The start of a new year is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start afresh, but as I reflect on 2012, I can see that I need to re-evaluate my attitude, expectations and measures of success.
Last year I started the year in a funk, not feeling well, and fed up with myself, with being sick and frankly with running my business. Being in martyr mode, I felt people did not appreciate my efforts and I was burning out. Fast.
But too often I have let other people’s attitudes and behaviour negatively impact and disappoint me. Sometimes people act and react in a way that seems dismissive, rejecting, or unethical but I am learning that while I may take it personally, so often it is nothing to do with me at all. As one wise person said “Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s true.”
What was true for me was the demise of my magazine, Company, which I’d been struggling to make financially viable. With the changes in the economy, the number of advertisers were dwindling. Yet, I carried on in blind faith, hoping that a financial miracle would turn it around. Eventually sanity prevailed and I pulled the plug, and while it felt like failure at the time, I have come to appreciate that publishing a professional magazine for four years is a success.
So often we undervalue or don’t celebrate our successes, so in September when Company of Women turned ten, we held a birthday party, showing a video that captured the highlights of the past nine years. It made me realize how far we have come and that we need to celebrate each success, no matter how small.
Part of it is to avoid the numbers game. As someone who puts on events, it can be all too easy to get caught up in measuring success by the number of people who attend, yet if what you are offering makes a difference for just one person, it is worthwhile.
And so as I move forward in 2013 I want to redefine what success means to me. It is more that we have a positive impact, helping women realize their potential and we make a difference.