Your Definition of Success

As you create and build a business you make a plan of how you want to grow your business, and sometime you get opportunities that are not part of the plan. These new opportunities may be great for your bottom line, but may not take you in the direction you want to grow your business.

Last year I did a huge project that consisted of doing production work. I created 100 pieces each, of two different styles of jewelry. 

I looked at this new opportunity as a way to grow my business, and make money for my bottom line. I spent 3 months working on that project, sourcing materials, making samples, prepping everything, and making all those piece over and over again.

It was a tough 3 months, and when it was over and I shipped everything out, I said I was never going to do that again. Of course when I looked back at my year I considered the year a success, but I don't know if that new projects really fit into my true definition of success.

After taking on that project, at the beginning of this year I sat down and really thought about what my personal definition of success was going to be for my business in 2013.

Have you defined what success is for your business?

Take a moment and make a list of 4 or 5 peak moments in your business. (Peak moments are when you tried something new, stepped beyond the usual, and felt fulfilled doing what you love.

Review your list for insight:
How did you feel during those moments?
What did they teach you, and how did they make you happy?
How did the decisions you had to make change your business?
What do those moments say about what's important to you?

The beauty of acknowledging your peak moments is that you can use that info to create your own definition of success.

Once you have your definition of success it will be easy to decide what projects you want to do, where you want to grow, and how much money you want to make, while enjoying doing what you love.

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  1. I completely agree. In the past year I've had to turn down projects or refer them to others because I did define what I wanted to do and they didn't fit. It makes decision making easier, you can actually refer projects to others who would love the project and you're free to keep moving in your desired direction. Thanks for the post!

  2. I'm really gonna try and make an effort to sell some stuff this summer.

  3. I've tried producing multiples of my items, but it's not working out for me. I feel more at home creating OOAK pieces. Once my new studio is set up I'll be offering sewing workshops (well, that's the plan anyway)!

  4. You've got me thinking again! Which is very good! I need to sit down and see where that success factor is lying! Need to try harder!

  5. Sounds good in theory, right? Having a huge order. Until the repetition sets in. Great advice on defining success beforehand so that you know if it fits into your business model. And is that you? If so, I'm so happy to see you!

  6. This is spot on for me right now Valerie! Recently I found an opportunity, and I've found that has drawn me away from my main focus of my business. After a bit of feet first trial and error, I am now stepping back and trying to fine tune what's most important in how I want to grow.

  7. great food for thought. I think this is a hard balance for 'hand-made' artisans. mass production is just not an easy thing, and isn't what brings customers to these types of products. It is important to define how you want to grow, and what will bring balance to your business.

  8. I love that saying " Success is a journey..."
    I've done a few mass production orders and every time I wonder why!

  9. Yes, good questions to help frame the outcome. Thanks for this, Valerie. I'm linking to you in a post today.

  10. Great post! I have only done a few bulk orders but feel the stress is not worth it. Along the way I tweak my business. When something is no longer enjoyable to create, I retire it. Success definitely needs to equal happiness to be fulfilling. :)


Your thoughts and ideas are an important part of the conversation, thanks for sharing!