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What’s Your Definition of Success?

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Every one of us wants to be successful, but what does that really mean? Undoubtedly, it means something somewhat different to each of us. The way you define personal success, though, plays a substantial role in how likely you are to achieve it. In the case of loan officers committed to a having a successful career and a successful business, being perfectly clear on their definition of success is crucial. Here are some ideas to help you clarify your own definition of success:

Can You Envision It?

Do you have a general idea of what success is, or can you envision it clearly? This plays heavily in your ability to actually achieve it. If success remains a fuzzy idea in your mind, it’s easy to postpone (or overlook entirely) what you’ll need to do to reach it. Conversely, when you spend some time envisioning what that success looks like, you improve your chances of achieving it. A specific image of the life you want is infinitely more motivating than some ambiguous concept of success. If you’re sure that you want to be successful but aren’t entirely sure what that looks like for you, take some time to contemplate (and then clarify) what it is you want to reach.

Is it Fluid or Fixed?

If your vision of success is clear-cut, is it a fixed vision that never changes, or does your idea of success evolve? Some of us have one definitive version of success and they stick to it. But what if we reach that point early in our careers? Do we stop there and quit striving for more? A fluid definition can be incredibly helpful. Maybe you know what your vision for success is at this moment, but what if your life changes in ways you never planned for? What if your goals change? Evaluating regularly what success means to you and adjusting the definition as needed can give you the latitude to continue growing throughout your career.

What About Failure?

It’s important to think about how failure factors into your plans because none of us are exempt from it. We’ll all likely encounter some type of failure along the way — whether big or small. If you accept that failure is just an obstacle to play past along the way to the success you’re striving for, you’ll keep it from slowing you down. If you adopt a mindset where failure means you’ve reached the end of the road, you’re never going to reach your full potential.


Success can mean vastly different things to each of us. The clearer we are on our definition of it, the more likely we are to attain it. When you can picture what you want to achieve, make allowances for change and growth, and accept the prospect of occasional failure, you considerably improve your chances of achieving long-term success.


If you’d like to talk more about any of these ideas, or if there’s another issue I can be of assistance with, please reach out. I’m always happy to block off some time to connect.


Don Riggs

VP – Retail Market Leader

NMLS 132702






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