Do you know what success looks like for your new project, product launch, sales/marketing campaign, or branding/re-branding efforts?

Courtesy of Merriam Webster, the standard definition of success goes something like this: “the degree or measure of succeeding; a favorable or desired outcome; the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence; or one that succeeds.” As you see, there’s really not a one-size-fits-all definition. What one person considers a success, another might deem coming up short, and vice versa.

For example, in baseball if you hit .300 or better, you’re considered a success. But in most other endeavors, succeed only 30% of the time and you’ll most likely be labeled a failure.

How one defines success, therefore, depends on your unique situation, your desired results, and to some extent what’s possible or reasonable. (I include the “what’s possible” caveat because, quite frankly, not everything one desires can be achieved practically. Let’s say you want to will yourself invisible; I’d say, good luck with that because you’re probably not going to be successful. Of course, this is not to suggest you should aim low, but that your goal or desired result needs to be grounded in reality.)

Your definition of success also needs to be measurable.

For example, if your goal is to sell 100 of your products or to gain 5,000 new newsletter subscribers, then you have something tangible you can work towards. Even something as seemingly subjective as achieving results related to how customers feel about your brand can be measured (think in terms of brand awareness or satisfaction surveys).


At Barrel O’Monkeyz, we like to keep our definition of success simple. For most of our clients who rely on us to drive their digital marketing success and turn strangers into brand fans, the recipe looks something like this:  Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight!

Of course, we “fill in the blanks” within each of those broad categories with specific action steps (the ingredients) and target numbers (the measures) that align with the client’s situation, that support achieving the client’s desired results, that are within the realm of possibility, and that can be measured.

Here’s what a recipe for success for building a website and ramping up social media efforts to support inbound marketing might look like:

  1. Build a website, blog, and social media presence where the client can deliver excellent, free, and easy-to-find content that the target audience can’t get elsewhere.
  2. Grab the attention of prospects so they visit the client’s website, place of business, and social media pages again and again, exposing them to the client’s brand.
  3. Endear visitors to the client’s brand by making the client the go-to source for content related to the client’s product, service, or industry.
  4. Convert leads into paying customers and/or devoted followers who are willing to share their experiences with the client and the client’s content with others.
  5. Set specific goals for the number of new social media followers, website visitors, leads, and conversions.
  6. Measure everything so Barrel O’Monkeyz can work with the client to refine and tailor efforts.

Once you have defined what success looks like for your business, project, or other endeavor, you gain a better understanding of what you must do to achieve your desired results, including changing your approach when the marketplace changes or other conditions arise that force you to rethink strategies and re-imagine tactics. You may also soon recognize that failure is typically not the end of the road, nor is it the insurmountable obstacle you think it is. Failure just might be your biggest springboard to success.

American businessman Thomas J. Watson, who oversaw the growth of IBM into a global corporate power from 1914 to 1956, once said (from, You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

  • How do you define success? What’s the recipe to your secret sauce?
  • How have you applied this recipe to your business or even elements of your personal life?

Add to the monkeyz chatter by sharing your ideas here.



Let Barrel O’ Monkeyz provide a free assessment of your current website and/or inbound marketing strategy to help you answer the question, “Am I set-up for success?”

You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from inbound marketing and website development, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps you need to take to turn your ideas into reality.