My Definition of Success and how it has changed over time.
Part of a success, to me, isn't about just living out one's own personal dream and potential, but supporting the dreams of those you love, as well. Even if it means sacrificing your own goals at times. That may sound obvious to you, but when I was in my 20's, success was all about ME and establishing myself and my career. What validated me was being bigger, better, faster, stronger, and number one. That was important to me. Quite frankly, I think that's normal for many driven 20 year olds :-) But, success to me now is having diversity and balance in life.
My husband Neil Stanford's, dream since he was 19 years old was to own his own car lot one day. Four years ago he fired his big corporate boss after 20 years of working for big corporate car dealerships, in both the US and the UK. We had very little capital to start a business and I was unemployed and 6 weeks pregnant. BIG FREAKING RISK!! We started with one little car in April 2009, a little green Suzuki Sidekick. We sold it and bought another car, and then two more cars. We eventually worked our way up to five cars turning our profits into more inventory. But to incorporate, we needed a dealer's license that runs typically 12-15k in Florida. It only cost us a fraction because Neil knew the right people who wanted him to succeed, loved his genuine spirit and helped us out. Since knowing him, he has ALWAYS been blessed with great karma, amazing timing and attracting the right people. Since then, we have been blessed with some amazing investors, as well. Together, we spent hours looking for our first car lot, attending the BORING state licensing (on my birthday no less!) classes, countless hours of sweat-equity and learning the ropes of being an independent business owners. A few months ago we graduated to a BIGGER car lot because we outgrew our old one. Last April Neil sold 12 cars, and this April, he has already sold 24 surpassing his goal for the month!
You see, unlike my twenties, success isn't just about me, my Beachbody business and my accolades. It is also about being the spouse that supports my family's dreams, too. I know nothing about cars, but when I see him in action at a car auction or looking after his customers on HIS car lot, living out HIS DREAM, I really could care less what my own accomplishments are in that moment. How I "compare" to others doesn't matter because my value is no longer defined my own accolades. The power of letting go of ones ego, seeing and feeling the JOY of my loved one also living out his dream is what MATTERS at the end of the day. Whether it be my spouse, or my three children, SUCCESS is about the success of my family unit, sometimes at the cost of postponing my own personal agenda. No one else can measure that with a title or a trophy. Haha if I would have read these words fifteen years ago I would have thought, "Ha! That's ridiculous, every man for himself!"
Because Neil doesn't have a BOSS to celebrate his accomplishments and there are no "employees of the month" when you're an independent business owner, I want to say congratulations to YOU my love, for having the courage to live out your dream every day. For growing your business every year. For changing the lives of those you help, both financially as as investors and value as customers. You are an amazing husband and father. I am so PROUD of you!!! <3 <3 <3