How do you measure success?

Derek Redmond

I just read a wonderful article written about a track runner who was a sure bet to win, until something happened to change all that. Thank you Kendall for the insightful information (link to the article is located at the bottom of this posting).

It made me wonder about what is considered successful and how it is measured.

As a writer, do you measure success by becoming published, self or otherwise? Do you measure it by having completed the story? By the number of books sold? Swooning fans? Your ranking on Amazon? If you are rejected or you don’t meet the goals you set for yourself, do you consider yourself a failure ?

I have written three books to date, with many others outlined, waiting for me to get the time to work on them. The released books are not NY Times best sellers. They do not have people beating down the doors to get a copy. Most people don’t even know they exist. Since starting this publishing business, I have had almost no time to write. I have people to take care of and a business to run. Do I consider that a failure? No. Do I feel I succeeded? Absolutely!

I have a tendency to prowl the internet and read a lot of stories. Many stories deal with the “failure” of a person, a place, a business or a government. There is so much focus on the negative aspect of everything people tend to overlook all the accomplishments. Example in point:

Some may say Greg didn’t succeed even after doing this, that he failed because he still does not have a CD out after being “discovered” on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. But if you read more about him, you will see he did succeed, in a direction other than the expected one. And that is all that counts.

Being a small publisher, I used to fret over the fact I couldn’t do the same kind of things for my authors as the bigger companies could. I used to feel I had failed them. Then I realized, I hadn’t failed. Their books were getting published, new ways for publicity were being discovered and utilized, submissions were still coming in, and sales were still happening. Not as much as I’d like, but the future is still unwritten. To me, these are measures of success, not failure.

The ever-changing world of publication brings on new challenges; it brings on more steps to overcome. It brings on more measures of success. This company will be here for those who want to publish through traditional means. It will be here as a stepping stone for those who want to move on to the indie publishing world after the traditional method. It will also be here to bring engaging stories to the readers.

But most of all, it will be here because I love what I do.

Remember to bask in the measures of your own success and not dwell on what others consider a failure. By realizing each step you take is a part of the learning process, whether it is a forward one or a backward one, success will be yours, too.

Here is the link to the inspiring article by Kendall. Enjoy!

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