Let’s talk about success and failure.
What’s the big difference between them?
How can you know if you’ve achieved success in a service business?
Most people define service business success as creating a company that generates a lot of money. People will also tell you that success is a mindset.
You either have it or you don’t.
But I don’t think that’s right. An understanding of what service business success looks like is so much more important than some mindset shift.
You have to know the answer to a key question…
What is Success to You?
Like I said, most people see more income as the key indicator of success.
But what if those higher earnings come at the cost of other parts of your life? What if you’re making more money but you’re working, 60, 70, or even 80-hour weeks to get it?
Sure, the business might look alright. But you don’t have any time for yourself and your family start to suffer. “Success” in your service business may take away from success in your personal life.
Here’s what I’ve found through my service business training.
A lot of owners grow their businesses but they still feel unsuccessful. The reason is that success, as a concept, has many layers.
So one layer might be that you want to get more trucks for your business. Another might be your revenue goals for the business.
But you might have another layer in that you want to have kids.
The danger is that so many service business owners compare themselves to other people. They let somebody else define what their idea of success is.
That’s why they feel unsuccessful when they achieve their goals. It’s because those goals were never really theirs in the first place.
Think about it like this. You might look at somebody who’s achieved what you think of as success in a service business. But they might look at you with your family and kids and consider that an even greater success.
If you don’t internalize that there are multiple layers to success, you start to dwell on what you look at as failures. They consume your mind and prevent you from seeing all of the successes that you have achieved.
How Success Evolves
This isn’t to say that other people can’t help you to find success in your service business.
In fact, I believe that having somebody to help you map it out is one of the keys to finding true success. Just ask O.P. Almaraz of Allied Restoration.
O.P. came to CEO Warrior with a business that already generated $3.5 million in revenue every year.
A lot of service business owners would consider that a success.
Success for O.P. lay in learning about how he needed to take ownership of the business. He needed to give himself time for the high-level thinking that would really help the business to grow.
That would help the business reach the higher standards that he wanted from it.
Success for O.P. evolved from creating a functional service business to running an exceptional one. Now, his business generates $5.5 million per year.
The thing about success is that the line moves.
When O.P. started his service business, he probably wasn’t thinking too much about becoming a high-level leader. He had to focus on driving revenue, building his team, and all sorts of other things.
But once he hit a certain level, his definition of service business success changed. Now, he has the team and the capacity. Success from there was all about becoming a great leader who could plot out the course for continued growth.
It’s the same for all of us. When I first moved away from home, success for me was just being able to pay the bills. Then I started a service business and the line moved. I grew the service business and the line moved again.
Then I started building a family, and guess what?
The line moved again.
Success isn’t some solid thing that you either have or you don’t. It’s something that evolves over time and stays unique to you.
The One Cardinal Rule
Here’s the one steadfast rule about success that I’ve learned as a trainer for service business owners.
Without clarity of success, you can never feel any sort of satisfaction.
You have to write down exactly what success feels like to you. It could be something that’s way off in the future or something that deals with the present. For example, I’m working on three books right now. Success for me is to get those books proofed and published.
I have other successes lined up. Some are way off in the future and some cover what I’m doing in the present.
The key is that I know what they look like and I’ll feel satisfaction when I achieve those successes.
Herman Sykes is a service business owner who struggled to define success for himself.
Herman came to CEO Warrior after reading a ton of books on business.
But he still struggled to define success for himself. That’s because none of the books he read focused specifically on service business owners.
There were far too general for what he needed.
After coming to a CEO Warrior seminar, he started to figure out his own definition of service business success.
You need that mix of short-term and long-term success goals. Maybe you want to reach $10 million with your service business. That’s great, but that type of service business success is way off in the future.
What can you define as a more short-term success that will give you satisfaction?
Maybe it feels difficult to come up with an answer. If that’s the case, you have to remember something else that’s really important…
Service Business Success Stretches Beyond You
You’ve got your own ideas of success.
But what about your employees? What does success mean to them and are they on their way to achieving it?
Just as importantly, what do you think about their ideas of what success is?
That’s something that you have to think about as a service business owner. Getting to that $10 million revenue target may feel great to you. But it could come at the cost of you grinding down your A-players. Maybe they have a different vision of success that doesn’t mesh with what you’re going for right now.
That could lead to them leaving, which might turn your big success into a failure.
Just remember that success stretches beyond your business and personal goals. As a service business owner, you have to think about the success of everyone in the company.
The Two Things You Need to Know About Failure
Let’s switch gears and look at failure for a moment. It’s the other side of the service business success coin and you need to understand it.
There are two things you need to know about failure.
Point #1 – It’s Not a Failure if You Improve
You’ve heard people say “fail forward” before.
The problem with that term is that you still feel like a loser, even if you fail forward.
What you need to do is reverse engineer your psychology so that you don’t see your perceived failures in the same way.
Your supposed failure is just a chance to make an improvement.
All of us have experienced what we see as failures at some point in our lives. You tried something and it didn’t work out.
But you learned from it. You figured out something that you shouldn’t do or something that you need to improve on.
That takes you one step closer to achieving success in your service business.
And it also leads to my second point about failure…
Point #2 – True Failure Has No Lesson
The only true failure is one that you learn nothing from.
But here’s the secret.
Almost every single “failure” contains a lesson for you. It’s up to you to figure out what that lesson is so that you don’t repeat the failure later on.
Change How You Think
I said earlier that I don’t believe in the “success mindset”.
What you need to do is to change the way that you think about success and failure.
For example, there might be something in your service business that you could improve. That’s great because it gives you a future success to look forward to.
But you haven’t failed just because you’re not at the level you want to be at right now. Just because something could get better, that doesn’t mean that you haven’t already achieved success.
Don’t look at things with a black and white view of success or failure. Instead, look for the lessons that you can bring with you into your next experience.
Create Your Vision of Success With CEO Warrior
What does success look like to you?
That’s the key question that you have to ask yourself. It’s your vision of success that’s the most important thing to you as a service business owner.
And to figure that out, you may need to change how you think about success and failure.
CEO Warrior can help you to do that. I have one final question for you…