Rand noted today that SEOmoz has achieved quite a feat - that of obtaining more than a million links to their site in less than 3 years. That is impressive but also well-earned. SEOmoz gave users the kind of quality content that naturally invited links.
A friend implied that perhaps I should be envious or jealous that Rand has achieved such success with a blog that started after mine, especially since Rand started up SEOmoz aspiring to be like me. (Note that those are Rand's words; please don't take them out of context). I told my friend that while I might desire to have that many links, I in no way begrudge the success that Rand has had. In fact, I feel proud that he has turned his talents into a highly successful company. But most important of all, is that I have a completely different definition of success than Rand has, and that makes all the difference.
I don't need or want a "company". I don't want employees. I don't want the stress of dealing with client demands. What I want...and what success means to me...is the ability to pay my bills each and every month without having to work for someone else. I want to make a living in my pajamas...and that's exactly what I do. That was my goal when I first started out in this business, and I consider myself to be successful because I achieved that goal. Guess what that makes me? HAPPY!
Rand's goal - his definition of success - was different than mine. I don't know what his actual goals were/are, but I'm pretty sure that it included a lot things that my definition did not, and that he has likely either met or exceeded the original definition. I do know that he has certainly exceeded his aspiration of being like me!
So, what is your goal? What is your definition of success? It is important that you determine an end-goal and know what it is that you hope to achieve before you begin an endeavor.
- If you are starting a new site, what do you hope to achieve with it?
- If you are starting an SEO campaign, what is its measure of success?
At what point can you sit back, pat yourself on the back, smile, and be happy with the success you've achieved? If you don't have a goal in mind - if you haven't defined success - you'll never reach that point, because you won't recognize it when it is achieved.
I'm not saying that you should stop at the moment you've achieved your goal and go no further. Not at all. If I increase my 32,000 links to over a million, my smile will undoubtedly be even bigger. Exceeding your original definition of success and going beyond your goals is good, but you should still take a moment once success is achieved to notice it, and be happy.
So the takeaways of this post are:
- Create your own unique definition of success and define goals to achieve that
- Notice the point when you've achieved your goals and be happy for having done so
- If you can exceed your original goals, do so, but don't forget to stay happy along the way
- Never begrudge another's success, and never forget that their definition of success is likely very different than yours
Big congratulations go out to Rand for his success. He worked hard, put together a great team, created some killer content, and did it all with a smile. Whatever his definition of success may be - whatever his goals are - I hope that he meets or exceeds them without turning into a butthead along the way. 🙂
Now it's your turn to define success. Your turn to make some goals. Your turn to work hard, create killer content, meet your goals, and smile for having done so. Go on...get to it. You can, you know. 😀
Please feel free to share your definitions of success in the comments below.