I was really inspired by a recent article in Forbes written by Michelle Ovens, campaigner for small businesses in the UK.

In light of International Women’s Day, she questioned how we measure ‘success’ using a narrow view and outdated standards that don’t necessarily apply to all businesses, particularly female-led enterprises. You can read her fantastic article here.

Of course, it’s massively important to address inequalities but I’m fascinated by the concept that to gain a more gender-balanced business environment, we don’t have to play by the same rules. Michelle’s article made me think about what success means to me and to the people I know who run their own businesses – men and women. Success means different things to different people.

Success doesn’t have to be about launching big businesses, gaining massive investment, having a huge team of people or being the boss in the boardroom – unless that’s what you are aiming for. Success can be carving out a business which allows you to earn a living while spending more time with your family. It could be that success is about quitting your job and doing something you love. Or giving back to the community. Learning a new skill. Pressing the button on a big piece of work. Getting recognition for a job well done. Publishing your website. Sending your first invoice. Sending your last invoice….

The thing is, it’s YOUR view of success which matters. Even small, seemingly irrelevant actions can be a reflection of much wider achievements. Something like walking the dog in the middle of the day or picking up your kids from school can be hugely symbolic of a life that you have created for yourself. 

And sometimes, just getting to the end of the day in one piece is success in itself!

The important thing is that YOU set the standards. For me, success is about being able to do what I love, working with amazing people, and having the flexibility to be here for my family. So, when I next find myself moaning about traffic on the way to school or swearing at the printer for running out of ink AGAIN, I’m going to remind myself that this is part of a successful picture. My imperfect success. 

I’d really love to hear what success means to you. Drop me a line katie@katietysome.co.uk

Success is