The Definition of Success, According to 5 Entrepreneur Superstars

It's not just about the money, as these successful men and women illustrate.

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By Matthew Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Although the definition of success is subjective, there seem to be some common themes among the ultra-successful about what success really means. Very rarely does it have to do with money alone. In fact, none of these five inspiring entrepreneurs mention money at all. No, success is something much more personal and universal -- it's all in the meaning behind the action.

So here are five quotes about success from five mega-successful entrepreneurs.

"My definition of success? The more you're actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel." -- Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is the UK billionaire behind the Virgin Empire of brands that include mobile carriers, a record label and a series of international airline routes. Yet to Branson, what's most important for success is that interactivity with the work itself.

Related: Arianna Huffington Wants to Redefine Success. But Are We Ready to Listen?

What gets you fired up? What are you passionate about? The more you're actively engaged in the work you love, the more successful you'll feel and most likely from the feeling, become. Love what you do for maximum success.

"My definition of failure became not trying, not the outcome." -- Sara Blakely

While Sara Blakely's quote is technically the definition of failure, it's the crux of what success is: to try and try and not be afraid of failure. Success comes to those who are willing to try and risk and fail and stand up to do it all over again.

Like Blakely says, failing isn't the outcome, it's not trying at all. Success can only come from being willing to fail. Considering that Blakely is the world's youngest female self-made billionaire she seems innately qualified to talk about success and the need for your willingness to fail as part of the journey.

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful entrepreneurs is perseverance." -- Steve Jobs

If the key to success thus far is that you must be willing to fail and be actively engaged in your work, the next step toward success must certainly be to persevere. Success can come slowly and as the result of many, many trials and years of effort. It's those who quit, like those who never try, that won't make it through to success.

Related: 5 Quotes to Inspire the Optimistic Entrepreneur in You

Jobs reminds you that much of success in life is continuing to come back and keep going. It may seem easy to look at other entrepreneurs and assume their success came overnight, yet rarely is that the case. By the time these "overnight successes" come to your attention, they've usually put in years or even decades of long, hard work. Don't quit.

"Remember: If the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn't be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success." -- Tori Burch

Tori Burch is the successful entrepreneur behind the Tori Burch fashion line brand. Burch talks a lot to other entrepreneurs about the importance of hard work and the belief in yourself to be and do your own unique thing.

Entering the fashion industry is certainly not a simple task, and it would be easy for an entrepreneur to think that in a crowded industry there was little room for success. Yet Burch has created a multi-billion dollar brand just by keeping true to the fashion and vision she loves and her belief that other women would want the same style.

Don't get intimidated by others in your industry who are headed for success. Your journey will have lots of steps but ultimately being yourself and believing in what you have to offer will carry you through.

"I like to be involved in things that change the world." -- Elon Musk

From Paypal, Tesla, Solar City, to SpaceX, Musk has certainly been a man involved in things that are changing the world. Ultimately, that seems to be where his success comes from, and it gets back to Branson's original point: Do the things you're passionate about.

Musk wanted to change the market and the perception of the electric vehicle. He's achieved that mission with Tesla. Put your power and your work behind the things you're truly passionate about and you just might change the world. Musk certainly has.

Related: To Motivate Yourself to Success, Find Your 'Why'

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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