Recognise the season that you are in so that the goals you set fit into where you are in life. For example, if you have a newborn at home, this might not be the time to set the goal of running a marathon in six weeks. Let the season you are in guide what you can reasonably achieve.

Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Bunmi Oduah.

Bunmi Oduah is a relationship expert, author, teacher and speaker. She helps high-achieving Christian women who desire to get married to wait gracefully for their marriages and enjoy being single. Her Waiting Gracefully Program and Book equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to prepare and position themselves for their marriage, live purposefully and enjoy being single.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

Most certainly! The main experience that has shaped who I am today would be losing my father ten years ago. Up to that point, I was living a life based on what everyone else had told me was the ideal path to follow. I had bagged two degrees and was working as an environmental regulator for the UK government. By my Nigerian parents’ standards, I was a child to boast about back home in Lagos. Then my dad died from cancer and I wondered what life was all about. At his funeral, I saw so many people fill up the church and talk about the impact he had on their lives. By most people’s standards today, he wasn’t “successful” because he didn’t have the usual trappings of wealth. Yet hearing those stories about him made me question if I was living the kind of life that was making a difference for others. This had me yearning to live a life that was full and fulfilling for me, not what others thought was best for me. That was the turning point for me. I started focusing on my personal development and seeking out ways to help others. The steps I took from that point have shaped me into the woman I am today.

We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?

I used to believe that having many degrees, attaining a certain level of wealth or having your name in bright lights made you successful. It is why I went after my goal of bagging a postgraduate degree with gusto. I thought it would make me a success. Yet, over the years, that perception has changed. Since I had my epiphany about success from my dad’s death, I have come to realise that success is what you make of it. A woman who stays home to raise her children is no less a success than the man who wins a Pulitzer Prize. Your success should be tied to who you are and what you want out of life.

How has your definition of success changed?

As I have already intimated, I view success now on an individual level. As a business owner, for example, my definition of success is not in the metrics of numbers and income. Those metrics are important but I have a different set of metrics. My success is in the transformation my clients and students experience. As a wife and mother, my success is in the love and moments my husband and children experience through me. There is nothing wrong with having collective success as a society, company or even family. But for me, success is now an individual thing first before it is a collective one.

The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?

I agree that the pandemic was a time of collective self-reflection. Even as society returns to some level of normalcy, we must not set aside that posture of self-reflection. It is in those quiet, reflective moments that we get to quieten the noise of the world and hear ourselves. In hearing ourselves, we can hear and feel the resistance we may not even know we are carrying. That resistance might be not wanting to continue down a certain career path anymore. Or it could be that staying in a particular relationship is not aligned with who we now are. By taking that posture, we can then realise that we now want a different set of life goals and that is okay. Remember, success should no longer be about striving for goals based on other people’s paths in life. Instead, it should be about taking intentional steps in alignment with who you are and want to be. That is what will make us access success in our post-pandemic world.

What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.

One of the unexpected positives that came out of the pandemic was the opportunity to redefine ourselves. With nowhere to go and no one to impress, we had to confront who we were and what was important to us. This was something that I had to do being at home with my husband and 2 years old daughter with another baby on the way. It was at that point that I honed in on the types of clients I wanted to serve. I also defined the way I wanted people to experience me and how much time I wanted to give my family. Another unexpected positive was people realising that they wanted more intentional relationships. People started taking time to get to know people before committing to a relationship.

We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”

  1. Increase your self-awareness. This will involve spending time asking yourself questions like “Who am I?” “What do I want out of life” and “What do I want to achieve by a certain date or age?”
  2. Recognise the season that you are in so that the goals you set fit into where you are in life. For example, if you have a newborn at home, this might not be the time to set the goal of running a marathon in six weeks. Let the season you are in guide what you can reasonably achieve.
  3. Set goals, not only in alignment with your current season but in alignment with who you are and what you want. Rather than look at what others are doing and try to copy them, choose life goals that are true to you as a person. For example, your friend wants to get a job at the World Bank and even though you have similar credentials, you want to work for a charity. That’s okay. Go for it.
  4. Grow relationships that support you to be the best version of yourself. This might involve getting a mentor or joining a community that supports your goals. You might also need to ask your best friend or business bestie to help you stay accountable to the goals you have set.
  5. Check in with yourself regularly to ensure that you are on track. One way to do this is to set a date in your diary when you take an hour or two to review your progress. You can do this monthly, weekly, quarterly and yearly, depending on the depth of your review. That way, you are checking often to make sure that the success and goals you are chasing after are still true to you.

How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?

If we changed our definition of success, we would see fewer and fewer people who are mentally stressed. Fewer people would be financially challenged or relationally bankrupt. When we start living life based on our metrics, we are less likely to end up in debt, for example, trying to keep up with our neighbours. We would experience more peace and joy in our day-to-day lives, even if we don’t have what others have.

What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?

One of the biggest obstacles that stand in the way of success is the content we consume. What you feed on feeds your appetite and shapes your perceptions. To live an authentic, successful life, you must filter the content you consume. This is an intentional action, where you filter the people you follow online, the news you consume and the conversations you have. In doing this, you are creating an environment for success that is authentic to you.

Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?

As a Christian woman, my first inspirations come from the Bible and my relationship with God. I also look at people who are doing similar feats to what I desire to do. They provide me with hope and inspiration that my goals and dreams are achievable. I also read articles and listen to podcasts of thought leaders on certain topics.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to have a private lunch with Yvonne Orji. As a fellow woman of Nigerian descent, she has redefined success contrary to our Nigerian culture. Not only has she done that, but she is also staying true to the path she believes she is meant to be on. It would be great to hear the way she navigated the obstacles that stood in her way as she did so.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow me on my website at or on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.