I was 15 when I was sexually assaulted by three of my classmates at a party. It sharpens a person, to be made to feel so worthless so young. With rigorous therapy, I have also recognized that it annotated my definition of success. I decided I could not consider myself successful unless I was somebody powerful, somebody nobody could hurt. Success became a means to wrest back control, literally to increase my value.
There is a metonym for that: money.
Success, for me, is synonymous with making money. I want to write books, but I really want to sell books. I want advances that make my husband gasp and fat royalty checks twice a year. I want movie studios to pay me for option rights and I want the screenwriting comp to boot.