Definition of “success” for me, an entrepreneur

5 March 2015

“It’s impossible to fail when your goal is to try and make an effort to improve the World“ - Eric McAfee

The concept of success can be extremely diverse. Some entrepreneurs end up as billionaires, while others are just happy to work in a field that they are passionate about, and make a decent living.

A “successful” entrepreneur is at most times defined by an exit from a business, whether this comes through trade sales or IPO. But for some of us, it’s not the destination that defines success, but instead the journey which is more relevant.

"Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?" - Elon Musk

As I was growing up in India, success was defined by “settling” down with a good job, partner, and a house. Your worth was based on your qualifications, your designation, and the money you were able to make. The amount of wealth you were able to accumulate yourself was more important than how you got there; whether this necessitated strong values and ethics, or not.

Once I arrived in the UK, my mindset changed significantly. It became clear to me that you can run a business with strong ethics and values. Consequently, how I define ‘success’ for myself is now very different.

It is perfectly possible to own and operate a successful business, while also being an excellent citizen. One can run a business in such a way as to ensure that you never tread on anyone else’s toes; there is no need to trample over others on your path to success. Additionally, paying all due taxes and being conscious of the impact that your business has on society and the wider economy should be considered essential. There is no reason that a successful business cannot be in harmony with the wider society in which it operates.

I also believe that it is essential to run a business in such a way that everyone who works for you feels that they have been fairly treated. With this in mind, all stakeholders, employees, suppliers, customers and clients should be treated with consideration and respect at all times. Not only is this morally advisable, but it also enables you to build strong relationships with important people, and this will unquestionably assist the development of the business in the future.

Another one of the most satisfying aspects of running a business is hiring people. Placing a huge amount of value in the people that you work with is not only advisable for the success of your business, but you also gain a great amount of human benefit from it. Hiring people and then building a strong relationship with them can be among the most satisfying elements of running any business.

Finally, the beauty of working with a start-up is that you are effectively doing what you love every single day of your life. You also have the ability to enable your employees to get the most out of their working lives, and consequently life itself.

Running a business need not necessitate you to be self-centred or selfish, it is definitely possible to have strong ethics and be successful. And at CityFALCON, we firmly believe that engaging in business in an ethical and humane way makes our whole operation more worthwhile, and creates a positive vibe among everyone that we work with.