Find your definition of success.

Written by Arno Jansen

The definition of success for many Solopreneurs is about autonomy.

On social media, I keep seeing the line:

I want to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want.

Or something along those lines. Its a nice thing to dream of. Total freedom, so it seems.

It is also a placeholder. A generic phrase that speaks to a lot of people.

It often gets translated into an arbitrary dollar-amount in the bank so you don’t have to work another day in your life.

But what it is not, is a vision. A dream of your future. To help you stay on this journey long-term, you will greatly benefit from a specific image of your future.

Your personal definition of success is the way you describe how you would spend your time if you had the choice.

In the end, you’re not chasing a dollar amount. You’re not chasing expensive things.

You’re chasing a feeling you want to have.

Reality check

Earlier this week a friends funeral took place. He left our world at an age most us consider only “halfway” in life. Leaving behind his wife, parents, siblings and two teenage kids.

Later that day I met with caregivers to discuss my Dad’s Alzheimer progression. He received that diagnosis a few months ago. Although, we already knew something was not right for months.

Recently though, he goes looking for my mom several times a day. Unfortunately, he won’t find her, because my Mom passed away just over a year from dementia.

All this was a reality check for me: My parents were able to enjoy their retirement for a few short years and I have already outlived my friend.

I have never had a goal to make millions or get expensive things. Instead, the ability to be with my family and loved ones is most important to me. I want to be able to spend my time here the way I think is right for me.

That is what success means to me.

How work fits in

No matter your vision or definition of success, bills need to be paid. You need to find ways to get paid for doing something other people find valuable. That’s what work is, after all. I want to spend as much of my work time, doing something meaningful.

What do you want to get out of your work, besides money?

Ideally I want to earn my income helping others find out what they want from life and then help find ways to achieve that. Enjoying as much of that journey every day, while working towards a future of their dreams.

So, to me success means:

  • Being with and providing for my family and loved ones
  • Helping others get out of life what they want.

What does success look like for you, in life and work?

Solopreneurship is a great way to satisfy both goals for me: Increase autonomy, and helping others do the same.

The way I put it into practice means, that I am unlikely to see explosive growth, massive exits or internet fame. I work hard, but I am not a big fan of the 24/7 hustle culture. I want to live as much of my future dream life, today.

Since I don’t answer to a boss, I am already pretty free to spend my time as I see fit. So, there’s lots of family time. Hanging out with the kids. Making music with friends.

And I love it.

And at work, I thrive on the responses I get from people and teams I help. I also thrive on the ability to not work 60 hours a week to build an empire. Instead, I will take the rest of today off and regain my mental balance after a tough week.

This is all a bit heavy-handed, I know. But as illness, deterioration and death increasingly finds ways into my life via loved ones, I realise how precious my autonomy is now that I can still enjoy it in good health.

The ability to love, care, grief & laugh on my own terms, is priceless.

Ok, so now what?

If you haven’t yet, please take some time to explore what success deeply means to you. Then, let that become the driving force behind your vision, your goals, your actions.

Not to work for a dream future, but also to deliberately look for ways to live (part of) that dream life today already.

Do you know your vision, your big goals?

I’m not talking “get to 1000 followers” or “make $100k/m”. Sure, those are goals, but why is that important to you? What do those results enable you to do that you find important and can’t do today?

And until you have reached your goals, is there a way you enjoy some of that big Why already without reaching those goals?

Not saying you shouldn’t strive for a big dream, in fact I’m all about it. I’m only saying: you might not achieve your big dream. No amount of hard work guarantees or entitles you to anything in the future.

How do you make sure, you still find meaning and joy in the process, the journey?

The answer is simple: Know what matters most to you today. The key words here being “you” and “today”.

What matters most to you?

What matters most today?

Meditate on it, write about it in a journal, discuss it with someone close to you. Find a way to articulate how you answer those two questions.

Those answers are the starting point to articulating your big dream, your ultimate goal, the vision for your life and work?

It can be anything, just make sure your dreams are really yours!

I would love to hear your vision, your dream goals. Please, hit the reply button and let me know what you want from your journey!

I’m rooting for you! 🙌

Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

Join my free Focus Finder email course to transform yourself from deeply distracted to fully focused.

    Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

    Join my free Focus Finder course and go from deeply distracted to fully focused.

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