May You Have a very Successful 2015!

January 29, 2017

It’s that time of the year – when we go through desks, drawers and cupboards sorting out the old papers that are no longer relevant, old clothes that are tired looking (or don’t fit), and computer files that should have been deleted months ago. I don’t look forward to this yearly purge, but I’m compelled to do it, like the whales that always head south in the autumn.

Sometimes I discover a hidden treasure – a scarf I had misplaced, a missing sock, or a favorite pair of slacks hidden under a jacket. Today I discovered a quote from Ralph Finnes that I had copied down a decade ago because I found it thought provoking.  And rediscovering it on the cusp of the new year was like finding a little treasure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “success”. Some of the early-stage companies i’ve worked with are beginning to achieve some success getting investments and customers. While it’s early days, some of the ANZ customers we’re working with at the Centre for Business Growth tell me they’re successfully implementing some of our recommendations – and are beginning to think and act like leaders!

But what is success?  Making lots of money? If that’s the measure, I am quite unsuccessful because I’m making less money than I did before I came to Adelaide! Power and the ability to make things happen? Well – I wasn’t able to get the Adelaide Seed Fund off the ground, and clearly don’t have much power because the government has yet to support our Centre! But when I read Ralph Fiennes’s definition of success and look at what I wrote above, I feel I am achieving success.

“The people I consider successful are so because of how they handle responsibilities to other people, how they approach the future.  They are people who have a full sense of the value of their life and what they want to do with it.  I call people “successful” not because of doing well but because, as human beings, they have a fully developed sense of being alive and engaged in a lifetime task of collaboration with other human beings.  Success is all about being able to extend love to people in the everyday, little by little, task by task, gesture by gesture, word by word.”

So – how you are going to measure success in the coming year? I hope your goals are achieved, and that your company grows.  But most of all, I hope you will have a fully developed sense of being alive and that you’re able to fully engage and collaborate with your family, your team and employees, your friends and community – and achieve the success you seek.