The past few days, I have started to think about what success would mean for me. You might think it’s a bit premature, considering I’m no where near full operating order, but I thought it would be important to at least have a vague idea of what I’m striving for. It helps to calm me down all those mornings I wake up with sweaty palms thinking, “what the hell am I doing?”
I tried to put together a list – something I could check off and look back and say, yes! I would feel like I’ve succeeded if this business had accomplished these X number of things. This was nearly impossible for me to do for two reasons: one, I think success for me extends way beyond just what ends up happening with this business and two, I had never defined what it would mean for me, and me alone.
For as long as I could remember, I had always measured success based on what I thought would make my parents proud. I even convinced myself at one point that I might, just might actually like piano… this feeling didn’t last. My parents were entrepreneurs too, but they weren’t free flowing hippies. For them, stability and a good steady job was everything they wanted for me, because like all parents, they just wanted to make sure that I’d be ok on my own. And let’s face it; no one wants to be the black sheep of the family. When they passed away, I felt totally lost in all sense of the word. They were my harshest critics, but also my biggest cheerleaders at the same time. I no longer felt like my job was meaningful to me anymore, mostly because I took it out of fear of disappointing my dad. I started to think about what I really wanted in life because things (good or bad) can happen and I didn’t want to look back with any regrets. All of a sudden, I had nothing to lose and nothing to prove to anyone anymore. It was surreal to not run a major decision I was about to make in my life by them and get the stamp of approval to go ahead. But, I knew I made the right decision at this point in my life for me for the very reason that I didn’t have to do that.
Success for me would mean feeling fulfilled. I know that is incredibly vague, but it’s meant to be, just because it’s constantly changing for me. If I can build something, not let the fear of failure get in the way, give back to the people that have supported me all this way, be creative and do something that I really love and get giddy about, while making enough to fund my daily coffee addiction, I would feel like I’ve achieved a whole lot. Ok actually, to be realistic, it would have to make way more than a $2 coffee. My dog has to eat too! And, if I’m honest with myself, there is still a large void in me that deeply misses them and wonders and wishes that my parents were here to say good job. I’m not sure if that part will ever go away. But, who knows, maybe they will and a cat will deliver a note to me one day. And now that you all think I’m sufficiently crazy, please don’t. I don’t actually think I’ll get a note from a cat… but how cool would that be?!