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Nearly 80% of You Report Your Definition of Success Has Changed With Age and Experience

do you or don't you: For many, that definition has expanded beyond just professional achievements and financial gain.





Do you, or don’t you, believe your definition of success has changed as you’ve aged or from what you’ve experienced in business?

Yes: 79%

  • I once thought success was the big house and shiny car. I now realize it’s a comfortable life spent doing the thing you love while still being able to fulfill your obligations. — Kevin C., Glenview, IL
  • Success is nice at work, but work is not as important as living. — Angel M., Cynthiana, KY
  • It used to be that success was defined in dollars. Now our priorities are different. For our business we feel we are successful because we have so many loyal patients that keep coming back every year. They refer their family and friends and after being in business for almost 15 years that feels like success. — Sophia P., Huntley, IL
  • I used to gauge success by dollars. Now, I feel it’s more important to retain patients with stellar customer service. The dollars will follow. — Susan K., Phoenix, AZ
  • It used to be about having that million-dollar practice. Now it’s more about being able to take more time for my hobbies. — Kathryn C., Lititz, PA
  • The outward signs of success seem to be less important. The goal is more toward quality, i.e. more quality time, better work life balance, improved work gratification. — Amie R., Spring Hill, TN
  • Success for me is getting paid to do the work I love from my own workspace. — Sarah B., St. Catharines, ON
  • Success is a state of mind. Money is not the only measure. Patient outcomes and happiness are my main goals for success. When patients are happy your practice grows. — Robert  E., Oakland Park, FL
  • Success is more than money – it’s about quality of like and being able to do the things that bring you joy. — Sonja F., Austin, TX
  • For me social media has added another aspect to success as an “influencer.” Also, any member of Opticians on Facebook for instance that is willing to help a fellow optician, a perfect stranger thousands of miles away, with trouble shooting, job searching, find a discontinued frame and so on is success in my book. That is not something I would have ever imagined 36 years ago when I started my career. — Colleen G., Newtown, PA
  • I was raised to believe that success is measured in the things you possess and the company you keep. Now that I have achieved many of my own personal goals, success means being independent. Finding a way to survive that works for me and my family. Being able to grow as a human and make choices based on the moment. — Heather A., Westminster, CO
  • I feel like I am successful and it’s always a bit of a surprise when I think about it. Am I rich? No. But I have come to realize that much of my reward comes in a job well done. So I have pride and satisfaction from that. Creating my own work life balance has its own reward and I try to facilitate that same satisfaction for the people who work for me. — Nikki G., Oakdale, MN
  • Work has taken on a new meaning. — Ken W., Livingston, NJ
  • We used to have very definite goals for how many pairs, how much revenue etc., we wanted to achieve per week. As we’ve grown, it’s become more about quality interactions and clout in the community as measures of success. — Harris D. Scarsdale, NY
  • In my younger years, my biggest measure of success was by far, financial wealth. As I’ve inched into my 40s, I put far more value on feeling I’ve accomplished something and maintain a healthy work/life balance. You can always find ways to make more money, but finding more time is exponentially more challenging. — Justin T.r, Pittsfield, MA
  • I feel if you can make a difference in a patient’s life and they come back to tell you about it then you have succeeded not just in business but in our business. I also feel that being able to keep all of the connections that I have with all of the amazing people I have worked with throughout the years means I have been successful. You cannot have success yourself if everyone around you is not also successful. I am a team leader to help create successful employees. — Caitlin N., Montrose, CO
  • I have come to realize the smaller successes along with the big ones. Everything deserves a small celebration when it’s something that has been worked hard on to achieve. — Emily C., Charlotte, NC
  • I used to think success meant a lot of money, fancy things, and freedom to live as I wanted. Now success means being happy in both my work and home life. All the rest will follow. By that measure, I am very successful. — Ann-Marie W., Lewis Center, OH
  • Success used to be measured by the paycheck, now it is measured by the quality of positive response from a job well done. — Paul W., Tallahassee, FL
  • After 30 years of being self-employed I find it’s the relationships built and being able to provide service to my clients that matters most to me. When I was younger it was more about profits. I thankfully learned quickly: take care of your customers and your staff and the profits will take care of themselves. — Jordan F., Baltimore, MD
  • I used to assume success was just related to career. But as I have aged I find success in being a mom, a wife, a mentor, and a business owner. And yes I do define myself as a success. I am accomplishing everything I wanted in life and I do it all fairly well. — Cynthia S., Lewis Center, OH
  • For me, success is less about achieving optometric financial and practice management benchmarks, and more about job satisfaction. Practicing in such a way that makes me happy and caring for my staff well. — Elizabeth A., Algonquin, IL
  • Starting out I think we all chase the money to a point. But as I’ve done this longer (and still have decades to go) I’ve come to realize that taking care of my staff, being able to have my family live comfortably, and keeping our clients happy is my main definition of success rather than raking in every little bit of profit we can. — Travis L., Logan, UT
  • I have never been a lazy person, so my thoughts on success I’d say have matured. Being a business owner has been smoother than I expected because I have always pushed myself to achieve the goal I am trying to reach. — William C., Forsyth, GA
  • Success is not merely a dollars and cents proposition anymore, but rather how I am able to take care of our patients and the other things that compete for my time and attention. — Pablo M., Atlanta GA
  • Even though the big picture is still super important, I’ve found ways to celebrate little victories with my staff. I feel most successful on days when I look around the optical and all of my opticians are killing it on the sales floor. Complete your first $1000 sale? That’s a victory, let’s celebrate! Talk a customer down off a ledge? That’s a victory, let’s celebrate! That’s what success feels like to me. — Maggie C., Winston Salem, NC
  • Success is, and in a way has to be, a moving target. Once one goal is met another arises so you must always continue to succeed. The longer I have done this the more I realize (for myself at least) that success is not perfection; it is a big picture thing, not sweating the small stuff. — Zachary D., Saint Peter, MN
  • My definition is working less and having less debt as opposed to wanting more money and needing things. — Marc U., Pine Beach, NJ
  • I always believed that the more money I made, the more successful I would feel. I can honestly say that the money is just a bonus for me… I have found success in genuinely waking up every morning happy to come to work. I don’t get the haunting depression on Sunday afternoons knowing I have to go back to work Monday morning. Being happy and fulfilled is everything I could need. — Morgan D., Carmi, IL
  • Family. It’s not the dollars but the relationships. — Richard F., Wildwood, NJ
  • Living my life in my purpose is the only thing that makes me happy. — Adam R., Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Success doesn’t equal money. — Rob G., Dubuque, IA

No: 21%

  • We opened our doors nearly a decade ago with the premise of establishing a state-of-the-art vision care office, providing the highest quality personal service, where every patient is treated as family and attention to detail is of highest priority. We have stayed loyal to this mission over the years and our patients tell us this all the time. — Rita E., Forest Hills, NY
  • After 37 years in practice, I would hope that one would feel successful. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, and then some! — Mark P., Orlando, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



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