What? Sushi equals success?! I know what you’re thinking folks, “Courtney has finally gone around the bend on this one!” But bear with me a minute and you’ll soon see the method to my madness.
My son has what I would call champagne taste on a juice box budget, i.e., $0 budget.
However, he has developed sophisticated tastes such as Starbucks for breakfast, Outback for dinner, and Sushi on Sunday’s (it’s Wegman’s sushi, but I still have to pay for it!) And yes, I blame myself for this expectation!
So, when I transitioned out of my corporate position and opened my health coaching practice, the person with the greatest level of concern was my son! His quality of life was about to take a huge hit and he let me know about it.
While I had assumed at the tender age of eleven, he was unaware of the dynamics of professional financial compensation, much to my surprise he was acutely aware that the impact of my transition from corporate employment to self-employment signaled a change for him, and he wasn’t happy about it.
I explained to him that while my professional change would serve as cause to exercise a bit more restraint in our spending, all else would remain the same. It’s something we should have done anyway. The irony is that nothing much has changed but his concern was palpable.
After my transition, he would often ask, “Can we have sushi?”
My response would be that we should save that for another occasion. From that point on, the occasion was up for debate.
Finally, I told him to relax, and that it’s not like we’ll never have sushi again, once my client schedule started to build, there’d be more sushi dinners.
And that was it. He immediately asked if we could have sushi the next time I signed on a new client. I thought about this and felt it was a perfectly reasonable request.
Boom! That’s how sushi became the symbol of success in my health coaching business. And it’s a joyous one at that.
Now, when I take on a new client, I tell my son and his face lights up because we’re having sushi! It also brings significance to the achievement in the knowledge that a new client equals happiness for my family. I love to celebrate that success in this way.
You would think the measurement of success would be something more traditional like revenue earned, number of discovery calls booked, rising activity metrics, those are all great things. But if we’re eating sushi, business is going well.
Now don’t get me wrong, all of the aforementioned milestones are important and noted, but assigning a symbol or celebration to your milestones, no matter how big or small, make it personal, special, and keep you motivated. Trudging through, without acknowledging the little wins along the way can take the satisfaction out of the process. Stop and smell the roses.
Your definition of success should not look like anyone else’s. Some will celebrate with a posting, some with a glass of wine, or even buying something special like that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to send a message to you.
Last week I had a wonderful conversation with Maureen Gaige-Edwards, Founder of 8 Simple Steps, about why I’m an entrepreneur. During the podcast, she asked what my biggest success has been so far. My answer? The biggest success to date was just taking the leap to do this! Some would argue that leaving a stable position to start a business is not a success, it’s the performance of the business that should be celebrated. However, as a person that didn’t take too many risks in life, making that move was huge for me and I celebrate it as success #1! #2, #3 and so on are important as well, but it really mattered to me, and it still does. The small steps, changes, and risks taken are always cause for celebration.
And success often comes in disguise, so be alert. We’re always so busy looking for the “big win” that we miss the little ones along the way. You may not feel like you’ve accomplished anything at all, but I’ll bet if you asked someone, they would be able to easily point out to you where you’ve been killin’ it! It’s important to celebrate the little wins as we work toward the big victories and keep your eyes open for them.
Need that visual confirmation to keep you going? Make a list of past successes. You’ll be quite surprised by all you have done. Then, make a list of the future successes you hope to achieve. Add the future successes to your vision board where you can see them every day. And yes, these are your goals, but they will soon be your successes. Think about how you’d like to celebrate them.
The simplicity of the sushi celebration also serves as a great lesson to my son. Success is not all about confetti and balloons falling from the sky, it can be understated and still carry great significance. Particularly if your celebration is something like just spending time together. I hope this practice is something he remembers and carries into his own life as he gets older.
We’ve been lucky that the lulls between sushi celebrations have been short. That means things are good. But, when things are slow, there’s an important lesson in the hiatus as well. I shows that hard work manifests itself in results and hard work is what happens in between. There’s no success without effort.
He’s learning that lesson too.
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Success looks different for everyone. What’s your unique way of celebrating success or the milestones in your life or business?
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Take care and be well,