Uber. Warby Parker. WeWork. They changed the game in their industries. They didn't just start companies, they invented new ways of living. I mean, I despised taxis until Uber came out and made the fares so transparent and the payment experience so easy. I used Warby Parker just a few weeks ago when my boyfriend left his glasses on top of his car and drove away. We got too busy to actually go into a store to try on glasses, so thank goodness for home delivery try-ons.
All of these companies did an incredible job of revolutionizing the way we live. It's something to be admired.
But in the day and age when an entrepreneur is simply trying to dip their toes into an industry, it can feel so daunting and intimidating to think that success means disruption.
The truth is, it's okay if you don't absolutely and completely revolutionize an industry. In fact, your company may exist as a synergist -- one that helps things run more smoothly, more efficiently, or better.
You may not get world-renowned recognition for developing a data-focused software, but you're going to help a ton of companies streamline a once headache-inducing process. Your coffee shop may not be the newest idea of the century, but you're bringing together a neighborhood and developing a community that may not have existed before this. Don't underestimate the power in a cup of coffee.
When it gets down to it, success should not be measured in the way you revolutionize and disrupt because for any new business owner, it's simply too overwhelming to get there. The goal is to take it day by day, and focus on these success factors instead. If disruption comes with it, let that be the cherry on top.
Have stories or case studies that back your idea up.
Do you have success stories? Do you have examples of how your business has changed lives or helped people live it better? These are the moments to look for. This is the hard truth on whether or not you've made the world a better place with your business.
Look for consistent growth.
I'm not saying you have to be growing every single day by X percent, but you should constantly expand in one way, shape or form. Although you'll have a few dips and plateaus, the trajectory should still trend upwards.
Be flexible in how you determine growth. It doesn't have to be an increased amount of customers or clients, but maybe it's in the business you do with one client or the ratio changed on your return on investment.
Aim to have a positive workplace culture.
Your employees and your team is what makes your business run. Invest time into making them leaders, go-getters, and excited about their work and life. For that, they will give you everything back and help the company grow.
Reach for a healthy work/life balance.
Disruption is a really exciting thought, but if you are tired, rundown, and exhausted, what's the point? To be successful, you have to remember to take care of yourself. Spend time with your family. Make time to do the things you love. When you invest in self-care, your business with thank you.
Remember, disrupting and revolutionizing is amazing, but it's not the end goal. It's what is possible when you focus on checking off all of the above.