Redefining Success is relative and defined by you, not the world around you.

If your definition of success is defined as opening your eyes each day, that is redefined Success. If God has given you another opportunity to create, figure it out or work on the life you desire, you are successful. All we need is a chance, and each breath you take is a chance to love and be loved, the ultimate way to Redefine Success.

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 Shelly Shell Williams.

Shelly Shell Williams, a MediaPreneur affectionately yet authoritatively referred to as Philly’s Oprah. She climbed the corporate ladder from Intern to Executive Producer of Urban X-pressions, the longest-running video show in the Delaware Valley. She is a 3X Billboard Award-Winning Executive Producer. She is also a Speaker, Course Creator, Content/Newspaper Writer, and Social Media Strategist, HubSpot Certified in Advanced Social Media Strategies. Shelly Shell Williams specializes in helping her clients connect and grow their reach and sales by creating valuable content for social media and digital marketing channels.

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?

I failed! One of the most significant experiences was when I failed all but one course in college. After graduating with my associate’s degree from Jr. College, I continued my education at a prominent University. Going to this University was a whole new world, literally. Class sizes were large, nothing like the Jr. College; when I saw all the people, all I wanted to do was talk, hang out, and barely study.

Once the University semester was over, I received my grades; I was shocked. I’d never seen my name with F’s down the page before. Not sure why I was shocked when I received my grades; when I knew I wasn’t doing the work, I knew I wasn’t applying myself.

University schooling was different from school growing up; I didn’t have to study to pass my junior high and high school classes. I accepted a 2.5 GPA, which was just enough to graduate. I was crushed, but it was at that moment that I realized a few things. The first thing, I’m not ready for a big University, and the second thing, I had to choose a career that interested me, not my mom.

I re-enrolled in the Jr. College with an I will not fail attitude. I felt the shift inside; I was clear on the type of career I now wanted.

My first Associate’s Degree prepared me to be a secretary or administrative assistant. Once failing at the university level, I knew in my heart that being a secretary was not for me. My second time around, I concentrated on Business Administration. I began to develop my non-stop work ethic; I went over and above on most projects, I wanted A’s, and B’s this time, I was involved, interested, and motivated. I graduated with another associate’s degree with almost a 3.0 GPA. This experience shaped me into who I am today; I am relentless; I want and have a life filled with A’s, wins, awards, and strive to be best in what I do. Embracing my failures as a learning opportunity prepared me to be an entrepreneur who understands that we will fail. Still, if we lack persistence, the outcome will end in a crushing defeat.

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

Whoa, this hit me like a ton of bricks; one of the biggest misconceptions is relying on celebrity interviews or connections to be successful. I used to believe that the more celebrities I interviewed or people saw me with the stars, I was successful. In reality, it made me popular, not successful, which is a big difference. I also used to believe that the more projects I worked on, the more I would be successful, which is the biggest myth.

How has your definition of success changed?

I recently spoke on a panel at a Music and Film Festival in Philadelphia, and one of the audience attendees asked; how we define success? My answer was to have the Freedom to yield income while working in my passion, fulfilling my purpose, and using my gifts to make a difference in the world. Shifting my focus to Freedom is how I’ve redefined my success since covid. Before covid, my life was a rat race, moving from project to project without stopping to focus on my long-term goals. I didn’t think of Freedom as a success prior to the quarantine, but it most certainly became my priority. Creating products that yield passive income became a top priority. Making money is necessary to live but being financially successful without living the life I desire is not my definition of success.

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’ve seen people who were once struggling prior to covid living financially successful now. One of the biggest things that helped many people was the extra unemployment per week, and it gave people a lump sum of money they hadn’t had before.

For some, it provided them the capital they needed to invest in setting up a business or paying off debts. What we need to access success post-pandemic is to continue to provide a way for people to apply for a grant or financial assistance to start a business.

We saw that the government could implement systems to help homeowners and renters. We saw a need for affordable housing, livable wages, giving all people access to affordable education or business knowledge; all of this must continue.

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

The day the quarantine was put in place, I felt relief like never before. I kept it to myself for fear that people would think I was insane, but the truth is, I needed to stop. Of course, I didn’t want the dreaded covid, nor did I want people to die, but I truly needed to pivot.

