Defining Success: We’re not all the same

Written by SarahJoy Chaples, North Central/Downeast Region

The mission of New Ventures Maine is helping people succeed. How do you know if you are becoming successful, especially when you’ve just started your business? How do you know if you are on the right trajectory?

Take a Step Back

It’s easy to spend a lot of time looking at the bottom line, but the key to true success is business sustainability or resiliency over time. It factors in a much broader, bigger approach to thinking about success. The nitty gritty of the daily grind can feel all-consuming. Taking a little bit of time to intentionally step back and think about where you have been and where you are going can remind you of why you have business in the first place.

Ask Questions, Learn, and Adapt

This article by Forbes helps to frame success as more than just numbers. Are you listening to those in the industry? Adapting? Engaging with your customers? The sign of moving toward success is being able to think critically about what you are doing, letting go of what “should have worked,” and figuring out what does work.  It requires flexibility and patience (with others and yourself!), diligence and effort, and questions, lots of questions! Isn’t it a relief to know you don’t have to start off knowing all the answers?
Asking questions is a sign that you are open to learning, learning what’s right for you, for your business, and for your customer. Be prepared for the answers to change too, so it’s ok to ask the same question! Green was the “in” color, but has it shifted to blue? Or the most important thing was to have the best LinkedIn account, but do you need to switch to another social media platform?
What questions are you asking? Who are you asking? Why are you asking?

If you would like to learn more about owning your own small business, check out our tuition-free workshops & classes!