Success. It’s something we dress for, strive for, work towards. We wish it upon others as well as ourselves, but what is it? What is success?

Novalee Wilder | Professional Numerologist & Writer

My definition of success is taking action on your dreams, consistently, relentlessly, and with as much confidence as possible. Only allow yourself to evaluate and measure your success externally for a few moments at a time. Spend the majority of your creative process inside of your own world without regard for any outside gaze. Inspiration has to find you working as Picasso said and as long as you engage with and keep exploring your own point of view the opportunities to share it will arise. Question the rules you live by often. Give yourself permission to break the rules of your gender, family, business, class, field of study, etc. Shake up the vision you have of success and what it feels, looks, tastes, and sounds like. Success is a feeling and you don’t need to hit external goals to experience it. Success for me is linked to the core values I believe in and want to pursue so I’m careful not to take advice from people whose life and values are vastly different from my own. They might value security where I want freedom. Read more>>

Vinay Narang | GMAT Genius

Success is pursuing a path that you makes you happy. There are three important components to this. First, your chosen field should be something that you enjoy and that you are passionate about. Life is too short to go through the motions every day on tasks that you don’t enjoy. If you don’t love what you are doing, you won’t consistently put in the effort needed to achieve success. Second, you should be constantly learning and improving. If you are not mentally engaged and challenged in your work, you will get bored and not put in the effort necessary to attain success. Third, your work should make a positive impact on others. This can be as simple as filling an essential need for others or putting a smile on people’s faces. Studies consistently show that human beings receive more gratification from helping others than from material goods. For me personally, I get great satisfaction in helping our clients achieve GMAT test scores that allow them to pursue an MBA at their desired schools. I love the enthusiastic emails and testimonials from our former clients that show we helped them achieve their educational dreams. Read more>>

Alan Michnoff | Photographer & Video Maker

Much like a tree’s age, success in the arts is measured in rings. However, although quantifiable, success is no more easy to survey. As an audience sees a photo, reads a poem, hears a song, watches a movie – experiences art – a ring forms around the individual. Every time they return to the artistic piece they are circumferenced by another ring. Each ring is more valuable than the last because the work calls the viewer, a person with their own obligations and busy schedule, back for another dip into the artist’s creation. To be clear, it’s not about the number of viewers, but the number of times the viewers return by revisiting or simply recalling. Arguably, an even stronger ring forms when the individual thinks about the art when not present with it. This phenomenon, known as Experientia Absentia, is commonly related to having a song stuck in your head. Even as you try to dislodge the tune from your mind, a ring forms around you and the music. Read more>>

Jack & Benny Lipson | Composers, Songsters, Multi-Instrumentalists

Benny and I have always believed if the songs we write turn one head, change one heart, we’ve succeeded. We sing a comedic number that follows an eventually lucky romantic who always “start[s] with consent,” and after one show a patron enthusiastically greeted, “That was so great…can I give you a hug?” Sure, it was cheeky but we knew that she had listened to the lyrics, and may very well exercise consent next date. Read more>>

Klara Gomes | Actor & Content Creator

Success to me is having a happy and fulfilled life by your own standards. You know those goals you set for yourself and no matter how small it is, or even if it’s a to do list you get it done? That’s success for me. that little butterfly in your stomach when you feel proud of yourself, no matter how other people try to minimize your goals or achievements. Read more>>

Jeez Loueez | Burlesque Entertainer & Actor

As a lifelong artist it’s always been instilled in me to define my success by the gigs I book, by the amount of money I’m able to charge for my services, by the amount of workworkWORK I’m able to cram into my life. As a burlesque artist I began to believe my success was defined by awards, headlining opportunities, or voting list. It took a long time for me to realize that my success if defined by my impact. My success is defined by the lives I’ve been able to touch, by the memories I’ve burned into your mind. It’s defined by the respect and admiration I receive from my industry, my contemporaries, and my community. My success is defined by my influence. Read more>>

Maya Kaur Batra | Singer-Songwriter & Producer

Success to me is happiness. I used to think that success was tied to certain achievements, but then I realized that reaching a certain milestone wasn’t what brought me happiness. It was actually enjoying the process, and feeling like I’m walking in my purpose that brought me the most happiness and those are the moments when I feel the most successful. I know that there is so much more I want to achieve in my career and life, and I’m excited for the journey. I’ve been planting seeds through the years that are now starting to sprout and it’s been really exciting and liberating. As soon as I dropped this fallacy that I will be happy when I’m successful I was so much happier. Now the conversation in my head is I am successful because I am happy. I am blessed and grateful for every day I am given and I am going to live it to my utmost potential because tomorrow isn’t promised. That’s been made even more clear in the last year and so I don’t want to take any moment, person, or idea for granted. That is the wave I’m on right now. Read more>>

Marie Lavallee | Mixed Media/ Assemblage Artist

It took a long time to realize that creativity is where my soul is at peace. I delight in the details, where ordinary objects do become extraordinary … depending on the point of view. Painting, fabricating and creating is where I’m at my best. Success is that moment when a piece is about to be finished and it fills me with joy every time I look at it. Read more>>

