Nik Ellis Rev4

What Does Success Mean?

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Modern Law Magazine speaks to Nik Ellis about his views on success in business & personal life.

What, in your opinion, does it mean to be ‘successful’ & what would you class as satisfaction in a business and personal sense?

Ask this question to a younger Nik and my answer would have been financial orientated targets, possibly a sense of achievement when I bought my first cool car.The Nineties were a time of consumerism and I was swept along with a quest for wealth and a general belief that material objects led to a better or happier life.

Today my definition of success is very different, centred around happiness.Significant life events coupled with an ingrained desire to learn about the world around me has seen a seismic change in my attitude.There’s a bigger picture and I want to play my part in creating a better future.On my death bed I won’t remember that new TV, but I will recall that amazing adventure up a mountain.I want myself & those around me to be happy on their way to success.

Success in Business

In more recent years my happiness and satisfaction, from a business perspective at least, have been derived from growth, strength, security and achievements of my teams.We employ people to fulfil a particular role but we then work hard to ensure they feel part of something bigger, an organisation that gives them the freedom to grow. To see them progress, achieve respect & recognition from the team gives me a great sense of satisfaction.To spot potential within someone and give them the motivation and inspiration, coupled with space and tools to grow is incredibly pleasing in a work environment.

“There is huge satisfaction to be gained from creating a driven, strong & loyal team.”

They tend to creatively challenge convention leading to problem solving, which in turn upgrades us to the next level of business.In some respects I consider success retrospectively, high aims that seemed almost unachievable that become the standard thereafter.

I still set goals as they’re great motivators but I’ve learnt that it is the journey that brings the most enjoyment, whilst goals can sometimes blinker your vision.Success is a continuous journey, as both business & personal life tends to have its peaks & troughs.The higher up the tree you are, the greater the ups & downs, so it’s important to appreciate the good times & learn from the downturns.

There are certain guidelines that I follow to help achieve successful outcomes, such as accepting the things you can’t change but having the strength to change the things you can.I don’t accept convention wisdom without question such as ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ – we wouldn’t have remote controls for the TV if we all thought like that.Perfection kills momentum; especially true in IT.Listen to your gut (probably the most important one).Don’t do that fifth shot of tequila.The list goes on…

Success is having the confidence to say no, particularly to something that either feels wrong or simply doesn’t excite me.I have a great passion for what I do and I guess one of my markers for success is business feeling fun, not like draconian work.

Success isn’t limited to positive experiences, it can be achieved by bouncing back up from troubles, not admitting defeat and finding lessons in failure.Overcoming adversity, either personally or helping others to, always gives me a great sense of achievement.

Nik & Justine skiing

In my personal life, it’s that tingle of excitement when I’m out of my comfort zone, like snowboarding down a dangerous slope that I’d not previously dared to tackle, it’s seeing my children achieve and grow mentally as much as physically, to see my family & close friends happy and thriving.

Am I successful?Perhaps yes, but my own considered successes have shifted from objective to subjective over the years, as age brings wisdom and self-actualisation.Happiness, including that of the people around me, constant improvement, a lust for life have all become more important than simply being seen as successful.

Reproduced with kind permission from Modern law Magazine

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