If we ask 100 people what success is 99 people will tell us that success is money, interviews, fame, a luxury car, more employees, new shoes, a promotion at work and so on. The media promotes this. They tell us that we are not successful because we don’t have millions of euros in our bank account. Some speakers tell us that they make millions and they try to promote to us a message that communicates that we are not successful and we need to buy their course or their book to succeed. This is all bullshit, this is not really success. Do you know a person that makes tons of money but is miserable? I do. One of my friends makes tons of money but he is miserable every single day. On the other side, I have friends that make €10,000 per year and they are happy as fck.

When I started IQD 6 years ago I was fired from an advertising agency and I only had my salary that would last me a month. I didn’t know what I would do because I had loans and rent to pay. I started the agency, cold calling clients; selling websites, social media and email marketing services. I remember one of the first clients was a local pizza place. They paid me €1,200 to create one website for them. When I left their office I was dancing like a drunk guy on the street at 11am. I was over the moon because I had my first client and I knew that I could pay my rent that month. I experienced different emotions; happiness, hope, pride in myself and I felt that I could do it. The early days of me working was the most fulfilling days in my career. I had no connections, I didn’t have the skills and I was scared calling clients but slowly, slowly I attracted more and more clients. As time went past I started chasing more money, more clients, more employees. I lost my passion for what I was doing. The reason why I lost it is because I started living other people’s dreams and I thought success was having a bigger company, more clients. I followed global influencers in business and I thought that I had to be like them to be successful. I didn’t get their core message; do things you love on your own terms and don’t follow other people’s dreams; follow your own truth. I was chasing something that the media and other people were saying about success; more of everything. It was a very dark place, because from being 13 years old I was always passionate about everything that I did, and I asked myself how come I’m wasn’t passionate any more. At some point ,when we got new projects , I wasn’t excited any more, I was “okay; let’s do this, get paid and on to the next project”. One thing was driving me; I felt fulfilled when people emailed me and told me that my content on Instagram/YouTube inspired them and they did something in their life that helped them.

Making more money is not a bad thing and I want to make more money, grow my company, grow myself and become the best version of me. The key for me now is to make more money and be fulfilled with the work I do. Making more money is a very healthy thing to do because you can help yourself, you can help your family if they need help, you can create more jobs, you can help other people by promoting your message (content). I want to make more money but I want to be fulfilled, happy and have peace of mind.

Today, after 6 years, I questioned my values and I defined success for myself; not other people. The most important thing for me today is being fulfilled with what I do and living out my purpose. I want to be truly happy and do the things that make my heart sing, not what the media or friends and family tell me I should do. I want to live an authentic life. The point I’m trying to make is that you must define your own success. You can make €10k per year and be fulfilled and happy every day rather than making €100k per year and be miserable and hate what you do. The key is understanding what you truly want and going after it. I truly believe with all my heart that if we are passionate about what we do and we focus on the things that matter to us then money will follow. Of course we have to be great at what we do and we have to push ourselves and work hard for what we want to achieve.

Define your own success, don’t let others define it for you. All that matters is that you are happy. Other people will tell you what you should do or what they would do in your position, but they are not you. Be happy, execute your own dreams and stay passionate. I wasn’t truly happy until I stopped looking for others’ approval. I’m still working on it and I have a long way to go, but today I can say that I feel more confident about my decisions because I have realized it’s my life, not others’. I don’t want to be on my deathbed and have regrets because I wanted to please other people.

In today’s world where we have so many opportunities it’s a shame not to follow our dreams and our passion. You can start doing whatever you want. You can leave your shitty job if you hate it and start selling cookies or whatever you are passionate about. With content marketing you can start building an audience, you can make money as long as you are truly passionate about what you do. There are tools and there is knowledge that you can find online ,and attending conferences like Think Beyond.

This topic will be discussed at the Think Beyond Conference on 14th of October in Nicosia, Cyprus. We will have 4 amazing speakers that will speak about their truth and I’m sure you will find it very valuable. You can find early bird tickets here.