Niobe C | Content Creator & Entrepreneur

Success to me is waking up every morning and being happy and excited to go to work. You don’t need the best title or the highest salary, your happiness in what you do and consistent drive is what makes you successful. Read more>>

Ryan Fogal | Composer and Cellist

An artist’s success is often associated with fame, fortune, or power; I have never really been motivated by any of these. In many ways, that type of success is wildly out of our control– you can be doing everything that you’re “supposed” to be doing correctly and find yourself exactly where you started, albeit now with a dash of nihilism. Instead of focusing on external indicators of success, I try to focus on more internal ones. As creatives, we have the opportunity to create things that previously didn’t exist in the world. My ultimate goal is to create music in my own voice. Often, I don’t succeed, but it is always a motivator to imprint as much of my unique perspective into my music. There’s already one John Williams, and he seems to be doing pretty well at being John Williams. I’ll never be able to write John Williams-esque music better than he can write himself. I will be able to write in my own voice better than anyone else, though, and I think it’s incredibly important to own what makes you unique. Read more>>

Emma Izek | Founder/Host of Typically Peachy Podcast

Success is an extremely powerful concept that has the ability to hold us back or propel us forward. The mere idea of success is attached to the idea of “making it”, of feeling that you have reached maximum potential. For me, success is about taking action in your individual pursuit. Just one step forward every day. Success is to start. Success is to continue to go. Success is to never stop. Success is to learn from your accomplishments and failures, to recognize that there is always space to grow, and to never max out on “making it”. Read more>>

Hanbo Hong | Audio Engineer

Success is doing what I love for a living, while taking care of my loved ones. Read more>>

Litha Ashforth | Singer, Improviser, Composer, Actor, Dancer, Poet, and Plays The Auto-Harp

I think of success as a minute series of choices, that ultimately equal the experience of your life. Noting the leaves as they fall from trees, or seeing a smile of a friend, feeling that warmth of being. These things come from a place of peace, when we feel at ease with our choices. A metaphor I think to for a blueprint in making choices is surfing. The choice to trust the water, to listen quietly to the rhythm of the waves, and make small decisions, like whether this wave is for me, or whether to wait for a bigger one, a riskier one. Truly there is no wrong choice because each wave teaches you something about your form. You notice your muscles, and tensions. Even when you slip, lose your breath under the water, and can’t determine what is up or down. There is fear here, and that is something to notice, along with the triumph of standing up longer than the day before. To distill success down to its essence, it is the result of trusting oneself. Read more>>

Drea | Latina | Singer/Songwriter | Podcaster | Writer

I define success through failure. On my Podcast, The Journey of Pursuit, I always ask 2 questions: (1) what is your biggest failure? (2) what is your biggest success? All of my guests have answered with something along the lines of “well I wouldn’t call it a failure but…” I think as creatives we are prepared to fail. We are prepared to be judged and criticized for our work. This doesn’t mean we are not affected by it, but we know that it’s there. We get to choose whether it breaks us or makes us. There really is no such thing as failure, if you really think about it. In order to know what the next step is, what actually works vs what doesn’t work, you need to fail. That is the only way to get to the other side. Think about your role-model or your icon – I bet they had many failures before successes, and if they don’t share those, then, know that they exist. Failing is a stepping stone to success. Personally, I think it comes from trial and error. It comes from starting over and over again. Getting back up after many times of falling. It’s forgiving yourself and not being too hard on yourself. Read more>>

Marielou Mandl | Content Creator

Success is in the journey, not the destination. If you only measure success by an end result, the goal you want to achieve, you will be left feeling unsuccessful because what happens next? What happens after you achieve that? There will always be something else. I prefer to measure my success in the process of growth. Am I taking steps towards my goals? Yes? Then that is success. Am I persistent in my efforts? Yes? That is success to me. Am I continuing to be true to myself and my mission? Yes. That is how I define success. Read more>>

Megan Chovanec Graphic Designer & Lover of Life | Graphic Designer & Lover of Life

Success takes many different forms. If I were to define my success in terms of money or popularity, then I wouldn’t be able to call myself successful. At 25 years old, my career as a graphic designer may be viewed as successful in the traditional sense. I network with the people I am supposed to, turn in work well before deadlines and always try to improve the quality of my designs. But I don’t define success in those ways… I define my success as finding and pursuing my passions as often as I am able to. My true passion comes from experiencing new places and then sharing those travels with other people. I share these writings on an online blog, but there is hardly any traction on it. It’s a challenge to not want success in the traditional sense for my side passions… but then I remind myself of my own definition of success. The main advice I can give to others who are struggling with measuring their own success is to remember why you started something in the first place. I started my blog to document and share my travels, not to gain fame or glory. Read more>>

Norella & Kasey Amiel | Design Director & Owner

That natural high when a project is complete! It’s a sign that our design efforts were successful in creating a solution, we challenged our capabilities, we enjoyed the fabrication process and our client is thrilled. When it all comes full circle in a positive way you realize doing what you love makes you happy and that is success, everything else just follows. Read more>>

