Freedom Hunters

What is Success for You?

At the time of writing this, series 1 of Freedom Hunters podcast is wrapping up. And I’ve been reflecting on the guests I’ve had the privilege of interviewing throughout the year. Freedom Hunters is a podcast in which I interview people who have changed careers in order to follow a dream. Each guest I’ve interviewed has had their own unique career path. Each of them has taken risks and made sacrifices in order to carve out and achieve their own definition of success.

In each episode of Freedom Hunters I asked each guest, “What is success for you?” I asked this question, because in my career as a lawyer I didn’t ask myself this question enough. And it was only when I answered it honestly did I realise that I needed to define a new ideal of success for myself. That was the start of my career change from lawyer to personal stylist and podcaster. And now that I’m finally in a career I love, success for me is to be able to continue do what I love every day. To be my own boss. And to be creative in what I do.

So here is what my series 1 Freedom Hunters shared with me when I asked them, “What is success for you?”

Chloe Robertsmusic industry executive and inventor (The Lap Baby)

“Success for me is happiness. For me that’s contentment of the mind… Having time to reflect about life, because life is going as such a quick pace.”

Celeste Wongbarista to multi-hyphen business woman (The Girl in the Cafe)

“To be really comfortable in my own skin. To not have an ego about anything, because then it doesn’t really matter what else comes your way… to be financially sufficient and to do something for the world is also something I’m searching for.”

Bola Marquis, IT manager to luxury fashion brand owner (Okun)

“I said at some point I wasn’t going to have a boss. That is success for me. From when I get up to when I go to bed, I decide what I do.”

Lucy Beard, lawyer to gin distiller (Hope on Hopkins)

“While being financially comfortable is important, I feel as though we’ve been successful when I see our bottles on people’s shelves. We just love what we’re doing, having the passion and the love for the business. Being an amazing place to work, where people are happy to be and happy to be associated with. That’s success.”

Emily Johnston, PR to lifestyle blogger (Fashion Foie Gras)

“Happiness. As long as I wake up smiling, I am successful. And the minute that doesn’t happen, it’s time for a change of course.”

Naomi Mdudu, fashion editor to business coach (The Lifestyle Edit)

“Feeling like I’m doing something every day that’s fulfilling and meaningful – meaning purpose for me but also making an impact externally.”

Sally Hepworth, HR manager to best selling author

“Continuing to do what I do. If I can continue to write forever – I have no plans to retire ever – then I’ll consider that a successful career.”

Tash Sefton, Fashion buyer and manager to entrepreneur and artist

“Success is the experiences I have with my children… I’ve had all the extravagant experiences… But success is when I can share it with my kids and my husband, and parent and my sisters.”

Olly Bengough, bar owner to media mogul (Love Box, Koko, Cinemoi)

“Being able to do what I do. As long as I’m free, that’s success for me.”

Poh Ling Yeow, artist to TV chef and restaurateur

“Being completely comfortable in my own skin, and being able to be still [is success]. I’m a workaholic and I still feel slightly unworthy which is why I charge at it so much. I just don’t have a lot of time to spend with friends and family. It’s about finding that balance and being contented with what I have.”

Kristina Karlsson, travel to founder of Kikki K

“For me success is to do what I love every day. And I certainly do that. Success for me is to get up every morning and be excited about what I’m about to do. And there are always aspects of every job, and every business and every career that you don’t like as much – I have those as well – but overall having the freedom to get up and do what [I] love is what success is for me.”

Andy Griffiths, media lawyer to Regional President of the International Justice Mission

“Success for me is now very much bound up in the success of the organisation I’m working for because I really believe in it. I’m really fortunate. I have family who I love and a tonne of mates who I love. I live in a city that I love, I adore London… So success for me over the next few years is how I really expand the work which the International Justice Mission is doing in Africa. How do we protect more people. How do we get governments to look after their vulnerable citizens. That will be success for me: how do I expand that work.”

Georgia Gwynne Gruber, travel to music to writing, film and TV production (Darklight Entertainment)

“I’ve never measured my success off what’s apparently “successful”. I’ve always measured it off “am I enjoying myself?” and “can I go to sleep at night knowing I’ve done the best I possibly can.” It’s happiness. I know a lot of very “successful” people in terms of their career credentials and in terms of being very wealthy. And I can tell everyone who’s listening that it is not what it’s cracked up to be. The happiest people I’ve met in my life are those that have relatively nothing.”