The Definition of Success

Article

Article
Posted by:
Andrew Birkett
Date Published:
Aug 13, 2019

What makes someone successful?

The definition of success is different to each individual; what makes someone successful is ultimately a reflection of what they believe success is. However, even still society has its definition of success and utilize this definition to judge others. In 1806, the definition of success in the Webster dictionary was to be fortunate, happy, kind and prosperous. In 2019, the definition of success in the Webster dictionary is the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. The modern definition favors the wealthy and feeds upon the notion that the wealthy are superior. As someone who works in creative industries I decided to pose the questions: “What do you think makes a board game publisher “successful” in your eyes?” and “What makes a comic book creator “successful” in your eyes?” to see if creatives viewed success differently.

Though financial success was absolutely commonly mentioned the creatives that answered my question often sighted having their work well regarded by fans, creating excellent products and creating products that make them happy and proud. Even when money was mentioned it was usually within the context of being able to focus exclusively on their passion. I believe this sentiment is likely reflected in a majority of creative industries, which see financial goals as a means to create the products that will create joy for themselves and the other stakeholders of their companies, most importantly, their fans.

Society at large has a lot to learn about the definition of success and can learn it from those in creative industries. Though my questions were focused on the business side of things it’s also important to reflect that  there are people behind every business. Even though legally businesses can be regarded as their own entity a business is nothing without people. And people are multifaceted. The business a person owns/works for is only part of their identity. My favorite response to my question was “When their family and friends love and cherish the time they have with them.”

The famous board game designer and owner of Stonemaier Games, Jamey Stegmaier, recently posted an article about how when he started the company he gave up dating and has now found that he is able to accomplish as much in less time with his happy relationship with his girlfriend, Megan. Jamey’s story made me reflect on when I started dating my girlfriend nearly four years ago and how scared I was about how much my business would be affected, without realizing how much joy she’d bring to my life. I’m happier because of her and my business has only grown since when we started dating.

My definition of success has changed and I reckon the definition of success in society ought to change back to its former glory, too. Success is about more than acquiring wealth; success is about being happy in one’s own skin and creating a positive impact upon others. So let us change how we view success and ultimately how we judge others.

What does success mean to you? What do you think makes someone successful?

The Definition of Success

Article

What makes someone successful?

The definition of success is different to each individual; what makes someone successful is ultimately a reflection of what they believe success is. However, even still society has its definition of success and utilize this definition to judge others. In 1806, the definition of success in the Webster dictionary was to be fortunate, happy, kind and prosperous. In 2019, the definition of success in the Webster dictionary is the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. The modern definition favors the wealthy and feeds upon the notion that the wealthy are superior. As someone who works in creative industries I decided to pose the questions: “What do you think makes a board game publisher “successful” in your eyes?” and “What makes a comic book creator “successful” in your eyes?” to see if creatives viewed success differently.

Though financial success was absolutely commonly mentioned the creatives that answered my question often sighted having their work well regarded by fans, creating excellent products and creating products that make them happy and proud. Even when money was mentioned it was usually within the context of being able to focus exclusively on their passion. I believe this sentiment is likely reflected in a majority of creative industries, which see financial goals as a means to create the products that will create joy for themselves and the other stakeholders of their companies, most importantly, their fans.

Society at large has a lot to learn about the definition of success and can learn it from those in creative industries. Though my questions were focused on the business side of things it’s also important to reflect that  there are people behind every business. Even though legally businesses can be regarded as their own entity a business is nothing without people. And people are multifaceted. The business a person owns/works for is only part of their identity. My favorite response to my question was “When their family and friends love and cherish the time they have with them.”

The famous board game designer and owner of Stonemaier Games, Jamey Stegmaier, recently posted an article about how when he started the company he gave up dating and has now found that he is able to accomplish as much in less time with his happy relationship with his girlfriend, Megan. Jamey’s story made me reflect on when I started dating my girlfriend nearly four years ago and how scared I was about how much my business would be affected, without realizing how much joy she’d bring to my life. I’m happier because of her and my business has only grown since when we started dating.

My definition of success has changed and I reckon the definition of success in society ought to change back to its former glory, too. Success is about more than acquiring wealth; success is about being happy in one’s own skin and creating a positive impact upon others. So let us change how we view success and ultimately how we judge others.

What does success mean to you? What do you think makes someone successful?