How do you view success?

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Last week was a long ass week preparing for the annual Fairport Canal Days weekend. A two-day event where people roam the closed off Main Street, snapping up handmade jewelry, free water bottles  and pens from the local banks, not to mention the food, food, food being sold at every turn of the head.

It is also the one weekend where every local business gets a major boost in revenue, my place included, as I get people from all over the greater Rochester area poking in and walking away with a few sweets.

Anyway, I guess you can consider the weekend a success. Saturday, the stock was almost wiped out and on Sunday, there were remnants of crumbs left behind on every display plate on the counter. Everything was gone. Success! Right?

Now, how about personal success? It is a peculiar little bugger. Before graduating high school, a few friends and I were chatting during our final moment s in the building. We all pondered the thought, “Will we be successful?”

Specifically, by what means? Following that straight and narrow path of college/career/marriage/kids? Would we follow that plan or veer off completely?

It seems that the archetype of success—or the successful female—exudes power and professionalism in a tailored skirt and blazer combo. She carries a leather bag and her heavy-thudded steps screech to others nearby that she is in charge. Inside that leather bag is a golden business card holder with delicately embossed letterpress cards. Magenta lipstick stains the top lid of her Starbucks cup.

So there’s the look, but her playground? The place where power and professionalism make the mark? It is inside a massive office that looks out to a city.

I’ve always viewed success as the outside shell of what people look like. Clothing, transportation and nice dwellings make the man or woman, right? I may be wrong, but that has always been my view of things.

Now, I’ve never had the opportunity to work inside a gorgeous office with a city view. I own one suit, two pieces of an Isaac Mizrahi for Target set that I snagged on clearance. I can’t pull off pumps without stumbling around, so I plan to trek through wear black New Balance sneakers and a ratty messenger bag for the rest of my life. Maybe on a rainy day you can hear my walk with purpose as I squeak by (you know, sneakers), soaked because I always tend to forget an umbrella.

So after I left my job—giving up insurance and a salary, I began to fine-tune and figure out what success really was. Thrusting yourself into the world of entrepreneurs is a scary world to be a part of when you’re trying to redefine success.

So, I’ve spent a great deal of time now working for myself and I’ve figured out a new attitude about success.

Basically, success turns you into a person you want to celebrate and befriend.

So as for today, I was up early on my day off. When I say “day off” it means it is a closed day at the shop. I still work at home getting some writing done. So today in particular, after I woke up I had my coffee and cat snuggles. Threw in a load of laundry and plopped onto my very large beanbag that I essentially call my “office.” This is my time to get any emails out and a few articles and blog posts written. The days I open the shop are spent baking and tending to customers and orders.

So I get up every day, and no matter what I end up doing—either writing or baking, I am not living for other people. I am creating each day for myself. See that stereotype I came up with earlier? That is not the one, correct success package. If you feel comfortable with what you do and carry out your own responsibilities without the worry of what others will think—that’s pretty successful.

How do you define success?

Photo from Death to Stock Photos on Instagram

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