success is most commonly defined as the favorable termination of an endeavor, and often associated with and determined by external criteria - such as how well your product/service is received, how effective you are, or by the bottom line...how much money you make.
But, that's not all success is.
Don't get me wrong -- it's fine to pursue success, it's great to make money and have a world class business, but don't make the common mistake of pursuing success to be happy.
I know a young woman who owns a retail store and carries around red-line stress levels with her day and night. She worries about whether she's got what it takes to manage a successful operation. She's paralyzed by the thought that the store's success or failure determines her self worth. Yes, she clearly needs to have, demonstrate and apply lots of skill and good decision making for her store to be successful. But if the only source of her self esteem is the businesses success, she's going to be in trouble.
What I know for sure is, you have to be connected to something bigger than the successful outcome of your business in order to fund a lifetime of fulfillment. This is what I call, "success beyond success."
By all means, give everything you do your all, but don't confuse how your efforts land in the world with what it means about you.
Your self esteem is related to your values, your purpose, what kind of person you want to be, and what kind of life you want to lead. Regardless of what kind of background you had, what obstacles you had to overcome, you can build or rebuild self esteem on a foundation of resonant values along with your sense of purpose. THIS is when you experience success beyond success.
For example, my values -- honesty, beauty, integrity, excellence -- become the determiners of my success and fulfillment. As long as I am living according to these, and hold fully in my awareness the importance of them to me, I experience my life as successful beyond the success (or failure) of my business. What a relief.
When was the last time you clarified your values, thought about your true purpose and felt your connection with something bigger?
Aligning with this awareness is something you have control over rather than random, external factors you have little control over. I believe, learning to live at this level of consciousness will bring you the success you want for your business and most importantly it will bring you success beyond success for the rest of your life.
About the author: Helaine is a Life and Business Coach, who has been featured in numerous publications, including "O" The Oprah Magazine. She helps entrepreneurs and professional women accelerate their professional success, while achieving a more complete and fulfilling personal life. She combines a broad range of professional experience in her work, including management positions in the education, training, retail and international non-profit sectors. For a free consultation, contact her at 603-357-8546 to discuss how she can help you accelerate your own success. You may also visit her website,Path of Purpose, for additional information, or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org