I’m a few weeks into this whole entrepreneur thing, and I love it. I’m feeling energized by doing the creative work I believe God is calling me to do. I’m enjoying the peace that I feel and the reduction in stress that comes with the work/life balance. For the first time in my life, I have a little breathing room. I’m trying to be careful to maintain a healthy balance of rest and work, something I have never done well. I’ve always liked to work hard. I am someone who is self-motivated by the idea of discovering a challenge and conquering it, which is probably why I’m having this one particular issue. There is this one looming question with which I find myself struggling. How do I measure my success?
Every day, I’m taking steps to measure my progress by noting the tasks I accomplish, but how do I know if my achievements are leading to success? Is success my daily word count? Should it be measured by the income I’m producing? (Jeeze, I sure hope not!) How about the number of photos I edit or the amount of time I put into marketing? I feel like these are all measures of productivity, not success, so it begs the question, “What does success look like for me?”
I’m reading a great book right now by Mark Batterson entitled All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life. (I highly recommend it!) This book is helping me through the transition from working outside the home full-time at a well-paying job to taking a step of faith with God, forgoing my salary completely, and seeking Him daily for the work He wants me to do. Through this book, I’m beginning to realize, it doesn’t matter what success looks like to me. All that matters is what success looks like to God.
I have fallen in love with a line that Batterson quotes; it’s from Korczak Ziolkowski. He says, “When your life is over, the world will ask you only one question: ‘Did you do what you were supposed to do?’” Batterson goes on to talk about this question saying, “It cannot be answered with words. It must be answered with your life.”
What this says to me is that no matter how hard I try to achieve success by worldly standards or worse yet, my own standards, I will fall utterly short. God’s standard of success is the only one that matters. His measurement of success is one life that is completely, wholeheartedly, and unabashedly dedicated to Him and the work He calls us to do, to know Him and to make Him known. Success looks very different to God. To put it in the words of Mark Batterson, “It doesn’t care about public opinion. It lives for the applause of nail-scarred hands.”
Since I am only in the beginning stages of this journey, I think I will make the conscious decision now to measure my success with the only metric that truly matters—my life. Check out Mark Batterson’s manifesto below. I think it’s a great standard to set for the measurement of success.
“Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Go all in with God. Go all out for God.” — Mark Batterson All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life