What is Success?

by Business Coach Chuck

Albert Einstein expressed many important ideas. One is that the best ideas are as simple as possible, but no simpler. With this in mind, my definition of the success of the privately owned business is defined by the degree to which it contributes to the happiness of the owner(s). Overly simplistic? No. Happiness comes about by exercising our higher order functions.

Acquisition of wealth can be a higher order function or an addiction, a craving or anything in between. The acquisition of wealth to build more may be the actualization of human creativity at its best or simply the junkie’s obsession for more. Success, as defined here is movement in the direction of that which brings joy. Among other things, happiness includes health, wealth, relations, contribution and connectedness. The combination, ratio, and priorities change in a person’s life. Any one who has ever been really ill will have an understanding of the importance of health that another person may not.. The same can be true of wealth to one who has truly
experienced poverty. Extreme experiences in any area of our life – our financial, marital, health, or spiritual life – can create traumas that skew our focus and cause our priorities to get unbalanced. To be focused in a way that breeds balance and joy and happiness, calls upon us in a very deep and profound way.

Thus, what is going to take any of us to that next level of success is a very individual matter. The first order is to understand what we really want. What, in our hearts is success? Success is a personal matter. And it is important to understand that we are always successful. If, in our heart, we want one thing and we are co-opted to set goals for something else, in our heart we will not believe in our goal and the likelihood of achieving that goal is remote. And if it is achieved, the odds of it bringing happiness are remoter still. On the other hand if we bring our goals into alignment with our values – what we really want – then we have the full faith and authority of the human mind body and soul – working. And then, it is not even like work. It’s like walking to the goal line, because it is just where we are directed.

Once we become aware of our values and goals, the movement toward those goals has material effect on those around us. As such, it necessarily involves family, friends and associates. It may even impact what we have always thought we believed but realize that such a belief no longer serves the good we want to achieve. A common issue of this nature occurs when a client or potential client presents a lawyer, tradesperson or any service provider, with a problem. It is often natural to the professional to begin fixing the problem with the assumption that the finances can be worked out later. This action comes from a well-meaning place on the part of the professional that is based on a whole set of personal beliefs and values that may or may not be shared by the prospective client This is a situation that is likely to end in a payment dispute. This is a small example but one that results in tremendous loss and bad feelings in a service business. It really requires an evaluation of values on the part of the professional.

Success may mean spending less time with the family or it may mean spending more time with the family. This is going to have impact all around. What is key is to develop for yourself what is important to you so that your values and actions are aligned. This is an approach that results in our being clear and direct with others because we are clear with ourselves about what we are doing and why.

This is a process that lays the foundation for success, not only in the short run, but in the long run as well. In the course of any financial success, will come temptation.

Challenges to our character, which is the steam engine of our vision, increase with success. When our goals are aligned with something other than our personal values, it is then that we are vulnerable to taking a detour that is dangerous. And, the more successful we are the more dangerous that can be. To align our vision then, with our values, is one of the key bricks in the foundation of lasting success.