Robert Collier says “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Some time ago I was interviewed by Helen Nicolson (for her new book on Networking) and one of the questions that she asked me was “What do you consider as success.”
I don’t think that I missed a beat before replying something along the lines of that success means different things to different people. Think about it for a moment, flicking a light switch, as you enter a dark room and having the light actually come on – well that’s a success!
Having looked at what Robert says and thinking it over very carefully, I am more than a little inclined to agree with him. It’s the daily effort that we put into things that ensures that we become successful as individuals. Never mind the money and the accolades (sure they are wonderful and often make life so much easier), the fact that we have carried on despite all odds, in spite of the negatives and hardships and irritations that we all face on a daily basis is in itself, a proclamation of our success.
I mean where would we be if we didn’t get out of bed each morning, put on our happy faces and bravely faced the world? Probably up Sh*t creek with no paddles. Sure many of us bounce out of bed and bounce around from pillar to post every day, but we all have days when we don’t want to get out of bed, where we don’t want to face the world and yet somehow we do. We drag ourselves out of bed and drag ourselves from meeting to meeting and from task to task, clearly only thinking of putting one foot in front of the other, and minute by minute, getting through the day.
Here’s the thing though, we have in actual fact been successful – yes we have. We haven’t stayed in bed, where the perception is that it’s warm and safe. We have gotten out of bed and through our actions, we have accomplished something – and remember, without an action of some sort, nothing will happen.
Day after day we perform actions and successfully negotiate our way around obstacles that as SMME’s and Entrepreneurs, are everywhere in abundance. We deal with power outages and bad cash flows and client’s who don’t pay and bad (or no service) from our service suppliers and no internet connections and staff who don’t want to work or who steal from us and people and institutions who think that they have the power to make us dance like idiot puppets to any old tune that they feel that they can play.
And yet, somehow – with little more than guts and determination, we get to the end of each day. Sometimes a little wearier than the day before, but more often fired up and excited about what we have achieved. The deals that we have signed. The incredible people that we have met and engaged with. The doors that we have opened (or even managed to shut and bolt) and then we deal with the other one hundred and one little things that constitute our day – and you know what? We have succeeded, minute by minute – footstep, by footstep, we have succeeded.
I think it’s time to stop beating ourselves up for the perceived failures and instead celebrate all the successes that we have. Let’s toast ourselves for each and every little success and by doing that before we know it, we will be celebrating a tiny little success that will leave a huge big imprint on our hearts, our souls and indeed, our lives!