By Lisa Blankman, CPA
Manager, Audit & Assurance Services
In the business world, we tend to get in the habit of defining success too simply. We ask ourselves, “Are we winning or losing?” But there is a lot of gray area to explore in the middle of this black-and-white definition of success. Many times, a “loss” is a future pathway to future success!
First, make sure you’re using the right metrics to measure your success. For a business owner, those would include gross sales, net profit, return on investment, etc. If you’re an employee, you’ll want to look at your hourly wage or salary over time as well as the number of bonuses you’ve earned in a specific period and when you will be eligible for a promotion.
Focusing on those specific metrics will help you form more specific, manageable goals. Manageable is the key word. Don’t get hung up on hitting home runs or hunting down that great white whale of a client. Aim toward scoring singles or doubles and catching the smaller fish in the sea. Remember, you’re in this for the long haul, so take baby steps. You wouldn’t want to exhaust yourself by always reaching for the top. Plus, remaining realistic in your efforts will help your whole team stay energized and build the confidence you will require to persevere!
Your goals should be objective and subjective. So, when you ask whether you’re winning, don’t just think about profits. Think about whether you’re learning, gaining new skills and forming stronger chemistry with clients, among other things. As an employee, you may assess if you are aligning for that next promotion or learning new skills that will enable you to earn a higher wage.
Try to think about losing in more subjective terms as well. Let’s say you lost a bid for a project. Don’t lose sight of the competitive intelligence you may have gained in the process. So, while you lost the battle, you’re in a better position to win the war.
The next time you sit down to consider whether you’re winning or losing, please let these points serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement. And remember, in the end, what’s most important is that you give everything your best shot. Your sincere “BEST” is all anyone can expect of oneself.