The true measure of success + 5 lessons I’ve learnt

Grab a cuppa! This is going to be a long and highly personal blog and one that I hope will provide you with something extremely worthwhile to ruminate over.

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of hosting the graduation day for ten amazing business owners who’d just finished my 12-month business reinvention program. As each of these beautiful people presented their TED-like talk to an enthusiastic crowd at The Hub, I reflected on just how far each one had come.

During the course of the year, one participant had decided to sell everything and move to Sulawesi, Indonesia to pursue her goal to write. Another made the brave decision to partner with another business to grow her company, while another made the decision to simplify by selling one of her businesses. One had to deal with the devastation of losing a father and another had the most perfect realisation that at age 50, he has the real ability to help other men his age facing issues at work. And yet another, an artist, was able to fully appreciate the value of his work and how he could make a fine living from his art.

At the beginning of the program, I admit, we were set to follow a method – a process – where everyone would identify their business goals, redefine their service/product offering, determine their financial goals and strive towards achieving their plan. As the year progressed I realised that something far deeper was going on in this group of incredibly talented people. My intuition was telling me, that more than anything, this group needed to be heard and that they needed to reinvent their business over time in a way that suited them. I realised the last thing they needed as mature and experienced businesspeople was a cookie-cutter marketing and business model.

So one night I made the decision to abandon the process all together. I decided that the best thing I could do for each and every participant (whom I’d come to love and respect dearly), would be to provide the safe container from within which each person could make their own decisions to grow in the area that was right for them – personally and professionally. I let go of control and let instinct take over.

As graduation day approached I was quite unsure as to what would turn up. All I can say is that after three hours and ten amazing speeches, I was speechless (a rare thing for me). I was blown away with the depth of feeling, purpose and deep consideration that each and every one had given to their presentations. There was not one grandiose elevator pitch in the house, yet each managed to tell a stunning story of their journey and the work they wished to deliver to the world. These beautiful people did me proud. I was humble, teary and full of love.

The last year has taught me so much about life and business. It has taught me that:

Lesson 1 – There is no method!
I learnt that there is no method, no process or ‘one-size fits all’ model to reinvent or build your business and that we are each highly unique individuals. We simply can’t be pigeonholed into some six step business or marketing process. My goal is to build a community of like-minded experienced solo-professionals who require the education, support and accountability to help you make your own courageous personal and professional decisions.

Lesson 2 – Business success is 50% personal and 50% professional!
I’ve learnt that no amount of professional development or business training will ever make up for not doing the personal work. Business success is dependent on spending equal amounts of time on the spiritual and ‘inside out’ work around your behaviours, values, beliefs and how you show up in the world and with your clients.

“Who do you need to BE, to change what you do and have what you want?”

Lesson 3 – The success myth must be busted!
I’ve learnt that we must redefine success and stop equating it with financial and material rewards. Being a million dollar expert is not the ultimate measure of success. How you acquire your money, whom you acquire it from and how you spend it, is a far more worthwhile measure of success. Success is also measured by how wholehearted your life is, the quality of your relationships and the time you spend pursuing your creative passions. We must each define success in our own way and seek our own path.

Lesson 4 – A business with purpose will keep you keeping on!
I’ve learnt that the purpose of business truly is to serve the greater good, and that everyone – your clients, your suppliers, the planet, the community and every person your business touches – can be positively impacted by your business. It is indeed the most effective way to stay inspired, build a tribe and change the world. Profit is not the result of purpose rhetoric, but living it and breathing it every single day and in every single interaction. (This, by the way, has undoubtedly been the biggest legacy of the work I’ve done with each of the fabulous people who graduated.)

“When I chased after money I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived in my life, then I was prosperous.” Wayne Dyer

Lesson 5 – We must all be activists!
I’ve learnt that we must all become personal and professional activists in the process of reinventing our business. Many of us working in broken industries that are not serving humanity (law, accounting, finance, marketing, consulting and so many more) have massive opportunities to make a difference. We must ask ourselves what’s broken in my industry and how can my business fix it? We must be willing to be a non-conformist, a disruptor, to become an activist and lead the way.

I’m now starting to witness the organic evolution of something far bigger than me as I start to build this brilliant community of professionals who share my values and beliefs. Will you join me?

If this blog resonates with you, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to join the community by attending my next one-day seminar on Friday 28 March in Melbourne. It will introduce you to the ideas and concepts I teach on how to reinvent your business. The seminar is intimate and highly personal and open to just 12 people.

Find out more about Reinvent your Business Click here
(Early bird price ends Wednesday 19 March)

Read this story by Kath Walters on Reinvent your Business Click here

I invite you to join this growing community and be a part of something far greater than you could ever be on your own.

Yours in conscious marketing

Carolyn Signature

PS If you’re itching to get that book in you published, you might like to consider attending this CPX event on Wednesday 26 March, where I’ll be speaking on How to unleash that book in you! I’ll be stepping you through the art of creation, the art of publication and the art of market attraction. I hope to see you there. (This event has come about since I published my personal memoir Unstuck in Provence just two weeks ago).