“What does success look like for you?” I asked, my fingers poised over the keyboard, ready to take notes on the response. But I froze, the client’s voice droning in the background as my own question echoed through my mind with increasing emphasis. What does success look like for you? It’s a question I ask nearly every client I work with in order to craft a brand, content, or social strategy that addresses their unique goals. This question is an integral part of the research process. I’d asked it dozens of times before, but for maybe the first time ever, it occurred to me that I’d never asked it of myself.
I have lived my life, up to this point, chasing after success as defined by others. A trek up the corporate ladder, ever more impressive job titles and bigger paychecks, progressively larger apartments and a growing balance in my bank accounts. It never really occurred to me that there might be another way to measure success. Or if it did, I pushed that suggestion aside for the rat-race belief that if I pushed just a little harder and reached a bit higher, I would get over the hump into true success.
And then I heard, really heard, myself ask this question that was a mundane part of my working process. And I knew that whatever the answer might be, it was at the very least not this.