I've spent all afternoon prepping for tomorrow's workshop on "How to Finish First: The Secret to Long Term Success in Life and Business." About 17 sheets of paper in, I suddenly realized I'm trying my hardest to define SUCCESS, and my brain HURTS!
As you read this, you are probably thinking I'm crazy, either because "it's so obvious" or because "it's impossible."
I'll be honest, it was feeling impossible for about the first 12 pages. After all, I am always telling y'all you have to define your OWN success, so how can I define it for you? On the other had, I don't want to leave you wandering in the wilderness without some sort of map or compass to begin making your way toward discovering your own definition.
So, in the end, I finally came up with a guide and some step-by-step instructions to help you work through this, using our trusty Venn Diagram.
Steps to finding Success Your Way!
1. DEFINE YOUR TERMS: There are 3 essential elements to success, and I'm going to need you to define them in your own terms.
A. Your Needs - This topic deserves a blog post all it's own, and I'll link to it once it's written. Promise! Until then suffice to say I'm talking about all the human needs, including Survival/Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Growth, Contribution, Variety, Certainty etc. Each of us feels a need for these to varying degrees. Some value certainty above all else, while others MUST have variety or MUST be loved. Rank these needs from most to least important. You can add any other needs that you feel are elemental to your happiness.
B. Your Purpose - I have written 2 blogs on this topic. Find Blog 1 and Blog 2 here. To summarize, there are problems in the world that you want to help solve. There is a legacy for you to leave behind. There is a reason why you own your business or work for a particular company. There is a reason you maintain certain relationships and end others. (eat what you eat, buy what you buy etc.) This is the MOTIVATION behind your life efforts.
C. Their Problem - This is a crucial third element to finding success. Yes, you must meet your own needs, and I would argue that your needs come first (like putting on your own gas mask before helping others) But there is always someone else in the equation. For entrepreneurs it's "The Customer" for other careers it's "The Boss" or "The Client." In the rest of your life it's your friends, family, and other loved ones. To really succeed in life, you cannot be an island. Someone else is going to need to feel satisfied with their relationship to you for you to know you are Successful.
Ok, time for a quick example.
Susan knows that she needs to feel respected and needed. She really wants to make an impact for Environmental Preservation through creating art with recycled objects. She believes her ideal customer shares her values, loves original art, and has enough income to spend on quality one-of-a-kind pieces. Here is her Venn Diagram:
So you can see how easily Susan filled in her Needs, her Purpose, and their Problem. (You will have a lot more data. You will need to decide the top 2 or 3 MOST important ones)
Now is where the challenging and fun part begins! I want you to take a look at the diagram on the Right and decide how Susan could fulfill her purpose, fix her customers' problem, and still make sure she is fulfilling her own deepest needs. I won't spoil the fun by answering for you. Put your suggestions in the comments below!
Now it's your turn! Try filling out a Venn Diagram of your own. It is not as important to come up with a "Right" answer as it is to see on paper all the variables you are working with.
Your answers will shift and evolve over time... And that's a good thing!
Your needs may change. Or you may realize you feel fulfilled and start looking for "higher" needs. You might also learn more about your Purpose or about your customer's needs. The variables may be in flux, but they can and should always meet together in the middle. Aiming for that target is how you reach your unique version of Success!
For more details on getting to Success the EASY WAY, tune in to my Facebook Workshop on 10/17 at 9pm (facebook.com/lulamayessentials). You can sign up for this and all my other workshops at lulamaydesign.com/signup.