If you're providing top-rated services and making money hand over fist, others will be quick to label you a success. But there's more to success than that -- and if you aren't deriving satisfaction from your life and achievements, you may be feeling unfulfilled.
These six entrepreneurs describe their own definitions of fulfillment and share insights on how to achieve it in business and life. Hint: It's not all about work.
Get out of the office.
Time spent out of office can serve as a great reminder of all that you have achieved in office. Renato Libric, founder and CEO of fintech solutions company Bouxtie Inc., recognizes that renouncing his workaholic tendencies reflects positively on the company he has built.
"I value my time more than almost anything. Early on, I was a workaholic. I couldn't travel, partake in conferences or lend a helping hand," he says. "Now that I have built myself a strong team, I can do those things. And any time I'm away from the office, I remind myself that it's my accomplishments that make it possible."
Find a balance between work and family.
Aaron Schwartz, founder and CEO of custom watch company Modify Watches, knows that prioritizing both work and family is a balancing act -- but one that leads to greater fulfillment. By managing his schedule, he gets more quality time with family and more focused time at work.
"We have an 11-month-old, and, for the first time in my seven years of being CEO, I deeply care about my schedule. I take care of our daughter in the morning and put her to bed every night with my wife," he says. "This means I only attend 'critical' events at night, and I'm much more focused during the day. Being with her is fulfilling and forces me to prioritize at work, which leads to more joy."
Get recognized for your thought leadership.
"It feels great when people turn to you to get your insights within your industry," says Andrew O'Connor, director of SEO at American Addiction Centers, an addiction treatment provider. Being recognized as a thought leader shows that your contributions are not only personally fulfilling, but also valuable to others.
"This level of respect and credibility tells you that you have achieved a lot, especially considering all the other people within your industry," he says. "Sharing content on trends and solutions is very fulfilling."
Love who you work with.
Success is not all about the work that you do, but also the people you do it with -- and for. Leila Lewis, founder and CEO of wedding PR agency Be Inspired PR, is motivated by the appreciative customers and employees who make her job worthwhile.
"Not only loving the work you do, but the people you work with can be incredibly fulfilling. Finding employees who are the perfect fit and just 'get it' is incredibly rewarding," says Lewis. "And finding clients who sincerely value the service we provide pushes me to always go above and beyond."
Do things your way.
Although there will always be people who try to bring you down, Shawn Schulze, co-founder of white pages resource site AllAreaCodes.com, tunes out the pessimists by being confident in his way of achieving success.
"You can always find someone to tell you what you can't do or why something won't work. There's no better satisfaction than putting in the effort to reach your goals despite naysayers," says Schulze. "By building a track record of doing what you say you're going to do, it becomes easy to do things your way -- and not worry about outside noise."
Schedule time to give back.
"One of my greatest successes since starting my company has been giving myself the availability to make a difference," says Kim Kaupe, co-founder of custom publication company ZinePak. She takes advantage of a flexible schedule to make a difference in the lives of others, not to mention her own.
"Too often people don't volunteer, give talks or sit on charity boards because they 'don't have time,'" she says. "As a founder, I work unorthodox hours, allowing me to schedule time for these meaningful activities. It has helped enrich my life beyond measure."