By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE

Success is one of those words that everyone understands, but when you actually go to define it you realize it is more complicated than you thought.

What exactly is success? Is it setting out to do something and then doing it? Does it matter whether it was done well or just finished?

When it comes to entrepreneurship there are many definitions of success because there are many reasons for people to choose to become an entrepreneur

I have met travel advisors whose goal is to make enough money to pay for their own travel. Others want to leave their full-time jobs and have their own business so they can do it when they want to. Still, others do it because they want to share their love of a particular destination or type of travel with more people.

Regardless of the definition, it is important that you define success based on what motivates you. Not what someone else thinks you should do.

Why does it matter? Well, from a practical standpoint, if you don’t know the goal, how will you know when you’ve achieved it? And how will you know what to do to get there?

Realistically your goal for yourself and your business plays a big role in determining what your business should look like. If you want to pay yourself $100,000 per year that’s a different business model than someone who wants to cover their vacation costs each year.

Of course, money isn’t the only way to measure success. And I would argue it is very often the least important.

I think the most important measure of success is happiness and fulfillment. I have worked in jobs where I was neither happy nor fulfilled as I suspect many of you have. It makes everything else in life a struggle, right? While we may think we can compartmentalize how our work affects us, many aren’t as good at it as we like to think.

Being happy and fulfilled is one of the primary reasons people begin investigating the travel industry. When you think about fun things to do, it’s probably right up there with playing with puppies or kittens, right?

Unfortunately, sometimes a business can take on a life of its own and without proper guidance, you can find your new “fun” business being a challenge and perhaps even as stressful as your previous career.  That’s a big reason that having goals and being clear about them is so important. You need to check-in and see if where you are is where you want to be. If it isn’t, course correct.

No one should define success for you. You need to be clear on what is important to you. It must resonate with – and only you. Check-in periodically to see where you are. Are you happy? Fulfilled? Achieving what you wanted to achieve? If you aren’t there, are you on your way? What needs to be added, removed, or tweaked? As an entrepreneur, it is in your power to make those changes. And you deserve to be successful and fulfilled in your business!