The 30-Day Writing & Publishing Project, Day 28: Some Thoughts on “Success”


It’s a loaded word.

What “success” looks like to you and what it looks like to me may very well be two totally different things.

When you’re trying to build a business using online marketing and outreach methods, as many of us are, success often becomes defined by how many email subscribers you have, how many people follow you on social media, and how many “figures” you make – weekly, monthly, yearly.

I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of spending far too much time thinking about those kind of metrics.

And sure, if you take your business seriously, you have to concern yourself with those metrics. But if you allow yourself to get beyond the numbers, beyond the day-to-day math of running a business, what does success really look like?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I fervently want to break out of the mental loop of judging myself based on the daily, weekly and monthly numbers, and often coming up feeling lacking.

Recently I was re-reading some notes I took during a Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience back in March of this year called “Manifesting True Success.”

One of the ideas Chopra shared during the 21-day experience was “success is a living reality.” I was struck by this idea, and instantly felt better about what I was up to in the world based on that metric, which is essentially this:

Look at your priorities, and if any of them are already in your life, then you are “successful.”

My priorities are:

:: Pursuing creative expression.

:: Being of service.

:: Expressing compassion for all, unconditionally.

When I look at that list, I realize that I pursue creative expression every day, 7 days a week; I’m of service to my clients, my email subscribers and my blog readers, and offline, to my friends and family with support and kindness.

And I find ways to express compassion for others most days, though I admit I have room to grow in this area.

By the “success is a living reality” metric then, I’m successful.

So on those days when I feel like my business isn’t yet where I want it to be and I’m letting subscriber numbers and social media followers and revenue levels wrestle with my happiness and win, I remind myself that business-minded numbers are only one very small sliver in life’s full menu of metrics, and I can choose to focus on the ones that really matter instead.