This week I have been very busy with planning for our regional Business Excellence Awards. I've been dealing with printers, judges, entrants, and now that the actual application process is finished, we are encouraging people to start buying their tickets for our Awards night dinner. I also had my monthly newspaper column published this week, where there is a real focus on strengthening business and ''growing success''.
So today, when I bumped into a client and the conversation turned, as it usually does, to the economy and the general business climate in our town, I was in sales mode, doing all I could to sound positive about the growth and excitement I'm trying to engender in our retail sector. I was, effectively, flying the flag of business success, - with plenty of extra spin - and not in just a little way!
There were others around that could hear the conversation and she nodded and made encouraging noises about her own business - that is until we had walked out of earshot of the audience. And then I heard the real story. Business was tough. Their main competitor has closed down. They are working very hard to keep the business bouyant but every day is a struggle.
It was another great example of how we tend to ''keep up appearances'' for those around us. And this is wider than just business. But the thing that really struck me was a comment she made about the Awards. ''the thing is that the success being celebrated at the Awards is now our success'' she said. "Our success is that we are still in business, and only just".
So the question today is: how do you measure success? Is it based on the perceived outputs and outcomes of others? Do you have a plan in place to measure yourself against? Is success a tangible thing, or a feeling? Is success simply not failing - or should it be more than that?
Here's some food for thought, and I'd welcome your responses
I've failed over and over and over again in my life
and that is why I succeed.
In order to succeed, your desire for success
should be greater than your fear of failure.
One secret of success in life is for a man to be
ready for his opportunity when it comes.
Success consists of going from failure to failure
without loss of enthusiasm.