My last post, and some recent reading, have my brain humming. I am not sure how many of us realize how little we question the expectations and definitions of “success” that have been funnelled down to us from parents, grandparents, spouse, co-workers, church, and friends. In the US, it generally goes like this:

do well in high school so you can…go to a good college…to get on with a prestigious organization…and work your way up the ladder…so you can buy a big house (with a big mortgage) and a nice car (with a big payment) and take a whopping 1-2 weeks of real vacation per year…and take care of the house and take care of the car…and then retire 30-40 years later to do what you really want to do.

Most of us rarely question it. If you are a small business owner, there are some changes in there, but the end result is really the same.

I’m starting a new series to investigate this. I’ll pull in book sources, video, my own blogs posts and others to really delve into this question. So buckle up and START QUESTIONING EVERYTHING! Here is our starting point:

10 Questions to Ask Yourself To Get Closer to Your PERSONAL DEFINITION OF SUCCESS:

1. Do you (or your children) need to go to college and do the benefits outweigh the cost to you and/or your parents? What are some other options?

2. Do you have to buy a house? And, if you want (not need) to buy one, could it be smaller? Have you considered maintanence costs, including outside, of your dwelling?

3. What type of car do you need to drive and how long before you buy a new one?

4. How much stuff is enough and how much is simply too much? What is the cost of maintaining it all?

5. Would you rather have more time or more money (and what steps can take you closer to your right answer)?

6. Have you calculated the real costs (gas, car maintenance, lunches, clothing, grooming, ongoing education) of your job? What tweaks could you make to do something you would really love or to do less of what you are doing?

7. Should you ever pay the full retail price of ANYTHING?

8. Are you steering your ship or are you letting someone else’s conventions and definitions guide you?

9. Are you really living your personal values and do you even know what they are?

10. Do you really have to “work” (or own a small business that feels like a j-o-b)?

Any early input?


by Steven Schlagel