Some thoughts on success. And a celebration of The Declaration Of You.

Jul 8, 2013 | Entrepreneurship, Life in Progress

Hi friends,
Super excited to be a part of the blog lovin’ tour for the new book, The Declaration Of You. Isn’t that the best title ever? It’s written my two of my friends, Jessica + Michelle – both adorable, smart, talented and insightful.

They had their book launch party a couple of days ago right here in Portland and it was full of excited friends and supporters. It was a total joy to be there and witness the launch/birth of a beautiful book!

What I love about this book is that they give readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!I’m thrilled to be included as a contributor to the chapter all about success. 

For this blog lovin’ tour, Jess and Michelle sent me a few Q’s to answer about my thoughts on success. Below are my answers! 

What do you believe the main factors of success to be?

Recently I heard my friend Lacy give the best definition of success I’d ever heard. She simply asked, “Do you feel like your contribution is meaningful?” If the answer is yes, then you’re successful. Ahhhhh. LOVE LOVE LOVE that interpretation. I think we get too caught up in chasing commercial/financial success which is often times other-esteemed or externally validating, but if we can spin it back to ourselves (self-esteemed, internally validating) and define whether or not we’re successful based on whether or not we think our contribution is meaningful, well, that makes my heart swoon.

Does success look differently to you as an adult than it did when you were a child? How so?
Yes, I was certain that success meant falling in line: graduating from highschool, going to college, getting a job, and paying my bills. It took quitting my job, taking giant leaps into uncertainty as I became a working artist in my 30s, and all the many lessons learned along the way, to realize that true success is going inward, discovering what is calling you, and bravely choosing, one small step at at time, to answer the call. Nothing is more brave or affirming or successful as following one’s heart and purpose.

What part of your life right now doesn’t feel successful to you? 

Hmmm, strangely enough I think I’m in a weird, complicated space of reconciling for myself what it means to have more visibility. The more visibility I have in my business, the more cautious and careful I become. The more careful I become, the less impact my work has on myself and my audience. This is a tricky tricky piece about “commercial success” that not many people are talking about it. I haven’t figured it out yet – how to maintain a certain kind of vulnerability (that helped me launch in the first place!) as I continue to grow and become more visible. I’m working through this 🙂

What part of your life does feel successful to you right now?

Honestly, I’m feeling mighty proud of creating and building a rock solid support system around myself. This has taken years to achieve. Gone are the days of forging ahead alone, like a lone wolf or warrior. Gone are the days of holding it all together. Of insisting I do it by myself. In the last many months I’ve made some moves that have included having a husband who took the leap to become a stay at home parent, hiring a full time kick ass employee, moving into a studio space with three other artists, and getting together on a regular basis with my mama friends in my neighborhood. I have never felt more held, supported, and inside a village of people who understand. It was a huge personal success for me to break down the pieces of myself that insisted on doing it alone.

What’s your personal declaration around success?

I recently heard someone say that we’re aren’t our failures, but we’re also not our successes. I could not agree more. For me, I try very hard not define my worth around my perceived, outward success. Am I making a meaningful contribution? Am I being brave in my choices? Am I holding onto my integrity and authenticity ever step of the way? If the answer is yes, I’m on the right track 🙂

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (7 comments)
  1. Liz(a)

    One huge reason why I really love this bloggy book tour is that so many bloggers are inputting their point of views on the same topic each week. I'm really enjoying the different takes on them!

    I love your personal declaration of independence and your stance on this topic. 😀

  2. Jamie Howell

    Wow Kelly, you made me really stop and think with your comment about "is my contribution meaningful?" and about being authentic. You seem to be doing such a great job at gracefully juggling all the pieces of life and career. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us all!

  3. HappyInTexas

    Kelly, I always get something valuable from what you have to say that never fails to move me closer to who I am spiritually. What's more important than that?

    Your wisdom also makes me dig deeper into my online business. The investment in your ebook was worth it's weight in gold!

    I just launched a shop on storenvy two days ago and plan to do the same on etsy next week. Hopefully my art will sell, but regardless, I'm doing what I was meant to do.

    Still need to connect with a support group though. That's not easy for me.

    Anyway… thanks for all you do and please don't ever let fear hold you back. You are a shining example of someone who's doing what they're meant to do – in more ways than one!

    -Denise w/ArtFromDenise

  4. Susan

    Wonderful…well said! I have loved watching your journey… so inspiring! I love that you are always real!

  5. Sandy King

    This is so thoughtful ( as in WELL THOUGHT OUT ) on so many levels Kelly. It's why you keep inspiring me …. figuring this all out as I move along my artful journey.

  6. Malini Parker

    This is such a gentle and warm post about success. I love that you have gotten right to the heart of it — and yes, tackled the not-so-spoken-about issues that 'success' and exposure bring to an artist…including how it can affect their work. An insightful and authentic (as always) piece.

  7. Kathleen

    I LOVE this post!!! Recently I was asked by someone if I was successful and my answer was "I am certainly not complaining" with a big smile and his response surprised me. He said "contact me when you are successful." I was totally taken aback as not complaining implied, to me, that I was successful but to him it meant I was not. Success is so personal that the question itself irritated me because each person would define success so differently. TO me, his question should have been "Do you have a lot of money?" because I assume that was the answer he was after.


Submit a Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t want to miss a post?

Get my posts sent to your inbox as soon as they’re published!

Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

Get the FREE

Possibilitarian Manifesto

+ a 20% off coupon!


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

Featured Freebies