From the outside looking in, it always seems that success has happened overnight for Entrepreneurs. One minute they thought of an idea that has never been done before and then bam… they’re a multi millionaire. The End and they all lived happily ever after!

But anyone who has worked longer than 5 minutes in business knows this is not the case. Even if they say it is.

Dreaming, planning, execution, failure, re-execution – it all takes time, energy and will-power.

But what is defined as “success”?

Is success purely the 6+ figure salary we all dream of, or is it more than that?

We asked this question to our 11 savvy women in business to see what they define as success and have they reached that pivotal factor for success in business?

I must say, I absolutely loved this question and the answers I received. I loved how everyone’s success was so individually defined to their needs.

Let’s take a leaf from Mum, Rachel McLean’s book. Rachel is an inspiration to Mums doing it tough raising their kids as a single parent. Being a single Mum to her 2 year old daughter, Rachel is juggling not one, but 2 businesses, McLean Social Media and The Single Mumpreneur! Crazy you might say. Not Rachel, she knows exactly why she is doing it and not even the lure of a massive dangling carrot could sway her.

“In the first few years, I would link success with the amount of money in my bank account – now I know that is so not true! I’m on a mission to build a business that yes, provides me with financial freedom, but also lets me spend time every day with my daughter, lets me choose my hours, choose my clients – basically have flexibility in any way I choose. Last year I was offered a job as a social media consultant with a salary of $95k – and as a single mum, that was mighty tempting! But I turned it down. I don’t want to spend my life working in an office, fighting peak hour traffic, building someone else’s dream. I think if you’re already out there, spending time each day to build your dream into a financially viable business that can fund the lifestyle you want, then that’s success – whether you’ve reached that milestone yet or not.” Rachel McLean.

Building the life you want and enabling your business to give you that freedom and profit seems a common theme amongst the women in business we spoke with.

Nicole Brady of VA Australia also mirrors the lifestyle as her success point. “Once I threw in the Sydney job, moved several hours up the coast to a beachside paradise and created a better lifestyle things just changed for the better. I wake up every morning and go to work in my home office running a business that I love. I have a great work/life balance and spend lots of time with my children. I have a supportive partner who loves what I do. I have a terrific support network for my business. I’m not sure what I’d call my “success point” but doing this every day must come pretty close!”

So, how do you build the path to success?

Lanna Hill of One Small Step Business Coaching has given us an insight into her success point and how she is working to achieve her goals. “For me, having really clear goals and being strategic about my activities is what has made the difference for me – I come from a strategic sales background and so I understand (and am comfortable with!) the ‘hustle’ that comes along with generating business momentum. Being realistic is critical, but so is pushing your own boundaries and stepping outside of your comfort zone.”

It turns out success in business is what you make it. What you want to it be and what you define as success to yourself. It may be the salary, it may be the fame or it may just be the ability to be around your family and living the stress free lifestyle you always dreamt.

I will leave you with a comment from Sara Keli that resonated with me. “(The) Key to success is setting goals and believing in yourself. Knowing why you are in business so you can be laser focused in what you do, and importantly what you should be saying no to! I think success is always a work in progress because I am always setting new goals for myself but it is always something you have to work at maintaining also. It can be ripped out from under you in a second! The online world changes so rapidly. Success comes from hard work and following what is happening in your industry so you can adapt to what is required.”

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