Transcript: How to Define Success on Your Terms

August 9, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “It had nothing to do with making money. It had nothing to do with having a successful launch. It had nothing to do with growing my audience. No, my sweet friend. The very first time that I felt successful as a business owner was when I heard about someone who had used my Facebook marketing plan and absolutely loved it. It helped them transform their business. It helped them reach a new audience and get more leads. And when I heard that, it's like my heart burst open.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Real quick, I wanted to talk to you about another podcast that I think you might love. It's called Being Boss, and it's hosted by Emily Thompson, and it's really just an exploration of not only what it means but what it takes to be a boss as a creative business owner, freelancer, or side hustler. So Being Boss is an amazing resource for anyone interested in getting inspired and, more importantly, getting started as their own boss. 

So, head to wherever you get your podcast to check out Being Boss. And I recommend starting with her episode on releasing the sense of urgency in business. Especially coming back from my sabbatical, this episode was a great reminder to slow down and be intentional. You're going to love it. 

Well, hey, there. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

How are you doing? Give me one word. Just say it out loud. What's one word that best describes how you're feeling right this minute? One word, really quick. Just do it. Play along. Okay, then, after that, give me one word how you really want to be feeling right now. Maybe it's exactly how you're feeling in this moment, but if not, how do you really want to feel? I'll go first.  

So, right now I'm feeling a little bit pressed for time. I've been on a five-week sabbatical, I'm one week back in, and I am trying to get all the stuff done, but it feels kind of like a lot. So I'm feeling a little bit—what's the word?—little frazzled. How do I want to feel? I want to feel calm. I want to feel confident. I want to feel relaxed. And the great news is I'm headed into the weekend soon, and that's going to happen. I'm going to make sure that happens, and I know I can get there. But I think it's important to really identify how you're feeling in the moment and how you really want to feel and ask yourself, “Well, how do I get there? How do I make that happen?” I don't know. This works for me. I thought I would share it with you.  

But let's get to today's episode. I'm going to talk about something that all entrepreneurs want when they go into business, and that is to be successful. You want to feel like your hard work and your time and your stress and your anxiety, whatever it is, is all worth it; that you made the right decision when you ditched your nine to five or whatever it is you left behind to move into creating this business, you want to make sure you made the right decision. And the fact that you probably gave up some financial security and stability to get to where you want to go, you want to make sure that was the right decision, and you want to make sure that following your heart feels like you want it to feel, right? I get it. I want success, too. It's what drives me to do what I do every day, and it's what pulls me to keep me moving forward.  

I was recently thinking about the very first time that I felt successful as a business owner. It was years ago, and it probably is not what you think, because it had nothing to do with making money. It had nothing to do with having a successful launch. It had nothing to do with growing my audience. No, my sweet friend. The very first time that I felt successful as a business owner was when I heard about someone who had used my Facebook marketing plan and absolutely loved it. It helped them transform their business. It helped them reach a new audience and get more leads. And when I heard that, it's like my heart burst open. Just knowing that something I created was helping another person in their business made my heart explode. And if you've ever experienced something similar, I'm sure you can relate to this feeling. 

It was at that point that I realized that success is not just going to be about me making money in my business. In fact, money for me, it is definitely important, but sometimes it's like icing on the cake when I have those beautiful moments of changing lives. Now don't get me wrong. Again, the money’s great and I need it and I want it, but I also realized early on that I've got to find other ways that light me up and make me feel accomplished and make me feel joyful that didn't always have to do with the bottom line, because as I've seen over thirteen years of building the business, the bottom line is not always that great. The bottom line is not always on track, on target, right? And so with that, if the only thing that made me feel successful and happy was if I was on track to meet my financial goals, whoa, these last thirteen years would not have been all rainbows and sunshine, that is for sure. Like, I would have had many, many more dark days if that's how I only based my success.  

And that's why it's so important that you determine what success means to you, because all too often we get so tied up in how much money we're making, how many followers we have, how many certs or degrees we have, insert whatever might be a block for you, that we forget about all the other incredible things that we are creating by our own design.  

