There are thousands of articles, books, videos and more all offering advice, tips and strategies to be successful.

How many times have you seen something headlined “The top 5 tips from successful people;” “The top 10 habits of successful people”; even “The 8 Traits of ultra-successful people”?  Lifestyle coaches, business coaches and similar have many stories of and about successful people in order to inspire, encourage and impel the rest of us to be successful.

But what is success?  How should success be gauged?  It is actually many things to many people.  It will change depending on your stage in life, where your business is in its life cycle, what you have already achieved and what you still aspire to.

A common success factor is being positive.  Positive about what has gone before, your current status and future choices.  Even being positive about mistakes you have made, make them a learning experience to try and avoid making them again.

Many successful people are apparently morning people, rising with the birds, exercising early and getting the day under way before the rest of us flutter our eyelids.  This wouldn’t suit all of us though as there are some birds, like owls, which do their best work at night or at least late in the day.  It is all about the natural body clock or biorhythms and experience will tell you when you are at your best.  Workplaces should take this into account with flexible working hours, productivity would increase and so will the likelihood of success.

Profit, money in the bank or simply a regular, constant cash flow are also markers of success as they will facilitate growth and essentially the ability to pay bills and meet regular commitments.  A business without money worries is a success.

Happy staff, low turnover, employees who are content to stay more aspects of success.  There was a time when employees always strived for longevity but not necessarily because they enjoyed their job.  Today it is not uncommon for people to change jobs on a very regular basis, if the job does not fulfill their needs, they will leave.  It is not an ideal situation for a customer focused business so keeping employees happy and keen to stay keeps your customers happy and increases the chance of success.

Success may not be an overall situation but individual goals achieved, tasks done well or problems averted and can be a day-to-day proposition.  Do all of these regularly and you can achieve overall success.

Various professionals were asked to define success—

My measure of success is doing good work for interesting people and providing them with value.” — Paul Jarvis, owner of PJRVS

“Success is running a profitable firm that conducts business with honesty and integrity, makes meaningful contributions to the communities it serves and nurtures high-quality, balanced lives for all employees.” – Hope Wilson, president of Wilson Business Growth Consultants

“Success entails meeting the goals you have set for yourself.  Success doesn’t have to do with comparing yourself to others; it is all about growth and accomplishments.” – Marcia Dee, owner of Etsy shop UpcycleFever

“As an entrepreneur and business owner, my success is built around my staff.  My company will only be successful if I have the right team with me — and to make sure that happens, I ensure that my staff is happy.  My ultimate success is making sure I can pay my staff as much as I can, and making sure they love getting out of bed every morning and coming to work because they really enjoy what they do.” – Brendan Lyle, CEO and founder of BBL Churchill Group

However, you define success, you know it when you have achieved it.  It is an undeniable feeling of satisfaction.