I have had many conversations about the definition of success over the last four years since I became a life coach. At the risk of making a sexist generalization, I truly believe that women, especially moms, define success differently from men.
My definition of success completely changed once I became a mother. Prior to that, I defined success like this:
- by working hard
- making a lot of money
- travelling constantly for business and pleasure
- being able to make purchases simply because I wanted them, when I wanted them
- having a nice car
- owning a nice house
- dating and then eventually marrying a super guy
- the completion/delivery of a big project
- being “needed” by my coworkers and clients
- receiving rewards, promotions and acknowledgement from my coworkers, bosses and clients that I was doing a fantastic job
Now that I’m a mom, that list looks a lot different. It took me a long time to realize that my old definition of success simply didn’t work when I applied it to my new role of mother (and later to my role as mom entrepreneur). I was frustrated, sad, angry and resentful because I no longer received constant praise and acknowledgement for “my work” (mothering my three children). My Mondays looked just like my Sundays, and there wasn’t any way for me to judge my “progress” as a mother, other than how far I’d managed to get through the mountain of dirty laundry. And I certainly didn’t make any money at this new “job” as a mom–in fact, I felt a huge loss of power when I no longer earned an income myself, something I had done consistently since I was 12 years old.
With the help of my husband and my life coach, I learned that the definition I was using to measure my success (and to feel satisfied with the life I was creating) fit me about as well as a size five shoe (I wear a 10). I learned how to redefine success on my own terms by starting with a clear understanding of my core values and priorities.
Here’s how I now define success for myself:
- I am healthy and take care of myself.
- I am a mother of three well-adjusted, confident, friendly and compassionate children (well, almost–the two-year-old is working on the compassionate part when she’s not stealing her brothers’ favorite toys and beating them over the head with them).
- I am a wife who is committed to her husband and a strong, satsifying marriage.
- I am loved and supported by my extended family and many dear friends.
- I do work that fuels my passion and totally satisfies my creativity, ambition, and natural talents.
- My work makes a difference in the lives of others.
- My clients inspire me.
- I recognize that I have choices, and that it’s up to me to make life happen the way I want it to.
I just interviewed Nicola Ries Taggart, The Executive Moms Coach and founder of True Insights Coaching on Tuesday as part of my WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series about the need for mom entrepreneurs to redefine success for themselves. We discussed this topic in detail. You can listen to the call by clicking here.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out this list by Michael Dunlop of incomediary.com.
Women more so than men I find do not measure success by money alone but by a lot of things such as happiness, love, friendships, family and the list goes on.Â So in recognition of the great numbers of female entrepreneurs out there and in particular those who are active online I have decided not to rank the 30 women listed below by wealth alone but simplyÂ as my list of the â€œ30 Top Female Internet Entrepreneursâ€.
30 Female Entrepreneurs Making Money Online
|Name||Company||Founded||Why She Matters|
|Amanda MarcotteÂ||Pandagon||26-Nov-01||Amanda runs one of the most talked about feminism and politics blogs. Marcotte shot to fame when John Edwards asked her to run the presedential blog.|
|Ariana HuffingtonÂ||Huffington Post||09-May-05||
Is perhaps one of the most successful female Internet entrepreneurs ever and is the founder of the top blog in the world according to Technorati!
|Ashley QuallsÂ||What Ever Life||2004||Attracting millions of monthly visitors earning the 18 year old 7 figures a year.|
Founder of Surfnetkids, the website attracts more than 600,000 visitors a month, her newsletter lists are over 80,000 strong, and her self-published e-books are sold on dozens of sites.
|Carrie WilkersonÂ||The Bare foot Executive||2007||
In 2 years Carrie has gone from in debt to 7 figure Internet entrepreneur with over 100,000 followers!
Caterina co-founded Flickr with Stewart Butterfield which was later acquired by Yahoo! for a high 8 figure deal.
