What is success anyway?

As a high school teacher, I often find myself having conversations with students about their future and what they want to do.  The word "success" is one of the most common topics to come up. My instant question in response to this conversation is, "what is success?"

It's become almost reflex when the conversation comes up.  For me, it is easy to question others definition of success.  Is it getting a job that allows you to live independently?  Is it breaking the 6-figure threshold?  Or is it even about money at all?

I've learned over the years that most students, let alone people at all, think about what they define success as.  We throw around the "success" of others and compare ourselves without really thinking about what it means...or at least I do. 

I've been struggling with what success is to me, I think about it a lot.  From the outside looking it, it is easy to think of everyone else as successful but we are often our own harshest critic.  I know that is true for me.  I often wonder if I am qualified or good enough to run a business, especially such a competitive and low margin business such as coffee.  I think I often fall into the material view of running a business, like how much money we make or the efficiency of things.  But that isn't why I got into business....I got into business for the people and the relationships that could be built.  

We're constantly told to lean into work, to do more...and more...

and don't get me wrong, I am all about building family run businesses that we can run together as a family but when it takes over the family I think we are missing the point. There is a TED Talk that I played for my students today that really got me thinking. 

It reminded me why I started Roots and what made me fall in love with coffee.  

The people.  

Success to me is building a business that fosters and creates community.  For myself and everyone I interact with.  My goal is to get back to those roots. To get back to loving people and spending more time pouring into others, to fostering community with those around me. 

What do you define as success?  What does that look like in your life? and how can we love the people in our lives better?

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