The definition of success is different for different people. How can you ensure that you’re getting as much out of your success journey as possible?

You’ve probably heard the saying “Success is the best revenge,” but have you ever stopped to think about why that is and what it means? It all starts with how you define success and how you then apply that definition to the concept of revenge.

I recently read a great article that examined this concept, and it included this quote:

“Success can often be deemed the best revenge because you’re not even the one having to tell others about it. As you work in silence, your success makes the noise for you. Others begin to champion your accomplishments, telling those around you just what you were able to accomplish and achieve.”

So, what does success mean to you? When “your success makes the noise for you,” what does that sound like? What do people say about you that indicates you’re accomplishing big things?

  • Is it about having more clients than the next agent?
  • Is it about having more agents than the next broker?
  • Is it measured in GCI or by rankings on a website?
  • Is it calculated by an automobile collection, the square footage of your vacation home, or the balance in your investment portfolio?

Don’t get me wrong: Like any ambitious entrepreneur, I love all of those things. However, when I think about the phrase, “Success is the best revenge,” I realize that not all of those things lead to the kind of enviable success that gets other people talking.

After all, I know a lot of people with a lot of money, clients, and square footage who are absolutely miserable — and they make no secret of the fact. They perpetually look like they just sucked a lemon, they snap at everyone around them, and they treat the people in their lives like minor characters in their ongoing, daily psychodrama.

If your achievements come at the expense of all happiness and personal satisfaction, I’m sorry — you’re not a success. If people look at you with irritation and pity rather than admiration, your so-called success is shallow indeed.

What are the markers of true success?

So, like I often do when I’m wrestling with an idea, I head to the dictionary to see what it says.

Webster’s Dictionary defines it this way:

Success (noun) – degree or measure of succeeding; favorable or desired outcome

also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence; one that succeeds

Pretty interesting that the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence comes second; the primary meaning is “favorable or desired outcome.”

Being a miserable asshole, even if you’re a rich one, could hardly be called a “favorable or desired outcome.”

In my mind, success isn’t just about “wealth, favor or eminence.” It’s about how you come by those things. If you have a guilty conscience or you have to hurt others to attain those things, your success is meaningless at best.

Work hard, yes. Make money, by all means. Be competitive and ambitious, for sure. But get your mind right as well. Take care of your health. Spend time with your family and find ways to chill out from time to time.

People laugh at the idea of work-life balance and make fun of it, but bringing balance to the way you do business is essential if you’re going to be able to enjoy any of your success.

So how is success the best revenge?

To me, having the money to take care of my family is the best revenge.

Using my professional accomplishments to boost others and provide opportunities for them is the best revenge.

Enjoying the independence that comes along with entrepreneurship to set my own schedule and pursue my own interests is the best revenge.

Gloria Mayfield Banks once said:

“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey. The happiest people I know are those who are busy working toward specific objectives. The most bored and miserable people I know are those who are drifting along with no worthwhile objectives in mind.”

Gloria Mayfield Banks

If your so-called success is making you miserable, it may be time to redefine success for yourself. Not sure whether you’re miserable? Ask your loved ones, and they’ll no doubt tell you.

While the idea of revenge may seem negative, there can be a sense of satisfaction in overcoming obstacles and proving doubters wrong. Be proud of yourself and maybe even toot your own horn. Just don’t use your “success” as an excuse for mistreating others.

The journey to success is waiting for you. What will it look like? What will you add to your definition of success that makes it appealing and worthwhile? How can you make your success the envy of others, not because of dollars and cents but because of happiness and true, personal satisfaction?