How to Define Your Own Success

This phrase is overused in the online business world – people say “define your own success!” but then really, everyone just defines it by if you have a six or seven-figure business. It’s a blanket, bland, catch-all definition.

Here’s what’s true about that answer though – I would venture that most of us associate making six or seven figures as synonymous with being able to create a life we want. 

We don’t always define it beyond that because it’s more complicated, can be hard to articulate, and takes time and intention the think through.  

Take the time to do it anyway. 

Creating clarity around exactly what success is for you, very specifically, can be the difference between going for the life you actually want and seeing progress, vs feeling like you’re constantly on a treadmill chasing…something. 

But how do you do that?

Here’s what I mean. 

What if being able to have spontaneous adventures is part of what brings you joy? Adventure is one of your values, those “most important” non-thing things in our lives. 

Any business or life that forces you to give up a sense of adventure is going to leave you feeling frustrated. If you’re making a ton of money and that looks like “success” to others, but you’re longing to have days where you can jump in the car with your skis unplanned, it won’t feel like success. 

What if connection is a value for you? It lights you up inside and feeds the fire of creativity to feel the energy of other humans. (dear Covid I miss that!)

You might release a course that has a five-figure launch and it feels empty because you don’t get to see how it impacts anyone directly. In that case, the numbers hitting the bank will feel exciting for a hot minute, but then less than satisfying. You’ll end up feeling like you “should” feel successful, but something is off. 

Success has to include honoring our values (the most important stuff to each of us individually) or it will feel hollow. 

That’s one part of the equation; defining what living your values looks like and the must-haves around them. 

The other part is financial. We are talking about business here. It’s not a business if it doesn’t create value and profit. What’s missing is most of us aren’t specific enough in this area to create satisfying financial goals. 

We never define specifically what financial success means for us in concrete terms. We just throw out that “six-figure” or “seven-figure business” as the uninspiring cop-out. 


Create a specific financial dream to reach for and inspire you. 

I have a goal right now to have a coaching business doing work I love 3 days a week, with annual revenue of $315,000. I know that’s exactly what I need to hire who I want, pay my taxes, buy health insurance on the open market, support my family in the way that I want, make some good stuff happen in the world, and create some incredible experiences. 

I have future boards, journals, focus / goal sheets, planners, spreadsheets with it all on there. 

It’s specific. I know exactly the life I want, what it costs, what comes first, how I will proritize, the things I’ll do when I hit certain revenue goals. A few things I’ll invest in because although on paper it’s a significant “cost” right now, I have confidence and commitment to my goals that it will help me uplevel and hit the next revenue goal. I keep working to play a bigger game at each level on my way to creating what financial success looks like for me

This both terrifies me and fills me with resolve when I look at it. It’s exciting because it’s so specific.

What are the things included in YOUR version of success? 

Is it only success if it gives you scheduling freedom?

Is it only success if you retain time for creativity within your business?

How much money EXACTLY is success? 

What does the life you want cost? For real? Don’t be afraid. Go for it. 

Figuring this out is literally the first step, even if it changes later. 

Want to fly your parents to see you twice a year? INCLUDE THAT! 

Most of us have dreams that we dismiss as “ridiculous” when in the grand scheme of our success, don’t actually cost that much. 

For, me it’s a house cleaner, and being able to order healthy prepared lunches weeks I’m really busy. Oh, and maxing out a retirement account each year. In my mind, those things feel like success to me, and they are included in my success budget. 

Be specific and clear about what success looks like for you, in your life. 

I know this vision won’t happen overnight, but it’s once it’s defined, it pulls you to it. It’s a target, a place to aim, it brings the next goal into focus. 

I challenge you to sit down and define your vision for success in the next week. 

Include all the things that feel silly, but are exciting, just for you. 

For my husband, no joke, that means ordering ALL Smartwool socks so that’s all he has in his drawer. ???? This is going to cost about $250. It’s another progress marker for the life he wants and he feels excited about it!

Think about the must-haves of success that have nothing to do with money:

Freedom, creativity, access to nature, access to culture, connection, relaxed family time, adventure, learning, personal growth, so many more…

Think about the money: Be specific, big and small! What’s in that success budget?!? 

These together, start to paint a picture of what success looks like for you. It should feel energizing and exciting when you think of it! 

I want so much for you, darling, but only you can say what that is.

Take the time to define this. It’s the first step in making it real. ♥

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