In every part of our life, and so in business too, our personal level of satisfaction is strictly connected to how clear what we want to do and what we expect from our work is in our mind.

If our expectations are clear, we can make a realistic and honest assessment of whether our working life will allow us to achieve what is important for us.
In other words

everyone has the responsibility of establishing his/her personal definition of success.
It’s a daunting task: thinking about it in depth takes time. So here are some inspiring quotations to help you come up with a genuine definition, far from the stereotypes that the word success is usually associated with.

Many of these stereotypes, for example, can be heard in the world of managers or, more precisely, in that of "successful leaders", such as great captains of industry, so that we would be forgiven for thinking that only the rich and famous have the right to decide on their definition of success.

Personally, I believe that anyone who works, regardless of income, position and title, needs to reflect upon and define success, and then to feel proud and satisfied when he/she has found the right definition.
I was deeply inspired by what I read in a beautiful American book called  “In the Company of Women”, written by the designer Grace Bonney, who founded the website Design*Sponge. This books features interviews and portraits of 100 women across a diverse range of races, backgrounds, ages and industries, who offer us some empowering advices who could help us to define our idea of success. The women include young media talents, artisans, artists, writers, photographers, mothers, freelancers and entrepreneurs, all with a very clear vision of success, a vision they make fascinating reading, but here you will find a selection of the answers given by these women when asked: what is success for you? 

Inspiring thoughts to help you define your personal idea of success:

Danielle Colding (Interior Designer)
Success is quality of life, and for me, quality of life is having the freedom to make choices that are not fear based.
Tanya Aguiniga (Furniture Designer)
Success to me means being able to continue to do what I love.
Jodie Patterson (Enterpreneur)
We can be eternally working on the dream, and if we love what we’re doing and who we are, we feel accomplished. I rely on six touch points to make myself feel whole: kids, love, business, health, travel, spirituality. If I touch them all each day, in varying intensities, I am successful.
Thelma Golden (Museum Director)
I define success as being able to match one’s passion with a deep sense of purpose.
Cy Lauz (Lingerie Designer)
Success for me is the legacy you leave behind when you’re gone from this earth.
Lisa Hunt (Designer)
Success to me is the ability to work toward your dreams, while being appreciative of and present where you are.
Malene Barnett (Textile Designer)
Success occurs when preparation meets opportunities.
Mary Going (Fashion Designer)
Success in business is seeing how badly you can fail and still love yourself.
Desiree Akhavan (Writer)
The ability to support yourself through your work without compromising on vision or values.
Shizu Saldamando (Artist)
Success to me is being psychologically healthy, happy, and secure with who you are as a person regardless of income, position or title.
Thao Nguyen (Musician)
Making/performing music as my full time job, compromising only within my bounds of rational compromise, access to making things with people I admire, making enough money to not stress about money, recognizing how lucky I am to have freedom to pursue whatever I will, and showing and sharing that gratitude.
Shadi Petosky (Executive Producer)
Making an idea real is the only success that matters to me.
Amina Mucciolo (Designer)
Success for me means loving and accepting myself and using my creativity to have a positive effect on the world around me.
Martine Rose (Designer)
Success in my line of work is when I have been able to get the balance right between a fantastic idea and its commercial success.
Fay Andrada (Jewelry Designer)
Success has always been a moving target for me. I guess that is human nature. Sometimes, in a surprise respite, I can see how far I’ve come and force myself to feel successful for a minute. With more age and experience I hope those moments last longer and come more naturally.
Lizzo (Musician)
Look at the people around you, your family, collegues and friends. If they’re eating, safe and happy, then I believe you’re successful.
Wendy Maruyama (Sculptor)
I don’t believe that everything we make is successful, but to make the one successful piece that does come out, one has to make nine others to get to that point. I believe that being prolific is necessary to being professionally successful.
Dana Tanamachi (Graphic Designer)
To me, success means staying true to the vision and values I held before ever setting out to be successful. As long as my work continues to foster joy, celebration, community, generosity and simplicity, I’m on the road to success.
Ping Zhu (Illustrator)
Success is contextual and fleeting, so when things are harmonious, even for a moment, I try to savor it.
Abbi Jacobson (Writer)
I’m realizing that being successful is less about money and more about confidence. I feel most successful when I feel most powerful in who I am and what I want to create and put out into the world. In part of my line of work I also get to have an instant success barometer: laughter.
Joana Avillez (Illustrator)
Success is twofold: on the one hand there is the pleasure and triumph and freedom of being able to step back and on the other hand that you are progressing and getting closer and closer to that thing that really feels like you.
Dominique Browning (Activist)
I define success ad simply doing things I don’t think I am capable of doing.
Ana Serrano (Artist)
To me success means having the freedom to do whatever you want with your day.
Bethany Yellowtail (Fashion Designer)
I define success as seeing my dreams and goals come to fruition. I don’t see success as a linear rise to money or fame, but rather as a full circle that leads me back home with the things I set out to accomplish.
Ayumi Horie (Potter)
Success means being able to generate projects actively, rather than passively waiting fro things to fall into my lap.
Kristina Gill (Photographer)
Being able to provide and care for my family has been my measure of success.
Ashley C. Ford (Writer)
Success to me is always having options.
And to end these empowering and inspiring thoughts with a bang, here’s one by the famous American poet Maya Angelou:

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.'