Starting your own business? Redefine success

If you are a working mum and have left a corporate life to start up your own business, have you redefined your criteria of success?

If you were working for a company for many years chances are your success criteria were defined by your role, your departmental objectives and the company’s targets. Or maybe not…..maybe you defined your own success based on job title, salary and benefits package, overseas trips, class of business travel and number of staff reporting to you.

So what happens when the constructs that we defined our success (and sometimes ourselves) by are no longer there?

Does this mean we aren’t successful?

Starting up your own business means redefining many things, finances, working location, tax status but often we forget to redefine how we will judge ourselves to be successful.

From my own experience and working with many Corporate Crossovers®, (women who have left corporate to start their own business) not redefining our success criteria can leave us with that nagging doubt wondering if we made the right decision to leave. And I believe this is even more so for working mothers. If left unchecked, it can also grow into vacillation about whether to stay self-employed or to go and get a ‘real’ job again.

Personally, I went through an 18 month period of wondering if I should ‘get real’ and get a job again and it wasn’t till I took stock and thought about what success meant to me now in my own business, did I realize how successful I was!

Taking stock for me involved:

  • examining what was REALLY important to me about the life I wanted to live (my values)
  • how much time I spent working now vs. before (daily hours and vacation)
  • my income
  • comparing my stress levels with now and before
  • focusing on myself and not comparing myself with former peers

After my period of reflection those years ago – I was stunned! Stunned at how much I was earning with low stress and lots more time. That was the real turning point for me to grab hold of my business with both hands and fully commit!

So whether you have just left corporate to start up your own venture or you have been doing it for some years, take some time to reflect deeply on what your success criteria are for you now.

Your say: I would love to hear how you define success now you have left corporate! Just leave a message in the comment box below.

Author: Wendy Kerr runs Corporate Crossovers, offering mentoring and training to those who have started their own business after a corporate career. Check out her website for more tips, resources and advice for business start-ups

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