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.

Aimee Jensen | Confectionary Artist and Professional Chocolatier

Success is slaying your personal demons and moving ahead anyway, in spite of it all. Read more>>

Robin Hextrum | Painter & Professor

For me, success means that I find fulfillment in my work and that I enjoy a typical day. I found joy in making art ever since I was a small child. I decided to become an artist when I was in college. When I first told people I wanted to be an artist, many people looked at me as if I had said I wanted to be a unicorn. In other words, what an eccentric and impossible fantasy. I realized early on that I would not get external validation for my artistic pursuits. I had to listen to myself and seek out internal validation. I had to find my own definition of success that relied upon things I could control. I could never fully control what others thought about my work, or what shows or galleries I got into, but I could control how I approached my art and my life. I paid close attention to my mentors who seemed the most satisfied and most fulfilled with their lives. I realized that success was not in prestige or wealth, but rather in the quality of life that one gets to lead. Whenever I feel status anxiety or feelings of inadequacy. Read more>>

Leslie Stroud | World Traveler, Mother and Small Business Owner

The truth is, we only find success within ourselves. My husband and I have been small business owners since 2009 and now run, assist in and operate 5 small companies. We’ve seen our ups and downs. We’ve seen massive failure, to the point of nearly closing doors (digitally, in our case), and had many years of scraping by, month-by-month. We’ve also seen some big wins, especially in our 10th year and later as the reputation started to sell itself on what we deliver and who we are as people. One thing I do know: success isn’t about the bank account balance. While that is critical to pay the bills, it is NOT success. As we traveled around the world full-time with our five children, I found one thing to be consistent worldwide: life is about relationships. Happiness is found in relationships. No matter the country, no matter in income… we all find ourselves in the relationships we have with others. This doesn’t change when it comes to business. We’ve had times when being honest is tough. Read more>>