What’s your idea of success?

Has it changed since you’ve grown? If so, you’re not alone.

Personally, what I define as successful is completely different than five years ago.

After reading the 4 Hour Work Week, it changed my whole outlook on life.

Does owning a big house and a nice car mean success? To some it does. However, it’s not the ultimate sign of success.

Our generation is different than the past. Before it was graduate college, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids, and retire from the same company after 40 years.


Success was saving enough money for our retirement.

Sorry, but we don’t follow that path anymore. We march to a different beat.

We’re looking to follow our passion, control our time, do work we love, have freedom to enjoy life now, and more.

Here are 20 things I came up with that demonstrate success for us.

1. Having Freedom

Freedom is having control over our own life. We live the way we want. We choose when we want to work or take the day off. We call the shots. We are not a slave to the clock.

We don’t suffer through five days of work to enjoy two days off on the weekend. Every day feels like a Friday and we look forward to Mondays.

2. Living and working where we want

What’s better? Working in a cubicle every day or working from home and having the commute to the office just being steps away?

What about working anywhere in the world with an internet connection?

Success is having a mobile business.

3. Passive income

We’re making money whether we’re sleeping, working or playing. We’ve built our business to generate income every day without us touching it.

We don’t trade our time for money.

It takes work to get to that point, but we’ve built our income systems to do that.

4. Living your passion

When people ask us what we do, we’re not ashamed to say it. We love what we’re doing. We wake up every day excited to know that we get to work on something we love.

We’ve been able to find that sweet spot where we love what we’re doing, provide value to others, and get paid for it.

It’s doesn’t feel like work because we’re having so much fun.

5. Travel and Travel

Traveling is so nice I had to say it twice.

The world is a big place and there are so many wonderful places to see. We don’t want to wait till we’re over 65 to start traveling. We want to travel while we’re still young and vibrant.

We can decide where we want to go and when. No need to wait for a vacation or ask for permission.

6. Being the boss

Some love the idea of being the boss. It could be of a small business or a Fortune 500 company. Either way, when we’re the boss, we’re calling the shots.

We report only to ourselves. We control our own destiny.

7. Leaving a legacy

We want to have our work to make an impact long after we are gone. Future generations will remember what we did to help make the world a better place.

When our name is mentioned, they will remember greatness.

8. Spending more time with your kids

Many of us are building the life of your dreams right now so we can spend more time with our kids, if or when we have kids. The time we can be around our kids is invaluable.

9. More time with your family

Being able to balance work and family is a huge sign of success. A great relationship with our family is a huge factor for success as well. Being happy at home will spill over into our work.

Many people with six figure salaries work so much they barely have time to spend with their family. Is that what we want? No.

A more balanced lifestyle means we’re more successful. A happy family life is the key to a happy life.

10. Having great health

Being filthy rich isn’t going to mean much if we’re not healthy. Having our health mentally and physically means our success is well rounded.

Too often people neglect health for material success. They eat junk, drink too much alcohol, or rely on pills to help sleep. Too much stress at work carries over into our personal life and vice versa.

Don’t forget about your health.

11. Having exciting stories to tell

Being successful means we constantly get out of our comfort zone. We do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.

We take that attitude and apply it outside of work. Being able to go on adventures and experience new and exciting things, adds the thrill that makes life worth living.

At the end of our life, you’ll live a life without any regret. That is success.

12. Financial Freedom

We don’t need to be a millionaire to be considered a success. Just being able to to pay all our bills and be debt free is enough for many.

We don’t stress over money.  Money allows us to live the life we want to live.

13. Time with loved ones during holidays

When we’ve worked hard during the year, it’s nice to relax during the holidays with friends and family. Great food, great conversation, and great times.

It’s a time to be thankful and we have lots to be thankful for.

14. A great night of sleep

How important is a peaceful night of sleep? So important. If we sleep great at night, it means our we’re healthy. We’re free from pain. Our minds are clear. Life is good.

15. Teaching and inspring others

Once we’ve attained a certain level of success, teaching others is rewarding. Our success is an inspiration to them. When others want to learn from us, it means they value our knowledge and experience.

They listen to what we have to say. They buy any products we have to learn more. They pack conferences to hear us peak.

We’re someone they aspire to be like.

16. Recognition

We put in so much work into what we do, it’s great to be recognized for it.

Oscar winners feel rewarded for putting in so much passion into an award winning movie.

Journalists want to interview us.

Even if you win employee of the month, it’s a small symbol of success. It means you’re doing something right and others recognize that.

17. Retiring early

If we’re able to retire early, others see it as a sign of success. Maybe we’re ready to focus on other passions. Maybe we want to do more traveling. If we’ve work hard and smart enough to allow ourself to retire early, go for it.

18. Control our own time

Time is valuable. We can always make more money, but we can’t make more than 24 hours in a day.

We are the owners of our schedule. If today is a day for the beach, we do it. If we want to spend three days working on a project, we do it.

It’s our choice and we love having that power.

19. Great Friends

Studies show that people with a group of close friends and a close community have less stress, accomplish more, and are healthier and happier.

We have great friends who get what we’re doing and our lifestyle. Not everyone will understand and that’s normal. We find those who do.

20. Giving back

Once we’ve attained financial success, we want give back to those in need. Donating to charity can mean writing a check or giving your time to make a difference.

When I asked my Facebook community what they’d do if they won the Mega Millions, many mentioned donating to charity.

We’re a group of people that want to give back.

Written by Benny Hsu, pronounced “shoe”. Read more of Hsu work by visiting his blog  Get Busy Living

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