{Business Journal} Success in a World Focused on The Future

winter couple and puppy copper mountain colorado


Success in a World Focused on the Future

I quit my salaried-with-benefits, 9-5, comfortable + secure job the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated. Needless to say, there was no absence of insecurity swimming about in my head (read: furious waves tossing and swirling within!). Job security? Eh. Economy outlook? Couldn't tell... Health insurance options for me? Who knows...? Can I make it on my own? Sure! I think so. I mean, I have to, right?

emily with keeping composure photography

There was no turning back, no "just kidding!" excuse. The first few weeks were really just a string of days spent putting one foot in front of the other, going through the motions. Some days I still give in to worry and my confidence dips. And yet, even with all of the unknowns still to come, I'm confident in this new chapter. 

Suc·cess: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Success. The word oozes of struggle, of ever-fleeting-attempts and, ironically enough, of failure. It's an idea that we throw around on the daily. "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Or, "what do you want to do for a living?" Or, "How can you improve what you are doing?" For years I reached for it, ran towards it -- yearned for the time I would sit back and say, "Ah. THIS is Success."


Side Note: I just finished the two books, The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet, and OMG I am so in love with all they stand for! Taoism explained + related to today's world, and how to live your best self through simplicity... definitely worth a read if you get a chance :-)


At one point, Success to me meant graduating college with two degrees at once. That seemed pretty great, though I didn't have much of a set-in-stone plan beyond that. {And no, contrary to the assumption of many, achieving a BA in both Photography + Spanish did not mean I wanted to go take photos in Spain.}

My next versions of "success": move to the mountains + make it work. Find employment for the first few months, then stay employed for an entire season. Find another job the next season. Stay in the same relationship for over four years. Actually, no: part ways with that relationship. Work a second job: start my own business. Figure out how to make the seasonal, full-time gigs work. Better yet? Land a "big girl job" that's closer to how the rest of the world functions, a Monday-Friday 9-5. Health benefits? Yes. Woohoo! Made it!

Whew! I'm exhausted. That's what it came down to: I stretched myself so thin by following the path in front of me while simultaneously growing my business. To be fair, I believe I found a lot of success in that path, and wouldn't have changed it for anything. The real trouble: I lost track of what my real goals were.

Image courtesy of  Kayla Illies Photography

Image courtesy of Kayla Illies Photography


And I realize now: success is all how you view the present. Focusing on the greatness of Now, the amazing things you are currently doing and the people you are currently loving. And so I find myself saying today: THIS is Success:

Suc·cess {redefined}: contentment + happiness in the here + now.

The way I see my life unfolding day-to-day is success enough for me:

  • puppy walks late morning or mid-day
  • gym + workout classes at off-peak hours
  • morning coffee with the boyfriend when he goes in to work late
  • freedom to take care of myself first; alignment before action
  • meeting new people/networking at new events
  • working late nights when the motivation arises 
  • spending time brainstorming + collaborating with friends
  • skiing on powder mornings before working in the afternoon
  • giving back to the community
  • working efficiently, avoiding spending unnecessary hours at a desk after the work is done
  • travel on my terms
  • flexibility with schedules
  • quality time with people I love

What are some ways you find success in your day-to-day? What does success mean to you? Comment below or shoot me a note to keep this conversation going!