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Success, what does it mean to you?

success 

I always dreamt of forging a successful career in the envelope industry.

OK, well, that’s not entirely true. I’m sure many of you are working in roles that you didn’t even know existed when you were at school, or university.

But success is all about money, right?

I think it depends on the metrics you work and live by.

Is your reliance on objectives such as: the money you have in the bank, your job title, which private schools your kids go to? Or are you driven more by the subjective: a happy and balanced home life, the enjoyment you get from working alongside interesting colleagues, or being able to solve problems at work?

For me, “success” comes down to a series of steps to achieve your goals, both large and small. And there’s no one defining success, rather there are a number of elements that come together to make me feel successful.

These can be applied to anything you do in life.

  • Work out what your goal is (I want to travel more, lose weight, work flexibly).
  • Plan out what’s required to achieve that goal (sublet a spare room for more disposable income, join a yoga class, discuss working from home with your employer).
  • Implement the plan (create an Airbnb profile, get up at 6.30am every day, work a day from home).
  • Goal achieved (more money, healthier lifestyle, better work/life balance).

I’m writing this on a day where Edinburgh is basking in 25 degrees sunshine and my morning started with a video call to other colleagues around the UK, followed by a glorious walk to the office and the opportunity to handle a number of challenging projects. For years I had always been entirely office based, but had the ultimate desire to apply my knowledge and skills in a role where I could have flexible working. To some people, it may not seem like much but, for me this is part of what I deem success to look like.

In very simplistic terms, I’d worked out what my main goals were, alongside the key values I was genuinely driven by and then proactively sought out the means of achieving them.

2017 has been a year of significant growth and development at Blake. We have opened Hubs in Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and (soon) in London. There are employees working remotely, we have adopted state-of-the-art communication technology and for the first time in the company’s 17 year history, we are about to become a high-volume manufacturer with a new plant in Shrewsbury. 

Now, would you say that we can only call this successful if, by the end of the year, we have both increased our turnover and profitability? Or, in actual fact, are we constantly having mini successes by implementing each stage of a carefully planned strategy?

I guess the right answer is probably both!

Success is an incredibly personal thing, meaning many different things to different people. But, crucially if that goal is set, whether for work or leisure it’s ultimately in your hands whether you can build in the necessary steps to achieve it.