Ignoring the Noise and Defining Success for Yourself

Kiley Peters

Small Business,
Life

I think one of the reasons I struggled so much in 2021 was that I was focused on what I thought I should want and what I thought I should do and build and be. 

I was motivated by achievements and milestones I thought were the definition of success. 

They were someone else’s definitions of success. Not mine.

What is success? Isn’t that something we should all define for ourselves? 

For me as a strong independent woman, proud feminist and business owner who works really hard to create other opportunities for women, I thought success meant a few things. 

  • I thought I needed to build a seven-figure agency. 
  • I thought I needed to win international accolades. 
  • I thought I needed to build a bigger team.
  • I thought I needed to be polished and present myself in a certain way. 

And I tried that. And I succeeded in some places and failed miserably in others.

And when I realized that trying to build a seven-figure service-based agency was reliant on building a bigger team and the entire world is facing a labor crisis and we were spending copious amounts of time trying to find, vet, hire, and train team members just to have it not work out over and over and over again…I stopped. 

I stopped and asked myself, “What the f*ck are we doing?” 

I realized that if we were to achieve “that level of success” I would never stop working and I’d end up losing my freaking mind, my health, and maybe my relationship. So something had to change. I took a look around, took inventory of what we were doing really well, who was working out really well, what we knew worked and what we knew didn’t, and what I wanted. 

And let’s not forget the importance of asking ourselves what we want.
That’s a huge part of building your business to serve you.

And then I had to make some really hard decisions.

At the beginning of this year, my team huddled up and I told them we were going to refocus and hunker down on what we knew worked: us. The core team members we have right now are AMAZING. So that’s the work we’re taking on. Just tapping those talents. And we’re not hiring anyone else for the time being. We’re going to service the shit out of our clients, show them all the love, be the best partners we can be, invest in our team, take really great care of them, and slow it down. And I need Fridays to myself.

We have signed more net new revenue in the first 60 days of 2022 then we did in all of 2021.

WTF. Literally?

I was listening to “The Gap and The Gain” by Dan Sullivan and one of the first lines in the book is a quote from Greg McKeown, as a friendly little slap-you-in-the-face-reminder, “When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. When you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack.”

I felt like I got hit with a sack of bricks, the clouds parted, the sun shone, angels started singing, and birds twittered through the air.

And then I hopped off the treadmill to write that quote down so I didn’t forget.

Duh. Wow. That’s WTF happened. That’s literally what happened. So I invite you to join me. Let’s take two steps back and ask ourselves how we define success.

Let’s erase all preconceived notions of how we know “success” has been/is defined by others. Because, frankly, it’s completely irrelevant because we are all here to do something unique. Something that has never been done before. So we have to stop comparing ourselves to others. 

It’s a vicious cycle that puts us in a perpetual state of disappointment trying to hit a moving target we didn’t set. 

I also believe the only way to really find the answer here is to do the internal work and determine what matters most to you. Defining your values is essential to ensure each decision you make aligns with your definitions of success. Leverage your values to take a deeper look inside to understand what gifts, resources, knowledge, abilities, perspective, courage, or kindness you have and how it can impact the world and fulfill your life’s purpose. Whatever it is, it’s uniquely yours.

It’s scary to do something that doesn’t have an instruction manual. It can also be quite liberating to know there is no right or wrong way to do it. The only wrong thing you can do at this point is to not do anything. 

One of my values is freedom of time. So one of my definitions of success is reducing the amount of time I’m needed by others. This also means shifts in responsibilities so I can make that a reality. But the funny thing is that’s what we’ve done and it’s working. It’s working for everyone. It’s wild.

What are your values? What is your life purpose? How do you define success?

I encourage you to also keep in mind everything you’ve already done.
Maybe success is right here. Maybe?

This is your life. Live your definition of success. Own your unique contributions.
Be unapologetically exactly who you are. The world is waiting.

Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant

Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter. 

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