Mar 01 2014

What Exactly Is Success?


“Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals.”

~Paul J. Meyer

That is the best definition of success I have ever seen. Paul Meyer knew the score!

I hear success defined in many ways. Some people say it’s having money. To others success is having a big house, healthy family, and a comfortable retirement account. You might consider yourself successful if you are able to get out of bed in the morning! Whatever the definition, success is whatever it means to you.

If you run a business you MUST define what success means for you and your business. You have to know when you have “made it”. When you determine up front exactly what criteria determines your successful business, everything else falls into place. Every action you take in your business should be based on getting closer to that criteria.

Let’s take a closer look at the quote and how it relates to running a business.


What is the ultimate goal of your business? What has to happen before you consider you business successful? If you own a brick-and-mortar business, your goal might be to have 100 locations in 10 years.  A consultant may want to have branch offices in 25 states. An online marketer may want to do 100 informational seminars a year during the next 5 years. A good way to look at the ultimate goal is determine what has to be done to build the business with the intent of selling it when you are finished.

Progressive Realization

Have you heard the expression “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey”? You don’t necessarily have to reach your destination to consider yourself successful. A lot could happen on your journey. As you build toward your goal you may find an end result you never considered.

For example, the internet marketer has a  goal to do 100 information seminars a year in major cities around the country.  As he builds the business towards that end he discovers a way to get his information in front of more people, a much larger audience by doing online webinars instead. Did he change his mind, is he now considered a failure? Of course not. He still presents his information to the masses. There will always be detours. What is true today may not be valid tomorrow.


A business can only be profitable if you provide solutions that are worthwhile to your customers. Your products must have benefits your customers want.


The ultimate goal of your business should be determined up front. You’ll need a clear vision of what the business should look like from day 1. Then you can prioritize every task you do by asking ‘ does it get me closer to my goal?’


Finally, the overall goal must be meaningful to you. It has to be what you want. It’s not personal if you build a business based on what other people think you should do. Think about it. How can you possibly be successful doing something you don’t want to do?


I think Paul Meyer’s definition of success can be applied to any business or personal  undertaking. If you know from the beginning what your business will look like, and you enjoy providing a service that people want,  consider yourself successful as you grow your business to it’s ultimate goal.

How does this model of success fit your business? Please share your comments below.

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