The Size Of Success

“I mixed, I shaped, and I baked every single loaf of bread, but I didn’t have a lot of room to do it. We had to expand… I had to give up a lot of control over the baking process. That was difficult for me… I slowly realized that all of the joy and satisfaction I got was not [from] counting the money at the end of the day. It was [from] me mixing, shaping, and baking every loaf. And, once it was no longer going to be me, it may as well be somebody else. So we decided to sell it… My comfort zone is touching food, being able to put it together and then offer it [to others]… I wanted that little counter that I would work behind and [where] everything that I was doing was something that I made myself.”

-Nancy Silverton

Every business has a perfect size.

To not grow enough to reach this perfect size will destroy the business before it even gets started. 

On the other hand, growing beyond the perfect size may very well destroy everything that made the business special, unique, and successful in the first place. 

Obviously, success can be measured in many different ways. 

Success can be measured by how much money is made. 

It can be measured by how many lives are positively affected from day to day. 

Or, it can be measured by how deeply people’s lives are changed because of what we do. 

For some people, more money is the ultimate goal and its’ pursuit life’s ultimate purpose. 

For these people, perpetual, unhindered growth is the most logical path for a business to take. 

Others, however, get into business for different reasons. 

Of course, even for these people, money is necessary. 

Money keeps the lights on, and it keeps everyone fed, clothed, and sheltered.

The difference is that, for these people, money is not the only reason. 

For these people, success is measured in positive change, in contentment with one’s work, and in the satisfaction of knowing that the work is worth doing.

It is measured in relationships, in connections, and in the joy that these bring to everyone involved.

Obviously, this is not possible if the business cannot sustain itself financially. 

But, a business that is financially viable at the cost of everyone’s happiness, contentment, and integrity is not sustainable either. 

As we grow, develop, and progress in whatever we do, we should keep this in mind. 

More is not always better. 

Better is better. 

To attain and maintain the perfect balance of monetary success and personal satisfaction should be our goal, both professionally and personally. 

In the end, too much or too little of either can hardly be considered success. 

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