Success, such a small word that holds so much weight, looks different to each person and can so often feel completely unattainable.
If you're anything like me you probably criticize your life decisions and absorb others opinions to decide if you have indeed succeeded in life or not, but in truth, everyone else's opinion is null and void. The only person who's opinion should matter to you, is your own.
While I was running my business some of the biggest naysayers or "haters" were those closest to me.
"Oh Lex, why don't you go get a real job, and make some real money".
"She's such a bludger, she's just doing it to get out of a working for a living".
"It'll never go anywhere, why can't she get her head out of the clouds".
And yet here I am, now with said real job, now making decent money, with a new car and financial stability and I've never felt less successful in my life. To me, being successful is more than having spare money in my bank to blow on disposable crap I don't actually need. To me, success is a feeling you get when you give your all to something you're passionate about. Success is going to bed exhausted because you worked your heart and soul into something you genuinely believe in. Success is being able to say "I did this" and knowing what you've done is more than just gone to work and made money for someone else, but this is just my definition of success, as I said, it looks different to everyone.
This is by no means an attack on my job, in fact I love my job, but it just doesn't fill me the way my old business did.
When we open the doors in the morning, I'm ready for the day, but I don't feel the rush as I once did when I stepped on stage to open a show.
When my first customer walks in, I don't get the chills I used to get when I'd see someone point and smile in the crowd to one of my pieces.
When all hell is breaking loose on the sales floor it doesn't pump me full of adrenaline the way the frenzy of back stage used to, and when I sell a piece of clothing on the sales floor, it doesn't overwhelm me with joy like it did when I sold a piece of my own label.
I have no regrets about taking time away from my label, but I do regret not blocking out the negativity of others while I was working on the label. I achieved so much off my own back and shrugging off all I did as a failure is an insult to the countless hours, heart, soul, tears and love I put into it. It's irrelevant what others said about me because I was in love with my life, hard as it was, I lived and breathed my passion and that was and always will be a success.
We all need to learn to block out those who criticize without constructive feedback, those who poo poo creative ideas without seeking innovation, and those who judge you without getting to know you. Listening to those people breeds failure. But your success can be built from failures, those times that someone tells you; you're a dreamer, you're crazy, you're clueless, learn from those people and prove them wrong.
Just because your success looks different to theirs, doesn't mean it's not a success to you.