What is success?

p0317288Exactly how do you define success? That is a question which would draw a wide variety of responses. Some people would think in terms of life-style, some in terms of quality of life and some purely in terms of money in the bank. To many it would probably be a combination of those things. It does rather depend on your values and your outlook on life. It also raises a secondary question; “How do you measure success?”

This question of success is one which all internet marketers will have asked themselves: “At what point can I consider myself to be a success?” Again, there would be different responses. Would it be at the point you finally have a million in the bank; or perhaps the point at which you can leave employment and go it alone; or, to some, it may be the point at which you make your first sale. These are all important days to those who run their own online business.

This issue of success is one which anyone in life who has any kind of ambition will be aware of. Andrew Reynolds, whose writing and presentations first inspired me in this business, always says of internet marketing: “It isn’t about money. It is about the lifestyle and freedom which money can bring.” This brings out the subtle difference between “lifestyle” and “quality of life” as the two things are not the same as some people seem to think. Lifestyle is about “things” whereas quality of life is about “feelings”. If you are content with your lot in life then your life has quality, even if your lifestyle is not of the most extravagant.

At a spiritual level (however you may perceive that) success can be measured in terms of fulfilment, the satisfaction of a job well done. Peter Sellers, the great British comedy actor, said of the Pink Panther films that it was the process of creation which gave him his joy and fulfilment, not the finished film. Once the filming was over he was looking forward to his next project rather than back at the one just completed. I think those are sentiments that many people share, – I am one of them. It’s the doing rather than the end result which motivates me. That applies whether I am working at my internet marketing business or writing music, my original discipline.

With regard to the money aspect of success; it has been said many times that: “Money can’t buy happiness”. Some add the jokey follow up line: “it just makes being miserable more fun”. Research has shown that once we reach a level of wealth which enables us to live our lives the way we want to live our lives, and provide for our family in the way we would wish to provide for them, any more money above that does not enhance our existence in any way whatsoever. So, the pursuit of money for the sake of money is rather pointless.

In my student days, I helped to run a club for mentally handicapped children. One of the fathers I encountered, Harry, was a single parent with an autistic son. In his working life he was a dustman, as they were known in those days. If there was ever a person with good reason to feel disenchanted with life it was Harry. Yet, he was one of the most contented people I have ever met. He was always cheerful. I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face. He loved his son; he loved his job; he loved his life. He had real quality of life even though his lifestyle was fairly basic. He had what he wanted and simply didn’t need more than he had. In Harry we have a role model.

When we first start an online business we will all have different motivations which are personal to us. We will all have a fairly clear idea of where we intend to end up. (If we don’t have these we are likely to fail) We need to have clearly imprinted on our minds exactly how we will define success. This will give us a target to aim for. I am not a great believer in “Goal Setting” in the way that some people are, but it is necessary to know what you perceive as your destination and have a very clear route mapped out to get you there.

I can’t see the point in pursuing a dream if the route you take is not enjoyable and makes you miserable. To succeed in internet marketing takes a great deal of effort and commitment and there will be bad days in there from time to time. However, I find the process very motivating and fulfilling. If you are to really be a success you will need to generate that same enthusiasm for your project. There are a variety of ways to achieve success in the realm of internet marketing. Do your research well and find the one which suits you. That way success is achievable and you will enjoy both the destination and the journey. Good luck in your business!

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