How do you judge success? When can you say that enough is enough, that you’ve accomplished your goal, and that now, you can move onto something else?
These are questions that I’ve been thinking about lately, in several different areas. Of course, sometimes success is easy to judge: you reach your goal weight or emergency fund balance. Other times, success is more difficult to quantify.
In regards to my work, for example, I’ve been trying to figure out how to judge a project’s success. Is it when enough people sales go up, and by a certain percentage? Is it when the Google Analytics tool shows us the results we want? Or could it be just launching several information campaigns, so that people hear and know more about our product? When thinking about blogging success, how should I frame it? Is it through visitor rates? Page views? Or the conversations started and comments left on each post?
Most of all, however, I’ve been thinking about financial security and frugality. I want to figure out what success means to me in these areas. Does it mean being rich (and what’s ‘rich’, after all?). Or maybe it might be having a certain amount of money in an emergency fund. I know that I don’t want my children to worry about money, but how shall I judge that? It’s certainly not by giving them everything they ask for, but it doesn’t mean not sharing our own money worries either.
I think that what being successful financially means to me is having enough money as a cushion to be able to take risks and adventures. For example, I recently attended a talk by an entrepreneur who described the start-up companies he joined in their infancy, or the times when he worked for very little pay on a project he believed in. Without a secure financial base (and I have no idea how much money he earns), taking on such risky projects wouldn’t have been feasible.
I’d like to follow a similar path. I love helping people get started on their projects (some people in my circle of family and friends might refer to it as a love of telling others what to do), and I can see myself working as a consultant in the years to come. But this is only really possible if you have a good financial plan to weather the downs as well as the ups, and I’m not there. Yet.
How do you judge success?