I’m Lauren, I started my first business while trapped in a cubicle and dreaming about a better life for myself and my clients. I spent my days fixing issues I knew I could have prevented... if I'd just gotten to work with the client earlier. So I started - on an ancient laptop with a clipart logo and within 18 months was the owner of a thriving practice.
I started my first company when I was 24 and it had rapid growth (I had a defined purpose and a clear why.) About 12 months after I started I employed 5 bookkeepers and an assistant.
I was working 60+ hours per week, that’s when I was counting hours. I was lying to myself a bit about that.
I was billing over $400k+ annually, that’s what it looked like on paper. But my profit margins were shit, cash flow was dismal and I put on a lot of weight.
Even writing those last two facts still hurts.
I was in a constant state of fight mode and adrenalin was free-flowing constantly. My sleep was minimal and I was always sick. It was affecting my health and my relationships, some which never recovered.
It all changed in a flash though. I couldn’t do it anymore, I felt like such a failure. (Insert into your mental picture some ugly crying and trying to work out how to run away from my life.) I decided to make changes and the first was to learn what was actually happening in my business.
That is when I realised I wasn’t being present in my business.
I was earning really fabulous money but my team wasn’t efficient. They were good people but I hadn’t been the boss they needed. I reviewed all, I fired my sister (she was happy and our relationship has never been better) I let go of 2 more staff and created systems to streamline.
The business wasn’t aligned with who I was. During the whole crazy time that it was amazing, I kept being offered more and more work because I knew how to fix issues in business. But I still walked away.
The reason I am telling you this is to give you a little more understanding that although someone can be seen to be running a big successful business behind the scenes can be a very different story.
And success can look dramatically different between one business and the next.
I now run Lauren June. I AM Lauren June. This business is me all over. I am not currently billing $400k a year I don’t have huge wages each week. I spend the time I want on my health, I LOVE my clients and give them the customer service they deserve and most importantly I live how I choose.
So, tell me, are you aligned with your business?
Every person thinks differently about what constitutes being prosperous in life and defines success in different ways, so there seems to be no definition that is suitable for all. Every entrepreneur has hopes and dreams for their business. We have goals we want to attain that, to us, mean we’ve made it, that our business is successful. But after coming across this collection of quotes I was reminded of just how varied that definition can be for different entrepreneurs.
Scott Ginsberg of nametagscott.com says, “Success means having no idea what day of the week it is.” In this view, Scott equates success to high level of activity and involvement with customers, both internal and external. The exaggeration of confusion illustrates that a truly successful and dynamic enterprise generates so much demand, so much interest, and so much activity, that the owner will be kept too busy to even care about what day of the week it is.
You might guess what I’d like to say about that, but to someone else, that might be exactly what they’re looking for.
David Hauser, co-founder of Grasshopper.com, defines Success as “the ability to do what you love every day.” His definition may sound simple, but he points out that what we love can and do change over time, and “having the ability to change what you are doing to match your passion is true success.” This definition that relates success to the freedom to pursue passions is a fresh take on what success means, one that does not focus on wealth or status, since each person has different passions and pursuits in life.
This is a little closer to what I do.
“To me, success means working toward my dreams. As long as I keep moving in the right direction I feel successful,” says Cara Newman, Editor of Young Money. Cara believes that success can be viewed as a journey or a path that we take, and that success is a continuous process but is nonetheless measurable by looking at the direction we’re moving towards. A direction aimed at our goals and aspirations.
For a lot of my clients, that’s what they’re looking for too.
One of the key steps to achieve success in business is to understand the meaning of success in your personal life. The true meaning of success goes far beyond the common definitions of success, such as having a lot of money, having a lot of tangibles and letters after your name.
Success is not just about material things or qualifications, it’s about you.
Forget about what society thinks about your business; how do you see yourself and what your business stands for?
Whether or not you and your business are successful depends on how you define success, and on the tradeoffs, you are willing to embrace along with that definition. To a small business owner, there is seems to be an obvious way to determine success: That is to answer the question “How happy am I?” And finding out what truly motivates you, what you want to achieve for yourself, your colleagues and your family, and what you value most, spiritually, emotionally, and materially, will guide you towards that happiness.
Tell me in the comments below what does your version of success look like? Is it all about making ‘six figures’ or is there something else you need as well?