What is Success

Turning 18 - Retrospective

Someone asked me recently, what was the secret to my success. I couldn't answer them simply because I haven't really stopped to celebrate achieving my goals, because these goals are merely steps towards something far greater.

Just as a diver can twist and turn through the air with such grace, entering the water with ease, success, when it comes, seems like the most natural thing in the world. But it’s the commitment to persist and perfect your craft that brings such results. And it’s the genuine love of what you do that keeps you going. Vanity and ambition may get you noticed, but won’t stand the test of time.

Building DebtCol was the first milestone for me, but like a mother who gives birth to her child, she knows that this milestone is just the beginning of something that takes on its own life. Something that is forever growing and adapting to changes and in the same way that having a child is a lifelong commitment, so too is DebtCol for me. And in the same way that a mother must give so much of herself for her child's development, so too do I for DebtCol.

But as with many milestones like an 18th birthday, it does necessitate one to reflect and in light of such reflection and the question of success posed to me, I cannot offer a definitive answer as I am only part way down my path, but I can offer this: -

  • Business is forever evolving because life is. So be prepared to be there for the long haul.
  • Be patient and expect challenges along the way.
  • Expect change so you can be willing to meet its needs.
  • Have faith in yourself and look for solutions instead of problems.
  • Set boundaries, plan, take action towards your plan and enforce your boundaries.
  • Always bring value, leaving a trail of benefits behind you.
  • And to quote my favourite author Paulo Coelo "success does not come from having ones’ work recognised by others. It is the fruit of a seed that is lovingly planted.", so love what you do.
  • Don't waste time getting stuck comparing yourself to what others are doing. Instead, listen with intent to what is needed and do your best at fulfilling that need.
  • Always connect with people, albeit staff, suppliers or customers. If you are merely seeking success, you won’t find it because success is a consequence, not an end.
  • To sustain yourself, work on leading a balanced work/life and ALWAYS look after your health.

As I ponder this idea of success, my attention is immediately directed forward. Forward to the next client visit to connect with them and receive their valuable feedback. Forward to transforming this feedback into solutions. Forward to scoping, planning and executing development of these solutions into software features. Forward to teaching and coaching our customers in how to leverage the software to best effect, to bring greater value to them and their success. And forward to the pleasure this brings to me, which continues to invigorate me to continue the cycle. So, on it goes.

So, in the spirit of retrospection, I acknowledge and celebrate the last 18 years and everything this journey has taught me. And to try to answer this question of success, I continue to look forward to the next 18 years with the knowledge that if I persist in seeking solutions that add value and continue to love what I do, success will inevitably follow.

Author: Mr Sandy Barrett, Director DebtCol Software