Defining Success: How To Measure Your Success


Success is a very personal thing. How business owners determine success varies based on their circumstances, industry, business size, goals, etc. So, when there is a discussion surrounding success, it's crucial to understand your success may look completely different than someone else's. For that reason, it is essential to clearly define success on your terms, then decide how you can measure that success.

Measuring Success


The Importance of Defining Success for Yourself

When you first started your business, success may have been defined as being able to hire one employee. Then, as you evolved as a company, it was hiring two, three, or even a team of dedicated staff. Now that your business has exceeded those expectations, the focus and definition of success have changed considerably. Therefore, when drafting your goals or deciding to deem your business "successful," it's essential to look at your business's current state and what is attainable. Of course, it's important to have long-term goals for success but taking smaller steps will allow you to reach the larger goal.

 So, to get your business to the point of "this is a success," it's vital to decide upon measurables. Being able to track your business's progress will determine if you're on the path to significant success or need to rework some processes to keep you on track.


What is the best way to measure how successful you are? Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success, there is no one way to measure success for everyone, either. So here are some general guidelines to ensure you're progressing:

Objective Measures of Success

Object measures of success defined by Indeed are a method of evaluating how well an individual, team, or organization accomplishes tasks or goals. Tracking how well your team or organization is getting their assignments and projects completed. Are deliverables done promptly? Are projects completed correctly? Are employees clear on their role in projects and, therefore, can complete them? These are objective ways to measure your business's success.

Subjective Measures of Success

Next, we can measure success by subjective measure. These aren't so concrete as objective but may look like your company being able to hire more individuals, productivity growing YOY, the atmosphere and morale at your company being at an all-time high, or a positive place to work in general. Subjective measures of success are small, noticeable successes.

A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success

A holistic approach to measuring success is looking at the entire picture. For example, you noticed one department could improve, but the company, as a whole, is trending up and in the right direction. This can paint success with a broad brush and take the micro focus off small projects, departments, etc. but allows you to see the greater picture and determine if you're still on the right path regardless of what may be holding you back.


Of course, looking at ourselves and our role in the team's success is essential. You are at the helm as a business owner or leader, and everything negative and positive trickles down from you.

The Importance of Self Reflection

Are there areas you can improve upon? Do you notice your team struggling with the same things over and over? How can you help? Are there areas in your leadership that could be improved or need improvement? Being able to self-reflect and better yourself will help your entire organization. Allowing your employees to see you are willing to make changes or recognize when things aren't working will motivate them to do the same. 


Just as setting goals and objectives is essential for your organization, it's also important to do that on a leadership level. Your goals should be just as attainable as you set for the company and just as practical. When your goals and objectives are met, will they benefit the company?

Tracking Progress

Measuring your progress is, again, personal. Figure out what measurables are the best way to determine if your efforts are beneficial. Set up some metrics that will give you insight into the progress and help you determine where you can improve.


Because success is a loaded word and can be defined differently for everyone, it's time to define success for yourself and celebrate success on your terms. Maybe your bigger picture definition of success is a certain profit number, but let's celebrate the success of NOW. Adjusting your definition of success to where your company is now is essential, so you don't get discouraged by constantly reaching for unattainable goals. Did your team get through a major product rollout? Celebrate that success! Did you open up a new role in your marketing team? Celebrate that success! Don't stop yourself from readjusting your definition of success, and certainly don't stop yourself from celebrating every success.


According to Peerboard, 76% of internet users participate in online communities. Whether it be social media, leadership groups, or other niche communities, there is no denying online communities are effective and valuable. So why is it so important to be a part of a digital community, and how can I help you reach and determine success?

The Role of Community in Measuring Success

Consider a community a virtual sounding board – a place to gather opinions, bounce ideas off of like-minded individuals, and get resolution from issues you may be experiencing. Maybe you take your current challenge to an online community and open the conversation about what to do next or how you feel stuck. An online community can offer you support in ways to measure your success differently or remind you how far you've come. Having a virtual group of peers can make all the difference when you need motivation or are stuck.

Finding a Supportive Community

While your friends and family are a great place to start with support, sometimes you need to speak with individuals who have experienced exactly what you are. Finding a supportive community who are going through what you are, understanding exactly what your challenges are, and can offer support on that level is invaluable. Finding a supportive community like The Shift Spot that brings together business owners to help elevate their lives can be a resource that elevates your business and personal life. 


There are many ways to measure success and many ways to define it. The most important thing to remember is your success must be customized to your business and its capabilities. Joining communities like The Shift Spot can help you evaluate your current processes, figure out realistic measurables and help you reach your definition of success. If you're ready to define and reach success in all aspects of your life, we will help you achieve it.