Successful on your own terms – what makes a successful entrepreneur?

The key to defining success for yourself transcends common beliefs about what makes a successful entrepreneur.

I’ve met many entrepreneurs and enterprising people in my time. Those who have businesses that last all seem to share one quality: the ability to name what success means to them and a clear assessment of how they are doing on that front. Also, none of these enterprising folks have the same definition of success because success, you see, is deeply personal.

But, you may ask, if that’s the case, why are we bombarded with so many messages reinforcing “cookie-cutter” markers of success? Let’s name a few:

  • Six-figure income
  • 1000 people or more on your mailing list
  • 5000 followers on Instagram
  • Starting your own podcast or Youtube channel
  • Being a published author

Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing the matter with being paid well for your services or products and having a healthy following on Instagram. They can be a useful way of gauging the growing success of your business. The point is, have you done the thinking, soul searching and planning for naming what is success for you and how to get there, beginning with what really gives you energy about starting a business in the first place? Are you chasing after something that doesn’t even resonate with you?

I am convinced that to be truly tasted, success has to be aligned with your values. Clarity of purpose regarding why you are embarking on an entrepreneurial project and a clear vision of what success looks like for you are essential – if you are going to commit to the hard work of seeing it through.

For your vision of success to give you energy, it has to be the product of your best self, doing stuff you absolutely love doing, along with other things that are necessary but not that exciting (insert annoying tedious task here). The good stuff helps see you through the tedium.

goal setting

What worthy goals are you chasing?

  • Are you wanting to give employment to members of your community?
  • Are you looking to work differently or at a different pace, making time to enjoy your children, you aging parents, a political cause or that long-neglected garden in the yard?
  • Are you wanting to build a space for yourself where you can use your creativity daily?

I am willing to bet that if one of those goals gives you energy, stirs up your passion, then you have what it takes to be successful, on your own terms. Another word for that type of energy is motivation.

With Motivational Maps, we look at the importance and interaction in individuals of nine motivational preferences. One such preference that is closely identified with business success is BUILDER, which is about the concrete manifestation of success or achievement in our lives, through things like money, competition, and quality of life.

Some will argue that a high amount of that BUILDER energy is crucial to entrepreneurial success. I think that high BUILDER energy can be a tremendous fuel for business success. But that’s not the end of the story.

Whether there is a healthy dose of BUILDER energy in you or not, your top motivators will be a great clue to what provides you with energy to get things done.

For example, the budding entrepreneur with a strong motivation to do good for her community by creating jobs (aligned with the SEARCHER motivator) may very well have what it takes to succeed with a clear purpose and vision for success.

A more personal goal, like giving yourself the opportunity to be creative every day in a project you’ve chosen may be within your sights with a solid CREATOR motivation preference (gets energy from new ideas, innovation and change).

As someone who is highly motivated by acquiring and sharing expertise, your EXPERT motivational preference may create the energy for you to pursue a new degree and open the door to a new career or business.

Highly motivated people make good career decisions, achieve great fulfillment from work, and enjoy more well-being and less stress and illness.

Are you curious about your own motivational profile and what it may reveal about your path to success on your own terms?

If you’re interested in learning more about how Motivational Maps can help you on your path to success, get in touch with me here, and we’ll talk.

You can also learn more about completing a Motivational Map questionnaire right here.

From Where I Stand…

From where I stand is the theme for a series of articles I started to write in good part to help myself navigate in a world where I don’t control very much. It is also, I realize, a manifesto for benevolent action.  What can I do, from where I stand, to live according to my values and perhaps, have a positive influence in my circle of influence?

Marie-France Lefort

Marie-France Lefort is a sought-after bilingual coach and consultant. Her inspirational leadership guides individuals and teams to bring forth change and more authentic and fulfilling results.


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