Define Your Own Version of Success

If you pay attention to social media, you can find any number of business and brand success stories to draw inspiration from. There is always a new online coaching offering or a new “low-risk” or fool proof way to create multiple revenue streams. It seems like every time you look up someone in your network is posting about launching a business or a new partnership. As a fellow entrepreneur, you have to applaud those who have figured it out, especially in these uncertain times.

Yes, digital marketing and social media have made it much more efficient to launch, build, and scale brands and ventures, especially online businesses.

It has also made it easier to build a well-branded house of cards with very little substance. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell the difference at first glance. It is all part of the allure of social media. It drives people to post the most visually appealing versions of their life. We all see the highlight reels with perfectly edited graphics and carefully curated feeds.

One look at a social feed can trigger all types of feelings for an entrepreneur. The reality is that sometimes it creates an unhealthy balance. On one hand, you may be motivated by the success of your peers. On the other hand, you may start feeling inadequate or overwhelmed because you aren’t quite where you want to be.

Your vision of success is a very personal journey. It should be authentic to who you are, your core values, and your beliefs. Building it that way requires that to start at your core. What are you passionate about? What motivates you? What do you want to achieve in your life? Those may sound like simple questions. These answers form the foundation of what you do and why you do it. As a result, the way you need to show up should reflect them.

But for many, including myself, the answers to these questions can get buried in the grind of trying to keep pace.


After retiring from the NFL in 2015, these questions were front and center in my life. People made their own assumptions about the things I valued and what I should do next. According to my status as an NFL player, I should still be involved with the game as a broadcaster or coach. Others believed I should be a venture capitalist because they saw other athletes build investment portfolios alongside the most prominent Silicon Valley investors.

I found myself chasing some of the paths for a while. It was easy to fall into those well-defined lanes and paths that were clearly lit. But they never quite aligned with my answers to the questions above. I understood a very simple, yet important concept. Playing football was just a job I did very well. It didn’t define my beliefs, my interests, or my value. But I didn’t quite know how to find it. After a few years of bouncing around different industries and different roles, I finally realized the “ideal role” wasn’t out there– I needed to look inward to build it myself.

That realization forced me to dig beneath the surface to rediscover the qualities and motivations that allowed me to achieve as an NFL player. It wasn’t just because of attributes like speed, agility, and athleticism. Yes, they helped. But the foundation of my success was built on was a growth mindset and philosophy that allowed me to position myself for success that others thought was not possible. I had a clear vision for who I was, what success looked like, and what it meant specifically to me. That clear vision fueled a commitment to self-improvement and skill development that allowed me to highlight strengths and improve weaknesses to sustain success.

That mindset and approach became the blueprint to navigate my next step as an entrepreneur. It helped me embrace the uncertainty that the next chapter. As I looked to pivot into the next phase of my life, this inward approach helped me embrace the uncertainty in front of me. These three techniques have empowered me to re-create my own standard of success, independent of others’ thoughts and opinions:


There is always room to leverage others as inspiration. But don’t confuse inspiration with replication. Scan the peripheral, but keep your eyes in your lane.

You bring unique value. The first step is truly believing it. It may be your life experience, your work experience, or your intuition. Whatever it is, embrace it with confidence and trust your journey. Continue finding ways to improve and develop to create the optimal version of yourself.


Your growth should not be one-dimensional. Physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health and well-being are just as important to your success as technical skills and abilities. Success impacts every area of your life– be ready for it.

Build a daily routine that creates dedicated time for yourself to develop in multiple areas of your life. It may not be easy, but investing in well-rounded growth will not only help you achieve the success you are looking for. It will also help you with the holistic endurance and stamina to sustain it. 


It can be easy to find yourself being pulled in separate directions, trying to serve others’ needs. The best way to provide the most value to others is to get the most out of yourself. 

Be intentional with your time and energy. They are two of the most important resources you have, and they are limited. Be intentional about creating value for yourself, even when creating value for others. Challenge yourself to extract personal value in every interaction as a way to further your growth and development. There can be value in even the smallest and mindless tasks, you just have to intentionally find it.

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