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If you were to go to the dictionary and look up the definition of the word “Success,” you’d be likely to find something like this:

SUCCESS (n): the accomplishment of a desired aim or purpose.

That’s fine as a starting point. Many of the sales professionals we work with, though, choose to go a little further. They personalize their definition of this word, making sure their own understanding of the concept of success is something that resonates powerfully with their own unique circumstances and the goals they’ve set for themselves.

How do you define success in your world? That’s a big question.

If you’re a sales manager, for instance, you might define success as “identifying incentives for my team that really motivate them to achieve.” Or let’s say you happen to manage a call center. You might define success as “increasing call volume by 25% within 30 days.”

If you’re a salesperson, you might define success as “staying on pace with or exceeding my activity goals, even during the summer months.” Or, if you’re a salesperson who happens to be working in the enterprise arena, you might define success as “Increasing revenue from my top five accounts by 30% this year.”

If you have a different definition of success, one I haven’t listed here, that’s fine. I believe we all have the right to define success on our own terms. I also believe that the definitions we come up with may change along the way. If we are very lucky, our definition of success will be influenced over time by the examples and insights of extraordinary people from our own circle. I was lucky enough to have worked closely with David Sandler, the founder of our company, who said: “Sales success begins with an internal attitude,” a definition I particularly like. He meant that, for salespeople, success resides mostly between the ears.

Great figures from history can also help us get closer to a personal definition of success. Here are some of my favorite insights on success from leaders who made a difference:

  • “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
  • “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “Success lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” ― Franklin Roosevelt

The people I’ve admired most have always been the ones who’ve made it a point to create, and live by, their own definition of success. If you’d like to share your personal definition with me – and with the world – I hope you’ll use Twitter and Instagram to let me know what success means to you with the hashtag #HowToSucceed.

Check out these tips on success to learn more and prep yourself for a great year.


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