Embrace the journey, not just the destination: A new perspective on business growth

Goals are a crucial foundation for guiding your organization's vision.

At Simon/Myers, we establish quarterly, one-year and three-year goals in our strategic plan. For years, I've been consumed by the pursuit of these goals - they've been top of mind, whether I was at work or not. As a business owner, I assumed that this preoccupation was the norm.

However, this relentless focus kept me from savoring the journey itself. Even when we reached a milestone, I failed to take a moment to celebrate our victories. Instead, my attention immediately shifted to the next objective.

I neglected to acknowledge the daily and weekly triumphs along the way. Mistakenly, I equated my drive to accomplish these goals with my purpose as a professional and an entrepreneur.

As our company grew, so did the stakes and responsibilities. The increased pressure gave me a results-oriented mindset. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, but I recently realized that I had become remarkably one-dimensional. Many of the passions and interests I once cherished had faded away. Being singularly focused has a cost.

It was clear that something needed to change.

Intuitively, I recognized that to become a better leader - and frankly, a more interesting person - I needed to return to a well-rounded life. For me, this meant fully re-engaging in service work, getting back outdoors and disconnecting from work when spending time with my family.

I've started to acknowledge the amazing things we do as an agency on a daily basis. We celebrate the experience of doing the work. I have an unbelievable privilege to lead a group of highly talented, fun people, work with amazing clients and tackle exciting business challenges. It would be an opportunity missed, if I didn't savor every moment of this journey.

Discovering purpose in one's work extends beyond the mere achievement of goals. For me, purpose revolves around our people, our culture and our clients. I aspire to elevate them. While we strive to attain these goals, the way in which we navigate the journey is equally significant.

This shift in perspective transforms the definition of success. Instead of fixating on a distant objective, success becomes an ongoing voyage marked by small victories and valuable lessons. This approach fosters resilience, adaptability and a culture of teamwork and innovation - all vital components for long-term success.

Building a business should be a source of fulfillment. The exhilaration of securing our first account, the pride of nurturing a growing team and the excitement of venturing into new markets are moments that deserve celebration. They keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive.

Entrepreneurship is an ever-evolving landscape, with new goals continually emerging as old ones are met. However, by finding joy in the journey, this ceaseless pursuit becomes an enriching experience. This personal realization has been transformative.

At Simon/Myers, we make every step of our expedition a cause for celebration. Ultimately, it is the journey itself that molds us and makes our entrepreneurial endeavors worth cherishing.

• Lou Simon is the Principal/Founder of Simon/Myers, a marketing agency with offices in Wheaton and Chicago.

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