Beyond Goals: Unlocking True Success by Defining Who You Want to Be

How do you turn your business vision and annual goals into a reality? 

It's Annie and I’m glad you stopped by. It’s a new year, and clients are asking how to best define what they want to accomplish this year. 

What is the most effective way to set their yearly leadership and business goals

Since change and the desire to grow are ongoing, they want help figuring out how to be successful in turning their business vision into reality. And staying on course to do so pertains to their personal life goals too. It is always an interesting discussion. Sound familiar?   

Think about it for a minute… How do you define true success?  

I would like to share the secret about unlocking true success!  
I think of goal setting and your vision for the future as basically one dimensional. To imagine the physical reality of things you want to achieve this year, picture a goal line. 

Beyond Goals: Unlocking True Success by Defining Who You Want to Be - Leading Edge Teams

Now, think of a short list of five things that you want to achieve personally and professionally this year. Draw your goal line and actually list them on it if it helps to clarify your intentions. 

There’s no limit to goals, but examples are things such as… 

  • I want to achieve better health or make time for wellness care…
  • I want to achieve more growth and revenue in my business…  
  • I want to achieve more consistent profits… expand what’s working…  
  • I want to achieve better outcomes for my clients…be more innovative in my product line… 
  • I want to get a promotion in my role… develop a collaborative team… communicate effectively…  
  • I want a better work life/home life balance… 

We know success is defined in different ways by different people. There's all kinds of things in our physical reality that we set goals to accomplish. It’s exciting as we define what true success means to us.

My long list of overall goals might be: Personal and professional growth, gain skills and knowledge, new experiences, build trusted relationships,grow in emotional awareness and mental strength, show confidence and courage, embrace curiosity and adventure. 

Without overthinking it, go ahead and list five things on your goal line that define true success for you. List the things you want to achieve now and in the future. Both time frames are shown on your goal line. 

So… what is the secret to unlocking true success for you? This may surprise you!


The thing is, success is not just a one dimensional list on the goal line like you listed above. It’s a part of it, but it took me quite a long time to learn there was more to true success. I had to dig deeper. I’ll admit to you that it took me some decades, and not until after getting a masters degree in spiritual psychology, did I finally understand that my wellbeing, how I felt about myself, the acceptance and success I felt inside myself, was not dependent on some external achievement. 

This is true for you too! How you are feeling about yourself is not on your first goal line. There will never be enough great outcomes, enough awards or money, trips, or whatever it is, on your goal line… to fulfill you (or me). 

Instead, let’s look at another dimension, a second goal line that we call, “WHO DO I WANT TO BE?”  You can also consider thinking of it as the learning line or the inner soul line.

This is your human self, your “BE” line. Who do you want to BE? 

Not the external you, but knowing within yourself: HOW YOU ARE AND HOW YOU WANT TO BE. How do you really want to show up at the team meeting or the family party? How do you choose to act and express yourself in the experience? Choosing to connect to your internal self is the part of you that others don’t see? Make sense? 

This is the secret to unlocking true success: The leadership goal line, and what you list there, is about who you are and how you want to BE, to express yourself. Your contribution and the positive impact you desire in your work/life circumstances and relationships. Read that again. Hold onto this truth.   

So when we're thinking about goals, this is the super important part. It’s common for most people to go straight to what I want to achieve this year. I suggest that the secret to unlocking true success is really about who you want to be this year? 

What kind of values do you want to really be living? Right? What is your desired internal state? What is the thing that you are most proud of inside of yourself? Who you are is not necessarily visible on the first goal line. It's like, who do you really want to be regardless of how the tangible goals on the first goal line turn out? 

Okay, inside you might answer similar questions to these: 

  • What do you want to contribute to the world? 
  • What do you want to experience? 
  • Who do you want to be with your family and friends? 
  • How does your behavior reflect who you want to be? 
  • Think values. How can your personal values, the person you are or grow to be, be shown to others?   

So for example, I want to BE a person who shows more compassion to my clients and family. It’s about placing importance on relationships and the people that I live and work with; and I want to show self-compassion to myself, too. I want to live a life full of compassion and gratitude. That's my desired internal state. 

You know what else? This is probably true for you too! Many of us want to contribute to make a small difference in the world. That looks different for each of us, but it really matters. Like me, I encourage you to be a lifelong learner and fuel your passions. They matter. You matter.

I love learning new things, thinking up new models, making things easier to understand for my clients. How to bring the business world and human world together, effectively, that's obviously a big value of mine. I explain why and how in my People Part book that was released in 2022.   

Yet, none of us can achieve showing up as our best self and living out our values every single day. Some days our inner self is not feeling the best. And there are days when, you know, situations go badly on both goal lines, two dimensions, the tangible goals and your inner self goals. All kinds of feelings emerge;  blame, judgment, and criticism. Can you relate to this? 

Amidst the stress and strains of life, we can develop the habit to go to a place of self-compassion and remember that business is hard, life is hard, and some people are hard. I don’t remember who called it “the whole catastrophe,” but that’s life, right? I've got a blended family of four kids, and a business and a mom who's not that well and living with us. Plus, we have four dogs! Gosh, it's just, you know, a full life, and for sure things don't always turn positive on the goal line. Demonstrating our values, and how we show up, is very challenging to do on some days. 

Even so, anchor yourself by remembering to define, “Who do I want to be?” That is the first thing to encourage your belief in yourself, your goals on your leadership, learning, soul line. 

And the second thing that is the key to unlocking true success, is to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” 

If you don't start with, who do I want to be, your first goal line turns into an unrealistic lottery wish list. I want… business to triple, to be the best spouse and parent, etc. Our wish list is all kinds of things. 

Okay. And the thing is, again, what will ground you is, “Who do you really want to BE as you’re choosing and living out your achievement goals?” Who you want to BE, that's your leadership, learning, and soul line. What does that feel and look like for you? In relationships? In business

Remember, you grow in who you are, and goals on both lines shift. Our best laid plans don’t always turn out as expected in business and in life. And most worthwhile things can be difficult to achieve. Pause the reaction to judge your performance, rather shift to anchor in your values and who you want to BE. My experience has shown me, this is the way to unlock true success! 

This is Leadership!

Annie Hyman Pratt, Founder and CEO of Leading Edge Teams, is an integrative business expert. She has dedicated her career to providing, trusted, high-level leadership, and executive business consulting and training. Her knowledge merges business structure and functions with trusted, safe, effective working relationships, emphasizing the all-important “people part” to help her clients achieve true success. An Economics/Business graduate of UCLA, CPA, who in her early twenties, as CEO, led Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to grow to 70+ stores in Southern California. 

Share this ARTICLE

Share your feedback on this topic below in the comments section.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Search

Post by Author

Popular Posts

Scroll to Top