It was seven years into my career and I was provided with feedback from my manager at the time: “You are too nice. You need to be more of a bitch.”
I remember feeling offended and thinking if this is what it means to succeed in this environment ~ I’m done. I am unwilling to compromise who I am at my core to fit into the culture of this organization. If the belief is I can’t be nice and succeed this is not the environment for me. Within weeks I made the decision to quit my job.
I had always been very focused in my career ~ I knew what I wanted, I had invested in my personal development and was an expert at what I did. So, I left my corporate job. For a week or so I contemplated ~ who am I without my job?
I quickly became comfortable in the awareness ~ I am more than my job ~ more than a title ~ more than my salary. I was free to be fully me. I had been working with a professional coach and knew I had valuable skills ~ skills organizations and individuals would be willing to invest in. I loved what I did and wanted to bring my passion and service to people who valued the kind of work I was involved in. I knew what I was best in the world at and within weeks I incorporated my business ~ PeopleLead.ca
When I took time to reflect on my success ~ I realized even when I was working internal to organizations I had always looked at my work as a business within a business. I evaluated my success based on the need it was serving within the organization and the value I was adding to people’s lives. The question I would ask myself is ~ am I making people’s lives better? I knew my career sweet spot.
During the past eight years I have built my businesses into what they are today ~ platforms to catalyze positive change in the world; to make people’s lives better and to help organizations and individuals thrive. I’ve successfully designed my life to work for me. I identified my talents, passions, needs and desires and created a space where I can be nice and succeed.
When I first started my business ~ I made a commitment to myself I would work with people who were insightful and treated me with respect. In making this commitment I have said ‘no’ to work and maintained a commitment to myself. No one deserves to be treated with disrespect in any area of their lives. As I took this stand in my own life I began to attract individuals and organizations who were insightful, respectful and a pleasure to work with.
The process of becoming an entrepreneur has been a learning journey ~ I have made mistakes, failed and gotten back up. I have always maintained the belief ~ I will make this work. My success has been a product of believing in myself, having a clear vision, focusing on making a positive difference in people’s lives and believing so deeply in what I do that I’m unwilling to give up.
My model of success is based on ~ am I making the world a better place? Am I making people’s lives better? Do I have time and space to enjoy the moments? Do I have time to recover? Do I feel alive in the work I do? Do I experience flow? Am I excited to get up everyday and get started? Am I living the life I want? Am I helping others? And, what impact is my footprint having on the world?
My model of success takes into consideration more than how much money I make. Rather than making money at whatever cost, i.e., the cost to my health, my integrity, other’s wellbeing and the health of the planet. My model for success has a triple bottom line. My bottom line is defined by ~ my own sense of wellbeing, the wellbeing of others and the protection of our planet. I want to create a world where we all thrive.
What model of success are you creating from? What impact is your footprint having? Are you thriving? Are the people around you thriving? Have you asked yourself lately ~ what are you doing? What’s your bottom line? What impact are you making? What legacy do you want to leave?
Kristan Nielson is the owner and operator of PeopleLead.ca ~ she has provided 20,000+ hours of consulting, training and coaching services to small, medium and big business leaders. Kristan creates connection, asks the hard questions, challenges the status quo, inspires great leadership, and helps organizations and individuals thrive. Follow Kristan on Twitter and stay up-to-date on the future of work.