Today we launched Picture Yourself, a campaign that celebrates the accomplishments of our LinkedIn members and illustrates how they have realized their professional aspirations.  As the head of brand marketing I had the honor of working with some of our members as we captured their stories for the campaign. Hearing their stories and uncovering their paths to success was truly inspirational. As I reflect on these conversations there were several common themes that emerged. These themes are common not just among these nine members we worked with, but of members who have found their dream and in turn, professional success.

Turning a passion into a profession: It isn’t by accident these members are doing what they love because the love for what they do came first. Each of our members worked to develop themselves in a profession where the foundation was a passion for their work. Take Abi Smigel Mullens, who grew up watching Jacques Cousteau movies and turned her love for the ocean and photography into a business, capturing underwater photos.

Making a splash: For these members, success is measured by their impact. Regardless of their field or discipline each of these members is making a big impact on the world around them and that is an important measure of success. For example, Mia Gorman consults with nonprofits to help them have a bigger impact thereby causing a ripple effect of positive change.

Being great at what they do: When you mix exceptional skill with passion there’s a great formula for success. Each of these members has worked to hone their craft, and exudes a spirit of excellence in how they speak about their work. It is this spirit of continuous improvement that keeps them learning and exploring. Jeff Tarango took his career as a competitive tennis player and reinvented himself as a broadcaster for ESPN and BBC.

Gracious and humble: I am always floored by how gracious some of our most accomplished members are. They are humble when speaking about their accomplishments and are quick to give credit to those that have helped them along the way. Anyone who has achieved success knows that you don’t get there alone and these members are quick to mention the people in their network who helped them get there.

We hope that you are as inspired as we are by these members. We would love to hear your story, if you have one to share please let us know!