What is your definition of success? What advice would you give to your younger self about "success"?

Nikita Ladwa

Founder of The Naked Laundry

Just to simply be obsessed with what you do. Graduating with a Business and Economics degree, I was ready to enter the corporate world straight after university. My gut feeling has never let me down, and knowing I needed to enter the world of fashion and beauty was something I knew had to happen. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my degree; I have used this as a foundation in all the branches I am trying to reach. It means something which might feel right now, can even feel better by taking that huge risk. Be scared, be vulnerable but also be brave.

Shazia Mustafa

Founder of Third Door

Success is all relative. When I was younger, my definition of success was very different and more about working hard and getting up the career ladder to earn enough to buy that huge house of my dreams! My definition of success has definitely changed now though. Today it’s more in tune with impact and building a life that I am proud of; where I can spend time with people I love and respect and where I can be involved with work where I can make a difference.

I also think success is built up on a succession of small failures to be honest! That’s the great thing about running your own business, you can tweak your business as you go along learning from any mistakes alongside feedback from customers or your team. I guess what I would therefore say to my younger self is “don’t be afraid to try new things, mistakes are ok, and you can learn from them.”

Success, according to me, is learning new things. I learn about success by reading autobiographies of successful people like Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs. I also feel enriched by watching videos of motivational speakers like Gaur Gopal Das and Jay Shetty.

Tatjana Apukhtina

Co-Founder of TeaPro

Success is a tricky word. It's hard to grasp. It can cause joy or anxiety in equal measure. What we often end up doing is connecting it to goals and material things. We believe that we'll be successful when we get a promotion in our job, or buy our first house, or start a new business, or maybe even sell an existing business.

The problem with that thinking is that we'll never be satisfied. Our goals keep shifting and growing, so we end up chasing our own shadow.

What I've learned in the last few years is that SUCCESS is an ATTITUDE. It's expressing gratitude for what we have and being open for more. It's giving back - either by creating products and businesses that help people and bring them joy, or by contributing to our environment or society. It's being in love with what you do.

Laila Datoo

Founder of a.life.more.mindful

To me, Success is knowing what makes you happy and what motivates you and going after it. I think it's easy to fall into the mould of doing a certain degree or job and I am pleased I followed my heart and learnt French, lived in Paris and worked in event management as it informed my career and life choices and was definitely more 'me' that a city job!

Rani Malik

Co-Founder of Venue 5 and Social Dhaba

Today's world has changed, it is not just about a celebration for the change but it's just a reminder that there are still many changes to be made and more causes to fight for, trust your instinct and follow your heart.

Teresa Faley

Founder of Letterbox Brownies

I try not to measure success by how much money I'm making or how many products I'm selling, but instead by how much progress I'm making and how much passion I have for what I'm doing.

I would advise my younger self that if you want to be successful, keep the passion for your project alive, and always look for ways to keep improving - don't get complacent.

Sarah Asgaraly

Founder of Beyond Sarah

Success is reaching your goals whilst helping and inspiring other people. The advice I would give to myself is to always believe in your dreams and make it happen.

Fei Yao

Co-Founder of NewCampus

They say ‘the more you know, the more you don’t know’ and I feel this way about success. My younger self thought success was about about doing well within boundaries of what I knew – doing well in school, ticking all the boxes, applying for good programs. It took me a long time to figure out that there isn’t actually a rule book for jobs and the best ones out there were usually creative expressions of people who wanted to push themselves.

Praneeja Roy

Founder of Roy Events

For some businesses the meaning of success would be either monetary or making an impact. It is important, however as an event designer my definition of success is somewhat different, its not motivated by money but creativity. Being in the creative industry I believe success is executing and getting the opportunity where you can be the most creative and execute out of the box events! Success can also be measured by the emotions, the client feedback I get after having organised my clients happiest day. Advice I would give to my younger self would be that success is something you should always be striving towards, it has to be goal oriented and should not be compared to anyone else’s success as each business has its own journey.

Shabari Saha

Founder of the London Vegan Business Network

My definition of success is reaching a goal or achieving something that you have had to work hard to achieve.

When I was very young, I wanted to become an actress, model and even work for NASA. I never pursued any of those things. The advice I would give to my younger self is don’t let yourself get distracted, focus on one thing at a time, and just go for it. Even if you don’t succeed, at least you won’t regret not trying. It’s the things that we don’t do or don’t try that we end up regretting the most.

Tenesia Pascal

Founder of Earth To Earth Organics

Being happy and able to contribute to the world in a positive way.

I’d say to make sure that you’re happy, material things lose value, your purpose is to give back and make a differences.

Carly Thompsett

Founder of Anaphase Store

I think success is defined in different ways by different people at when I was younger, I thought success was having a drivers license or my own house for example but things change as you do. I have always wanted to have my own business, I used to create my own designs and have piles and piles of art books but didn’t know the next step – I wouldn’t change anything about my journey as it makes me who I am today and maybe I wouldn’t have had the same life experiences that I use as knowledge now.

Priya Shah

Founder of BAME in Property

Success is ‘giving back’. Let me share a story…

I remember at school my economics teacher said to my class move to excellence like a pine tree and enrich the world through your giving like a mango tree. When I was travelling through South Africa, the Deputy Principle of a primary school in Shallcross Township, Kwa-Zulu Natal invited me to their awards ceremony to give a speech about the importance of education and the huge role my parents played in this, I was delighted and humbled to accept.

Little did they know that it was a great honour for me to be talking about a topic that was so important to me. They felt empowered by my words but I felt so inspired to be in the company of such enthusiastic children, hungry to learn. I will always remember this day, the kindness of the staff and the excitement of the children – beautiful memories created in the most humble of places.

When I was younger I always thought success was being promoted to higher positions as quickly as possible, but actually everyone grows and develops at their own pace. Your career is a journey, not a race, and reminding myself to stop competing and start enjoying has been an important learning curve.

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