The ever-changing versions of success

We are over the moon to showcase our guest author Emily, Founder, Business + Life Coach at Emily Button Creative. Emily supports women who feel stuck + helps them to be their own boss + create a purposeful life on their own terms. Let’s explore Emily’s ever-changing versions of success.

In my twenties, I thought I had my version of success pretty much nailed + was well on my way up the corporate career ladder. I wasn’t majorly driven by money [but appreciated what it allowed me in life] but more driven by what I could achieve if I set my mind to it [a lesson that first paid off at university where I left with a 1st class degree!] I soon started ticking off my goals – buying a house, getting engaged + then married, getting my Director position, + being the youngest compared to my peers by 10-15 years. But it never felt the way I imagined it to!

Through a turbulent Saturn’s return period in 2016 [for those of you heading towards your late twenties, I *implore* you to do some research on it even if you aren’t a huge astrology convert!] I embarked on a journey of self-discovery to make big changes in my life. Starting with working with a coach to help understand what is truly important to me + what I wanted to be doing from a career perspective.

I realised that I was no longer connected to the work I was doing in the corporate world. I didn’t want more money or more things – instead, I wanted to do work that I loved + was passionate about, as well as the ability to work flexibly around a potential family. This change in thinking did cause quite a bit of inner turmoil as I felt like I’d come to a crossroads + didn’t know which way to turn – I just knew the path I was on workwise wasn’t the right one for me.

Falling pregnant in late 2018 + thinking about work post-baby further cemented the need to radically change things up + I fully immersed myself in the practice of coaching + made the decision to become self-employed. Early 2020 then saw me resign from my corporate job + become my own boss!

Having a baby + becoming self-employed meant I had to redefine what success meant for me. Becoming a first-time mum meant my ambition hadn’t waned [I wrote a blog feature on my website about tips for new mothers to keep mentally stimulated] but rather my priorities have shifted. I worked all hours + hard in my twenties + for me right now, with a toddler and another baby due in October that is no longer something I want to be doing. Success for me now is not focused on the tangible markers, but rather on how I want to be *feeling*. I think as a society we place too much emphasis on achieving something to give us a certain feeling, whether that be happiness, pride, etc, as opposed to chasing the feeling itself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am proud of everything I have achieved + completely realise that what I built in my twenties has given me a solid foundation for where I am now + things would be much different if I didn’t have that.

Success has evolved for me now to look like striving for feeling content [my word for 2021]. It’s about doing work I am passionate about + supporting women to be the best they can be, it’s spending quality time with my son + family where I’m not worried about time, it’s looking after myself + resting when I need to + it’s about investing in my own development + happiness. 

I don’t know when the next evolution + adapting of what success means for me will happen, but I do know it will +  I am actually excited for what that looks like. So it is important for me to continually check in on it + to make changes + adaptions when things feel like they are no longer serving me.

You can find more about Emily here.

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