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Money, fame, achievement. Everyone craves success on some level.
And everyone’s definition of success is slightly different.
As a working mom, my definition of success includes separate achievements for work and home.
Both realms are demanding and it can sometimes feel like I’m treading water rather than making any real progress.
I certainly could decide to simply maintain status quo. It seems much easier to maintain rather than gain.
Maintaining is especially appearling when there are so many demands both at work and at home!
But this thought just doesn’t sit right with me. Something inside keeps pushing me toward bigger and better things.
After all, there are examples everywhere of successful women excelling both at home and at work.
What are their secrets to success?
And how can you achieve success in your own life?
The obvious answer is that it depends upon what you’re trying to achieve.
If you want to be a bestselling author, you have to write a book.
And if you want to be the CEO of your own company, you need to first start and grow said company.
If you’re looking for a more organized household, you have to figure out a realistic daily organizational schedule. And stick to it.
Although the steps required to achieve success vary depending upon the specific goal, success requires certain key attributes.
Successful women everywhere are proof that success is achieveable if these key attributes are central tenets in their lives.
You may be asking yourself exactly what these key attributes are.
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! Read on to find out.
Successful Women Work Hard
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”Estee Lauder
Rachel Hollis is one of my all-time favorite successful women. She is both motivational and inspirational but also delivers honesty.
Brutal honesty at times.
In one of her recent podcasts, she made a statement which has stuck with me ever since.
“Success is supposed to be hard.”
On some level, I already knew this. But to hear someone say it was oddly comforting.
Sometimes I get lulled into the assumption that if something is hard, I must be doing it wrong. As if ease somehow guarantees the correct path.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Accomplishing anything requires time and effort. Repeated over and over and over.
Early mornings. Late nights. Sacrifice.
Successful women are not born that way. Success is merely the pay-off for all the work they put in towards their goals.
Although wildly successful now, Rachel definitely didn’t start out that way.
Her book highlights her struggles with anxiety, self-confidence, and carving out her own career path.
A path paved by long hours of volunteering alongside her regular job to learn what she ultimately knew she needed to know to succeed on her own.
She is adament that success doesn’t randomly find you. Rather, you must put forth the effort to find it.
Successful Women Never Give Up
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”Harriet Beecher Stowe
And speaking of putting forth effort … successful women never give up! No matter what.
Success requires persistence.
The persistence of a woman with a spark of an idea for something bigger.
Despite seemingly insurmountable odds including divorce and raising a daughter on her own, the spark grows.
And she writes. She continues fanning the flames of inspiration despite struggling to make ends meet.
Five years after the spark of an idea initially comes to her, she finishes the manuscript.
And the manuscript is rejected by 12 different publishers before finally being accepted by one.
Her persistence pays off and she eventually becomes author of the best-selling book series in history.
J. K. Rowling achieved remarkable success, at least in part thanks to her unwillingness to give up.
Remember all that stuff about working hard? A big piece of working hard is refusing to give up.
We just never know what life will throw at us next. And we have no way of knowing what’s around the next corner.
Success is a funny thing in that it requires an incredible amount of undefined effort.
In other words, when we decide to take action toward a goal, we have no idea exactly how much effort it will require.
We have no idea which big push will result in major pay-off.
But giving up on your goals virtually guarantees failure. And failure of this type is completely non-productive.
Successful Women Fail Forward
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”J. K. Rowling
Successful women embrace failure as a tool for growth.
Failure is actually a more effective teacher than success because the lessons learned are infinitely more memorable.
If you choose to see failure in this light.
Unfortunately, our own egos tend to get in the way of learning from failure.
It can be all too easy to latch onto the negative emotion accompanying failure rather than sort through to find the value.
Ultimately the negativity can morph into bitterness over time.
You may have heard of fashion designer Vera Wang but did you know that she grew up figure skating competitively?
Vera skated in the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships with her sights on making the Olympic team.
Unfortunately, she didn’t make the team.
At that point, Vera had a choice. She could allow this failure to define her and overshadow every other good thing in her life.
Or she could learn from it and choose to move forward.
And move forward she did.
Vera ultimately chose to pursue fashion and became one of the top household names in the industry today.
I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about fashion. Zero. Zip. Zilch.
And even I recognize her name.
Would the same be true if she had made the Olympic figure skating team?
There’s no way to know for sure but what can be gained from this story is the fact that you can choose to learn and grow from failure.
Failure in life is inevitable.
Don’t ever let it define you!
Successful Women Have a Plan
“Plan your work for today and every day. Then work your plan.”Margaret Thatcher
Imagine getting into your car one day with the intention of going somewhere.
You have no idea where you want to go but have a vague sense there is somewhere you are supposed to be.
Your “to-do” list is a mile long but those things can certainly wait. After all, many of those tasks have actually been on your list for months now.
So you turn the key in the ignition and back out of the driveway.
What follows are 3 hours of aimless driving before you realize that the car is low on gas.
You pull into the gas station to fill up and suddenly realize where you were supposed to be.
At work giving a presentation.
Three hours ago.
Whether it’s a plan for the day, for your future, or for next week, successful women know the value of planning.
After all, how can you possibly know when you’ve achieved what you’re going after when you have no idea what you’re actually aiming for?
Planning gives you a sense of purpose and a road map to your destination.
You may also enjoy reading this post about time management for busy moms.
Successful Women Choose Gratitude
“Developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.”Amy Morin
Life is unpredictable.
You can put in all the back-aching, up-all-night, totally exhausting work towards your goals and still face setback after setback.
And despite the setbacks, you can make the choice to learn and grow rather than letting them overwhelm you.
Sometimes all the planning in the world can’t even prepare you for what’s coming next.
I mean, seriously.
If I told you a year ago that in March of 2020, the entire United States would essentially shut down to prevent the spread of a virus, would you have believed me?
I wouldn’t have believed it myself.
And yet … here we are.
Despite the craziness, you still have control over one thing.
You can still make the choice to wake up each morning seeing the rain either as a vital necessity or the horrible thing which cancels your parade.
Successful women actively seek out areas of their lives which are bright spots and express gratitude.
Taking this perspective shifts your focus off the negative of any given situation and instead allows a more productive thought process.
Learning to express gratitude rather than wallow in self-pity takes effort but is ultimately worth the work.
You may also enjoy reading this post about achieving a positive mindset.
It’s Your Turn
Although the definition of success varies from woman to woman, the secrets to achieving any type of success are similar.
Expect to work hard regardless of your goal. If success was easy, everyone would attain it.
Never ever give up! You just never know when you will break through the other side of whatever you’re trying to accomplish.
Learn from failure rather than letting it overwhelm you. Failure may be trying to point you down a completely different path than you have ever considered before.
Make a plan. Chances are, you’ll need to revise it on a regular basis. But it’s much easier to steer something that’s already in motion than to get it going in the first place.
And lastly, prioritize gratitude. There’s always something to be thankful for! Get in the habit of regularly looking for those bright spots in your life.
I hope you have come away from this post feeling a little more motivated and inspired to achieve success in your own life!
I’d love to hear your thoughts below!