Get a job. Make some money. Prove yourself. Get promoted. Make a little more money. Work even harder. Move up higher. Even higher. Move up until there’s nowhere left to go. Make a smidge more money.
Is that it? Because that happened to me by the time I was 25 — and I sure as hell didn’t feel like I had obtained success. I was the Director of Strategy at an advertising agency, making good money, and there was literally nowhere else for me to go there.
So had I achieved success? And if I wanted more, what should I do? Leave and start that climb again in a bigger pond? Would that equal more success? Did success really equate to how many rungs on the ladder I had risen?
Instead, it felt like following a path worn down by so many that it had become a ditch too deep to step out of. This was the way to go — no questions — and if you stepped out of line, you risked toppling over.
It was then that I started thinking about what success really means. And not in the simple definition of the word, or our society’s definition of the term, but my own.
It was time to redefine my success.
Many of you mamas know the story from there: quitting my job 10 hours after I found out I was pregnant with baby #2; leaping into entrepreneurship with no plan; figuring it all out until I crafted a business that truly makes me proud (and makes me the money I deserve!).
The easiest words I ever wrote were in the MotherHustle Movement statement. The line “create your own success and find what fulfills you” almost wrote itself. Because I knew, from the moment this community was a spark of inspiration, that that was what it was all about.
In order to recognize the success in your story, you have to be fulfilled by the steps you took to get there. You have to feel the purpose, rather than just the outcomes or output.
So now, when I think about what success means to me, it has nothing to do with the definition I held in my nice office in my 9-5 grind, and it has everything to do with finding what fulfills me. And what fulfills me is constantly changing.
Today, fulfillment means:
Choosing the work I do, and the people I do it for and with.
Being respected, recognized and PAID for my expertise.
Having consistent work without the constant pressure to hustle.
Having the space and time to turn my business brain off and be present for my family.
Doing work when I’m inspired, not when I’m clocked in.
Enriching both my business brain and my creative passions.
Being part of a community of entrepreneurs that’s authentic in their support of one another.
Making enough money to enable my family to experience life in big ways, through travel and education and community and activities and FUN.
But as long as I’m chasing fulfillment and not steps, I know I’m doing something right.
So mamas, I want to know: what is YOUR definition of success? How are you “creating your own success and finding what fulfills you”?
She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle.
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