The end of another year is fast approaching and it’s often a time of reflection. For Santa’s believers, it’s as simple as assessing whether they were naughty or nice. And they can easily convince themselves that they were “good” kids. Just ask them!
In business though, a “good” year, usually means a highly profitable one. But is that the best measure of success?
We teach our kids to be kind. We encourage them to control their anger. We ask them to be helpful to others. Yes, we also want them to work hard at school and earn high marks, but think about this: Who would you be prouder of? A really kindhearted young man, who stood up to bullies on behalf of a smaller friend, shared his lunch, and let his sister play with his video game; and, whose report card showed mostly Cs? Or, the mean, contrary, vengeful, jerk, who got all As?
There are many different versions of success, and perhaps as we ruminate on the year gone by, we need to consider more than just the bottom line. Yes, of course, we need our businesses to make money, or at least be on track with our plan to do so. But perhaps we also need to consider our values and what is most important to us.
Achievement of a goal isn’t the only definition of success. It’s also achieving a purpose. We may not know our big-picture purpose in life, but we can think about the purposeful actions we can take to make us proud of ourselves. Maybe that means finally making it to one of your daughter’s hockey games. Or turning down a great deal on spare parts because you know they didn’t really “fall off a truck.”
The point is, whether your business had a highly profitable year or not, if your decisions were aligned with your values; if your actions contributed to the happiness and well-being of others; if you were kind and helpful, then you had a very successful 2023! Claim it. Be proud.