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Everyone wants to be successful. But does success really mean what you THINK it means? Related: 3 Things My Boss Taught Me About Success Here are three major truth bombs about success everyone NEEDS to know:


1. Success is subjective.

We're so obsessed with 'making it' according to other people's perception of success that we've lost sight of what it means to be successful on our OWN terms. Success is completely subjective. Your definition of success could be completely different than someone else’s definition. It doesn't mean it's wrong, it just means you have different goals, values, and dreams. Success comes in all forms, and your success can only be defined by you. If you try to live someone else’s version of success, you’re not going to be happy or satisfied with your life OR career. This is your life and you only get one shot at it – why live someone else’s dream? (For more on this, check out my post "What Does It Mean To 'Make It Big' Anyway?")

2. Failing ≠ Failure.

I guarantee you that everyone you look up to has failed at one point or another. Everyone makes mistakes – big and small - but did those mistakes stop your role models from picking themselves up and moving forward? Nope. And that’s why they’re successful – because they chose to learn from those experiences and keep pushing themselves to get it right. They didn’t quit - and, if you want to be successful, neither can you. (For more on this, check out my post "5 Signs You're Going To Make It Big One Day")

3. Your success is up to you.

No one is going to make you a success – Not even if your parents are rich and famous and give you a great job with a fat salary. Not even if your boss hands you all of the big-name clients and introduces you to all of the right people. These people can only support your success. It’s up to you to use their support and make yourself successful. YOU need to use the tools you are given in order to create a life and career that gives you purpose and satisfaction. No one else can do that for you. (For more on this, check out my post, "7 Things All 20-Somethings Need To Tell Themselves In Order To Succeed") Cheers to YOUR success! What have YOU learned about achieving success? I want to know - Tweet me @AriellaCoombs!

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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