A recent article on LinkedIn by Suze Orman–yes, that Suze Orman–got me thinking about how I define success as an indie author. Ms. Orman is very well known here in the States for her financial advice and her tips on budgeting money. She recently wrote an article titled: “Success Is a Moving Target. Here’s How I Know When I’ve Hit the Mark.”
In the article, she accurately explains how fleeting “success” can be, particularly if we don’t know how we personally define success.
“The odd thing about success, however, is that it is a moving target and one that is very hard to hold onto. I can feel successful one day and then the next I can feel like I have totally blown it.”
She goes on to explain how she defines success:
“I have decided that when all that you have been defined by ceases to be and you still know who you are and like what you know — then you have truthfully succeeded.”
I like this definition of success. First of all, it doesn’t involve the opinion of others. Too often we base our success by how we are received by others, which is not only fleeting, but anxiety-inducing. As authors, we may look at how many books we sell, or how many books we write, or how many reviews we get, or how much money we make–Another $1 this month?!? One whole dollar?!?! Gee whiz!!–but those are all fleeting realities for an author.
In fact, Ms. Orman’s definition of success not only doesn’t involve the opinion of others, it completely strips the opinion of others from the equation. It leaves you standing there bare and naked, and then asks, “Do you still know who you are now that you’re standing here bare and naked?”
I like this. A lot.
How do you define success as a writer? Click To Tweet
Those of you of that subscribe to my newsletter may have heard me encourage us all from time to time with the following line: “Remember, do what you do and enjoy that you do it, regardless if others do too.”
If your definition of success is based on whether others enjoy what you do, you’re bound to be disappointed. I don’t mean whether your wife or your husband or your best friend enjoy what you do, although you may need to include them if you’re too overly-concered about what they think. I mean don’t focus on whether the masses enjoy what you do. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it will be the key to your success and happiness in life.
It’s great to have incremental goals in your journey as a writer. Longtime readers of Nothing Any Good know that one of my original goals when I published my book was to reach 100 sales, which I’m happy to say I have sprinted past that finish line. (Thank you to all my wonderful readers and supporters! I’m blessed to have you!) Concrete goals like this are good; they’re healthy. If you like setting small goals like this, don’t stop.
But this can’t be how you define your success at the end of the day. Your happiness can’t be dependent on forces that are outside your control otherwise you’re bound to become unhappy. So once again…
When all that you have been defined by ceases to be and you still know who you are and like what you know — then you have truthfully succeeded. -Suze OrmanClick To Tweet
I like that. How do you define success as a writer?
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.