What’s Your Definition of Success?

Success. That word represents happiness, prosperity, and ultimately the accomplishment of dreams. However, success is mostly dependent on the parameters within which we as individuals place it. Professional success takes on a slightly different meaning depending on the individual who does the defining.

Most of us can agree that success is something we all strive for. Whether we are an artist, a visionary, or a business mogul, the end goal is still represented by our own interpretation of success. Before we can attain anything that remotely looks and feels like success, we must first overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in our way.

The average person might define successful individuals as those who have it all and never seem to be worn down by life’s overwhelming challenges. What these people fail to realize is that success can never be fully achieved unless the person stays motivated through failures and obstacles that are thrown in their way. Traditional concepts of success are all around us, with the most popular caricatures possessing wealth and popularity. Not everyone shares that definition of success.

For you as an individual, the importance of sifting through these traditional representations of success is the key to discovering your own definition. Do you dream of being your own boss? Are you passionate about devoting your time, energy and resources for a good cause? What warms your soul and brings a smile to your face? Answering these questions will help you redefine success for your life, and will help you eliminate the unnecessary pressure put on you by traditional concepts.

Money is rarely satisfying enough to become the definition of success. For those who use it to accomplish their true life goals, it becomes a means to an end that leaves them feeling truly successful.

Setting Goals for Success

Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or just starting your first business, setting SMART goals can help define your business priorities with clear objectives that put you on the path to success. SMART goals are defined as: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Each criteria plays an integral part in creating goals for your company.


Write exactly what you want to accomplish with your goal based on the five Ws:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • Why do I want accomplish this goal?
  • Where will this happen?
  • Who is involved?
  • When do I want to achieve this?

A specific goal must be clear so that all parties can understand and answer the questions above.


Your goals should be measurable so that you can track the progress towards achieving them. This means that there must be quantifiable indicators that prove you have reached your goal. This criteria helps answer the question: How do I know if I have accomplished my goal?


An achievable goal means that it is attainable with the given resources and capabilities. The goal should be challenging enough so that it motivates your team. However, making a goal too challenging can create frustration so it’s important to keep the goal realistic.


Does the goal align with your company’s vision? It’s important to set goals that are relevant and add value to the business. When you achieve relevant goals, you help move the company towards greater success.


Set a specific and realistic time frame for your goals. If you’re choosing bite-size measures, a month in advance may be realistic, while larger product or service launches may require several months. A deadline can create a sense of urgency and help motivate your team.

Do your business goals align with the overall vision of your company? If not, you may wish to make some adjustments on either end. This will help ensure that your company is on track for success.