What does success in your business feel and look like?

Whether or not my business is, or feels, successful has been on my mind regularly over the past year or two. I’ve gone through various ways of feeling about this, from wondering a couple of years back whether my business was even “real” enough if I didn’t make “enough” money with it, to realizing that success for me is a result of how fulfilled I feel.

The recent launch of my new mini-course made me think again about success. In this post, I’ll share some of my reflections with you, and I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

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Dealing with the numbers

The other day, a friend asked me how things were going with my business. I find that a really hard question to answer—pretty much as hard as giving an honest answer to “how are you doing?”. 😅 As I answered his question, I quickly started talking about the number of 1:1 clients I’m working with, income and sales of my mini-course. The thing is, I don’t even really want to talk about my business like this. At least not first and foremost. Yes, I feel like in the slow business space we often don’t talk enough about money (I have a post brewing on just that). 
But for me, numbers are something that I know my inner hungry ghost thrives on. The numbers will never be enough for the hungry ghost. The hungry ghost will always be wanting more, as I shared in this post on my 2023 goals

For me, the numbers are tied in to being told to seek and achieve security at all costs as a child. It also ties in to an old desire of wanting to be “good” and doing the right thing. And it ties in to a very human need for recognition, to be seen, to be part of the tribe, somehow. After I talked a bit about the numbers and my friend responded with interest, I shared about the things I’m currently loving. How magical it is to me that I’ve worked on something for months, put it out in the world and now people are buying and enjoying it. How much I love working with 1:1 clients and supporting them as they build a business that really works for them. How much I love hearing their stories. How much I enjoy writing here and reading your comments. How amazing it is to me to be paid for my writing.

In going straight to the numbers I reinforced the idea that a business is only successful once we’ve reached a certain income. Once we’ve reached a certain number of clients or customers. It’s the things that show up if you Google “when is a business successful” (I’d not recommend doing that).

Yes, one of the reasons why I started my own business was because I wanted to earn money away from my teaching job. I wanted to be more in charge of when I worked and what I earned.

But I was also craving more autonomy and more fulfilment. I craved to experiment more, to try things out and to be in charge of what my days look like.

My business started feeling successful when I realised that I was doing exactly what I felt I was made to do.

There is a slower, gentler and more profitable way of running your business.

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Instead: marketing and launching that is slow, gentle and gets results. Clear boundaries and priorities that encourage you to live a life next to your business. Accountability and support to help you create the live and business you crave.

Redefining success

I started to feel like my business was successful before I came even close to reaching my financial goals (to the extent I even had them at that point). 

My business started feeling successful when I realised that I was doing exactly what I felt I was made to do. When I was deeply loving what I did in my business. When I started to feel really in my business and when my business felt in alignment with my life. That sense of feeling really good in and with my business has only increased now that I’m making more money.

These markers of success may not resonate with you. For you, the success of your business might feel and look differently. What I’d want to invite you to do is think about what you want your business to feel like whenever you’re pondering success.

No one else’s markers of success matter—only yours. Only you know what you want and need from your business, whether that’s a certain income, a degree of freedom, space, challenge, connection or something else.

This post has been in the making for a while, but dovetails nicely with Emma Gannon’s The Success Myth which I’m currently reading (affiliate link). It makes me wonder, should we even talk about a business as being successful or not? As Emma writes, how we understand success, or how we use the word, often does not do justice to the complexity—or technicolour-ness—of life.

Success in my business is certainly multi-faceted and technicolour. And I love it that way.

If my newsletters and free resources resonate with you, I might just be the right mentor for you. I don’t believe in 10-step-plans, or get rich quick schemes. I do believe that it is possible to create and run a business that fits you and your life: your values and rhythms, your strengths and passions. I strongly believe that you don’t need to do all the things, or be on all the channels to make your business work. 

I’m here to help you feel more supported in your business. I’m here to give you the confidence to run your business from that place of deep inner knowing inside of you, offering my signature blend of mindset shifts and practical steps.

an experiment

Take a moment to think about or journal on these questions.

  1. How do you feel about the concept of success? Is it something you’ve applied to your business?
  2. What are your own markers of success?
  3. Where do you need to let go of other people’s stories about what success is or isn’t? Where can you reframe or even rename success?

I’d love to know which of these strategies to feel more supported in your business you’ve tried, and which you’re going to try out. I’d love to know!

Please feel free to share it with business friends, in your newsletter or on social media. 💛

I’d love to support you in all phases of your business. Providing clarity, focus and next steps is something that my clients tell me I’m really good at. If you’re curious about how we can work together through 1:1 mentoring, check out what I offer or send me an email–no strings attached. I have payment plans available, and flexible options for mentoring calls (30 or 60 minutes).

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