Here's a decidedly non-CEO sentiment that I've been having while reflecting on the past year: I am happy about this business year and it has absolutely nothing to do with traditionally defined business success.
No kidding, I don't primarily judge my business and employees' performance based on whether or not we hit our financial and strategic goals.
While I absolutely do like being profitable, seeing our influence grow and increasing our market share--these are just the positive outcomes that occur when you focus on the single goal that matters most of all: Continuous Improvement.
Years ago, I had an epiphany when I finally realized that the true definition of my success didn't lie in business growth, accumulation of 'stuff' or what I had in my personal checking account. Rather, for me, success really means continuously improving my life, my skill sets and (most importantly) the lives of those around me.
Looking back on the days when I thought being successful meant hitting my first million in online sales, driving a nice car or taking fancy vacations, I understand that I was well intentioned in my ambitions. What entrepreneur doesn't want to be in the black and have exciting numbers to celebrate with their team?
But, at the same time, how defeating is it to hit goal after goal and STILL not consider yourself a success because once you've gotten that big check life goes on and you always are left wanting more.
These days, I find satisfaction in the ongoing process of being better. And while my team at Blinds.com does have aggressive business goals we work on as a company, I don't let those goals stand in the way of true success. In fact, we've consistently exceeded many of our goals because we simply don't limit our success to the numbers and strategic objectives we set in the beginning of each new year.
Improving continuously means getting a little bit better every single day and encouraging my friends, family, customers and colleagues to do the same. And it's not just feel good lip service, this is a lifelong journey that I work on and reflect on every single day--and now it's one of the most frequently discussed Core Values in my office.
When you consider your company's potential in 2015, I want you to realize that there's simply no limit to what you can achieve when your primary goal is to be a little bit better every day, every marketing test, every customer interaction and every sale.
In the end, the most meaningful legacy that you and your business leave behind is not written in your annual P&L, website metrics or earning statements. It's in the stories your customers tell about your business and in the way that you contributed to your employees' and their families lives.
So let's lift our glasses to an exciting 2015 that continuously outshines 2014!