I make a lot less money now than I did ten years ago. Back then I was single, living in Toronto and climbing the corporate ladder. The lifestyle I enjoy now is much slower paced and I certainly wouldn't have considered it successful or goal-worthy then. It’s too bad our younger selves aren’t better at predicting what our older selves will want!
Our personal success factors will change over time. Last year in January I had an epiphany. I was attending Debi Hartlen MacDonald’s Bootcamp for the 2nd year in a row. We were all busy planning our strategies for 2010. It was my fifth year creating the same plan. The strategies and plans got better year after year. Did I get better at executing them? No.
I was tired of doing only ‘OK’ at the same thing 5 years in a row. I had an emotional reaction to something I knew intellectually all along: in order to be successful at training and development consulting, I needed to be selling 80-90% of the time. And selling is not something I want to spend my time doing. Talk about being disconnected from your personal values and preferences!
I realized my personal success factors had changed. I was evaluating my own success (or lack of) against things that are no longer important to me.
Once I got past that, it was easy to focus on things that I like doing and that help me achieve my new version of success. As a result, I took my business in a new direction last year… and love it.
Now my perception of SUCCESS is more closely tied to my perception of HAPPY. Being able to drop a thousand dollars on a whim no longer holds the same appeal it once did. I get to skip the 6am flights from Toronto to Newark and can do email in my PJs instead.