Before we can really be successful, we’ve got to get clear on what we really want. Chances are, it’s not success at all.
As a business owner, it’s easy to be obsessed with success. Why am I not achieving it? How are other people getting so easily? What might happen if I really made it big?
Success is alluring. It’s like all those photos on a travel website, or a vacation brochure. It sparkles in front of us: a frozen moment in time that drives us wild with the promise of what else could be there.
Except, that when we finally arrive on location, we discover the photos were staged.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of years chasing success but always wondering why you couldn’t seem to catch it.
On the rare occasion I did make my connection from travel photo to actual arrival (as it were), I always found the metaphoric lights, the camera gear, and the touch-up software used to make a so-so reality seem all that more glamorous.
And then I realized, that success is not really the point at all.
You see, when we focus on success in our businesses, we focus on an arbitrary fixed point. A plateau, as my colleague Mark Bradford calls it. Success is about a destination we want to go.
But life is not a destination. And the only real destination in business is a “Store Closing” sale or a freshly-inked acquisition deal.
So … unless you’re into closing down for good, real success isn’t about arriving at all.
Success is about always moving forward.
Think about it this way: Someone reminded me recently that the universe is comprised of energy. Energy never stands still. It’s always moving. Always flowing. Always going somewhere.
The minute you stand still, you’re no longer energetic. You’re defying the very actions that make you (and the universe) dynamic.
If you stand still, in the way that our arbitrary visions of success stand still, you’ll always get (and stay) stuck.
If you make a move, any move, you’ll always get somewhere.
And when you go somewhere, even if you have to adjust direction eventually, you’ll open yourself up to the only goal that really does matter:
Momentum is a powerful word. In physics, it’s about the quantity of motion an object has. It’s mass times velocity. Or put another way, it’s all about Mass In Motion.
One action leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another. You may not know where you’re going, but you notice you start to feel excited, and when you do, the universe responds to your vibration. One contact leads to another which leads to a client which leads to a speaking opportunity, which leads to a bigger gig, and then to the opportunity of a lifetime.
When you’re putting one foot in front of the other, and finding opportunities and clients keep rising up to meet you, you’ve actually arrived at success already. That trajectory can only escalate as time goes by. Stay sensitive. Assess what’s happening and what patterns you see in what’s being offered to you. Wherever there’s an opening, that’s where you go next.
I dare you to try it for yourself and find out, in two or three months even, how successful you’ll actually start to feel.
Conversely, if you stand still instead, strategizing how to be successful, none of the above can happen. By hesitating, you kill your own momentum. You match the energy of the static travel photo, and even if you “get there,” you’ll discover you mentally staged the lights and tweaked the image.
In attempting to reach a destination, your completely sabotaged the journey.
When you chase success, you're a thirsty girl running straight toward a mirage.
So if you’re wondering today why you’re not “getting anywhere,” or why success keeps happening to everyone else, take a look at yourself and your actions in business, just this week. Even just today.
Did you go somewhere, even if it felt uncertain? Did you take one step into the darkness and watch your eyes adjust?
Or did you sit back, hesitate, or refuse to pull the trigger because you couldn’t see your way forward clearly?
Quit trying to be successful and just make a move.
- Switch up your brand
- Launch the new program
- Revamp your website and blog
- Reach out to 25 hot new prospects
- Pitch an old colleague on a new venture
- Take the gig that seems rather “out of left field”
By taking the pressure off yourself to do it right, and shifting it into a self-determination to always generate momentum, you’ll find the burden of anxiety lifts rather quickly. You'll stop taking yourself seriously. You’ll stop attaching your emotions and anxiety to narrowly defined outcomes.
And when you do, oddly enough, success will steal up on you when you’re not even looking.
This is why all those other people are actually getting somewhere. Because while you and I stew about what to do, they’re just doing stuff. In the act of movement, they find themselves in motion. In the very act of dancing, they discover their rhythm.
When you free yourself to move, the universe can take you places you’ve never even dreamed.
That’s what real momentum feels like.
Until next time, speak freely.
How do you currently define success? What impact is that definition having on your business? Please share below.
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