Defining Success: Emily Merrell


Emily Merrell, also lovingly referred to as "20 Questions", has always loved figuring out people's stories. After six years in the fashion industry, Emily became an entrepreneur and created Six Degrees Society, a women's focused networking organization that specializes in taking the guesswork out of networking through curated connections with each event having it's own unique theme (personal branding to calligraphy). In their first year Six Degrees Society has expanded from New York City to eight markets.

In her free time, you can find Emily exploring new restaurants, drinking bold bottles of wine, taking early morning workout classes, planning her next trip, or playing the name game. 

How do you define success?

Success to me is being acknowledged for what you’ve created by people that aren’t your family or close friends. When strangers, who have no obligation to say nice things, start recognizing the value of what you are creating, that to me is success.

How do you measure your own success?

That’s a question where I’ve recently been doing a lot of soul searching to understand better. At the moment success is equated to survival. I want to be able to create a company that sustains me and no matter how large the network grows or how the media views it I still need to accomplish basic needs like paying my rent, paying off my credit card bills and finding money to travel. It doesn’t mean being filthy rich but just plain and simple sustainability.

How does success feel?

Success is a hit of pleasure. It encompasses me with every “thank you” email that crosses my inbox and it has the power to push all “am I crazy to have given up stability of the corporate world” behind.

When was the last time you felt successful? What happened?

This past week was one of the time’s I’ve felt successful. I had 3 events in a row and was running around like a crazy person and it’s that couch session with some.

How do you celebrate your success?

I don’t tend to celebrate success but rather acknowledge it. I do however, sleep sounder knowing that what I’m building is positively impacting others lives. I think I will officially celebrate success when Six Degrees Society has become a household name.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to be successful?

Listen carefully to advice that’s given to you, process it and apply the advice that resonates for you and your business. At the end of the day it’s your business and although everyone has an opinion you have to listen to your guy/heart/mind on what feels right to you.


Twitter@six_society | Instagram@six_degrees_society | Facebooksixdegreessociety |