What Does Success Look Like To You? Career experts share individual perspectives

When we think of defining success in our business, we often lean towards measuring success by the number of clients/customers we have, the amount of revenue we generate and the size and location of our office space. With this kind of measuring stick, we can end up feeling frustrated by the constant chase. Instead of enjoying the ride of entrepreneurship, we burn ourselves out.

But, what if we craft our own definition of success?

Rarely do we examine success as a deeply individual experience. Yet, as entrepreneurs, our entire journey is individual. We each chose the life of entrepreneurship for different reasons, whether it be for family obligations or the idea of being our own boss and setting our own hours, or some other reason entirely.

When I first founded my resume writing and career coaching business, I did not have a true measure for success. At the time, the goal was simply to work-from-home, raise my two young children without requiring the assistance of daycare, and continue to do what I love – help people find and secure their career passion.

What I learnt over the year’s is that when we begin to define success on our own terms, achieve success by our own rules, and build the life we are proud to live, we become much happier and fulfilled in our journey as entrepreneurs. It stands to reason that this happiness brings greater joy, and in turn, more success.

With the idea that success is an individual experience, I asked fellow entrepreneurial CareerPro experts to weigh in on how they define a successful business. Here is what they had to say:

Maureen McCann, Senior Career Strategist at ProMotion Career Solutions (www.mypromotion.ca), states that a successful business is defined by a “successful life”.

What does a successful life look like to Maureen? She says that “as a career professional working virtually with clients, I am accountable for each hour of my day. The perfect day for me is to go for a run, spend the day developing an idea with a client, do some writing, design a new tool for a future project, then after a full day of work spend the evening with my family and/or friends.”

For Janet Barclay, Web Designer at OrganizedAssistant.com and Facilitator at MaximizeMarketing.club, “success isn’t about earning six figures, but about making enough to meet all my needs and a few luxuries without having to worry about next month or next year”.

Sharon Graham, Executive Director of Career Professionals of Canada (www.careerprocanada.ca), defines success in terms of her member’s success!

When Sharon was presented with the question of how she defines success, she replied with: “I define success by the success of our members. When I hear that someone I have mentored, trained or supported has achieved a goal, it truly warms my heart. Sometimes we get lost in our day-to-day work or our business goals. However, as career practitioners, we have a much more altruistic purpose – helping our clients attain their goals. By honing in on this, we can truly realize a sense of satisfaction and achievement. After all, isn’t that why most of us are in the business?”

Success is an individual experience…

Success, for Maureen McCann, Janet Barclay, Sharon Graham, and even Adrienne and I, is not about chasing more clients, more money, more of this or that… but about loving the work we do while being able to virtually connect with amazing people.

At the end of the day, I encourage you to consider what your definition of success is. Ask yourself: what does success look like to you? Is it having more clients, more money, more of this or that? Or is it more about loving yourself, being passionate about what you do, and enjoying how you do it?

As CareerPro’s and entrepreneurs, we need to stop using other people’s measuring sticks to rate our success. Instead, design your own measure. Do what feels right for you. Reach for your own stars to establish the happy and fulfilling life you are destined to create.



Skye Berry-Burke is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners and Owner/Founder of Skye Is The Limit Resume & Career Solutions.  Reach out to her at: info@careerpreneur.ca with any business questions!

2 thoughts on “What Does Success Look Like To You? Career experts share individual perspectives

  1. We do all have a different definition of success, and I think mine has morphed over time. I used to be more focused on achieving goals, moving up the ladder, and improving my financial position. At this stage, I’m more interested in doing work that makes a difference. It sounds trite, but I have found more joy in providing true client value than anything else:) (So happy to see my friend Janet Barclay here!)

    1. Seana – excellent point about the definition of success morphing and changing as we (and our businesses) grow and change. Thank you for reading and sharing!

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