I try to establish metrics to everything that I consider significant. If the metrics are met and the intended results occur then I consider it a success. If I fail to reach my metrics but learn some vital information that will help immediately or in the future I consider that a growing pain. : )
Success can be defined in many ways, Shawn. As a coach and marketing professional, I feel if someone loves what they do, they are successful. Success to me also means time to enjoy life. Years ago when I was on the metro midday, (actually en route to pick up my car from being serviced) a woman asked me why I wasn't "at work", and I said I was self-employed. She said, "You must be very successful then." When I asked why, she replied, "Success is being free." I've never forgotten that definition, and still think it's a great one.
This is such a good question. Some people think it is being wealthy. Others think it is personal growth and adding value to the world. People have so many definitions and expectations about success. I like this quote from Bill Cosby: "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
I define success first, obviously, before I can measure it.
My trick is to define it so that it's EASY (and almost impossible not) to experience and feel success. Feel successful.
This FEELING SUCCESSFUL, drives me and inspires me to generate MORE success.
I know it's not the conventional way of looking at it (I've a BCom from McGill University) as most people measure success more "objectively", using indicators that are amenable to accounting treatment.
But this "feeling" approach does not exclude more objective approaches. It's just one layer above. It includes and transcends previous conventional measures of success.
The ultimate illustration of this approach is expressed by inventor Thomas Edison, who -- in his mind -- never experienced failures. He always succeeded in finding a way that didn't work (thereby moving closer to the discovery or invention he envisioned).
I actually wrote a blog post about this a few years ago as I was starting my business and contemplating what success would look like. I created a formula for success based on Gladwell's book, Outliers: The Story of Success.
Gladwell analyzed the lives of extremely successful lawyers, entrepreneurs, sports figures, and others to determine the ingredients of success of those he called "outliers".
Based on the book, I summarized the formula for success as:
Success = Passion + Talent + Hardwork (10,000 hours) + Opportunity (includes when, where, and to whom you were born). If interested, you can read the whole post here:
Since that time it has become a bit simpler to describe, but still difficult to discover. Am I living my authentic purpose?
Shawn, in such things, perhaps taking an opposite perspective allows for the deepest more valuable kind of perspective... according to Winston Churchill,
'True success is the innate ability to move from one failure to the next with undiminished enthusiasm.''
It is much in the vein as Mark Twain who maintained, 'We are all ignorant, only about different things.''
To measure success, you can quantify your expectations and when you exceed expectations you are successful.
Success isn't an unambiguous result. It needs to be seen in a clearly understood context.
Success to me is individual. To measure ones success compared to others like wealth, occupation, family or fitness level...we can always find someone more successful and mentally beat ourselves up. I set goals for myself, succeed when hitting them and raise the bar each time.
It depends on the point of view - personal - family - busines - society - nation etc.
In business it mostly has been value creation either through growth or profit and mainly a combination of both. No business can sustain a lasting value accumulation without following good management practises. Personally I would recommend to make sure that making busines must be also fun - if you like what you do and feel good about it, it is easier to win battles and deals. The basis of everything is however a good health of the entrepreneur itself and his business as well.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Everyone has a different idea of what success is and that is why it can be hard to define the measurement metrics. Relationships for instance can be measured in terms of compliments and actions. Emotions can be measured by noting the length of time a person dwells on negative self talk. Other areas such as business, finance, health etc are easy to define with more material metrics.
The best definition of success has been around for many years:
"Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal" - Earl Nightingale
First, you have to be clear and specific about why you are taking a specific step and what you wanted to accomplish by taking that step.
Second, you should have created a very specific approach to achieving what you wanted to accomplish
Third, Using the above two, you can clearly measure your success.
Be careful about setting what you want to accomplish and why. Its something like a top down chart
A) Final result intended, why, value derived
B) identify each of the steps needed to get you there, why you need to take them and what it will gain for you re achieving the final result
C) Plan each step, why you are taking it, how you will take it and what you want to get from taking that step
That type of approach allows for measuring success overall and in the steps needed-taken to get you to the final result.
Not breaking things down in that way often leads to too broad an objective and no real way to define how well you are doing towards being "successful".
Try it out in your next project, sales approach, planning a meeting, attending a meeting, etc. Its not easy but it does help focus you and what you do to achieve "success" and its surely measurable.
Please Let us know how it worked for you.
Thanks, Neil Licht ndlicht
When you are completely satisfied with what you´ve done while meeting your expectations
Interesting question. I think what the market sees as a successful person and what that person may think of themselves can be significantly different. The market often sees wealth and power. Yet the individual may see success as working in a profession or industry or environment where they thrive intellectually and an area that are passionate about. Being able to work flexibly in areas that I am passionate about is success for me.
From my side, I'd say that success is all about setting a step forward than we are now. It may be the growth that we were longing for, say the business growth and in turn it replicates your ROI as well as your customers.
The use of your service/product(s) gets increased as that you can compete with multiple survivors and can still be in a better position. This would be the expectation from everyone I suppose.
"Success depends or varies accordingly, unless or until you put in your effort to gain a better reputation" :)
How I measure success depends on what I'm measuring.
When I measure the success of a project within one of my companies, for example, I define metrics such as cost, time, return on investment, etc. and goals for each metric and simply track them. Success is meeting or exceeding the goals I've set out as shown by those metrics.
However, when I measure success on a larger scale, i.e. do I think I am successful, it is more about happiness and fulfillment. I think to myself, "If I had all of the money in the world and no responsibilities, what would I want to do with my life and my time?" Most days I can answer that question with, "Almost exactly what I am doing right now," and I consider that success.
For me, it depends on what kind of success we are talking about.
Measuring personal success means to come as close to living up to your potential as possible.
Measuring business success means profit and impact, usually one doesn't go without the other anyway.
What do you measure success, Shawn?
Wishing you success, money, and happiness,
Business Performance Coach & Entrepreneur
Success can mean a lot of things to many different people.
For entrepreneurs it might be profitability, growth, and more positive things created.
For some it could be overcoming fears or having a great set of friends to hang out with.
For some, it is having the spare time to do what you love best.
Overcoming obstacles, finishing school, inventing a cure, and more could be a great measure of success too.
Defining and measuring success on any level can be as vast as the drops of water it would take to fill the oceans of the whole world.
To make a long story short success is how you measure it as an individual. The definition is up to you. Whether you reached your goals, attained happiness or contentment is completely up to you.
It is personal, and ever changing. Priceless. Noble. Majestic.