The true soul-metrics of extraordinary success

feellikeafailure

Photo © Lisa Fabrega 2016.  Title:  “Everyone wants to be a VIP.  They don’t realize they already are.” 

I’ve noticed something really interesting lately…little slips of the tongue from people as I hear them speak about success and other people.

These are some of the things I’ve heard either said to me or in conversation:

“She finished the year in debt, can she really say she had a successful year?”

“Her new $97 product was not as successful as ______. She fell flat on her face.”

“No one signed up for his program, he wasn’t successful with it”

“He’s taking the year slowly and focusing more on resting. He’s choosing to make less money this year so he’s choosing to have a less successful year”.

I got really, really curious when I heard these words being uttered.
Because to me they reveal so much about how society indoctrinates us with notions of success that frankly, are becoming outdated. But we are still using these notions to beat ourselves up and perpetuate the idea that we are not enough.

The other day I sat in a 2 hour conversation with a colleague of mine. Both of us have made a lot of money over the years with our businesses. Both of us have been what most would call “successful”. And we both shared with each other how our freedom, our joy and keeping things simple is so much more valuable to us this year…and that we’re fine with it meaning that we may make less money this year because of it.

Does that mean that we are choosing to be less successful this year?
Some might choose to see it that way.
I don’t believe so.
In fact, I think we’re winning.

What these comments revealed to me is that even in those of us who have done great amounts of personal development work, there are still lingering crumbs of that old-paradigm definition of success that says the more money you make, the more fame you have, the more followers your Facebook page has and the more awards you get, the more successful you are.

Then we compare ourselves to that idea of success and we become hungry wolves who can never do enough to be considered “successful”. It is a trap that many of us use to beat ourselves up. I noticed this happening to me a few years ago. In the beginning of my business I used to be so grateful and so excited when 20 people signed up for a free call and 5 showed up live Yet, at some point in my business I had 700 people signing up and somehow that was not enough anymore. I felt badly for days because my colleagues were getting 2,000 signed up for their free calls. I used that to say they were “more successful than me”.

That was bullshit.

Is that really more successful?

Well let’s examine the comments I heard in the last few weeks, which I mentioned earlier, and let’s look at them more closely.

“She finished the year in debt, can she really say she had a successful year?”

She finished the year in debt, yes, but all businesses go through dips and incur debt sometimes. That is the normal cycle of business. Richard Branson has been in debt to the tune of millions before. But she also implemented new systems that strengthened the business’ foundation to scale to a much larger level. She has the best team she has ever had in all her years of business, while some of her colleagues who are making more money are struggling like crazy with their teams. AND she has an inner peace and strength like never before. The normal things in her business don’t rattle her anymore or throw her off course, nor do they affect her emotions so negatively that she is wiped out for days.

She told me she learned so much last year she is a much better business owner and CEO. I would call that a success wouldn’t you?

“Her new $97 product was not as successful as ______. She fell flat on her face.”

Her new $97 product actually was profitable right out of the gate when it went evergreen. For most evergreen products that is actually considered a huge success in the internet marketing world. Most products are in the negative or break even if you’re lucky in the first few months. And her program remains profitable.

In addition, people who bought it loved it and raved about their results. They still regularly post on social media about how much they love the product.

Just because the product didn’t make $100,000 in its first introduction, doesn’t mean it fell flat on its face and wasn’t successful.

“No one signed up for her program, she wasn’t successful with it”

No one signed up for the program–yes this is true. But it was her first digital offering, ever. And she received a great deal of attention and brand awareness during its launch.

She had a dream and she actually turned that dream into a tangible product and put it out there to serve others–most people prefer to stay in the dream phase and don’t even put themselves out there, content to live lives of numb comfort suppressing their dreams.

She learned a ton about launching during the process. And considering that she actually took action and did it, she’s already a much bigger “success” than the majority of people who don’t take action on their dreams. I would consider that a major success. Plus now she has all sorts of feedback and information she can take back to the drawing board and use for her next launch.

“He’s taking the year slowly and focusing more on resting. He’s choosing to make less money this year…he’s choosing to have a less successful year”.

He may be taking it slower this year and choosing to make less money to create more space to create better things and nourish himself internally…. but that does not mean he is not successful. In fact I consider this courageous and very successful because while his colleagues are making lots of money to chase “success” and burning themselves out, he will be replenishing his energy, re-assessing and re-awakening his creativity. That will lead to better ideas and structures in his business so that when he does go big again he can do it in a way that is sustainable. And he will probably produce some of the best work he’s ever produced because he took the time to nourish, replenish and cultivate the connection with his soul. In the long run he will make more money because of this.

The moral of the story is–if you are happy you are successful.
If you are truly honoring yourself by being aligned with your soul you are successful. If you are waking up and doing your purpose every day, you are successful.
If you feel free and grateful, you are successful.
If you said no to all that does not light your fire today, you are successful.
If you are nourished, you are successful.

I know a lot of people who made a lot of money last year but who were burned out, struggling with their teams, having personal breakdowns and did nothing else in their lives but work. I know a lot of people who have millions of likes on their fan pages and feel so out of alignment with what they’ve built that the money means nothing to them.

I’ve had thousands of dollars sitting in my account but felt unhappy because I was not taking the time to create space to hear my soul.

So don’t let people’s weird ideas about success define you.
Doing your great work in the world, it’s a long game.
And she who is most nourished, he who is most aligned with his soul, they who feel most free in their lives, are the ones who will win.

If you are happy and learning and growing, you are a success.

 

Lisa-sig-black

 

ps: I’d love to hear in the comments below, one way in which you consider yourself successful today! I want to celebrate you!

 

 


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