How has your definition of success changed throughout the years? Entrepreneur, speaker and certified SUCCESS coach Debbie Biery’s definition has certainly evolved, and her answer to that important guiding principle has grown far more simple.
On this week’s episode of On Your Terms, Biery joins host Erin King to discuss how to achieve greater success and happiness in your life, from definition shifts to reframing failure, and how to set your intention every morning.
Don’t overcomplicate it
When Biery asks herself what she wants out of life, she thinks in the simplest terms: she wants to be happy. She believes we overcomplicate how to define success. While there are many ingredients to the recipe including eating healthy, exercise, taking time for herself, doing fun things and engaging with her many businesses, her overarching pursuit is finding happiness.
Biery believes we need to expect to fail in our life, as everyone goes through hard times and challenges. While many of us are good at visualizing the mission, goal and end result so that we can plan strategically for how to get there, we don’t often plan for the reality that failure is an inevitable part of the journey. It’s a paradigm shift when, in a way, we welcome failure, as it enables us to learn and be better the next time.
The key to expecting failure is knowing that it’s okay. It’s easy to go down a tunnel of negativity and begin to tell yourself that you’re not good enough, or you should have done this or that. But failure is a part of success, and by leaving the fear and judgment behind, you can get in the practice of trying new things by asking yourself: So what if I fail?
There’s a certain superpower in failure when you continue to get back up and give it another go. Biery shared a story of getting a grant to use for college, and instead taking that money and buying a cleaning company. The company had five accounts when she bought it, and when the accounts ended up closing, Biery lost her investment. And while that was a failure, it ultimately taught her a valuable lesson—you can walk into something that’s pre-packaged and skip the hard part of building it from the ground up, but the end result is not always what we think it will be. Biery realized that if they built it, why couldn’t she—and in her own way, too? Then she would have been able to hold onto her initial investment.
What’s your why
It’s important to identify what drives you—aka your purpose—as that underscores everything you do. It helps clarify what’s important, and what you can leave behind. For Biery, it’s that growing up she always felt poor. She had a single mom, and remembers being four years old at the grocery store and walking around telling all the other shoppers that her family was getting groceries today. Her “why” is to have her basic needs met, as she saw what money could do and how it would help her survive. She’s driven to have and make her own money.
Change yourself, change the world
Every day Biery gets up and sets her intention for the day. She’s focused on making the world a better place, so she knows she needs to show up and be responsible for her part and her energy. It’s the only thing she has 100% control over. And by putting good out into the world, she creates a ripple effect so that the next person feels good.
To that end, Biery believes that the best way to change a person is to start by changing yourself. She now stops before having knee-jerk reactions in order to flip accountability back onto herself: what part did she play, how could she have prepared better and did she set her intention that day?
Believe in yourself
Biery made the decision to leave a larger real estate firm for eXp Realty, which at the time had 200 agents. Now there’s more than 80,000. Biery received a lot of feedback from her colleagues that it wasn’t the right move, and she too asked herself in that moment if she was making the right decision. But she was excited about the opportunity, felt in her being that it was the right choice for her, and realized that their reactions were simply a reflection of how what she was doing made them feel. She wished they had offered their congratulations instead of judgement, but knew that even if it ended up being the wrong decision, at least she was doing something and not just sitting in the hamster wheel. She ignored people in favor of going with her gut, and it ended up being the best possible decision for her.
Jill McDonnell is a Chicago-based content writer and communications professional. She has a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller novel.