The Assemblist Letter 19 - Portraits of Success

Illustrations by Magdalene Kan for The Assemblist

Illustrations by Magdalene Kan for The Assemblist

The meaning of success for me has definitely evolved over the years.

Having played tennis on an international level for my entire adolescence and into college, success was about winning. Anything short of winning was a major disappointment to me. Being naturally competitive I think that drive to succeed carried over to my adult life even after I stopped playing competitively after college and started my professional career. 

Now though, I interpret success differently. It’s not as cut and dry as winning versus losing. It’s now a more holistic approach and state of mind and success for me is now being able to do the thing I love, work hard at it and ultimately be happy in my day to day. If I can help people along the way that's an added bonus!

I think generally I am inspired by women in particular that have embraced what they love, have made a career out of it and have been successful. Oprah, Martha Stewart - They had a passion for what they were doing and have probably been the most high profile women in terms of highlighting success, but that’s just on a large scale. When you’re just around people, like friends, and they seem to be loving what they do and that is their idea of success that inspires me as well. It’s more of a general feeling that you get from people.

With that and from my personal experiences here are a few tips I would suggest for the Brand Assembly community in achieving and maintaining success for the year ahead:

Set both realistic and stretch goals:

I always think that you can apply these both personally and professionally. You want to make sure you’re checking realistic things off for the year, along with things that you want to achieve that may be outside of the normal standard or day-to-day.

Take chances:

I also have to remind myself of this! 

Do what makes you happy:

Isn't that a given!?

I always think that when someone (sartorially) puts their best foot forward on a daily basis it almost takes over their entire being! If they feel good about how they look that positive energy translates in any kind of professional setting. Obviously you have people like Steve Jobs who to the normal fashionista may not have been considered “stylish” but was still known for wearing a very distinct uniform. In his case that really showed dedication to his craft even though it was jeans and a black turtleneck and sneakers. He wore that every single day and I think that really showed his mentality and his business mind. I think style is relative, but if someone puts their best foot forward or is keeping consistent that reflects their overall dedication. If you're not convinced, check out the interview below featuring two inspiring people in my life who I believe embody the essence of success, style and more!

- Hillary France, co-founder and CEO of Brand Assembly

 

 

 

"Desiree, the Founder and CEO of Full Picture, always inspires me, because she’s obviously built a business and has been passionate, but what stands out in particular is how curious she is about everything. I think that’s really how she’s built her business. She is interested not just in fashion but electronics, media, etc. so the fact that she just has so many ideas and is so curious, is really inspiring and has also contributed to her success."  - Hillary France

"Desiree, the Founder and CEO of Full Picture, always inspires me, because she’s obviously built a business and has been passionate, but what stands out in particular is how curious she is about everything. I think that’s really how she’s built her business. She is interested not just in fashion but electronics, media, etc. so the fact that she just has so many ideas and is so curious, is really inspiring and has also contributed to her success."  - Hillary France

Please introduce yourself!

I’m so accustomed to describing what I do professionally, and how, so it’s refreshing to reflect on my more personal side. I consider myself an amateur anthropologist—I truly love learning about people and behavior and ideas and how they connect and how they don’t and how new possibilities emerge. This definitely informs my business practices, because business is fundamentally people, behavior, ideas, and their intersections. Not surprisingly, what I value most is relationships—family, friends, and colleagues—and the varied experiences, both expected and unexpected, that come with maintaining those relationships.

What is success to you and how has it evolved over the last few years? What are your go-to tips/tools for maintaining success in your personal and professional endeavors?

Success, to me, is being able to spend time doing what I love to do surrounded by people who love what they do as well. Fortunately, my businesses are focused on areas I personally love. And my employees’ achievements are as rewarding to me as my own. I don’t think there are any other big secrets to success; hard work, persistence, and a mindset of ongoing learning and forward movement, no matter what, will get anyone very far.

What do you assemble daily? 

I’m always trying to improve productivity and encouraging my teams to as well. It’s really the only way to keep things moving forward as projects and initiatives evolve. It requires a conscious effort to examine processes and revise them to meet new challenges. So I “assemble” expertise, in a way, from all sorts of resources—leaders of their field, the latest research and technology, word of mouth, etc. In order to be the best of the best, you need to learn from the best of the best. And there’s always something new to learn.

"Courtney is my really good friend and what’s great for me to see is just how far she’s come! She now works for a boutique digital agency, Good Apple, that is very successful (she was like employee six or seven) and now the firm has grown to be about 45 people in just under two years. She has had a huge in hand in contributing to that success. What inspires me about her is that she is a great people manager which is something I strive to improve upon in my business. Thankfully she gives me a lot of tips!" - Hillary France

"Courtney is my really good friend and what’s great for me to see is just how far she’s come! She now works for a boutique digital agency, Good Apple, that is very successful (she was like employee six or seven) and now the firm has grown to be about 45 people in just under two years. She has had a huge in hand in contributing to that success. What inspires me about her is that she is a great people manager which is something I strive to improve upon in my business. Thankfully she gives me a lot of tips!" - Hillary France

Please introduce yourself! 

I feel fortunate that I work for a company (Good Apple) where the work/life integration is especially strong so the pillars of my personal and professional life are very aligned. Ultimately that synergy reflects what I value most which is close relationships with friends, family and colleagues and traveling around the world to gain experiences and perspectives that I can bring back to life in NYC. 

What is success to you and how has it evolved over the last few years? What are your go-to tips/tools for maintaining success in your personal and professional endeavors?

Over the course of my career I've evolved my value set to focus on the strength of my relationships with my internal team and our clients. Expanding the business is incredibly important and I credit my personal success and the continued growth of Good Apple with the personal relationships and partnerships that we've built over the years.

What do you assemble daily? 

Managing my team at Good Apple is consistently my biggest challenge and my greatest success. What I love about our industry is that everyday is different and we always rise to the challenge as a collective group. Working with such a diverse range of personalities is never easy but it has expanded my life in ways I could have never imagined.


Discover more from our community on social media @brandassembly and tell us who you personally look to as the ideal portrait of success in the comments below!