Start 4 years ago when she was 15, MyYearBook has grown to 3 million members worldwide and rakes in annual sales in the seven figures!
|Cyan Taâ€™eedÂ||Eden Creative||2006||Taâ€™eed is the co-founder of Eden Creative Communities which attracts over 10 million visitors to their blog network every month earning her 7 figures a year.|
Elieen is the co-founder and CEO of Blurb, a print on demand publishing service. The companyâ€™s revenue grew from $1 million to $30 million in two years.
|Elaine WherryÂ||Meebo||01-Sep-05||Elaine co-founded Meebo, a instant messaging service you use in your browser. Meebo attracts 40,000,000 monthly users.|
Founder of an Award-Winning Web Site since 1994, Erin is a Internet entrepreneur veteran.
Gina is the Co-founder and CEO of Ning. There are 1,000,000 social networks on the Ning Platform, growing at a rate of almost 4,000 new social networks each day.
|Gina TrapaniÂ||Lifehacker||01-Jan-05||Gina Trapani is a technology blogger, book author, and programmer. The founding editor of Lifehacker.com, a daily weblog on software and personal productivity, Gina authored a book based on the web site which is in its second edition: Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better!|
One of the biggest mommy bloggerâ€™s out there attracting millions of readers to her blog and has recently passed 500,000 Twitter followers.
|Juliette BrindakÂ||Miss O and Friends||22-Jun-05||
Juliette came up with the idea for Miss O and Friends at just 10 years old, now 19 her business is worth over $15 Million and is visited by millions of girls every month.
It all started with a 300 page iPhone bill, now she is a social media rock star with millions of YouTube views and over 500,000 twitter followers!
|Kim PoleseÂ||SpikeSource||25-Jun-05||Kim Karin Polese is CEO of SpikeSource, and was one of the most prominent Silicon Valley executives during the dot-com era. In 1997, she made Time Magazineâ€™s list of â€œThe 25 Most Influential Americansâ€.|
Lisa is the founder of BlogHer which reaches more than 14 million women monthly through its conferences, Internet site and publishing networks.
|Lisa SugarÂ||Pop Sugar||April 2006||Lisaâ€™s blog network is funded by Sequoia – the guys who funded Google and Youtube. Now one of the biggest celeb blogs on the net, Lisa sure is a top female blogger!|
Louise runs an online womenâ€™s apparel retailer that finds clothing for women based on their physical measurements and style and fit preferences
|Maria AndrosÂ||Social Media Traffic Blueprint||
Maria helps people create a buzz with social media. Recently she took 100 people into her mentoring program for $2500 each.
|Meg FrostÂ||Cute Overload||2005||Although she hasnâ€™t got a pet herself, attracts 100,000s of visitors daily to her cute animal blog.|
Meg Hourihan is the cofounder of Pyra Labs, the company that launched the Blogger personal blogging software that was acquired by Google for for a 8 figure deal.
|Mena TrottÂ||Six Apart||23-Jun-05||
Mena is a co-founder of Six Apart, creator of Movable Type and TypePad.
|Michelle MalkinÂ||Michelle Malkin||June 2004||Michelle blogs about news and politics which attracts nearly 200,000 visitors a day to her site.|
|Penelope TrunkÂ||Brazen Careerist||March 2006||With multiple start-ups and over 30,000 RSS readers on her personal blog, Penelope is one female to follow.|
|Nancy J PriceÂ||she knows||1999||
Nancy co-founded SheKnows which attracts 7.5 Million Monthly Unique Visitors and 76 Million Monthly Page Views!
Eight years ago sheâ€™d never even been on the internet. This year Natalie Massenet turned over Â£37 million with Net-a-Porter, the fashion website that has become a global phenomenon.
Is a pregnant work at home mum who runs a web design resource website that attracts over a million visitors a month!
|Xeni JardinÂ||Boing Boing||22-Jun-05||Xeni is the editor of one of the top 5 blogs in the world, Boing Boing.|
So how do you define success for yourself? Have you outgrown your old definition? Did your definition change once you became a mom? If so, how? Please leave a comment below, and share this on twitter and facebook with your friends who might be trying to figure this out for themselves.