Maven to Know Mindshare: Success

What does success look like for you?
Maven Mindshare: Success

Maven Mindshare is a series where we ask our members the questions on rotation in our own hamster wheels, aka our brains. From one’s definition of success to the concept of freedom, we at Indy Maven know that not one voice can be the absolute perspective. The more we understand one another, the broader our understanding is, we learn and grow, and so does our empathy, which only makes our community stronger. 

We asked our members: What does success look like for you? Turns out, it looks different depending on the angle. Enjoy.

Jill O'BoyleSuccess to me is when I contribute to a greater cause!  I feel most successful when I know that I made a difference or impacted someone in a positive way.  Through my entire life, both personally and professionally, my greatest feelings of success is when I contributed to helping someone or an organization succeed! –Jill O’Boyle

Being free to make the work I want to make and still having it sell. –Rebecca Zink

Rebecca Zink Headshot

Deb Hallberg headshotSuccess for me is helping another woman achieve the success she is working towards. This could be a promotion, transitioning to a new role, leaving an employer, etc. If I helped a woman in any way achieve her own success, then that is part of my success. –Deb Hallberg

Rachael Coverdale HeadshotSuccess is continual improvement, doing meaningful work, pushing through the hard times, and waking up grateful and excited to take on the day. –Rachael Coverdale

Melissa Neidlinger HeadshotI honestly believe success looks different based on where I am in life and what has led me to my current place.  But over the last several years, success is feeling confident in what I’ve accomplished because of all I’ve cultivated in my years of experience.  Financial growth is an important (but not THE most important) analytic, but more significant analytics are the knowledge, experiences and mistakes and applying them to where I am now and how they can help me continue to grow. –Melissa Neidlinger

Kim Gutfreund HeadshotSuccess means to me living life from an abundance and growth mindset. Years ago, I would have answered this question tied to what I am – my title – now I know my success is who I am as a person. –Kim Gutfreund

Casey CawthonSuccess looks like freedom—control of my schedule, financial stability to take time off, opportunities to set work aside to lean into my family. But because I love the work that I do, success also looks like amplifying the Indy Chamber and my clients to ensure the community knows about all of the resources, organizations, and opportunities to get connected and find support. –Casey Cawthon

Mandy Bray HeadshotPutting in the work so I can take multiple weeks off for family and travel throughout the year. Success also looks like saying no to some commitments so I can say a resounding yes to other ones. –Mandy Bray

Charlee AlexeevGetting to spend the majority of my days doing what I want to do. I love my business, and I love that I have the freedom to take an afternoon off for a hike or take as many vacations as I like. –Charlee Alexeev

Ellen NeiersSuccess for me is growth. Whether I accomplished what I wanted to or not, did I grow or learn anything from it? –Ellen Neiers

Jane WilsonI see success as a very personal experience, one that is unique to each and every one of us. I’m successful when I’m living my truth and purpose, when I’m following my unique path. Each of us is granted an innate freedom and dignity at birth; freedom and dignity to create our own journeys of truth. Collective success is only possible through the acknowledgment and defense of freedom and dignity for each individual. –Jane Wilson

Kitana WoffThere is so much pressure in society today to be performing or accomplishing at a certain level-to be living in a “certain” way.
There are unsaid expectations to be so many things at once; fun, friendly, outgoing, generous, creative, organized, hardworking, ambitious, healthy, wealthy, fit, beautiful, eloquent, unique, present…….(the list is endless). Being and doing all of these things at once is a high bar for anyone to meet, and yet we are bombarded with societal messaging that can leave us feeling like failures if we are not living up to this perceived potential.
The truth is that we all deep down have our own definition of what success looks like, and that is going to look differently each day. Success for you today might look like-


  • Gaining more self-confidence by learning a new skill.
  • Practicing mindfulness by adding meditation into your morning routine. 
  • Finding growth opportunities by leaning into one of your fears. 
  • Having a difficult conversation with someone that you have been avoiding. 
  • Giving back to your community by volunteering. 
  • Bringing love and joy to those closest in your life. 
  • Doing something that makes you REALLY happy. 

(This list could also be endless.) Your definition of success is not about proving your value based upon cultural constructs or templates. Your definition of success is about finding authentic fulfillment, happiness and intrinsic self worth by celebrating the small victories that you achieve each day. –Kitana Wolf

Lauren Harlan headshotSuccess to me is being able to do what I love for a living and making a positive impact on other people’s lives. –Lauren Harlan

Christine WarrenAs women, we strive for perfection in our personal and professional lives. Balancing careers with children, school and kids’ activities can be overwhelming. To be successful, we need to acknowledge that it’s ok to not be 100% perfect, 100% of the time. We need to support and advocate for each other and realize it’s ok to be honest and real with one another. Success is not defined by perfection, but by lifting each other up to our highest potentials. –Christine Warren

Kelli White photographerI would say freedom is my definition of success. The freedom to make my own schedule, set my own goals and ultimately create the career I want is my barometer for success. –Kelli White

