Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

What is Success?

What metrics or KPIs are you using to define success for your business? It’s probably a simple answer such as acquiring more users, closing more sales, and increasing revenue. But what about the other, less definitive things? Like having great branding, an amazing product, and the happiest customers? Also, what about your quality of life? and your personal happiness?

For me, it’s revenue, sales, work-life balance, and overall quality of life.

Can I be happy running this custom dress shirt company for the next five years? Yes. I used to hope to have a really fantastic exit by that point, but I’d be happy running a multi-million dollar company with 100% of the equity retained by the partners, and the best custom made dress shirts out there.

But can I be happy working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, breaking only once to watch a movie or read a book to stay sane? Probably not. There are some startup junkies out there that are more ambitious than I am and can certainly put in more hours and work at a more efficient rate than I can, but I need some time away from work to do just anything else.

But when I am working my tail off, I am working with our suppliers to ensure that our slim fit dress shirts have back darts so customers don’t complain about a loose fitting shirt, and that our cotton fabrics aren’t polyester cotton blends because we don’t want the wrong customer getting a fabric they hate wearing.

Success, for me is making sure our customers are happy, our team is working their hardest and smartest, and that we have enough money to run for another week.