THE BLOG
05/29/2014 03:23 pm ET | Updated Jul 29, 2014

How I Created My Own Success

Philip and Karen Smith via Getty Images

Success. Such a powerful word, isn't it? But yet, it carries a different meaning for all who utter the word. It seems we are all chasing it in some way. Financial success. Academic success. Business success. Life success.

It used to be that you were only considered successful, in the eyes of others, if you followed the expected path of college and then landing a corner office to call home until retirement. If you didn't follow the norm, you were considered different.

But thanks to the many trailblazers out there, who dared to be different and follow their own path to success; this has opened up a whole new world for the rest us, especially women.

Along with it, came a new powerful meaning of success.

We get to define what success means to us. Whether that's building a million-dollar business, staying home to raise a family or traveling the world while working from our laptop.

Although I spent my own time following the norm -- a house in the suburbs, a job in corporate -- which would symbolize success to many, to me, success meant being able to do my own thing.

I had always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. Only I seemed to be more worried about what other people would think about me striking out on my own, rather than following my heart.

Until one day, I finally made the decision to just do it.

But then, once an entrepreneur, I caught myself following the norm as entrepreneur. Thinking to myself: To be successful, I must do things just like all the successful people in my industry had done before me.

Only to learn that this doesn't make you successful, because you end up being someone else and not you.

What makes you successful is being you!

Being successful on my terms has allowed me many opportunities that I would have missed out on had I kept following the norm.

For two years, I lived, worked and traveled in an RV with my husband, Ron, who's a pipeline welder. During those two years, I saw more of the beautiful United States than I had my whole life. There's nothing like traveling the open highways, meeting new people and learning about the different cultures in each state, all while eating some amazing food along the way.

When I would share with people how we were living and working at the time, I would either hear... You do what? I could never do that. How do you get your mail? or You do what? That is so cool. That's on my bucket list followed by, I already have my RV picked out.

It really opened my eyes to one person's dream being another person's nightmare, while showing me that you can be different to some and an inspiration to others.

Now, I'm living in sunny California, a place I had always wanted to visit since I was a kid. A place I never thought I would ever have the pleasure of calling home. As I continue to live life on my own terms and work hard to reach my goals and dreams, I'm often reminded of Steve Jobs' beautiful quote.

Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Here are my top tips to living life on your terms.

1. Just own who you are! Whether you're an entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 executive, if you're following your passion, then own it. Don't let anyone tell you that you should be doing something different.

2. Ignore the rest! Don't listen to everyone's opinion. Everyone has one, but the only one that matters, is yours.

3. Determination trumps everything! Living life on your terms requires tenacity. Whether you are packing up life to follow your dreams of living abroad or launching your startup. Be prepared for some tough times. Just remember this... it's all worth it, because you will be living life on your terms.

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