How I Define Success
By Greg Garritano, Founder of Garritano
Early in my career, I understood the value of setting realistic and achievable goals. Typically goals are set on a short-term, mid-term and long-term basis. It was important to me that my long term goals incorporate my vision of success rather than just a list of tasks to check off. Success to me could never be measured in dollars. My reason for building my own business was focused on having the freedom and ability to enjoy life.
Goal #1: Work only with the people I choose to work with. Many times in businesses, you are forced to deal with customers, vendors and employees who would not otherwise be your friend. Due to financial and situational circumstances, we can often find ourselves under great amounts of stress because of the people we surround ourselves with. The early highlights of my career involved the firing of clients, vendors and staff who were not pleasant for me to deal with. Being surrounded by people I like and respect makes it easy to perform for the long hours often required by our profession.
Goal #2: Make sure the business can run without me. I thought this goal would be easier and quicker than the first. That was one of my many errors in business judgement. It took many years to build a team and culture that had the pride, competence, work ethic and personality to care for the clients and staff in the way that I would. I had planned to test the ability of my managers to handle the business in a slow and systematic manner. God had other plans! While walking home from a neighbor’s house in 2009, I became very ill. Nine months, five surgeries and many hospital stays later, I came back to a business that did not miss a beat. I will forever be grateful for the performance of the team during this difficult time.
Goal #3: Surround myself with people smarter and better than me. There is an inclination early on in the business to be intimidated by people who know more, have better skills and are more experienced than you. I have always reached out for different perspectives when facing challenges, but I have gotten better at knowing who to reach out to. I learn from clients, vendors, staff and a network of contacts on a continuous basis. This is an area of business that I continually strive to improve and expand. There are so many talented people who are willing to work together and share those skills. I like to think that I have been a valuable resource to others.
My early years in business were fraught with stress, anxiety and endless challenges. I have learned to separate what’s truly important from what is a distraction; and my quality of life now is truly beyond what I had hoped and dreamed it would be. In the end, Family, Health and Happiness…that is all that really matters.