Entrepreneurs interpret goals and measure success in very different ways. While most people appreciate huge wins, many have difficulty appreciating smaller accomplishments. After all, most of us are conditioned to believe that success in founding a start-up is met only if you sell the company for hundreds of millions of dollars. Many think that success in starting a blog is meaningful only if we have 50,000 subscribers. Some believe that success on Twitter means a minimum of 50,000 followers. Some think that being a successful graphic designer means being able to charge tens of thousands of dollars for a logo.
Setting very high goals is important – we do it as a company at crowdSPRING and I set high goals for myself as an individual. In fact, I believe that it’s impossible to become an industry leader and to innovate unless you push yourself. But setting very high goals can also paralyze because it takes an incredible amount of effort to achieve such goals. And while that effort is ultimately well-spent when you achieve your goals, it does limit what else you can do while you are trying to get there.
Success need not be a zero-sum game. Think of success as an incremental process.
Especially in today’s chaotic economic climate, it’s important to understand how to measure your own success. You should never lower your goals merely because it would be easier for you to meet them. But you should celebrate incremental success. And then you should build on that success, step-by-step.