Redefining Success :: Is money all there is?

About six months ago, I wrote the title to this post.  Hid it into my ‘draft folder’ and ignored it.  I wrote it after a conversation with a client who nearly threw her phone across the room because she was so sick of being told that she’ll never be ‘successful’ with her business.

I asked her, point blank, “What does success look like to you?”

“Sure as hell isn’t tied into making 6 figures! Although 6 figures wouldn’t be a bad thing!”

We both laughed. Heartily.

She and I both have nearly 6 figure businesses. And there is plenty of year left. We both love what we do.  We both feel successful.  And yet, people in our lives tend to think of us as wastrels.  Wayward confused children.  People who just weren’t a good fit for the corporate world.

Here’s the thing:  We both contribute hugely to our family income.  We are both working the equivalent of a full-time job, even if our hours don’t look like it.  We both make enough money to care for ourselves & more.  We both make more money than we did in the corporate world.  And yet, so many people in our life would view us as ‘unsuccessful’. 

That very notion to me is laughable.

In fact, it’s an inside joke in my world, especially as a coach.

In lieu of witty dialogue of my own…I give you words from David W. Orr.



The reality is, that we don’t all need to be successful in a traditional sense. 

But we all do need to be fulfilled, happy, healthy individuals.  People filled with compassion and connection and on fire with the work we do.  Can this be done with a ton of money in the bank?  Absolutely.  Can it be done WITHOUT a ton of money in the bank?  ABSOLUTELY.

The online community is currently engaged in an all out battle in favor of the new spirit of capitalism. Capitalism fueled by self-motivation and solo-entrepreneur-dom.  But the truth is?  It is still a traditional notion of monetary success. A type of success, which often doesn’t lead to a more holistic version of contentedness and happiness.  (Just look at any spiritual text and tell me if money=happiness.  The answer will always be a resounding NO)

Does this mean we shouldn’t strive for greater gains in income?  Or that we shouldn’t raise our prices?  Hell no.  Or that we shouldn’t want six figures?  NO! NO NO!

All I am saying is that taking a look inside ourselves and checking in with our heart’s desire is just as important as counting our bank notes and watching the numbers in our paypal accounts.  Your worth as a human doesn’t have to be counted in dollars, euros, or any dinero.

So have your money goals.  Have your business goals.  But don’t forget to think about what else means success to you.  Freedom? Travel?  Love?  They all matter just as much. (If not more).

And the truth?  You are already worthy.  You are already successful.  You are already enough. Everything else?  Is just going to be gravy to make everything you currently have better.

And lots of money money?  Is just the icing on the cake.

(Don’t make it the whole cake.)

Having my cake, my icing, and eating it too,


P.S.  So tell me, what does success look like to you?  How do you define success for yourself?  Join in the convo #redefinesuccess

84 thoughts on “Redefining Success :: Is money all there is?

  1. Love this post… I worry less about what others think than I did when I was younger. I did my 20 years in the corporate world and I’m a happier person now I’m out of it!

    For me success is defined by: (1) achieving financial freedom (yes the $$ still matter) (2) the number of people I help (nothing makes my day more than a positive story from a client/customer) and (3) the level of fulfillment I get from my work (this one is kind of hard to measure but it’s key).

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