am i successful?

tara has asked me to share my thoughts about success with you this week. i’ve spent a couple days thinking about what i would share here. i started by questioning whether or not i considered myself successful. the honest truth is that i’ve always thought of myself as successful. that might sound like i’m a little full of myself, but in all honesty, i think it has more to do with my definition of success. more than anything, to me, success = happiness.

marzipan_print2009_outlines

growing up, i always wanted to be a mother. i pictured myself being at home with my children, which is funny, because i always saw myself having a successful career as well. looking back, i’m not sure how i expected that to happen. i went to college, got a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and always assumed i’d work at a design firm cranking out logos, and advertising for clients. i did just that for several years. then, purely by accident, i discovered my true passion while designing my wedding invitations. shortly after, i started marzipan inc., my own company focusing on everyday stationery. i worked every night and every weekend for the first 2 years or so to get my little company up and running while working my full-time design gig during the day. then, in january of 2004, i took my business on full-time. in 2008 i added our custom division, fin+roe. as they say, the rest is history. i was happy. happiness = success.

fin+roe

while my company may not always bring in the salary i would be making at a design firm, i can honestly say i’m much happier, and in my mind, more successful. sure, i work 80 hours a week for less pay. sure, it’s stressful being the boss and being responsible for running a company, managing employees, payroll, revenues, and more, but it’s mine, all mine. i’d rather work 80 hours a week for less money than work 40 hours a week for someone else. work, for me, is fun. (well, most of the time, at least when i’m not doing accounting!) i honestly LOVE what i do. i design what i like, when i like. i don’t have clients changing my designs to something that, in the end, is unrecognizable. i am happy i get to do what i love. happiness = success.

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my company has also allowed me the opportunity to be with my children and watch them grow. that dream i had growing up somehow managed to happen! i have, what i think is, a successful career and i get to be with my family. of course, it has its challenges at time. trying to find time to work and raise a family isn’t always easy. i get to see them grow, raise them with the values we think are important, and listen to the hilarious things they come up with on a daily basis. i’m happy i get to be with my children. happiness = success.

how about you? are you successful? how do you define success in our life? share with us here. we’d love to hear your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “am i successful?

  1. This is a WONDERFUL post! I’m in my last couple of days working full time, because as of Monday I will be working for myself. It’s scary – but I can’t imagine not giving it a try. Thanks for the great definition. I’ve asked myself a million times what defines success and this is the best I’ve ever seen!

  2. It’s nice to see that you have accomplished one of your earliest goals. Thanks for giving us a real look inside what self-employment is about. Depending on the day and how I feel, i measure my own success differently. But I certainly agree that happiness is greatest barometer for success. Keep up the great work!

  3. Well said Lori! Our stories are very similar. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to design and be a mom and do it all in the comfort of my pj’s!

  4. Great post! As you know I’ve always been a little jealous of you – it’s been so clear to me that you ARE happy and comfortable with what you’ve built for yourself!
    I remember when I was teaching a a local Art College a couple years ago, I was having a discussion with some students about life AFTER Art School. And someone asked me What I’d wanted to do when I was a student – what were my definitions of success? And I sat there stunned when I realized I was doing it! It’s good to step back and take stock once in awhile – and remember that where you are is a good place you’ve been striving to get to! Otherwise I’m always looking 10 steps ahead and not enjoying what I’ve already got.

  5. Great post Lori!
    When I was in my 20’s I knew a few women in their 40s that I was in awe of – they seemed smart and successful and happy. I remember thinking that I wanted to be just like them. These days I go about my daily world still thinking like the 20 year old I was then but occasionally I ‘zoom out’ and observe my life with a wider angle lens and realize that, lo and behold, I have become one of those women that I admired 20 years ago. It’s not something that I think about too much though – I’m so superstitious, I might jinx something!

  6. Lori, I just read this and loved it. Of course I think you’re super talented and successful, so it was nice to see how you see and define your success. Thanks for inspiring me to think about how I define success!

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