Now Reading: How do you define success? 

What is success?

How do you define success? 

The following article is written by Success Coach Richard Whitfield.

A young graphic designer began a freelance career and being talented and passionate quickly gained a reputation for her great work.

Very soon she had more work than she could handle, so, she employed a second designer. And before long, a receptionist, account service manager, traffic manager, accountant, and three more designers. With work picking up she became “successful” and made lots of money.

But there was only one problem: she was no longer a designer, she was a manager. And she hated her life.

Too often we view success through the lens of external appearances or the expectations of others: the job title, the followers on social media, the flashy car and the big house.

Of course, we all want to be paid well for what we do – and perhaps show off our success a little (or maybe a lot!). But once our basic needs are covered – we can pay our bills, save a little, indulge in the occasional treat – there is no correlation between increased income and overall happiness.

Success is better measured by what engages and energises us every day.

Usually, these very activities that engage and energise are driven by our innate natural talents.

If you have strong influencing or relationship talents, you will likely be energised by managing a team or growing a business. Perhaps you are a great problem solver, strategist or visionary, inspired by new ideas and do your best work when you have time to think and reflect. Or maybe you love the adrenaline rush of multiple projects and deadlines?

Success is unique for all of us because we all have a different mix of talents.

As a student at Torrens University, you have access to the Clifton StrenghtsFinder, to help you unpack your innate talents. If you are a current student and haven’t done so already, contact your Success Coach to find out how.

When we consciously apply our talents to our studies, our career and our personal life, we develop them into strengths and this is where we find meaningful success.

So, what happened to our ‘successful’, talented, but unhappy designer? She closed down her business, went back to freelancing and learned to say ‘no’ to work that did not interest or inspire her.

She had discovered that for her, real success was not money, status or the number of employees she had, but in the freedom to pick and choose creative projects that inspired her.  

What does success look like for you?

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