So, for instance, success for you might mean that you're home to have dinner with your family every night. You're not on the road. You're not stuck in the office. You're not commuting. Your kids can depend on you to be there and be fully present for that special time. That might be success for you. And the fact that you've made that commitment to be home for dinner and have created your schedule so that you're able to have the time with your family is absolutely something that you should be proud of, and it’s a reason to celebrate success.  

Or it might mean that you have the flexibility in your schedule to take an hour in the middle of the day to go on a walk or do yoga or cuddle with your pup or take a nap or whatever it might be. Whatever it is, it's important that you're aware of all of those little things that contribute to your life and your lifestyle in a positive way, because let's be real: not everyone is able to do that.  

I was recently watching a show called The First Lady on Showtime, and if you haven't checked it out, you definitely should because it's all about the different first ladies throughout history. Hobie and I have been watching it. We love it. And one of the things that I found so interesting was that when Michelle Obama was first lady, she wanted to be home to tuck her kids into bed at night, no matter what they were doing. Like, what was going on in her world and her husband's world, she wanted to be home. That was success to her. There were a million things that she could have used to define success. She was the first lady, after all. So she was in a high position of power, and she was incredibly smart, incredibly talented. So, so many things she could look toward for success. But the one thing that made her feel important and successful was having the sense of normalcy and being there for her kids.  

For me, the fact that I have a beautiful marriage with Hobie and I feel like I am so lucky in love that I look at that as success, I know that I'm doing something right, because if I run this multi-million-dollar business and at the end of the day have a beautiful marriage with a husband that feels taken care of and loved, and I feel that same thing from him, then that’s success to me, meaning at the end of the day, if I hit my revenue goals and Hobie and I are not talking, we're not connected, we don't have a good intimate relationship, we are not there for each other, we’re like ships in the night, I don’t want this business, then, because that’s not the most important thing to me. The most important thing to me is my relationship with Hobie, and so because of that, I see that as success.  

And even when things are hard in my business, like when I was getting out of that partnership and I thought I was going to lose the business, I knew that when I went to bed at night, if I had him by my side and I was on his side, I knew that everything was going to be okay. And I think that's important because I can control my side of that relationship, right? I can do something every single day to make that relationship stronger. So no amount of money could ever replace the relationships that I have in my life, even beyond Hobie, or the impact that I'm making on others. And that's something that I try to remind myself when a launch didn’t generate as much revenue as we had budgeted for, or I feel disappointed, like someone lets me down in business, or stuff like that, like, I feel like things aren't going well, I can look at my relationships and feel really proud and very successful in them.  

So, on that note, sweet friend, I want you to spend some time in your next journaling session. I just recently heard Michael Hyatt say for the last eleven years, he's journaled almost every day, and he feels like it's one of his most powerful leadership tools. I thought that was interesting. He said leadership tools. And now that I've been journaling more often and more consistently, I know what he means.  

And so if you're not journaling, I really want you to think about that one. I have a full episode on my journaling experience and how you can get started, so we’ll link to that in the show notes. But if you’re not journaling, I hope you’ll consider to start, at least give it a try. 

And so if you are journaling, here's what I want you to do. I want you to journal this question: What does success look like to you? And sure, money’s going to be on that list, but I'd like to see five other things that have nothing to do with money. And also, the five things that you write down, you have to be able to control them, meaning if they're fully out of your control, let's not put them on the list. And then, most importantly, don't forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they might seem to you.  

I made sure that at my last retreat for my team that we had champagne. And at the time, I actually thought we were behind in our numbers. It turned out we weren't, but I thought we were. And I told myself, “I'm still starting the meeting off with champagne because there's a lot more to celebrate.” So celebrate however you want to, but please, please celebrate all of it.  

All right. I hope you loved this Shorty episode and found it valuable. Thanks so much for hanging out with me. And if you know somebody who needs a little kick in the pants in terms of their entrepreneurial journey or a little extra love and support, please send them my podcast.  

Again, thanks so much for tuning in. I’ll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Can't wait. 

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