success is a balanced composition


In writing my thoughts on success, I realized I don’t think or say the actual word “success” nearly enough. Try it. It’s kind of alarming at first, but you settle into it. Now start saying “(insert biz name here) is a success.” Repeat. Repeat. Do you believe it? Why or why not? That was a useful exercise in pinning myself down on this topic! If you had asked me 10 years ago, my big-eyed, idealist self would have said, “Success is doing what you love! It’s about the journey! I’ll know it when I get there!” However, in 2010, with my son 6 years from entering college, my definition of success is on the realist side of things – and it definitely involves money. These days, my definition of success is equal parts (1) adequate profit margin, (2) self-fulfillment, (3) being a good steward of the earth and (4) time left in the day to enjoy real life and real people. I know *now* that I wouldn’t want any of these without the others b/c, to me, the compromise wouldn’t be worth the sacrifice.


Throughout the past 10 years of creating for a living and experiencing tremendous personal growth, these 4 essential elements revealed themselves and became a guiding force for me. There were times when I had one or two, but not the others…and I’d feel very conflicted about my path. I’d experiment with other ideas, products or media, and the needs being met might flip-flop. I’d press-on and keep my mind and options open for new opportunities that might allow me to meet all 4. I learned a helluva lot along the way and oh-so-recently was able to find a way to bring them all together. This Spring, my organic fabric collection for wholesale – Geo Grand – will make its debut, and I could not be more excited! It’s sort of a culminating project of all that the past 10 years has brought. But it’s not the end…it’s just the beginning! Today, I can see my path with incredible clarity, and I finally feel resolved and fully invigorated about my work! A favorable outcome to be sure…and plenty to build upon!


Find out more about Jan, her success, and her passion for all things eco-friendly, textile, and indie at her website and blog!

5 thoughts on “success is a balanced composition

  1. Jan! What a wonderful mix of inspiration & pragmatic lessons your definition of success holds! I really enjoy seeing your journey all laid out like that, and sincerely hope that this year you meet ALL 4 of your goals at the same time!

  2. Wonderful post! It’s given me a lot to think about, and in an optimistic way instead of a scary I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing way. Now there’s a change!

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