Meriam-Webster defines success as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame” and “the correct or desired result of an attempt.”
But how do you define success? Is it based upon how much money you make, social status and/or accomplishing a specific goal? Particularly, does an entrepreneur’s definition of success differ from those who work a “typical” 9 to 5?
Several entrepreneurs have been asked this question and the answers vary, but the majority of entrepreneurs define success as being able to create and pursue their passion with freedom. They will not lie and totally dismiss the part revenue may play in attaining success, but it is not the sole determinant. But why is that the case? While writing this article, I started to search for quotes on success from African – American women specifically. The results were next to nil, which is disappointing.
Is it possible for the Black woman’s definition of success to be much different from our counterparts of other races and genders? Yes, that is quite possible.
This is in part due to the many road blocks that stand in the way of “traditional” matriculation through corporate America, and also the many other socioeconomic factors that we deal with. My definition of success as an entrepreneur changes almost every month. When my clients make timely payments and the checks are coming in on a consistent basis, I feel a sense of success. Alternatively, when I am wondering if the bills will get paid timely, feelings of inadequacy attempt to creep up. Despite the fluidity of cash flow, or the lack thereof, being able to, at the end of the day, continue to work on MY terms is what keeps me going and provides the greatest feeling of success.
I am a successful entrepreneur because I have not given up. This, I found, is the stance all entrepreneurs have. The definition of success is trying/making an attempt. Specific ventures may not be as successful as one would like. They may have to get a full-time or part-time job while still pursuing their entrepreneurial goals. But, in the end, seeing their visions and creations come to fruition and putting their all into doing so seems to be the ultimate definition.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com . She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 10 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.