“Success is loving life and daring to live it.” Maya Angelou
Women’s History Month is a great time to look at the words of Maya Angelou and the lessons they have for entrepreneurs. This quote has two lessons for entrepreneurs. These lessons are:
- You must define success for yourself
- Success is meant to be enjoyed
You must define success for yourself
One of my favorite definitions of success comes from Merriam-Webster – favorable or desired outcome. I like the idea of success being the achievement of my desired outcome. Of course, my desired outcome is different from the desired outcome of other entrepreneurs. For example, I am an entrepreneur with a spouse, children and a dog. Success for me means a work day that ends in time for me to enjoy quality time with my children. Other entrepreneurs may define success as working from sun-up to almost sun-up again. Still other entrepreneurs call success being able to work three hours a day.
Question: Which of us is correct?
Answer: All of us. Success is something you define for yourself. No one else can do it for you. Do not worry about how other people define success. Their success does not guarantee your success. Their success also does not keep you from the success you desire. You are the sole arbiter of what success is in your life.
Success is meant to be enjoyed
Often it takes a lot of work to succeed. It is not easy to go from dream to dream come true and reality. Many entrepreneurs get exhausted as they work towards success. Often there are late nights, weekends at work and vacations spent at the computer as one goes from dream to success. For many entrepreneurs constantly working becomes a habit. The entrepreneurs spend so much time doing nothing but working that they almost forget everything else. Once these entrepreneurs get to what they define as success, they continue what got them to success. This means they continue to work all day every day to the exclusion of all else. This is a sad thing. It shouldn’t be.
Success is something that should be enjoyed. When I picture success, enjoying the fruits of my labor I picture thick slices of cinnamon raisin bread toast slathered with soft creamy butter. I see myself taking a slice of that bread and taking a bite. I feel the soft raisins in my teeth and I feel the creamy soft butter on my tongue. A day when a can sit down and enjoy a wonderful slice of cinnamon raisin toast and not worry about having to do anything else is a great day. That is a successful day.
In other words, success is meant to be enjoyed not looked past. Success is a destination. It is a place to stop, smell the roses and enjoy the situation. When you reach the success you desire, do not simply run off to the next thing. Stop, literally stop and take the time to enjoy the fact that you have succeeded.
They say those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Entrepreneurs who want to succeed should ABL aka Always be Learning. So, the question for you this fantastic day is, what lesson do you think a smart entrepreneur can learn from the suggestion that success is loving life and daring to live it?