How Do You Define Business Success?
Written by Lisa Montanaro | March 16, 2012

Recently, I was coaching a business client, and we were having a conversation about business success. I asked her to share with me her definition of business success. After a pregnant pause, she admitted that she didn’t really know her definition of business success. Therein lies her problem — and maybe yours as well. No matter what stage your business is in, it is important to define success for yourself.

Not knowing your definition of business success is like driving at night without your headlights on! You and your business may reach your destination, but it makes it a whole lot harder to navigate, find your way, and get there with the least amount of bumps and bruises. You also may arrive in an entirely different place than the one you wanted to reach. Therefore, think of knowing your definition of success as having your high beams on at all times. It helps guide you in the right direction, and assures that you will get there safely, quickly, and in the most direct way possible.

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on your definition for success for your business. As you take the time to reflect and ponder what new experiences you want to create for your business this year, ask yourself some key questions:

  • How do you define success?
  • What is it that is propelling you forward in your business?
  • What drives you?
  • What rewards have you set up for yourself along the way as you meet business milestones?
  • What is the mission of your business?

Far too often, business owners get caught up in someone else’s definition of success. The problem with that is you can waste an awful lot of time being confused, feeling overwhelmed and hesitant about your next step or path. You also may lose faith in building a business that serves you and your unique goals.

All of the above questions are vital and should be given considerable thought. But the most important one by far is, What is the mission of your business? By mission, I don’t mean the Mission Statement that you post on your website for clients and all of the world to see. I mean the internal one that is the driving force behind your business.

For example, my mission is to marry my passions with my profits. In my opinion (and experience), the greatest businesses are created out of passion and knowledge packaged together in a way that others see it as a value. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious choice to step into a bigger purpose to help people around the country and world through my organizing, coaching, speaking and writing. Success to me means taking my business to the next level to reach a wider audience, establish a strong online presence, and to do it without any full time employees.

You can make your business be whatever you want it to be. But first, you have to know what it is you want, how you define success, and what steps you need to take to achieve that success. I challenge you to create a definition of success that truly works for you. And when you do, be sure to share it with someone that will hold you to it, and serve as a powerful accountability partner. You can email me if you’d like. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Copyright © 2011 Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC.

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Copyright 2011. Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and operate productive and profitable businesses. Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE® to be Organized” e-zine for success-minded individuals, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at Lisa is the author of The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, published by Peter Pauper Press. Lisa also publishes the DECIDE® to be Organized blog at Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.