What Does Success Look Like? Revealed By 12 Highly Successful People

What does success look like?

Chances are, when you think about success, you have a few of the classic markers of success floating around your brain. Insert stock photo image of the boss working late into the night, or an image of an ecstatic but very relaxed luxury vacationer. You probably have some other more personal and perhaps more modern views of what success looks like kicking around in your head as well.

As work culture has rapidly evolved and the face of the typical entrepreneur or leader has broadened to include a greater number of individuals seeking freedom and control over their lives and livelihoods, many are left wondering, how do they do it?

Browse our list of highly successful people who are entrepreneurs, authors, creatives, speakers who walk the walk – they’ve brought success to their lives on their own terms and hopefully it will inspire you to redefine your own approach to designing your next phase of success!

1. Lauren Brody Smith

Author of The Fifth Trimester , Founder of The Fifth Trimester consulting

On Defining Success

Agency is how I measure my success. Simple as that.

Success is being able to chart your own course freely — either as an entrepreneur working a mishmash of hours so you can do all of the mom stuff too, or in a more traditional workplace, where you foreground challenges, ask for what you need, and improve culture for everyone around you in the process.

The Realization of Success

When I turned down Goldman Sachs. They wanted me to come lead a business development seminar for potential female clients…but wanted me to do it for free.

Believe me, I would have loved the credibility that comes with putting their logo on my website as a “client,” but there was no way I could stand in front of a room of entrepreneurial women and talk about things like the wage gap and the Motherhood Penalty and not get paid myself.

It was scary to say no in the moment, but by the next day, I realized I had turned a big corner in my business goals, both financially and morally.

From that point on, I had used this line:

“I save my reduced-fee and pro-bono work for non-profits and under-resourced community groups.”

It works!

Motivation for Success

My kids. It used to be that I wanted to do good work in the world and provide for my sons. That’s all still true, but the urgency of modeling motivation, grit, perseverance, and social justice has grown tremendously as they have gotten a bit older. They’re 7 and 10 now and I can already see…

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