Jenna UnrueFor me it is about finding the balance of work / personal life.  Setting myself up so that I can go on field trips with my kids or take the day off to randomly spend one on one time with them.  I also want to create a work environment where this is possible for those who are on my team.  I haven’t found the perfect solution for all of that yet, and I plan to keep working on it until I do! – Jenna Unrue

Bethany LoweryI feel like I’m doing something right now that will make a lasting impact in Indianapolis and will open new doors of opportunity for our children- Bethany Lowery

Megan WendholtAt this stage in my life, success looks like balance. There are so many things I want or need to accomplish, and we can’t do it all. But when I can find a daily/weekly/monthly balance of self-care, friend time, family time and work time, I feel like I’ve made it. –Megan Wendholt

Marie Fisher headshotSuccess is walking into a room, always having a seat waiting for you and having several open arms taking you in. –Marie Fisher

Eudahnas CrutchfieldSuccess is a mindset.  It’s not monetary. It’s not superficial.  Success is a feeling, and it’s not one thing. We experience success more times than we acknowledge.  Sometimes I consider just waking up and getting out of bed a success. I consider clearing my desk before I leave on a Friday afternoon successful. I believe in celebrating small victories, and small victories make me successful. –Eudahnas Crutchfield

Jamila NwokorieSuccess means the ever-sought-after work-life balance. Also means my kids are healthy and happy and, in some capacity, I have left a positive legacy for my family. –Jamila Nwokorie

Alyssa Pfennig Success means that I have a life that I enjoy waking up to every day and the freedom to actually enjoy it rather than just go through the motions. I get to be with my daughter every day and show her the world. I have time to do the things I enjoy like dancing, exercise, chatting with a friend at a coffee shop, drinking a fancy cocktail or sharing a nice dinner. I sleep well every night. I have a business set up to scale and run itself, and I work less than part time (and working on even less hours). I’m still working on il dolce far niente, aka the art of doing nothing…because success also means that I have time to sit for hours and do nothing and enjoy it. But I’m pretty sure that is not currently possible living the life as a toddler mom. –Alyssa Pfennig

Bette Smith
Photo by Faith Blackwell

For me, success is about being able to help and support those in my world (friends, family, and community). It’s about having strong and meaningful relationships and a clear sense of purpose. –Bette Smith

Vikki Smyth HeadshotWhen I can say at the end of the day “I showed up in the best way I could today.” –Vikki Smyth

Kate SullivanSuccess for me has changed over the years. I used to think it just meant a having a fancy title, but as I’ve grown in my career I’ve realized it’s so much more than that. True success is measured in the ability to confidentally deliver in your position. It is also mean having the ability to uplift, educate and help others grow in their positions. –Kate Sullivan

Rebecca walking down roadFor me, being successful looks like living a harmonious life; using my time, talent and treasures for good; and having time and financial freedom. –Rebecca Bormann

Allison BarkelSuccess is leaving something better than you found it. –Allison Barkel

Michelle on stairsBeing at peace with the people, practices and possibilities in my life. – Michelle D. Williams

Collen HungerfordThe idea of success for me has changed over the years. I used to think success was a job title or salary or recognition. These days success to me is time. The ability to be able to control my time is my biggest measure of success. I want to be able to enjoy my work, financially support my family and spend quality time with my family — anything else is not a success for me. –Colleen Hungerford

Beth Wyeth sitting on recliner chairSuccess looks like having enough time to enjoy my friends and family while also enjoying work. –Beth Wyeth

Headshot of Emily HawkPeaceful Joy. For me, it’s being with smart, kind people in beautiful places, doing good work. –Emily Hawk

Success is individual for each person. For me personally, it’s being able to financially support my family and others as needed. I never want my “no” to be a result of money. Success is also the impact on the community. If I’m helping women heal their traumas and break generational cycles, that’s Success. – Jo Thomas

For me, success is about adding value. Did my work or participation make things better for someone else? Did I challenge the norm and lead people toward new ideas? I’ve stopped measuring success by goals achieved and started reflecting more on the impact I’m having through my contributions. –Becky Doemland

Moja sitting in front of wall of woodSuccess is having the confidence to be yourself and pursue your dreams. –Moja Harmon

Aubrey Miller headshotSuccess looks like building the life I desire and having the freedom to pursue what I most want in life. My idea of success is subject to change, but I am certain that I need to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone to grow and achieve my dreams. Having a career I love while having a healthy work-life balance and the ability to travel is what success looks like to me right now. –Aubry Miller

Rita Avellar HeadshotFinding a balance between work and leisure, time to travel and not worry about bills. –Rita Avellar

Gramlich Headshot in red blazerSuccess means making an impact, whether big or small.  –Lindsay Gramlich

Andi Headshot Success is being happy and secure. The last few years have been a bit tumultuous for me (and not just because of the pandemic). I am ready to be in a stable state. –Andi Robinson

Abby Kom sitting in front of a mural at Maven SpaceSuccess is waking up and LOVING the life you’ve built. –Abigail Kom

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