Contributed by Kym Huynh, an EO Melbourne member, EO Global Communications Committee member, and co-founder of WeTeachMe. Kym is fascinated by entrepreneurs and their journeys, so he asked EO members from various chapters to share their experiences. In this second installment of Kym Huynh’s Leadership Toolkit series, Kym asked eight entrepreneurs how they view success.
We asked successful entrepreneurs from EO chapters around the world, “What does success look like to you?”
Success is often tied to the books we read and the people we meet
There are many forms of success: personal, parental, spiritual, spousal and financial—just to name a few.
- For me business success appeared when I began to understand the difference in being a solopreneur versus being an entrepreneur — #TheEMyth.
- Entrepreneurial success appeared when I began caring more about asking the right questions than having the right answers — #ScalingUp.
- Leadership success appeared when I began thinking more like a leader in my company and less like a boss — #GreatbyChoice.
Ultimately, success on every front can often be tied to the books we read and the people we meet. I certainly wish everyone great and abundant adventures in both.
Financial success won’t matter if your home life, health or mindset isn’t good
Success means happiness, fulfillment and contribution to something bigger than me.
— Katty Douraghy, EO San Francisco, president of Artisan Creative
Living a life of intentionality
Success to me is about not having regrets. This doesn’t mean you can’t have mistakes—mistakes are natural—but rather how you respond to the mistakes and set yourself up for a different course of action in the future.
For me, the true meaning of success is asking yourself every day, “Am I living a life of intentionality?” This means deciding how you want to feel and then taking deliberate action forward.
I believe that the key to success is when one can identify if their entrepreneurial journey is aligned with their spiritual journey. That’s much more important than scaling a company to US$100M.
Finding time again to do all the things you truly want to do
I define success as the ability to find time again so that you can do all the things you really want to do. Whether it be personal or business, these are things that you do not because you need to do them, but because you want to do them.
— Ash Rathod, managing director of Digital Focus Creatives
Creating a life where we all walk each other home
Success to me is the realization that every one of us have agency—the ability to decide—and that we have the ability to determine how we see and experience the world.
First, the understanding that when we change the way we see the world, our world changes. This understanding has given me choice in how I look at my life experiences, and subsequently how I experience life.
Second, the realization that we can’t change our past but we can create our future. We have the ability to envision a future; one that is hopefully so bright and vivid that it becomes a guiding light for all our life decisions.
Third, the empowerment in knowing that the great thing about life is that we don’t have to look like what we want to become—but rather, it’s all about heart, desire and skill. Satisfy those three requirements and the destination is inevitable.
And finally, the grace in knowing that as per the wisdom of David O. McKay, no success in life compensates for failure in the home.
And whilst home can mean “home” in the nuclear sense, if we include our friends, communities and the lives we touch, and build a life where we lift each other, then perhaps we can create a life where we all walk each other home.
— Kym Huynh, EO Melbourne, founder of WeTeachMe
Having enough money to do what you want — and enough time to enjoy it
Success is all about the freedom to choose how I spend my time both personally and professionally. When I became the CEO of our family business at age 28, I did it out of a sense of duty—not necessarily because it was what I wanted to do. My philosophy is: You need enough money to do the things you want to do but you also need enough time to enjoy it.
— Richard J Bryan, EO Colorado, founder, The Bryan Group
Positively affecting the wellbeing of others
I get the most joy out of knowing I have helped someone level up. Whether that’s making an introduction, shining a light on a solution to a problem they are facing, or helping them reach their goals and establish even bigger objectives. I get a ton of good vibes knowing that I was part of that success.
I judge my successes by the positive effect I have on the wellbeing of others. That and knowing I have given my all in an activity or objective. Because at the end of the day, that’s all we can do.
— Stu Swineford, EO Colorado, founder, Relish Studio
Wearing only one hat
It is important to define success at the start of your entrepreneurial journey.
My goal was simple. At the start I wore 20 hats. I drew a line in the sand and stated that, once successful, I would be wearing one hat—and that hat is “owner”.
Success meant creating a business that could scale and have the proper processes and systems to operate without a dependency on an owner.
— Tim Glennie, EO Colorado, co-founder and managing partner, BridgeView