PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business, Chapter 18: Defining Your Own Success

Business Lessons

Why are you doing this all of this? Financial freedom? Happiness? Why did you pick up this book and read it? These are the pressing questions you must ask yourself before starting. You have decided to start your own business and therefore you have to define your own success

Success and happiness look different for everyone. Define what success is to you. Realize that the shop next door will not determine your success, because you create your own success. 

Think through the “Why?” behind your business. Do you want to make your own hours and enjoy time with your family? Maybe you worked for someone else and did not like the money they paid you. Are you passionate about the arts and want a profitable way to express yourself? Some people believe success has a dollar sign attached to it. That is a dangerous definition of success. Money alone will not make happiness. There’s no salary great enough to overpower the joy of self-actualization.

Write down your short-term business goals. Follow those with your long-term business goals. Then write down your wildest dreams for your business. Paint a detailed picture of how your business will run, act and operate. Imagine how many employees you’ll have, what your facility looks like and how much your community will love your work. Your goal doesn’t need to be running a shop with 20 automatic presses firing at full speed. That might not make you happy (imagine the stress and problems!) or even successful. Be true to your goals.

Imagine the life you want to live five, ten or even twenty years from now. What does that mean for yourself, your family and your well-being? Where do you want to live, and what kind of work-life balance do you want to have? The bigger you make your business, the harder it will be to create the balance you want in your life. No one wants to work forever. Make your roadmap for how you’ll get there.

Soon, you may be so inundated with your business that success becomes extremely difficult to taste and feel. To feel successful in the long-term, you have to do the short-term work to consistently measure and model where you are and how to improve. Leverage the power of friends, trusted advisors, business partners, industry associates, local experts, business mentors and even your customers for guidance along the way. You are never alone in anything you do.

Making steady and stable progress toward fulfilling your plan for success will directly correlate with your sense of happiness. Don’t forget that the most powerful feelings of happiness come from the feeling that you have made your vision of success a reality. As you finish our book, we want to leave you with this final message for how to grow and succeed: push hard to make your business exactly what you want it to be.


Screen printing is a multi-billion dollar industry with customers from every part of the world. Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs discover their passion for screen printing - and they want to claim their cut of the billions and billions of dollars spent on custom printed apparel.

But the majority of new screen printing shops fail before they reach the 5-year mark. They fail because of poor business planning, dull branding, and a lack of ability to scale.

Your shop can be different.

This is an excerpt from our book, The PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business. Written by Printavo's dynamic founder Bruce Ackerman, Campus Ink's enterprising Steven Farag, and Adam Cook. The PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business is the next generation's guide for building your own lucrative print shop.

You can purchase a physical copy of the book on Amazon.

Previous chapter: Chapter 17: Contract Printing


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