Success is discussed with scrutiny and vigilant focus in the United States.
“Is she successful?”
“Was it a success?”
“Plan for success” -- the list goes on.
But, what is success, and how do we measure it? We don’t have many methods of calculating what success feels like, though we have many examples for what it looks like. Internal metrics of success keep us aligned and moving forward from a place of integrity. Entrepreneurs prioritizing heart over hustle need unique standards to hold ourselves to. This allows us to signal ourselves to keep going, know when to rework an idea, and ensures we are celebrating our multiple forms of achievement.
In addition to capital, how we measure success is defined by our why. Knowing our why, or the driving purpose behind our business, is the ideal metric for pointing us toward what success can feel like. Having internal measurements of success help us turn inward for knowledge instead of reaching outward. This is helpful to know that our creations are coming from deep alignment.
Understanding the difference between external success like capital, and internal success is important. Having only capital will leaving us feeling empty, having only internal success will leave us broke. We need a balance of the two to live meaningful lives. I want to take a moment to focus on how we measure success when we live from our why.
The why that I started my business with is to help women take up space in the world. It has felt clear from day one that that is my driving force. Supporting women living their why through their business lights me up. With my why as my guide it becomes clearer how I can measure success for A Simple Alternative.
For my business success feels like:
Choosing to show up to my business, even on hard days, knowing I deeply value this work
When my clients give me the feedback that they feel less stressed and feel more supported from our work together
When people reply to my newsletter and say “thank you, I needed this”
When someone comments on a social media post of mine and says “I really understand this”
When something feels really true, and I create the time in my schedule to write about it and share it with the world
None of these metrics relate to the capital I make from my business, but they are the additional and equally important signifiers that I am on the right track.
Try this for yourself.
Take a moment to feel into your why. What drives you in this lifetime?
Now, bring your career, or a single aspect of your life to mind, does it align with your why?
If it does, in what moments do you feel clear that your why is a success?
If your career and your why do not align at this moment, feel free to use another measurement like relationships, school work, communal life, hobbies, etc. Use your why as the measuring stick for your results, and note at least five results for how you know when you feel successful.
Recently I was listening to the podcast Hashtag Authentic and the interviewee Kate Swoboda said: “The measure of success is are you refining your craft? Are you learning about who you are? Are you coming alive?” This is the most powerful definition of success I have ever come across.
Are you coming alive? Then you are a success. Think of the moments when you come alive, how do you know? These are your measuring sticks for future successes.