Webster doesn’t know everything. Some words can’t be defined by a dictionary. Rather they are defined by our values, ethos, and principles. We asked hidden gems from the community about how they define success and have shared their responses below.

Gray Lew | Artist & Teacher

I define my success through the connections I made with others, and those that I’ve yet to make but look forward to making every single day. I’ve realized that once I chose to pursue a creative career, conversations became real. I often found myself trying to fit into the mold that society has created for us, and it became draining. I slowly began to lose myself and the creativity I so desperately wanted to share with the world. However, once I took this leap, I found connections with other humans, whether that be with fellow artists, students, or the sweet elder lady that sat next to me in the coffee shop yesterday.  Read more>>

Elena Soledad | CEO of Brooklyn Warmi Designs

Success, to me, is love. My business was rooted with a love for my community and my need to find others like myself and others who share a similar background as my daughter. I don’t have an exact measure of success, but I know what it feels like. I know that every time someone messages me to say that they feel so beautiful and powerful with one of my pieces, or if they just say that they can finally feel seen in jewelry; that is success to me. Read more>>

Rhiannon Hopkins | Actor-Musician, Writer & Comedian

I think my definition of ‘success’ is always changing, especially as I get older. In the creative industry it’s so easy to feel ‘unsuccessful’ – unsuccessful because you didn’t get that recall or because your TV script didn’t get picked up or even because the ever changing nature of an industry like this means relationships can suffer. But I guess I’ve started to question – who is measuring success and in what sense? For me, success comes in many different forms – success in career, success in love, success in friendships – finding happiness and getting a balance in of all of them is really an impressive thing and that at the end of it all is the real success I guess. Read more>>

Saxon Kincy | I’m a rapper

Success is memory. You grind hard your whole life to get these little wins. Once you get these wins you go “thats cool” and you move on. Never giving space for appreciation of what you’ve just done. And sometimes thats fine. you gotta keep moving on and go on to the next one. But the issue comes when you don’t go back and give yourself that pat on the back. Because that little win was success, but if you never remember it, never give yourself those kudos and just constantly chase the next…then you may never EXPERIENCE success. You might have success and never experience it. Success is memory Read more>>

Nicole Nixon | Brand development & course creation

My answer to this has definitely changed over the past few years. I think if you had asked me this in 2015 I would have seen it as solely career focused with my answer including a big title, big paycheck, lots of travel. But my view on success has definitely changed after going freelance and working on my own brand. I love the flexibility it offers me, and the ability to be available for my daughter who is now 16 and will soon be off to create her own life, is priceless. I see success now as having the time to be in the moment, make my own schedule, and answer only to myself. It’s HARD, working for yourself is brutal sometimes, but the benefits outweigh struggle. Read more>>

Jay Fiske | Artist, Woodworker, Thai Massage Therapist

Contributing to society while serving the person you are at the core of your being. Read more>>