The Definition of Success

By Thomas Jakobs April 04, 2011

The Definition of Success

By: Thomas Jakobs

I don’t know about you, but I always feel like we could do better. Oh, I am proud of the people I work with and the work we are doing. We’re a small group and we accomplish a lot. But it just seems like there is always room for improvement.

All this got me thinking about what it means to succeed. How do we know when a Be Extraordinary project is really finished? Are they ever really finished!? Just what does success look like when you’re working with people for whom life is pretty fragile?

There doesn’t seem to be an easy measure of success for us. For example, we put a lot of time into creating videos because we think it is important for the world to meet our clients. Some of our videos don’t get many views on YouTube (mostly the ones I’m in!). Others, like our Tonya Be Extraordinary video, generate lots of interest – 3,282 views in just four months! Yet, for me, our most successful video was about George and Corkie. It didn’t get as many views (264), but George passed away just a couple of weeks after we posted the video and his family really appreciated getting to see him. How do we measure the value of that?

We also struggle to measure success with our Be Extraordinary clients. Sometimes it is easy – Charlie is going to school and getting his homework done. That is success! But for other clients, the road is longer and more challenging.

Come to think of it, maybe “being on the road” is the best measure of success for us. We’re trying, we’re working together, and we have hope. Sometimes that produces a success that anyone would value – and sometimes the success is more personal and private.

I know that I won’t be satisfied with just being on the road for long. Soon, I’ll start obsessing over things that we could have done better. It is just the way I am. But right now, I’m  happy to be on the road with y’all. Do you know what I mean? How do you define success?