I hate the term “success.” There, I said it.

Success is overrated! It’s a loaded word that gets thrown around as the thing to do, but the problem I have with success is that it is commonly perceived as the same as achieving goals, meeting deadlines, or hitting revenue goals. Success is a term that invokes a sense of completeness — of being finished. The problem that I have with success is that I don’t think it is an end product. To me, and to all of us at DT, success is always moving forward, setting new goals, and striving for something better (betterment, if you will). Let’s reframe the way that we think about success.

Success Is Listening & Awareness

You can’t be successful in any capacity if you don’t listen. Successful companies and successful people take into account what their clients and target audience are thinking and feeling. Hear your clients’ murmurs. Listen to users. Are they happy? Are they expressing a concern or a need that is not currently being addressed? It’s also important to consider the CEO’s agenda because after all, they’re running the show. Creating a product that works for everyone is difficult, but you can do it if you’re listening. Being successful is about recognizing changes that need to happen. Success means you’re listening to others’ needs and not just hearing what you want.

Giving up could indicate failure, but many successes are born out of pivots.

Success Is Intelligent Reaction

To be successful, you’re going to have to adjust goals and occasionally abandon what you thought was a great idea. That doesn’t mean that you failed at the original goal, it means that you were smart enough to redirect that energy in a positive manner. You might have realized it after listening to feedback from users, or you may have come up with it yourself. No matter how it happens, you constantly evolve to provide a better product — that is success.

Intelligent reaction is one of the most important components to being successful because it’s realizing that you have to change, which doesn’t always come easy to everyone. Intelligent reaction is not solely about change, though. You can’t just go willy nilly and make radical changes when you realize the original plan isn’t working — it’s about evaluating the situation and reacting to what’s not working in a smart and intelligent way. While many people view success as having and achieving a goal, I believe it’s more than that. By staying flexible and continuously innovating, you’re always moving toward success.

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Giving up could indicate failure, but many successes are born out of pivots.

Success Is Creation & Communication

At DT, success is creating products or services that our clients and their users want. When we create, we do so mindfully. We test to make sure that it works, and if it doesn’t, we turn it into something different. People often say, “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” but that’s exactly what we do. We’re always improving upon our own ideas. We relish in the question, “How can we make this better?”

Success is also about supporting clients and communicating with them as strategies shift. Of course we set objectives, but when the competitive landscape changes, we must respond with an even more innovative idea in order to keep our clients on top. Sometimes just having a conversation can bring forth an entirely new perspective to a plan we thought was set in stone. That’s why communication is critically important.

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Success Is Always Evolving

Success isn’t an end point. It isn’t just achieving goals or getting to the bottom of your to-do list. Success is knowing your higher purpose and doing the right work. Success isn’t cut and dry. You’re going to set goals and achieve them, but your “end goal” is never really the end. Success is celebrating little victories — and moving on to the next. At DT, we’re a team of successful people, all contributing to each other’s success. And it feels good to be part of it.