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Start Your Business Success Stories

16 Entrepreneurs Share Their Definitions of Success

16 Entrepreneurs Share Their Definitions of Success
Credit: garagestock/Shutterstock

Everyone has a different definition of success and way for measuring accomplishments. For entrepreneurs, success can mean anything from making money and building a loyal customer base to having more free time with loved ones.

Business News Daily asked 16 entrepreneurs about their personal definition of success.

1. "Success to me is to be able to spend your life in your own way. I no longer have a job – I have a lifestyle and am miraculously always working, but I've never been happier because I love what I do." – Lori Cheek, founder and CEO of Cheekd

2. "Success, for me, is when I'm able to do what I love and also break free from the daily grind of commutes, rigid schedules and asking permission to have free time. On a basic level, it comes down to creating independence and freedom for myself through my ideas and hard work." – Jonathan Bennett, co-founder of The Popular Man

3. "Success is listening to my inner knowing and being brave enough to follow it. This means spending time and effort on things that fuel me and help me feel a greater sense of purpose." – Katrina McGhee, founder of Katrina McGhee LLC

4. "I feel successful when I am working with clients – new or current – and whenever one of my individual ideas helps to expand my business." – Susan Padron, personal stylist and founder of Susan Padron Stylist

5. "Success is thinking of an idea and turning it into a profitable company. When you can build a company from nothing into a company that creates enough money to support your family, then you are a success." – Chris Gronkowski, owner of Everything Decorated and Ice Shaker

6. "Success is, for me, discovering my true passion and purpose after many years wondering if I'd ever do so. To use one's natural-born gifts in a meaningful way to help hurting people is a most enjoyable experience that I hope everyone can have at least once in their lives." – Mary Kaarto, author and founder of MaryKaarto.com

7. "Success to me is living by my core values, priorities and my purpose – and knowing I'm planting the seeds of a legacy that will flourish long after I'm gone. I've been able to build a career as an entrepreneur and inventor where I can attend events for my children, do what makes me thrive every day, and give back to the community in ways I never could before." – Mareya Ibrahim, founder and CEO of Grow Green Industries

8. "Success is being sound in mind, body and spirit. It's accumulating wealth, having an expansive network, and having the knowledge to build up others as well. Most importantly, being successful is having a work-life balance and making time for your family and friends." – Alicia White, founder and CEO of the Alicia White Organization and Project Petals.

9. "My definition of success is strategically executing an idea or goal. Ideas are cheap and abundant, especially when it comes to new business ventures. Execution is what counts most." – Charles Dugan, president and owner of American Image Displays

10. "I define success based on how happy our customers are. If they return to do repeat business with us, recommend our brand to someone in their personal network, or write a positive review of our company online, then I know we are doing something right. In my view, success is about meeting the needs of your customers." – Bob Ellis, owner of Bavarian Clockworks

11. "Success is not a measure of what's in your pocket or your driveway. Instead, it's a measure of your life fitness – that is, your emotional, physical, social, spiritual and financial health." – Kimberly Barnes, founder of ContentPark

12. "On a personal level, [success is] being happy with who I am, and liking myself. From a business perspective, it's developing corporate culture that has a long-term impact, that extends beyond itself." – Ethan Nyholm, co-founder STM Goods

13. "My definition of success is building a real company, fixing a real problem, with a mission all of my team believes in – one that is built on sustaining itself and making money to support the cause." – Andy Jackson, CEO and president of MuscleSound

14. "Success is being able to wake up daily, passionate and optimistic about the day ahead, knowing that what you do will positively impact others." – Anna Crowe, CEO of Crowe PR

15. "Success is not about selling, acquiring, accomplishing or getting rich. You are a success in every moment within which you enjoy the step you're at while at the same time staying motivated to go for more. The ability to love wanting while enjoying what you have and where you're at is my definition of the attainment of success." – Lynette Louise, founder of Brain & Body

16. "Success involves a combination of financial freedom, flexibility and hustle, all while continuing to learn to listen. The feeling of giving back to support your community while serving as a respected and thriving leader in your own business is the true definition of success." – Susan Stalte, nutrition consultant at SusanStalte.com

Saige Driver

Saige Driver graduated from Ball State University in 2015 with a degree in journalism. She started her career at a radio station in Indiana, and is currently a B2B staff writer at Business News Daily. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.