We each have such a limited perspective of what the experience of success is. We see things, we think “I’d love to do that” and then we’re off to the races. When I was a schoolteacher, children had a way of often defining something that was successful without knowing the slightest thing about what that success would take or if they would even enjoy it if they achieved it.
It sounds romantic to live off grid. The thoughts of nature and growing your own food is all very natural and appealing. Well, right up until you do the work. Most folks get off the train about the time for composting, washrooms and shoveling manure comes into play for the garden. I’ve had friends who sought “success” as though it was a destination to reach, always some.where.else. I’ve been there myself.
The last few years I started defining what a good day was for me. Time in the yard picking flowers. A favorite coffee cup, enjoyable tasks to do and clients I enjoy working with, good music for when the tasks aren’t as fun. Choosing to spend time with family and friends who encourage and whom I can encourage to put first things first in our lives. Letting go of habits that no longer serve me and engaging some learning about those I need to develop. Funny thing happened on the way, success is now about finding those moments every day, not some day, and it also is my living.
We opened our writing and online consulting business over twelve years ago. At first I only worked with six “large” accounts and “success” was national accounts that were ongoing for years. We still enjoy them; they are exciting and complicated and fun. However, over the last three years we opened two more areas of our focus: Chaffee Creek, which serves our WordPress builds for brands and businesses, and now GetSweetie.com, which answers the need for “can you help me” calls we get about 300 times a month. I personally have always loved solving problems for my friends and friends-in-business. It’s one of my favorite things to do–to show them how to fix a technical glitch, set up a new tool, or teach how to use something within their business. Small tasks wouldn’t have been my definition of success when I began; I wanted the ego of “national accounts” and I still adore them, however I truly love seeing and empowering small businesses, watching family owned businesses grow. We are honored to work with groups who are ready to grow their service too. It is meaningful work and has the joy of working alongside community members, families, and friends to grow their businesses. A joyful space.
We woke up one day and realized success is helping others succeed, it’s living a life you want to live, and learning and growing as you go.
There are tools in life: money, software, equipment; and then there are the things that are truly the precious commodities: time, family, faith, health. The world tells us daily that money, fame, attention, are the goals. I beg to differ. I believe that learning what your gifts are, learning to use them for others, and learning to be in a joyful place as you live your daily existence is the goal. Income, time management, relationships all come into play. We learn as we go to create a life that can work for us. Hopefully, one that daily brings laughter, solitude, worthwhile tasks before you and hope.
I ask my friends and clients often, what makes you happy these days? What gives you pleasure to know you invested some of your life’s stock of time in it? I ask myself that question too, and more days than not lately I have answers with experiences that bring a smile to my heart.
Success is learnable. Earning money is simply a skillset to be learned, hopefully doing tasks we enjoy. We are able to grow and change, to engage and educate ourselves, to seek others counsel and to make choices to support the life we want to live. You’ve heard me say “choosing is a choice” and it’s one of the most precious privileges we have.
What actions are you defining as success are you choosing to engage in your life today? Personally, I’m pretty stoked about realizing that the best success in life is moment to moment being present with what is before me. Knowing that learning is a high privilege that allows me to toddle until I can figure out whatever it is I seek to do. Sometimes the toddles are exactly the happening that brings a new perspective, and starts the journey in a more exacting way.
Wipe your hands off, dust your knees, and realize that just as you are, this moment, you’re a success. At the very least you’ve succeeded in remembering that in this moment, your actions are your own and you can begin the journey of identifying what’s working for you. Personally I’m leaving the off-grid homesteading to others, but we’re proud of the experiences and learning we’re doing as we renovate #thetackybrownhouse, try gardening for more than an exercise in seeing plants wither, and learning that the most important factor in our home is filling it with the people we love and sharing meals together. Success is often so much more than what is seen at the surface. It’s the little things done daily that added up to a life that works for you…