Do you define your success?

Posted by Andy Huggins on January 28, 2016

To be quick, here is the article by DHH, RECONSIDER.

My initial thought is, do you define your own success? What does that even mean?

I think defining your own success is setting your goals as something realistic, not some "if I make $10 million a year, that's success." I think if you measure your success by the amount of money you earn/worth, you will never have enough success. Also, defining success as a monetary number is probably a poor way to go.

I am currently rethinking what I would need in order to consider myself a success. In the article, DHH mentions this

I wanted to embrace the constraints of a roughly 40-hour work week and feel good about it once it was over. Not constantly thinking I owed someone more of my precious twenties and thirties. I only get those decades once, shit if I’m going to sell them to someone for a bigger buck a later day.


My own goals are more about what my day to day life looks like and less about how much money I earn. Of course that is within reason. Everyone has expenses like housing, utilities, food, and the rest of the basics. I think most people look at those expenses and say "I need to figure out a way to earn more money than that." But you could also flip is and ask "how to I remove the need to pay for these?"

It's not probably possible to eliminate all expenses, but it possible to eliminate a huge chunk of them or reduce them. Being conscious of where your money goes and reducing your need of money means it becomes a lot easier to earn that amount of money on your own.

Which brings me to my first goal:

1. Work for myself.

My goal has little to do with money, it's about having the flexibility to pursue what I think is important, to spend time how I want. Structuring my day around going to the gym instead of having it structured by corporate policies and fitting the gym into someone else's plan for my day.

If you reduce your expenses as much as possible, and don't need a huge amount of money to live, you have the freedom to do that easily. My expenses are probably about $12K/ I feel I could easily live on a net take home of $12K. I live a debt free lifestyle, so I pay only property tax and insurance on my home. It's a smaller home, so utilities are low, I live alone, so food is for one (plus a dog and a cat), and some additional things I spend money on.

This should be an easy number to replace. Sure having more money is good, but how much money would you give to be able to wake up when you want? To set your priority to be to go to the gym daily? Then work? 

You should realize that you are selling your time, your are selling your ability to pursue things because you don't have as much time. This is why I think people in the US are generally underpaid. (A topic for another day.)

And sure there are people that say you can work on things in the evenings and weekends, and when you can replace your income, you should quit. But that makes it extra hard, it decreases the likeliness of you succeeding. I want to give myself the biggest chance for success.

I'll get into more goals soon, but I have to go for now.