For the first time in a long time, I had the time to take online courses, which led to an increase in income and the knowledge necessary to help others. I now have online courses, a membership website, part of a mastermind group, and coaching.

I did things that I never thought I would have done. I did 30 interviews in 30 days straight via zoom. I was able to connect with people all around the world. Online streaming opened many doors; I spoke on major platforms, interviewed celebrities, hosted virtual parties, talk shows, and so much more.

One of the biggest unexpected positives was getting closer to my family; it helped us build stronger bonds and depend on each other. I was also able to virtually visit several new online churches, as many as I wanted to in one day.

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. Redefining Success is relative and defined by you, not the world around you.

If your definition of success is defined as opening your eyes each day, that is redefined Success. If God has given you another opportunity to create, figure it out or work on the life you desire, you are successful. All we need is a chance, and each breath you take is a chance to love and be loved, the ultimate way to Redefine Success.

2. Redefining Success is approaching each day with gratitude.

Gratitude makes leaders more effective and aids in creating a better work environment. Gratitude shifts your mind and helps you focus on everything that will go right in a day. I participated in a #67DayChallenge with Glenn Lundy. The challenge was to start each day by writing a gratitude list. I began looking at my daily tasks with enthusiasm; I began to think of all of the great qualities of my family and friends. When I woke up, I reviewed the list from the day before and noticed how many extraordinary things were in my life. I succeeded in completing 67 days of the challenge, and once it was over, I’ve continued the practice of approaching each day with gratitude. Gratitude helps you relax, relate and release your overwhelmed feelings by your daily tasks and replaces it with a sense of hope.

3. Redefining Success is being prepared to pivot when necessary.

The more I know, the more I grow! The best way to be prepared is to find situations where you can expand your horizons, whether reading a book or taking up a course. Preparation is key to the pivot; if you continue working on self-development, you won’t have to get prepared; you will already be prepared. When the quarantine hit, many business owners were trying to figure out technology and how to work it all. Self-development is a lifelong process. Most of us want to improve ourselves, and it can be a powerful and transformational mental tool, provided you have the inner motivation to follow it through. The most successful people in the world have self-improvement practices.

4. Redefining Success is seeking to be valuable, not successful.

Dr. Myles Monroe taught the importance of seeking value and watching Success follow you. I am a witness to this. When covid first began, I dove headfirst into self-development. I focused on honing my social media strategy skills and volunteering for two months with my new client, Kingdom Social Media. I first had to see my value to become a person of value, and now I am sought after for my social media strategies and content creation. The more you serve with value, the more people will pay you to do what you do.

5. Redefining Success means Freedom to love what you do and generate income while doing it.

Haha, I laugh because, from the outside, people think being a business owner means you have some unspoken freedom to goof off and not work. It’s quite the opposite; the Freedom you get is living in your purpose and knowing you are doing what you are called to do. Not everyone has found their calling; not everyone can do the things they love; that’s why it’s Freedom. Knowing what God has called you to do is redefining success.

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

I remember watching beauty pageants, and the ongoing answer to what the contestants wanted most was world peace. It might have seemed cliché growing up, but the truth is, our lives would change if we didn’t live with the keeping up with the Joneses mindset. All the money doesn’t bring peace; if we change our definition of success to peace, the world would be a happier place.

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

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of our redefining success is belief.

We have to change our mindset to believe that success is how we individually define it and that if we believe that we are successful, then so will the world.

In every course I’ve taken since the pandemic began, each one began with affirmations to shift our mindset. You’d be surprised at how many people lack the belief mindset. Make daily affirmations a part of your morning routine. Wake up and declare I am capable, equipped, and intelligent enough to create the success I desire.

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

I’ve never had to look for information on redefining success, and I just had to understand my definition of success. I am inspired by The Bible and God’s word when it comes to inspiration.

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.

Sarah Jakes Roberts and Devon Franklin, I couldn’t pick just one, I wrote a list, but I will begin with these two. I read their books, Women Evolved and Produced by Faith; these two humans are my spirit humans; they speak directly to me when they deliver the word. Both of their careers align with my path; with Sarah Jakes Roberts, I would love to talk to her about overcoming insecurities, relationships, and preaching with Devon, film production, God, and career. Even as I write this, I believe that I will have this opportunity.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I would love to hear your feedback and connect with you all via email by texting the word MIX to 42828, or on Instagram. or Facebook

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