What does success look like?

You have the same 24 hours as Beyonce mug by Sweaty Wisdom on Etsy (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
You have the same 24 hours as Beyonce mug by Sweaty Wisdom on Etsy (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

If success here at the start of a new year means “Email Inbox Zero,” or a blog and email newsletter editorial calendar already completed, or all unfiled piles of paper gone from my house, or a nice set of year-long personal and professional goals taped to the bathroom mirror….well, then I am going back to bed.

Visualizing who you want to be and what you want your ideal life to look like is a great way to stay focused on life’s journey.

It’s similar to athletes who visualize winning an important race or an Olympic gold medal; as they roll out of bed for the daily grind on the track and in the weight room, they SEE themselves succeeding. They can see that the work they are doing is not random – it is building toward a specific, visualized goal.

Knowing what success is “supposed” to look like is also fairly simple if you are in the standard 9-to-5 work world. There are promotions and positions that you aspire to attain someday. You get there, you’ve succeeded. Boom. The End.

But what does success look like for a solo or small-team entrepreneur, like what I do with Tourism Currents?

You have some clients, you get some more, you help clients be successful, you make more money, clients are happy and they bring you more clients, your team gets bigger, maybe you offer some new products and services….then what?

You are acquired by a bigger company? You go public and have a splashy IPO? You become an agency and broaden your offerings?

In my own situation, trying to visualize any of those does not – at least right now – help me to “roll out of bed for the daily grind on the track and in the weight room.”

I’m working on a book about the middle-aged woman’s entrepreneurial journey, and it needs a chapter on thinking about what success looks like when there isn’t an easy standard example.

Like everything else with being self-employed and running one’s own business, I’m going to have to figure this one out for myself, and be open to changing it as circumstances change.

How about you?

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About Sheila Scarborough

I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel, and social media. Co-founder of Tourism Currents (training in social media for tourism) and the Perceptive Travel Blog.
This entry was posted in Life-hacking and Tips for Better Living, What This Blog's All About and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What does success look like?

  1. Visualizing success has definitely been a challenge for me in recent years…and it’s especially difficult when you’re called upon to deal with some major family issues (death, illness, selling a family business) at the same time. Even as there have been some major setbacks in recent years, I just keep trying to at least keep my focus on the idea of moving ahead…even if it’s only by a baby step or clearing yet another hurdle in each year 🙂
    Dominique King´s last [post] ..Top stories at Midwest Guest during 2014

  2. Good for you, Dominique, stick with it!

  3. Daria says:

    Dear Sheila, success is always difficult to identify, you are right. For travellers and social media professionals the definition of success comes even more complicated, and your idea to feature a chapter about success in entrepreneurial journey is wonderful. In my work I try to follow the thought by Aristotel “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”.
    Nice meeting your blog, and hope to read your book one day!
    I would also love you checking out my photoaggregation project Carde-app dot com for social media, and you opinion about it.
    Happy travels and happy blogging!

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