Figure out what success means for you. If you were to ask multiple people what success means to them, you would probably get a different answer from each. Success means something different to each person, so it’s important to define what success means to us. For me the definition of success is doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want while benefitting others. Taking the time to write down what you want out of life will help you define success for yourself. Without defining success for ourselves, it will be impossible to go out and find it.

Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more, to have more, to be more; and that will sum up to success. And then along comes, The Great Resignation, where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.

As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.

Jason Gelios is an Award Winning, Top Producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan. Author of the book, Think Like a REALTOR®, Expert Media Contributor to major media outlets and the creator of the AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show where he educates home buyers and sellers on the ins and outs of the process with his real-world expertise.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

Thanks for having me! One of the things that really shaped who I am was the time in my life when I realized I wanted more. Before that time, I was working different jobs and not thinking about my future much. I would apply a strong work ethic at every job I held and would always do more than what was expected, but it never got me anywhere in life. It wasn’t until I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife that I started to see the possibilities of what I could do to create better opportunities for myself.

My wife was pursuing a college degree in nursing spending hours in the college library studying. Experiencing her dedication towards her goal of becoming a nurse influenced thoughts about my own path. Once I decided I wanted to make a change in my own life, I never looked back.

After researching different jobs and industries, I decided to enter the mortgage industry in a sales role. After years spent in this industry, I decided to become a licensed Realtor®. Looking back at this time in my life, I feel many of my experiences really shaped me into who I am today. I learned how to relate to many types of people, while providing value to their life through my work.

I am proud to have had success in my current role, but I am most proud of how I overcame the obstacles and setbacks to become the successful professional I am today. I’m honored to be able to share my experiences on how I accomplished the achievements I have in my own life in hopes to inspire others to do the same.

We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?

The first myth I used to believe about success was that it happens overnight, of course this is often not the case. When we think of success, we must realize that many successful people did not obtain it overnight. Their success was a result of countless days, nights, weeks and years of hard work and effort. A great example of this is when celebrities hit the charts with a popular song. Many would describe them as an overnight success. In reality, they put in a lot of work to make that happen.

The second myth I believed was that the path to success was a straight one. When I started achieving success in my own career, I realized this road is a windy one filled with hurdles and obstacles that get in our way. People who have achieved success learned this principle and focused on how to adapt and overcome such things. Achievers don’t stay down for the count; they get back up after a setback.

The third myth is that successful people never experience failure, because they always make the right decisions and are good at what they do. I met many successful people in my career and soon realized that high achievers embrace failure differently than those who don’t. Many had said they don’t fail; they either win or learn from the experience. Recognizing failure as a learning opportunity can get us one step closer to the success we desire.

How has your definition of success changed?

When I was younger, I thought success meant being rich and having material things that are flashy. I was the 80’s kid with the Lamborghini Countach poster on my wall! As I got older and became a parent, I soon realized that material items don’t truly define success. Matter of fact, social media is filled with plenty of people who rent such items for a photo shoot to project an image of success they don’t have. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but it should not be the full definition of success.

I define success as beginning each day excited, ambitious, and passionate about what I’m about to do while benefitting others. Because I define my own success this way, my day is filled with purpose and ambition. I’m driven daily to see how I can help others through my work. I also put myself in a position where I love what I do. I’m not one of those people who TGIF or dread the arrival of Monday. To me, this is the true definition of success. I don’t feel that I’m successful until I have helped others find success by providing a solution to their problem. This is what pushes me daily. Knowing my definition of success helps me be successful in my own endeavors.

Anyone can change their life to feel great about what they do. It all starts with knowing what your definition of success is and how that looks to you. Once you figure this part out, it will be much easier to move forward.

The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?

I would like to see more companies offering flexible work environments and terms that benefit their employees. Many people were exposed to remote working environments during the pandemic, which taught them how beneficial that is to them and their household. We have learned through this life-altering event that we don’t have to settle for what we don’t want. Many people also realized what their true potential is, or the very thing that doesn’t make them happy. Companies big and small should know that employees will continue to seek out flexible employers who establish a modern work environment. Companies that explore this trend could expect a higher level of productivity. I imagine more employees would have more loyalty to a company that is current with the times and meets the needs of the employee. If companies don’t make changes to offer the type of work arrangements that are becoming more in demand to employees, they may lose these workers to a company that does. This is the change I would like to see in our society.

What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.

One positive that came out of the pandemic is the opportunity to have a more balanced work life. Employees had to remotely work from home giving each a taste of what that’s like. Employees learned that remote working is what they want to continue to do in their career and are seeking a company which offers this permanently. People who weren’t satisfied with their current employment built up the confidence to seek out new employment and create more happiness in their work and life.

Another positive that came out of the pandemic is courage. Courage has allowed people to readjust their sights towards what’s truly important. Courage has given many people that push they needed to better their career, or business, by taking away the excuse or hurdle they once had. Realizing that life is fragile, and that tomorrow is not guaranteed, opened up possibilities for those who settled in their role prior to the pandemic. I have known people who have found success on their own terms by tapping into the inspiration they received during the pandemic. They took that leap after deciding that it was time.

