What is Success?

What is success? a heart to heart and some goals for 2017.The other night I sat in a coffee shop surrounded by other Colorado Springs creatives. I was nervous to go alone and meet new friends ( but it is one of my goals for 2017. Local Community) plus I already knew two of the girls who would be there so that helped give me the extra push. We got to know each other a bit and then started about email marketing and somehow also what our definition of success is. I stumbled over my words saying really nothing because that is such a hard question for me to process these days.

Success is exciting, something that I want to reach. But it is also kind of scary. What if I set a definition for success and I fail. I never get there. It also teeters so closely to the line of discontentment and comparison. Two of the things that can easily sneak their way into my heart and keep me from thriving – keep me from success.

As I sat down for my quiet times this morning, I wrote “what is success?” in my journal. I then started writing down all my thoughts (writing is so cathartic for me. I find what I am actually feeling through written vomit ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and what came out from that mess was growth.

Success is GROWTH. It is growing my blog to a place where I could pursue it and invest in it full time. It is each step I take toward my goals and dreams. It is learning new things and incorporating them into my business model. It is growth in my friendships, my family relationships, and my marriage. Success is sinking deeper into grace and letting my heart be transformed to His likeness.

Sometimes that growth – that success- can be measured by numbers, spreadsheets, and math. Other times it can be measured through interactions, engagement, email responses. And other times it is hard to measure anything physical – it is more of a state of mind and a state of heart.

Success is TODAY. It is everything and all the work that has got me here. There is nothing today that is less than. It is a gift and an opportunity. I’ve been given the freedom to blog full time, a platform to share on, an audience who engages, a shared office to work along side my husband, an etsy shopย (that people are buying things from!) time to spend with my niece and family, and a drive to continue growing. So much of that is the dream. It is hard work (of course) but it is also the dream.

But Success is also the FUTURE. Just because I can see the blessings and be content with today does not mean I have to be stagnant. Success is making goals, putting in the work, taking more steps forward. I’ve been so hesitant to vocalize goals this year because my business is so personal. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to disappoint myself. But as I was reflecting on success, spending time with Jesus and the Word, I felt a burden taken off my shoulders. That success could be now and the future. That goals achieved and failed are both different expressions of growth.

(Are you ready for a long post to get even longer? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

GOALS 2017

  1. Create a website that is organized and shows all that I have to offer in a clear and concise way.
  2. Finally release the e-course I’ve been too afraid to launch.
  3. Rock my mailing list. It is a mess and I don’t know what to do with it. I need a good kick in the pants to really set this thing up well. I just signed up for List Surge and I am really excited to dive in! Feel free to join me if you want to go through it together!!
  4. Partner with some shops and brick & mortars on wholesale orders to get our planters in stores!
  5. Refine and grow Shop Oak + Oats. Add another printer or two to our collection to meet demand.
  6. Find balance with work and life. Having your life be your work (and visa versa) is HARD sometimes. I want to stop working at normal times and do other things – like read, rest, be free to spend time with people.
  7. Work out! This one is insane to have on my list if you know me at all. But I really want to take care of my health and my body. I have this underlining definition of working out to just lose wight. Since I don’t care enough to lose weight, I never intentionally worked out. But I realize it isn’t just about being skinny – it is about health. I now have a Pure Barre membership and I really want to make sure to make time for it this year.
  8. Trust the Lord! How easily it is for me to turn to stress and anxiety. I worry about too many things – some out of my control and somethings in my control – but all thingsย not my burden to bear. I stress about finances, my future, my business, investments, people, my heart. This year I want to focus more on handing things over to the Lord. Trusting him to provide and equip. Owning your own business feels like PILES of responsibility onย top of everything else. The Lord brought me here and he will continue to guide me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5&6

What is success? a heart to heart and some goals for 2017.

Author: Elizabeth Mayberry

  • Mom

    Well said Elizabeth! You speak the same fears, goals and dreams of so many of us. Looking to Jesus really is the key. Love you!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks Mom! You are the best! and such an encouragement to me!!

  • I love this so much! I LOVE that you went home and really thought about the answers. I need to do that!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Ashlee! You are so sweet and I am so glad you are my friend! It has been so encouraging and inspiring for me to hang out with other creatives and just talk and learn and grow and share!

  • I think it’s important to keep your personal state in mind. Success for you isn’t going to be the same as success for Tideยฎ or Normstromeยฎ . So any small achievement should be looked at as success. You haven’t booked a wedding in months and you finally get an inquiry? That’s success baby! Don’t be to hard on yourself and take it in stride. Enjoy the journey and most importantly, always keep climbing.

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! You are so right and point out some really great truths! Thanks so much for the encouragement!!

  • Very true and enlightening, thank you for the reminder that growth is essential, to every aspect of life. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Oak & Oats

      Madison! Thank you!

  • I love this! I was working through my 2017 goal planner and one of the things was to list fears. My fear is not of failing, I realized, but of success. Not that I am afraid of it, but rather of all that entails getting to that point. However, that fear will fuel me, not hold me back! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and goals! (I love #8) I will be praying for you!

    • Oak & Oats

      You go girl!! and thanks so much for the encouragement and support! You rock!!

  • I was listening to a podcast a while ago on this same subject and the speaker ultimately defined success in two ways: a) if they were being filled and fulfilled by God, and b) if they were pouring out into and revealing His likeness to others. That really struck a cord deep in my heart, because really, what else matters? Thanks for reminding me of that and seeking to align your heart with His Truth. Your post is beautifully written!

    • Oak & Oats

      mmm. that really is SO good! Thanks so much for sharing that encouragement!

  • The blurry line between comparison/discontentment & success put exact words to why I often avoid the same question! Time to put words to my God-breathed dreams…even if it makes them a little too real ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Oak & Oats

      Oh totally! It is just a mess of emotion! But yes, put words to those dreams. You were made to believe in them!

  • Love your goals list, girl!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much girl!

  • Success is so hard to define, especially since it is different for everyone. Maybe never feeling successful is what gives us the drive to do more and create more. You’ve got a great list of goals!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much Kuleigh!

  • Girl, this is on point. I have been questioning the definition – or my definition – of success this past year as the sole owner of my boutique. Reading and journaling has given me some perspective, and overall processing, as I plan, progress, assess, reflect, and try to stay present each day. There’s a great book I’ve been reading called “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell – I highly recommend it for any creative. And keep at those goals! Numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 got me like, “YES, GIRL!”

    • Oak & Oats

      Linnea! Thanks so much for your comment! I’ll totally have to check out that book! I’m super into reading these days! And I am glad to hear it is something other people are processing too! It is a really odd concept when you really sit down to try to define it!

  • ok, so i love and resonate so much with this post.
    i found myself just shaking my head saying “yes girl, yes” through almost every sentence!
    and your 2017 goals – you can totally rock them!
    and total side note – i am SO PROUD of you for taking that healthy lifestyle by the horns and running with it! It’s so much more than loosing weight, like you said, it’s about being healthy!

  • Girl, I love your goals! Going to Tuesdays Together meetings (I’m almost 100% sure that’s what you’re talking about) can be scary at times, but I’ve met some of my best business besties and gotten some of my favorite opportunities through showing up at those every month. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Super cool goals! Praying you meet them all and push past all fear! – Katie


    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much Katie! You are so encouraging!