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What Does Success Look Like?

Note: This is a repost from A Summer To Serve, my new home for the summer.

An important question before any major endeavor is asking yourself, “What does success look like?“

David flew in late last night and we spent the first half of the day today talking about our goals for the trip and breaking them into major buckets. Here they are:

1. Helping Others

Obviously our number one goal and the primary purpose of this trip is to help other people. Here are some of the specifics on how we intend to do so.

  • Scheduling formal volunteer opportunities at least twice a week
  • Coaching individuals to make changes in their lives and offering them someone to be accountable to
  • Going out of our way to make someone smile every day
  • Leveraging social media and our network to help more people than we could do alone
  • Being fun, happy, and radiant everywhere we go
Overall desired outcome: Help 100 people directly over the course of the trip.

2. Optimum Health

They say that it is hard to be healthy when you are traveling. We intend on challenging that myth and making this a healthy roadtrip.

  • Sticking to the Paleo Diet 90% of the time (never refuse meals though if offered)
  • Eating breakfast every morning
  • Drinking plenty of water every day
  • Doing some form of yoga or stretching daily
  • Strength training three times a week (mostly body weight exercises)
Overall desired outcome: Look better naked at the end of the trip than we did at the beginning. Weight doesn’t matter, overall health does.

3. Self Improvement

In addition to helping others grow, we want to also grow as individuals on this trip. Much of this will be through interacting with people all over the United States, but we want to also use our travel time to learn and grow.

  • Personal growth from helping others and learning about their stories, challenges, and successes
  • Listen to 100+ hours of podcasts on personal development, business, marketing, relationships
  • Martha Beck life coach training starts in June for Mike (over the phone once a week)
Overall desired outcome: Grow as men, grow as friends. Gain perspective on the world through the eyes of the people who we encounter on the road.

4. Building Relationships

Relationships are the cornerstone of life. Building and maintaining relationships is something that we both take seriously, so that will also be a focus of the trip.

  • Having meals with friends old and new several times a week
  • Scheduling meetups in major cities to reconnect with friends and meet some new ones
  • Going out of our way to meet new people on the road (smiling and shaking hands)
  • Experiencing the nightlife of the cities that we visit (in moderation)
Overall desired outcome: Meet 200 new people over the course of the trip.

5. Marketing

In order to help as many people as possible and to spread our message, we will focus on marketing through various media types.

  • Capturing enough video for a documentary
  • Blogging regularly (at least once a week)
  • Doing some video blogging when appropriate
  • Meeting with traditional media if opportunities arise
Overall desired outcome: Complete our documentary by the end of the year and have over 1000 people watch it.

6. Fun/Adventure

Finally, we want to make sure we allow ourselves to have fun on this adventure. After all, “If it doesn’t involve love or fun, what’s the point?”

  • Don’t take ourselves too seriously
  • Allow for flexibility in the schedule
  • Force ourselves to say yes to fun adventures or social events even if we are tired
Overall desired outcome: Have the absolute time of our lives. Laugh, dance, smile, and play our faces off.


After finishing this exercise we felt much more clear on our outcomes and the direction of our trip. With such a large undertaking, having these guiding principles will make sure that we are spending our time and energy on the right things.

So what about you? What big changes are you working on right now? Whatever it is, make sure that you first ask yourself the all important question: What does success look like? 

One you have well defined outcomes it will be much easier to make that change.