Fleeting, elusive or maybe just for fifteen minutes, success feels and looks different to every entrepreneur. For some it is a feeling, others a milestone reached (or valuation metric achieved). It is often tied to external recognition and feeling appreciated. When I asked the founder and CEO of Date My Wardrobe, Amrita Aviyente about her feelings on success, she replied it is “when people recognize your sincere efforts towards a common cause or a goal”.
Here’s how five other entrepreneurs answered the question “what does success look like for you”?
Success is something very elusive for me because I notice my benchmarks and my own expectations of myself increase quietly with my accomplishments. That’s very tricky, because it implies the danger of becoming restless. I try to remind myself that in the end, success is to be happy. I know, however, that I do need to feel accomplished to be able to be happy. The process of building something that is of value to a lot of people is one key ingredient to my personal happiness sauce. Another key ingredient is spending quality time with the people I love, my family and my closest friends. Most of the time both ingredients are very difficult to balance. The day that I’m good enough at business to allow myself to generously allocate my time, I can proudly say that I’m successful. – Felicia Schneiderhan, Cofounder of 30SecondsToFly @Felicia_S_
Success for me means accepting the responsibility to create and sustain happiness and fulfillment for myself and others. True happiness, not the kind that was stolen from someone else, or the rush of validation from flattery, or the situational exhilaration that comes when everything is going my way. The ability to be grateful, optimistic, resilient, productive, and kind when things are not happening the way you intended is possibly the greatest tool you can have in your arsenal. – Alex Merrell, Founder & CEO of TREC, DJ @alex_merrell
A launched platform with 10,000 successful syndicates under our belt, the leading portfolio of African startups, the highest conversion rates of any investor tours to the continent, and sustainably rising GDP rates in our target African countries. – Maya Horgan Famodu, Founder of Ingressive @mayahorgan
As an entrepreneur, I know I can be hard on myself, which I’m sure is common. I ponder to myself “Maybe once we get a certain investment or a certain amount of revenue or followers, then we have reached success”. The truth is, there is no one point that can measure success. We each as individuals determine what success means to us. Success is a process and a journey on a continuum. There are milestones along the journey that are benchmarks toward success but one can always keep going. It is when you know you’ve created something with passion and persistence and continue to grow and learn along the way. Knowing that you never gave up. Making your passion come to life and seeing your creation make an impact on others in a meaningful way is success. – Rachel Kimelman, Co-Founder of LGBTQutie @lgbtqutie
Success for me means enjoying my life as I go. Not building up to enjoy my life 20 years from now. It means feeling stretched and challenged, having enough time for my friends, my family and my passions–and it also means enjoying the challenges along the way. Never Liked It Anyway has opened doors I never dreamed of–we’re working on a TV show, a book, two products of our own as well as building the core business. Each of these pillars are a whole new world for me–full of new stuff to sink my teeth in to. It’s like one giant video game and every level feels like a new adventure. That alone is success–and the kind of success I try to give weight to. – Annabel Acton, CEO & Founder of Never Liked It Anyway @neverlikedit
Stressing about your startup success? Read the guidance of five young entrepreneurs on how they handle day-to-day startup anxieties.