“How would you define and describe success?” is one of the more tricky interview questions that Cake Central has asked me. I often receive requests for interviews but this is the first set of questions from an American cake decorating magazine and is probably the reason why I’ve never been asked this question before. It has got me thinking…
What is success?
The traditional view of success is the amassing of wealth and power. As a cake decorator, I will never be rich in monetary terms and although I do have influence I don’t believe I have power as such. Yet I am considered, by many, as highly successful so there must be much more to success than this simplest view.
What others say:
For me this certainly holds true, success doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. I would, however, change the percentages to 10% inspiration and 90% hard work. To be ahead of the game I have to be continual refreshing my ideas and for this I need inspiration.
I agree, I feel the most successful when I am heavily involved in an exciting project. This might be a teaching trip to the other side of the world, a styled photoshoot for an influential magazine or filming for a television company. I feel vital, involved and alive, it feels amazing.
I have been in the cake decorating industry a long time and like Winston Churchill, not everything I’ve done has been a rip-roaring success. I have written many cake decorating books. Some have been international best-sellers, whilst one or two haven’t even sold enough to earn their advances back. Some teaching trips work a treat and are a huge hit, whilst others despite promising beginnings never get off the ground. Do I let this get me down…NO, I simply move enthusiastically on.
More insightful quotes:
I really like this definition of success, it certainly resonates with me. I love what I do and the freedom I have to do it in the way that I choose. Through cake decorating, I can use my artistic and design skills to both, satisfy myself and bring moments of happiness to countless lives.
Definitely, I often liken my experiences and successes in the cake decorating world to a journey. A journey where one success leads to another, where turning right or left can end up in the same place and where a detour has the possibility of open up amazing opportunities. In fact, I think of it as more than a journey – it’s an adventure.
I certainly believe these are key to being successful, especially the last courage. It is one thing to have talent but quite another to have the courage to use it. To be a sugar artist quietly beavering away in the comfort of a studio is one thing. It is quite another to stick your head above the parapet and put your work in the public domain for all to scrutinise. Doing anything new and different, whatever it may be, takes tremendous courage and shouldn’t be underestimated.
My definition of success:
Success for me encompasses all of the above quotes. However, it is also peace of mind, knowing that I have tried my hardest to be the best I can possibly be. To define success I would say:
My description of Success:
Success is multi-faceted, subjective and highly personal. If I had been asked to describe my success fifteen years ago, I would have mentioned my many gold cake decorating awards, cakes on magazine front covers and the book contracts that I had signed etc. Today, however, I would describe success as a feeling. I know I am successful when something happens that makes me feel good about what I have achieved, something that brings a smile to my face. It can be as simple as an encouraging insightful comment from a fan on Facebook.
I feel truly successful, however, when my abilities have been recognised and I’ve been asked to say teach, demonstrate or speak at a prestigious event or venue. Yes, these events always take a lot of hard work, courage, inspiration and enthusiasm. But when I am live on stage performing at my best, I feel on top of the world – that is the feeling of success.
What about you… what does success mean to you?
Here’s one last quote for you to ponder on…
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