3 Things No One Tells You about Success

Success: everyone dreams about it and says they want it. Yet, it seems so elusive. Here are 3 things no one tells you about it.

Success Doesn’t Have a Singular Definition

Well, you know, of course there’s a definition of success in the dictionary. Yet, even the Oxford Dictionary offers more than one definition:

  • The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
  • The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status
  • A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.
  • The good or bad outcome of an undertaking

It comes from the Latin successus meaning “come close after.”

So, what I consider to be success could be different from what you consider success. What I considered success at the age of 21 when I was the mother of a two year old child and had another child on the way was different than now as a 41 year old with an almost 22 year old, a 19 year old, and a 10 year old. Back then, I was in the insurance business. I was a LOMA certified life insurance underwriter and working on obtaining my P & C license. Now, I’m a self-employed writer and editor (and no, I don’t live off of ramen and my spouse is not the main income as most people generally assume).

Success is individualized and it will change for you over time. And that’s okay. You do not need to compare yourself to others.

Related: The Cold, Hard Truth about Freelancing (or Any Other Small Business)

“Overnight” Success Doesn’t Exist

Those of us who “suddenly” seem to find success didn’t find it suddenly…except maybe a few in Hollywood or Knoxville (or Memphis) who are related to already famous individuals. No one notices the work we put in, all the times we say no to going out or doing things (until people stop inviting us or tell us how we’ve changed), etc., until “all of a sudden,” we are a success.

Then we are asked how we did it. Can we show them how? Will we tell them the secret? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to help people through the process and eventually heard, “I don’t want to actually do this…I didn’t think it would actually be work.”

It got to the point that I created guides I stored on Google and just sent those links instead of answering questions…and then people would tell me how rude I was for doing that instead of taking time away from paying clients. The fact is, most people don’t want to put in the work to become a success. They just want it handed to them.

Eventually, I wrote a book that covers practically everything you need to know about starting and running a work from home business.

Related: 10 Invaluable Freelancing for Beginners Tips

Becoming a Success Is a Rollercoaster

There are good days and bad days. There are good clients and shitty ones you end up firing. There are projects that are great or start off great and that you end up hating for one reason or another…and you question whether you really want to do this or if you can do this at all. Work from home life isn’t always great. It’s not always a picnic…but no one’s life is…it doesn’t matter if someone is filthy rich or just a regular person. We all have good and bad days. Becoming a success when you work from home is no different. You can’t let a bad day dictate that you’re a failure and can never be a success. You take it for what it is: a bad day. Then, you move on.

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