"Success isn't everything but it makes a man stand straight."
--- Lillian Hellman
Much has been written on how to become a successful business person, athlete, sales person, poker player, etc. Everyone who has "made it" suddenly becomes an expert on how to be successful. Unfortunately, too many people fall for the false wisdom of taking short cuts to success.
The definition for success remains elusive unless you've experienced it for yourself. Only at that time can one define success. Having others define it for you will only keep you chasing every definition of success until you die.
"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn."
--- BC Forbes
For those of you who have cut your teeth in this industry, you know what success means to you. You've set the goals you wished to attain and have a direction or plan of the course to get you to your success. You know that only creative thinking, honest dealings and hard work will take you to your goals of success.
Far too many start-ups fail to make it in this industry because of the owner's perception of success. For these folks, finding their way to true success is difficult because their eyes are on how others define success. They've failed to make a plan and to follow it through to their ultimate successful destination.
"The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do."
--- Thomas Edison
The price that needs to be paid before cashing in on success is too high for some people. They've neglected to read the sign that the elevator to the top is out of order and that they will have to take the stairs. Blood, sweat and tears is not always required for success, but it makes it taste much sweeter! Keeping a hand on the plow helps to make a straight row…ok, I'm running out of clichés, but you get the point.
You may have employees, subordinates or team members who are looking for the quick way to the land of milk and honey. The best thing that you can do to motivate them and to keep them focused is to explain the secret formula: W.O.R.K.
"Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility."
--- Pablo Picasso
Once your level of success has been reached, set new goals. There is nothing more depressing than reaching the longed-for plateau only to find it unfulfilling if it ends there. The fact is that success is an ongoing pursuit for us all. You can be content in reaching preset business goals, but unless you are reaching retirement, you won't be satisfied for very long. You need more goals and more levels to reach.
"Success is an absurd, erratic thing. She arrives when one least expects her and after she has come may depart again almost because of a whim."
--- Alice Foote MacDougall
Reaching for more goals is not necessarily the same as greed. The pursuit of success through goal setting shows responsibility to your employees, your industry, and your community. Reaching for your definition of success and not what others define as success, shows business savvy and maturity and allows you to provide the realistic quality your customers expect.
"The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense."
--- Thomas Edison
This 4th of July holiday weekend should be a reminder of how success can be defined. The freedom of our nation was a goal set by our forefathers, but it didn't end there and hasn't ended yet. We as a nation, still strive for freedom for those in and outside of our borders.
If you get time this weekend, think about your business goals. Make sure that they are in line with how you define success. Tweak them here and there to set your business on a course to many goal-reaching levels.
Happy Independence Day!