Do you run your own business? Do you consider it to be successful?

How do you know if it is a success? Are you fully booked out for months in advance? Are you super busy? Is the bottom line healthy? Is that what success means to you? Is that the way you measure success?

If it is, that’s great! If your model of success is all about the bottom line and your bottom line is healthy, you have the security of money in the bank, fantastic, your business is successful.

But if your bottom line is already there, have you ever stopped to look beyond the balance sheet and measure success against more personal goals?

I spent a long time thinking I was hugely successful because I believed that money in the bank and busyness equated to success, but when I took some time to go a little deeper, I realised that there were other very important and markers of success that were more important to me. These markers had not been factored into how I ran my business at all.

So how did I work out what success really means to me?

Well, I started by asking myself that very question and I soon realised that to me success, in its most basic form, actually means ‘is it making me happy?’ Did my business and my working week pass the pillow test (meaning was I sleeping peacefully at night and waking looking forward to the working week to come?)

The answer to the pillow test for me was a resounding, NO!

What I discovered was that for me, besides a great bottom line, there are three main things that allow my business to ‘make me happy’. These three key indicators are:

#1 Time

Do I have time for me, my health, my body, my mind, and emotions? Do I have time to do things that I love while still having a business that has a great balance sheet and reaches those I want to help?

#2 Connection

Does my business allow me to have the connection with my loved ones that I want while still having a meaningful connection with my clients?

#3 Living a purposeful life with meaning

Is my business something meaningful? Does it support me to live with a feeling of purpose?

How you measure success will be highly individual to you. What success means to you will differ from me and the next person, so it’s important to ask yourself the questions – what does success mean to me? If I was being honest with myself is there more to my business success, beyond the bottom line?

Take some time and ask yourself what kind of business do you want? What kind of business would meet your measure of success? Think about what that would actually look like. Beyond the bottom line, is it happiness you aim for? Purpose? Peacefulness? Excitement? Variety? Philanthropy? Recognition? What does your business need to align with to bring you fulfilment? And, like I did above, take time to come up with a list of three key things that would do this for you.

It took me a long time to realise that success was much deeper than just how busy I was and what my bottom line told me. But when I reached that realisation, it meant that I was able to approach the way I conduct my business differently.

Reflection is crucial, and having taken that time to reflect, now I consider my business to be successful on so many more levels than ever before. And it passes the pillow test!

The bottom line is vital of course, but success can be so much more than that. Once you know your key success indicators you can begin to align the way you conduct your business and pass the pillow test too.

To your potential


Maggie Wilde – The Potentialist
Award Winning Author and Publisher