At our Toronto meeting this week we heard from Rosanna who was sharing her story of how her definition of success changed and as a result she made deliberate changes in her life so that she was now living her version of success.

She started by describing how society measures success by the money you make, or the size of your home or your car – all external and materialist measures. She’d found an article on the top ten books about how to achieve success, all written by men – like Richard Branson or Warren Buffet, which in itself says something.

As a lawyer by profession, she found herself very much got caught up in making the grade, putting in the required 80 hour a week, working towards becoming partner. But after she had her children she realized that this goal was just not feasible, nor desirable, as she worked to find balance in her life.

Rather than continue on that path, she dropped society’s measure of success, and decided to aim for what made her happy and fulfilled. She revised her definition of success.

She’d chosen to go into family law, but was frustrated with how the family law courts did not serve families well. So she went back to school and gained her qualifications to become a mediator, a role she finds much more rewarding and allowed her more balance.

Our slogan at Company of Women is success on your own terms, and that is intentional. So often as women we live our lives to meet others’ expectations, rather than following our own. All too often we compare ourselves to what others have or achieve, instead of believing in our own internal gauge of what success means to us.

As we enter a new year, a new decade, perhaps it is time to take a closer look at how we define success, because when we are true to ourselves, are happy, healthy and fulfilled, then aren’t we successful?

What does success mean to you? Are you living your dream? What can you change to be true to who you want to be?

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.