If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
—Henry David Thoreau
What defines “success” for an entrepreneur?
Success means different things to different people. There is no clear cut, universal definition of what success looks like because success is very personal, and it is up to each of us to discover it for ourselves.
For the entrepreneurial business owner, a true sense of success can come from the process of building a business that “works.” From the E-Myth Point of View, a business that works is a turn-key, systems-dependent business that serves as a vehicle for more life to all the people it touches: the owner, the employees, the customers, and the community at-large. This kind of extraordinary business does two things:
- It fulfills your life’s passions and dreams
- It is an asset that supports your life
Let's take a look at both of these concepts in a bit more detail.
A business that fulfills your life's passions and dream
Because success means different things to different people, the first thing one needs to do is define what success looks like for you. If you can’t see it, envision it, and define it... than how will you know what to strive for and whether or not you are on track to achieve it?
Success needs to be intentionally sought after! Once defined, you need to pursue it with all of your passion, purpose and intentionality. You can’t just assume that you’ll achieve success even if you know what it might look like, you need to work toward it — but work toward it strategically.
In other words, you need to position yourself to know what success looks like and understand what it will take to get there.
At E-Myth Worldwide, we believe it is The Entrepreneur within you that defines success and the vision of the business you are intentionally creating. The Manager and The Technician within you, as well as those whom you inspire to be a part of your team, help you make that success a reality. This is where we often start with our coaching clients, helping struggling and successful entrepreneurs alike to create powerful visions for their lives and businesses.
Once defined, the next step is to help them formulate the strategies for achieving their vision. In our experience, in order to build a business that contributes to your sense of success it will be necessary for you to develop your entrepreneurial mindset, and that means having a clear vision for your life and the business you will use to support it, as well as the strategic leadership and discipline to achieve it.
A business is an asset that supports your life
Your business should do more than provide you with a sense of fulfillment. As we pointed out above, fulfilling your passion and vision is essential; but let's face it — you have bills to pay! A mortgage, children in college, retirement concerns... Maybe you want to do more than just meet your basic living expenses each month. Maybe you want to have enough money and freedom to travel the world, to pursue a hobby, to go back to school... to live.
If financial security is one of your goals, then you must build your business into an asset — a vehicle that provides you with the freedom you seek. An asset that will provide for you and your family — even when you are not working in it.
And how does one build a business asset? By creating a turn-key, systems-dependent business. And by turn-key, we don't mean you have to sell your business, it means your business can run successfully, profitably and predictably without you - freeing you to pursue your passions and goals, whatever they may be.
The high failure rate of small business is an unfortunate indicator of the fact that most businesses never "work" as well as they should. and that is often due to not fully understanding how to build such a business. Too many business owners don't have a business that fulfills their passions. They are stuck in the day-to-day work of the business and aren't able to build the business in a way that financially secures their future.
Here are a few steps you can take, like our clients have over the years, to achieve a true sense of success in your business:
Create a vision for your life. We call this your Primary Aim: the essence of your life, your life’s purpose, who you are at your best. Your Primary Aim helps guide you in determining what you want your life to look and feel like. This helps you define what would constitute a successful life for you.
- Create a vision for your business. We call this your Strategic Objective and it guides the growth and development of your company. You can create it by thinking and dreaming about the big idea behind your business, how it will look, feel and operate when it is fully developed and mature. This helps you define how your business will contribute to your life and your sense of success.
- Start with one hour a day. We recommend finding one hour during your work day to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and connect the work at hand to your ultimate vision. This will help you create a plan for realizing your dreams and intentionally moving toward the success that you envision.
Bottom line: one of the ways an entrepreneur can define success is by having a business (or businesses) that support your life. A business that grows strategically and intentionally. You should have a systems and organizational strategy that supports your Strategic Objective which in turn supports your Primary Aim. And never forget: your life comes first!
Many business owners never take the time to intentionally define what success looks like for them and they find themselves just getting through the day and never feeling successful. Others define success in unrealistic terms and find themselves unfulfilled even after they accomplish their goals. Still others do define what their success would look like but lack the leadership and discipline to pursue it strategically and intentionally. Don’t let yourself fall into one of these pitfalls. Begin the process of realizing your dreams... There's no time like the present!
Share Your Story
What does success mean to you? Have you realized success? Post a comment and tell us about it.
The Habits of Entrepreneurial Work
Your Entrepreneurial Vision in Action
Why Build a Turn-Key Business?
A Business That Serves Your Life
We're Here to Support Your Success
Need a guide and mentor to help you create your own success? An E-Myth coach can help you create the business asset you deserve. Contact us today for a complimentary Business Consultation.
Or consider attending one of our Leadership Intensive seminars. At this two-day event for business owners, we show you how to arrive at your Primary Aim and help you fully develop your vision for your business through your Strategic Objective.