When I ask you to think of a successful person, who does your mind go to?
Someone in a suit? At the top of the corporate ladder? Someone with a healthy bank balance and houses in 3 continents? Yep – me too.
I’m all about girl power and I have such admiration for successful women, but I’m guilty of thinking that success means lots of money and material things too. My mind automatically thinks of Karen Brady, Deborah Meaden and Emma Walmsley when I picture success and yes, these are hugely successful and admirable women, but just because they have made it to the top, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have it all, does it?
I am a huge fan of Podcasts (I desperately need to do a blog post on recomendations!) and I was listening to Emma Gannons ‘Ctrl Alt Delete,’ with Dawn O porter – its a must listen, go check it out!
They started talking about Dawns life on television and how she had a great career, but that she was never really fully happy, and didn’t consider herself ‘successful,’ until she wrote her first book. She explained that although as an author the money isn’t great and the hours she had to put in were beyond human capabilities, it made her the happiest and most fulfilled she had ever been.
This got me thinking about my life and the careers I have had. I left university and quickly landed my dream job on the fashion buying team at ASOS.com. I couldn’t believe my luck. Thousands of girls would kill for that job and I was lucky enough to be given it. My God did I have to work hard though. Some days I would work until 9pm and feel as though I was getting home to go to bed and do it all again the next day. Yes I had the dream job designing clothes, but it didn’t make me happy. I would paint at the weekends and write in my lunch break just so that I felt as though I was still doing something I loved and still felt like me. The job was great, but it didn’t suit me and it was stripping away everything that I was. Although on the outside I may have looked successful, on the inside I felt very far from it.
Cut to now, 6 years later. I don’t have a fancy job in a swanky office. I don’t earn hundreds of thousands of pounds a year (not that I did in fashion either!) but I do what I love and I’m lucky enough to earn a living from it. I feel the most fulfilled I ever have and without trying to sounds too cheesy I feel super proud of myself for trying to make a go of pursuing my dream job and working for myself. Right now I feel successful because I have achieved my dream and I’m not even started with where I want to take my business.
So for me I don’t think success is defined by money, status or material things, I think its a feeling. A feeling happiness, fulfilment and contentment. I don’t think anyone would picture me when asked to name a successful person, but I’m totally ok with that because I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and that’s all that matters.
How do you define success? Do you feel successful? If you struggle to feel like you are succeeding it helps to take a step back and to really think about how far you have come. That’s definitely something that I think we all find hard to do in the fast paced world that we live in.
Till next time,