Success means different things to different people.
You may think of success as reaching a financial goal within a certain timeframe, or having a certain amount of followers on social media. But those are RESULTS. They are metrics by which you can determine whether you’re on the right track, but success is so much more than tangible data points. So… what does having a successful business look like to YOU?
Ever heard the phrase, “Thoughts become things”? We create more potential or more limitation in our lives and in our businesses depending on how we are thinking about ourselves. I want you to travel with me through an exercise on imagining your success…
Step 1: Know your value
We create stories about who we are, what we can and cannot do, and whether we deserve to be happy or successful. Sometimes it’s other people who are responsible for creating those stories about us—our parents, teachers, friends. They were taught things like, “Money is evil” and, “Working for someone else is safer than starting your own business.” Louise Hay, one of our favorite self-help authors, said, “If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become truth for you.”
They came to believe these teachings and then they passed them down to us and we came to accept them as truth, too.
When you realize that the beliefs holding you back are just stories you’ve been telling yourself all along, a powerful transformation takes place.
For a long time, I had trouble accepting that my made-up story about myself isn’t true. I was so scared of failing and making a fool of myself that I’d rather withdraw from an opportunity than give it a try. Back in the day, when I was still working at my corporate job, I was invited to lead a live webinar. Nearly 1,000 people registered to hear ME talk about my area of expertise. Instead of giving myself the thumbs up and being pumped about it, I was literally dying inside because I was so scared that all those people would think I’m a total fraud. The moderator introduced me as the “expert” on design – I cringed. “OMG! I’m not an expert,” I thought. “I don’t know everything there is to know on the subject. Everyone will see right through me!” That webinar went on without a hitch and got an excellent rating from the audience. At that moment, I realized that I was putting myself in complete agony over something that wasn’t even true or real!
One of my best friends and cheerleaders always says, “Aga, it’s none of your business what other people think of you.” This simple phrase took a long time to REALLY mean something to me. Eventually, I began to unwind the made-up narratives and create new ones that showed me what success could look like to me.
Step 2. Visualizing your own success
I want you to think about your business reaching its goals and achieving SUCCESS. Now I want you to visualize yourself in that moment. What does your life look like? How is it different from what you’re experiencing now?
- Do you finally have more time and flexibility to spend with your loved ones?
- Do you travel more because you now have the means to do so?
- Are you financially free and able to worry less and focus more on helping others?
- Do you have extra money to use to care for family, friends, and invest in causes you care about?
- Are you finding new hobbies because you have the time and mental bandwidth for it?
- Are you finding more time for self-care and better overall health?
- Is your ability to have a real impact on more people increased?
I want you to find your own state of success. Reach for your notebook and write down that vision of yourself you have – that is what YOUR success looks like. Keep that note where you can see it every day to remind yourself what you’re really working toward.
Step 3. Creating your path
It is so important to have a clear vision of yourself reaching that successful moment because that is your most powerful motivator. That thing, person or state of mind you’re visualizing is why you’re doing this in the first place. It is the reason for embarking on this journey of defining success for yourself.
Just visualizing your own success isn’t enough, my dear. But once you’re able to do that, you’ll be a lot more likely to figure out a path to get there. It’s a lot easier to make a plan when you know WHY you’re doing it and WHAT you’re trying to achieve. Here are some key things you’ll want to consider when crafting your path to success:
- Give yourself a realistic deadline on achieving your goals. Too much time will result in you wasting it away, while an aggressive deadline will make you feel like a failure if you don’t reach it. Be honest with yourself and think about what’s feasible.
- Find the right tools. That gap between the current you and the future you might seem too big to mitigate but with the right tools, you will be able to get organized and make your work feel manageable. Do your research and find the right tools that will help you manage your day-to-day admin work or plan out and automate your social media posts in advance in one of those nifty tools like Later or Hootsuite. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. If hiring a Virtual Assistant is something that appeals to you, go for it!
- Keep yourself accountable. This is a real job and if you treat it as such, you’ll reap great benefits. Since you are your own boss, you’ll need to give yourself performance reviews once in a while. That means being honest with yourself and tracking your progress. I like to track all of my time to see how efficient I am by using TimeCamp. It helps me see what areas of my business I’m spending most time in and how that’s impacting my growth. Feeling busy is very different from actually being productive. Data on how you work can give you invaluable insight and could potentially change the way you work.
I want you to go and make your own destiny now by rewriting your story and creating a narrative that tells you what the successful YOU looks like. You already have it in you, sister! Just let your inner light shine and guide you.