Realizing that time is also precious, many companies implemented video conferencing as a way to hold meetings with others without having to take the time to arrange a meeting place and make sure that everyone can be in the same location. This is a huge positive because it benefits those involved by not having to spend additional time in preparation for the meeting.

In my area of Southeast Michigan, there is a local apple orchard that is wildly popular for its apple cider and family events. Every year, tens of thousands of people attend this location to enjoy fun with family and the great cider and donuts they produce locally. At the height of the pandemic, almost every business was forced to close their doors temporarily with some closing permanently. Many businesses were having a hard time with our state lockdown. As it became more evident that hand sanitizer was becoming impossible to find, I saw something happen. This local orchard learned that they had the ingredients to make their own sanitizer. In a short time, they began producing their own branded sanitizer for sale. As you can imagine, word got out fast leading to rows of cars pulling up to purchase the product. To this day, this orchard sells a good amount of this product to local residents and businesses alike. What a great example of turning a bad situation into something positive. The key takeaway from this example is that part of finding success is looking at a situation differently to find some positivity and solutions.

We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

Here are my top five ways to redefine success now:

1. Figure out what success means for you.
If you were to ask multiple people what success means to them, you would probably get a different answer from each. Success means something different to each person, so it’s important to define what success means to us. For me the definition of success is doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want while benefitting others. Taking the time to write down what you want out of life will help you define success for yourself. Without defining success for ourselves, it will be impossible to go out and find it.

2. What actions must you take to get success.
Once we define what success is to ourselves, we need to figure out what actions we need to take to obtain it. By defining the actions, we can break down what we need to do daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to give us a better chance of achieving success. We must avoid being a ship without a sail that goes in no dedicated direction.

3. Jot down your goals and keep them close.
Many of us have a ton going on in our heads, including myself, yet many don’t take the time to jot down our goals. The presence of goals means nothing, unless we actually write them down, keep them close and review them daily. Having this type of focus will allow us to stand out from those who don’t. Our written goals will help navigate us towards the success we desire. I like to use a goal binder that details my annual goals divided into categories with headlines titled family, financial, career, personal etc. Having my goals organized and close by to review keeps me on track and inspired on my journey towards success. Find what works best for you and implement it today.

4. Don’t be afraid to change things up.
One of the things that I’ve learned in my own career is that it’s important to change things up to avoid tasks becoming mundane. When I first started appearing in media outlets, I was sharing information about my industry. While I still enjoy sharing my work expertise, I decided to share what I know about other topics. This inspired a whole other side of me that I wanted to share. Never be afraid of changing things up because you never know what creativity will come of it. It will also keep you inspired and rejuvenated about your work.

5. Put in the work.
We can be armed with all the knowledge in the world, but we will fail if we don’t put in the work. Once you define your own success and jot down your goals, putting in the work is what will ignite your internal fire to get you where you need to go. Many smart people don’t find success, because they don’t put in the work to achieve it. Combining the tips I mentioned with a hard work ethic will put you front and center to receive success.

How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?

I think everyone who wants success should define what it means to them. Everyone’s definition of success will be different, so when we understand this, we can take a step forward to achieve our own success. We will recognize the win’s we gain while waking up ready to conquer the day. We should not make the mistake of trying to live off someone else’s definition of success. We won’t be fulfilled or motivated to get further success by following someone else’s plan. Defining what success is for us should be the main focus. Think of how our life would improve by knowing what success means to us and how we can go after it for ourselves on our own terms. Nobody can tell us what success is because it’s subjective. Once we have our definition of success, we can transcribe a plan to go out and be effective in the world while achieving our own success.

What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?

I feel people get hung up on the obstacle they place in front of themselves. It’s easy for us to doubt ourselves or our ability to be successful. We can take the time to redefine our success and even jot down our goals, but if we don’t take the first step towards what we want, we lose before we begin. An obstacle forms in front of us when we allow self-doubt and negativity to penetrate our thinking. When we define what success is for ourselves, we need to work towards overcoming the obstacle that stands in our way. Training our mind to overcome obstacles is an exercise everyone should do to remain on the path to success.

Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?

For career information, I seek out no nonsense experts such as Ryan Stewman, Jeffrey Gitomer and Gary Vaynerchuk, to name a few. I find inspiration in reading stories of triumph by those who overcame major hurdles to achieve success. Christopher Gardner is a great example of this. He is behind the wildly popular book and movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness.’ Yes, Happyness is spelled wrong. Check out his story to find out why. Most of my inspiration and advice comes from books and reliable internet sources. I love the plethora of information I can access on any given topic. It’s truly amazing.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Christopher Gardner. Christopher shared with the world his story of how he went through struggles and hard times in his life while pursuing a better life for his son and him. Many have heard of his story when his book and movie by the same name ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness’ was released to the world. Christopher went on to share his tips on how he achieved his success and how he stayed the course during those hard times.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.