Success means a balance between work and personal life. Success to me now includes being proud of the child I am raising. It is not limited to business or equated only with finances, it is also parenting, relationships with family and friends, colleagues, being a responsible member of the community.
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 Samantha Myers.
Samantha Myers and Judy Famigletti are the duo behind Let’s Dress Up, a fairy tale themed play space for kids in the heart of New York City. Samantha left a lengthy career in Financial Services in 2018 to be an entrepreneur and join forces with Judy at Let’s Dress Up.
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?
My career in finance shaped so much of the adult I became. It both solidified things I already knew as well as taught me completely new lessons. The importance of work ethic, customer service, efficiency, multi-tasking, the importance of lists and follow through, how to assess people and situations (quickly), loyalty, having a thick skin, who trust and who not to. It all sounds overly dramatic when put like that, but it is truly where I came into my own and learned the lessons that I carry with me today.
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
That success only came from climbing the corporate ladder in a big, structured company.
That it was almost impossible to be a mom and have a career.
How has your definition of success changed?
In my opinion success is not a universal term. Yes, there are some basics that we can probably all agree on, but we get to define for ourselves what success means for us, our family, our stage of life and so forth.
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?
We need to remember that success is not one size fits all. What works for one industry or type of business or person doesn’t for someone else. So we need to have a wider view and respect for the many different shapes and sizes success can come in.
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
The pandemic knocked us all off our axis. The rug was literally pulled out from under us. No one felt it more than parents and small business owners. But there are positives in being forced off autopilot and out of our status quo. We had to reassess our priorities. On a personal level, the extra time with family, especially our school age daughter was amazing (most of the time). Business-wise, being forced to get more comfortable with technology was a huge one for us. And the outpouring of support for small businesses as a vital part of the community was so encouraging.
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. You can’t copy anyone else’s formula for success, you have to do it for yourself. You have to come up with your own definition and set your own goals, not simply borrow someone else’s.
2. There is no keeping up with the Joneses. You have no idea what the Joneses are up to or how they got there. There will always be someone bigger, more this or more that. Don’t get hung up on comparisons.
3. Put in the work. There is no way around hard work. Put in a level of effort you can be proud of, do your best and be honest.
4. Celebrate victories big and small. Don’t only wait for the huge achievements, celebrate the small ones along the way. If it is meaningful to you then it’s worth celebrating.
5. Success means a balance between work and personal life. Success to me now includes being proud of the child I am raising. It is not limited to business or equated only with finances, it is also parenting, relationships with family and friends, colleagues, being a responsible member of the community.
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
I think people would be less afraid try new ventures, get out of their comfort zones. And be more open to talking about their successes and their failures.
What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?
For me, the main thing is no matter what format success takes, you simply have to be willing to do the work. Anyone that works hard and sets and achieves goals has something to be proud of.
Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?
I look to a few high profile voices that resonate with me. But mostly I look to my community in the form of peers, mentors and leadership groups I am a part of. I tend to do better with concrete examples and real world conversations.
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.
Kevin O’Leary, how fun would it be to have lunch with Mr. Wonderful and pick his brain about being a shark and helping small businesses.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.