At the start of a new year, people are craving a renewal of energy. Not the kind of ‘new energy’ that has moved into the White House or the ‘new energy’ that will serve as alternative fuel in our future. I mean a new feeling of success: taking control of your own life, creating the change you want to see, and owning your “person-hood”! Perhaps this hunger for positive reform was in response to unsettling presidential election results. Or maybe it emerged from the empowering lyrics inAnti, A Seat at the Table, and Lemonade. It certainly could have been the result of the victory at Standing Rock. Whatever the case may be, this ‘new energy’ has been floating in the air.
On New Years Day, I received texts from peers claiming this year would be better than the last. Some of my favorite poets shared their future goals for self-care on Instagram. My family reminded me of their gratitude for seeing another year and appreciating my presence in it. Even my horoscope had me sold that, in 2017, I would be on the brink of financial prosperity. Perhaps being in my early twenties, learning from recent mistakes and seeking understanding about the world around me, I feel ready to absorb and emanate new energy.
But as a young adult, I tend to question my own pathway to success. I am not swayed by ideas of instant success like gaining millions of followers on Twitter or a 6-figure job overnight. I know success will not be served to me hot-and-ready out of the oven. No. My success will be similar to my own mother’s: slow cookin’ on the back burner. This year, however, I am dedicated to building on my understanding of success and owning it!
Wait. What is success anyway?
Before I can even finish typing “success” into google, it spits out the definition, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Well, that’s vague. BINGO! Success is relative to you. Success could be as simple as tackling small goals or as complex as creating a business. It involves channeling that “new energy” to bring opportunities to your life. While some people associate success with financial gain, others see success as any step in a positive direction. Keeping all of these perspectives in mind, my goal for this year (and beyond) is to unveil what success, on a personal and public level, means to me.
What better place to start than asking a self-made woman about her own accomplishments? I reached out to New York native, Charell Star, creator of Not Just a Girl In a Dress blog. Though Star does admit to wearing a lot of dresses, she is not just defined by her style. She also is a tech expert, entrepreneur, style ambassador, and fashion/lifestyle blogger. If anyone could reveal the limitlessness of success, Charell Star would be your girl.
After asking, “What is the key thing that you would attribute to making your blog a success?” Star revealed:
“The key to my blogging success has been not worrying about what everyone else is doing. I follow other bloggers that I really enjoy and admire, but I don’t try to copy their style or model. Focusing on developing my own unique voice and engaging with my digital community has lead to my rapid site growth and many exciting opportunities. I write and produce videos on the things I love – tech, fashion, beauty, entrepreneurship, life – and my readers, viewers and social followers connect to that authenticity. When you love what you do – and focus on being your best at it – things fall into place.”
Nailed it. (Maybe this was the ‘new energy’ people were buzzing about.)
Authenticity is the first ingredient I am adding to my recipe for success thanks to Charell Star. It’s okay to respect and applaud another person’s success, but, as Star points out, copying another person’s model does not make you successful. Let your women crushes be your motivation to keep doing you! Your success comes from within. This is an especially important message during a time where young folks use social media platforms to gain knowledge of their surrounding world. While also used as a constructive tool to share and consume information, the internet is not a competition ground. Success cannot be based on anyone else’s standards but your own. Star’s response also captures the beauty in perseverance. She followed her heart and worked on refining her skills. She reminds us that, “things will fall into place,” as a result of passion combined with hard work.
Though this has just been a start to understanding my own success journey, I am already hopeful of what’s to come. Part of the journey is believing you’ll get there.
What will success look like for you from now on?