Amber Costilow | Yoga Instructor & Feminine Embodiment Coach

For me, success means working for myself, sharing my passion, and making a positive impact. I feel successful when I keep promises to myself – usually the things that either require discipline, or bring me joy. It means having enough time & money for activities that I enjoy, as well as the means to retire comfortably. My dream-life involves building a business that allows me to travel often. Read more>>

Jessie Zahner | Photographer & Sales Professional

I think about this question all of the time. When I was younger, I thought success was making tons of money, getting into a top school, landing the best job. As I started getting older I began traveling a lot. Even as a kid I was so curious about other people, other places, how people lived in other places. I took one trip that really changed how I viewed success. I went to Peru for a couple weeks to hike. During my time there, I met so many wonderful people, learned about how they lived, how they cherished the land around them, why the cherished it. I saw so many kids and adults who had so much less than I did, but they were so much more happy. Being out in the middle of no where, with no phone or internet or social media or television, I had so much time. Time to listen, time to learn, time to observe, time to think. I thought about how every one seemed so happy and together and how back home people were always running around, working, buying all of the things, but a majority of them weren’t happy. Read more>>

Claire Friday | Producer, Writer, Public Speaker

I believe Success is found in the daily decisions that you make to continue down the career path you’ve carved, and in the small strides you make to improve your personal life. As I’ve seen from experience in my career and through daily life choices that I’ve made, you don’t need to achieve massive milestones to be successful. It comes from a place of contentment in knowing that you are doing what you can with what you’ve been given on a daily basis to make the most out of life. Especially during the times that we’re currently in it is important to appreciate the success found in each day that you live; that may come in the form of meaningful relationships, provision, and just staying the course. You have to celebrate moving in inches instead of miles both personally and professionally. Read more>>

Roxanne Saffaie | Empowerment Coach, Beauty + Wellness Expert, Podcast Host, Writer + Life Athlete.

My definition of success starts with the relationship you hold with yourSELF. To create, connect + fortify an empowered, compassionate, loving + thriving relationship with yourSELF is the most important achievement in life. Cultivating this relationship becomes the most powerful support system that generates, material success, relationship success, financial success, and so forth. Success starts from withIN. It’s what I frame as “INSOURCING” your wealth from the pathways of Self-Awareness, Self-Connection, Self-Love, Self-Confidence + Self-Trust. This where my saying “You are the life you are living.” is born from–What we aim to experience on the external, must be cultivated first from the internal. Read more>>

Adriana Arellano | Spiritual Boss Babe

Success to me is living a life where you have everything you need and more. Success is building wealth for not only yourself but your community. If you are able to acquire success in business and life it is imperative that you give back to those less fortunate than you be it cash or mentorship. Success is being grateful for everything you have, and everything you are calling into your life. As Jay Z says “We measure success by how many people successful next to you. Here we say you broke if everybody gets broke except for you.” Read more>>

Bianca Bethune | Actor/Podcast Host/Teacher/Produer

Success to me is health, love, peace and a steadfast mindset. You can have all the money in the world but still lack in self love and worth. I believe that we all need to travel at our own pace. Without competition, worry or doubt in our journey, we can succeed in all that we do. Each triumph should be something to celebrate, big or small. We have to choose a winners mindset no matter what, that way we can keep pushing forward to reach more goals and more heights than we can ever imagine. Read more>>

Alani ILongwe | Creative Director of Open City Acting Studio

This is a great question. I’ve learned to define success by asking myself three questions: 1) Is what I am doing personally/professionally in line with my goals? 2) Along the journey toward reaching my goal, am I consistently happy? 3) Is what I am doing in service to others in some way? I find it easiest to begin my measurement of success by first setting quantifiable goals. Once I’ve done that, I take the time to craft actionable steps toward completing those goals — year-by-year, month-by-month, day-by-day…brick-by-brick. Next, I strive to stay mindful of whether I am taking the time to enjoy the journey. This usually takes a series of honest conversations between myself and my support system (i.e. family, therapist, trusted mentors). If I learn that something I am doing isn’t consistently bringing me joy, then I mark it as a sign to adjust something in my process or cease the activity completely. While the latter is usually the most difficult choice, it allows me to carve an alternative path toward my goals that will offer a much more enjoyable experience. Read more>>

Kristi McHugh | Comedian/ Writer /Actress /All Around Good Girl

Not needing quarters when it’s laundry day.  Trust more – You do what you love…. the money will come. 100%. Read more>>

4L JAVI | Artist

I define success by if I’m happy and making money from what I love doing. Read more>>

Samantha Mintz | Writer / Illustrator / Photographer

I think success is best defined as progress. There’s a popular notion that success is the moment you’ve “made it,” whether that’s landed a big gig, an award, a raise, etc. But I believe success is fluid, non-linear, and shouldn’t be restricted to a singular moment or accomplishment. Any time I’m able to take pause, and appreciate how far I’ve come, whether that’s in my career, my creative pursuits, my relationships, or my self-improvement, is a moment where I’m celebrating my successes thus far. Read more>>