Episode 32 image

What’s the difference between success and goals?

In today’s episode, Julie discusses the difference between goals and success. And why, as a business owner, it’s important to know the difference!



Achieving goals and being successful is not the same thing. In today’s episode, Julie discusses why it’s important for business owners to distinguish between goals and success. If you do not, there’s a good chance you will never feel successful.


Hey there, this is Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School. I’m so glad to have you with us today.  

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a business owner for over fourteen years. I’m a speaker on business owner leadership and burnout; I consult with business owners to address their very important problems and very important possibilities (their VIPs as I call them); and I also coach the key employees of business owners to help them develop into leaders. 

On today’s podcast, I’m going to discuss the difference between success and goals. There are a few things I know to be true, and here’s one of them. 

Achievement of goals does not equal success.

Said another way, feeling successful is not solely determined by the achievement of goals. 

Now, give me one minute to explain what I mean by this. 

Goals are milestones. Once you achieve a goal, the question, “What’s next?” will follow shortly after that achievement. 

If achieving my goals was my only measure of success, I would never consider myself successful because NO MATTER HOW BIG of a goal I achieve, shortly after that, there’s another goal I’ll begin working on. 

We business owners are never done working towards goals.  Most of us are high-achievers, which works to our advantage most of the time. It’s great to have goals, to achieve them, and then to move on to the next. 


Without a separate definition of success for yourself, there will come a time where you don’t feel successful because there will be goals you won’t achieve. That’s life as a business owner. Some goals are not achieved. 

If achieving a goal means you are successful, what happens when you achieve the first goal and then move onto the 2nd?  Will you still feel successful about achieving that first goal 6 months from now, even if you haven’t yet achieved the second goal? 

If your definition of success for yourself is only about achieving goals, most likely, you won’t feel successful 6 months after achieving that first goal. 

And that is a damn shame because you did, in fact, achieve a goal. 

That’s why I firmly believe that a business owner’s definition of success cannot solely be achievement of goals. 

Goals are usually related to numbers. Money, hours, weight, etc. There’s a reason the SMART goals acronym is used so frequently – it works…for goals. 

But success is more internal. It’s feeling joy. Laughing every day. It’s feeling respected as a business owner and leader and being able to sleep at night. Those are all things that, regardless of where I am with my goals, make me feel successful. 

For me, success is not something I want to constantly chase.  Success is a space I want to stay in for a while. Achieving goals can help us reach and maintain success, but success isn’t a box we check off. 

Success is a destination. I’m Julie Bee, and They Don’t Teach This in Business School.