I grew my business to six figures in six months.
That's a lie.
I grew my site to 100,000 subscribers in a month.
Also a lie.
I've sold 15,000 copies of my book so far this year.
I don't even have a book.
Not one of these things are true about our small business story but I've felt like they should be. If you spend enough time researching how to build an online business in your free time you will read stories where these things have happened for some people. And overnight success stories are great and they can motivate you to work a little harder but it's not everyone's story in a start up.
What's your definition of success?
Is it always tied to something being bigger? Is it more money in your bank account? Is it more followers on your blog or social media accounts? Is it being able to hire more people? Is the sole purpose of doing something entrepreneurial financial profitability?
As i've reflected on the past two years our financial gain hasn't equated to significant life change. We still drive used cars. I just remodeled a bathroom/laundry room with my own two hands. We still buy our groceries at Aldi. Would this mean we're failing?
Of course not.
The best part to starting a business has been the relationships.
So many new friends have entered our lives over the past two years as we've sought to serve people and help them launch their dreams. These people wouldn't have come into our lives otherwise. There's been some very REAL conversations. There's been excitement around completing projects with one another. As our client list has grown we've made some money but better than that we've made some real friends.
Don't get me wrong, money is great but money has a hard time encouraging your soul. My best start up advice I can give you is measure your success by the relationships you form. Don't get lost in trying to accomplish your dream overnight, instead do it at a pace where you can build a team of people you can serve and they serve you. Don't get lost in Google Analytics. Don't get carried away with subscribers. Don't obsess with how many fans your Facebook page has. Instead, look for relationships that will still be with you when things do take off.