Most of us start businesses or become freelancers because we want flexibility and freedom. Along the way, we also want to feel as though we are becoming successful.

But how do you know? Sometimes success doesn’t look like a huge splash in the collective consciousness. Much of the time, success is a little more subtle. You don’t have to be famous to be successful. Here are four signs that you’re on the right track to becoming successful in your own area:

1. Haters

You will never be able to please everyone, so don’t let your feelings of success hinge on whether or not everyone likes you. Also, don’t forget that success can sometimes bring out the worst in others. If you are noticed enough that the trolls come out of the woodwork and take the time to bash you, that’s a sign that you’re doing something right.

You have to have thick skin as you were becoming successful because there will always be haters try to bring you down. Keep doing what you do, and don’t feed the trolls.

2. Advice Seekers

You know you’re becoming successful when people start asking for your advice. If you years ago I noticed a lot of people emailing me asking the same questions about how I got started as a freelancer. I began to realize that even though I’m not famous or really well-known, I have my own version of success that other people might want to emulate.

When people start asking you for advice and help, that is an indication that you are moving in right direction. In my case, it prompted me to write a book answering many of the questions that people asked the most.

3. Partnership Opportunities

If you are becoming successful, others recognize that and want to be able to work with you. When you are approached with different opportunities to partner on projects or other business ideas, that’s a pretty good indication that others recognize your potential for success.

However, it’s important to understand that not every so-called opportunity really is a good idea. You need to be careful about who you accept as a business partner, and there needs to be a measure of trust. Once people start hoping to hitch their wagon to your star, you know you’re on track for becoming successful.

4. More Offers

You might be surprised at the kind of offers you receive as you’re becoming successful. As a freelancer, this often takes the form of clients, coming to look for you. I haven’t had to actually apply for job in several years. Most of my clients approach me.

But these are the only offers that you will receive as you are becoming successful. You might be asked to speak in front of groups, serve on advisory boards, or being involved in other ways. When you are seen as a community leader, whether that community is your trade group, your online business community, or based on your location, being seen as someone who can offer good advice and help the community is one of the greatest signs that you were on the right path to success.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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