Success is not what you have but who you are. – Bo Bennet
What defines someone who has achieved success? Is it when they can afford nieces things like a luxury car or a large home in a good neighborhood? Or maybe it’s when their bank account reaches a certain dollar amount, such as millionaire status?
Oftentimes, we confuse these trophies as validation of accomplishment. Why else would we have them if they weren’t earned by being successful?
However, as exciting as they may be in the moment, the glow of buying something new can quickly wear away. This has even caused some people to get into a dangerous pattern of spending more and more to try to recapture that euphoria they once felt – like a drug addict who needs more and more to feel high.
Like most people, I wanted nice things for myself when I started my nurse practitioner business. For example, I remember thinking, “If only I could earn $X this year, that would make me successful!” However, lines in the sand like this get quickly washed away and redrawn somewhere else. The following year I had convinced myself that I now needed to make 25% more than the last to be successful, and so the spiral began.
Then, at some point, I realized that my success wasn’t how much I was earning. It was the person I had become. Here I was – my own boss with my own business. I called the shots and could manage things any way I saw fit. There was no one to tell me any different or otherwise. What’s more, I had obtained the confidence it took to run my own business. From that point forward, I knew that I truly was an entrepreneur, and that made me feel successful.
The next time you’re going to take on a new project or do a new job, don’t just consider what I could do for you financially. Think about the skills or capabilities you could learn from it. Think about the differences you can make in the lives of others. Imagine who you want to be and how you want to be remembered. These will be the things that stick and give your lifelong fulfillment, and only then will you truly know success.