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Question Your Goals

Nov 23, 2015 1 min readOpen
Photo of Joel Gascoigne
Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

I’ll be the first to admit it: When I first got hooked on the idea of startups, the goal in my mind was monetary.

I wanted to be “financially free” so that I could do all the things I wanted to do but was unable to do due to money.

So my first startup was a “big idea.” It could change the world (or at least I thought so), and I would be rewarded enormously for what I would do — given time.

After trying a few different ways in order to reach the success I had in mind, I realized that I was unhappy more than I was happy.

My second startup, Buffer, served a very different purpose for me.

I could have easily oriented the second idea just like the first, but I wasn’t letting myself go down that route again.

My goal had shifted — I was no longer purely after the money.

definition of success

My new goal and definition of success is to be able to do whatever I want with my time. This is what I spend my time working towards.

This change in what I define as success has affected my actions in a huge way. I want to limit spending time on things I don’t want to be doing.

Now I simply try to act each day towards reaching that goal. This results in very different actions than with my previous definition of success.

As time has gone on, I’ve discovered that the main goal I want to achieve has changed a lot. My definition of success and goals may change again in the short or long term, and they may well not be the goals other people are pursuing.

What is your current definition of success, and have you questioned it recently?

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