The Decision Makers Series is one of our staff’s favorite because decision making is a topic that so many of us have studied deeply.

Sasha Hlavinka | Creative Director and Founder

To always listen to myself and my gut. In the past I sought outside validation from others. Now, with my business and my ideas, I trust myself. People like to suggest things I ‘should’ do. Although it feels really great when others get excited about my brand, at the end of the day Perpetual Shade is an extension of me and I know what feels best. Read more>>

Vanessa Béjine | Pop Singer

First and foremost believing in yourself is priority. If you dont believe in yourself enough to make it, how can you convince anyone else to believe in you.The most important decision I made when finally choosing to go after my dreams and be my own boss, was taking a leap of faith and finally quitting my regular day job so I had more time pursue my own passions even though I had no other source of income to rely on. I was tired of waking up and doing the same thing over and over like groundhogs day. Going to a job I didnt want to be at, but stayed for the sake of finances. The unknown can be scary, but I believed in myself enough to know that if I put in the work and with Gods hand, I could do it. I knew it wasnt going to be easy, but it would be worth it. Read more>>

Kristina Kury | Founder & CEO of Sprout Creative LA

Going into business for yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone. You can’t and you shouldn’t. The sooner you learn this lesson the more growth, success, and happiness you will experience. In late 2019 and into 2020 I had a goal for my business. Attend 2 in-person networking events a week. Make connections, follow up and book those coffee meetings. I started to get folded into a few groups due to this consistent (sometimes exhausting) effort of meeting people, following up, and engaging. I would drive to Orange County, up to Ventura County, and all the other counties in between, just to hit my goal. I was getting pretty drained attending all these networking opportunities in person. Then, in February 2020 I joined a networking group called District Bliss, based in D.C. I wanted to expand my community and with them being on the other coast, I was hoping for some online connection opportunities and relieve myself an in-person trip each week. Read more>>

Andre Sebastian | Co-Founder of DreLau

My dream job was to work at Google. After an internship, and a year working full-time there, I decided to leave the company. Not because I didn’t enjoy working there, but because I felt like it wasn’t the right place for me at the time, based on my goals and where I saw my future. Of course, my family, friends, and audience thought this was a crazy decision but I wouldn’t be where I am today without making that decision. Read more>>

Ahmed Alamri (Mojomora) | Entrepreneur & Designer

Entrepreneurship changed for me once I decided that I wouldn’t give up on a venture until I’ve absolutely run that idea into the ground, I learned a whole lot more about what it takes to be an entrepreneur after I’ve failed so many different times. That’s really what a great entrepreneur does; fail gracefully. Failure has such a negative connotation nowadays, but it’s actually one of the most quantifiable piece of information you can learn about yourself and your business. You grow substantially when you fail hard. Read more>>

Eligh Nachowitz | Rapper, producer, artist, film scorer, binaural beat making dad

10/13/2005, I put myself in rehab. I was completely in the grips of addiction. At that point, heroin was my drug of choice. I wasn’t making music, art, nothing. I was chasing dope everyday. Until I had enough. If I didn’t decide to surrender, I would of died. Not because I wanted to die, just due to the nature of the disease of addiction, it was the next logical step. Obviously, that decision was paramount to my life and career as an artist. Ive been clean for 15 years, and all my art and music in these past 15, speak recovery in some form or fashion. As a result, many of my listeners, supporters, have also heard the message, and got clean themselves. I cant tell you how good that feels. I always celebrate my clean anniversary in public on my social media, because I want people to know whats possible. Read more>>

Ching-Shan Chang | Composer, arranger, pianist, and orchestrator

Learning to embrace my identity and background, and discovering my own unique voice and style is perhaps the most important decision I made that contributed to my success. Over time I realized the habit I’d developed of feeling overly competitive didn’t do me any favors and even crippled my creativity. Imitating other people’s style or workflow might be necessary when learning but I’ve come to the realization that collaborators should come to me for one reason: my one-of-a-kind voice—not just for a mediocre version of John Williams or whoever your idol is. Harry Gregson-Williams once said in an interview that he’s not a “mini Hans Zimmer,” nor does he try to be. I try to keep that in mind and be more instinctive when translating my thoughts into music. There’s still a long way to go in discovering my real and original voice, but my music has brought orchestras, performers, and a variety of collaborators who are interested in working together, so I believe I’m probably on the right path!. Read more>>

Keith Bryce | Professional beauty photographer and Hair artist

I’d would have to the single most important decision I have made that has contributed to my success has been to choose to believe in myself ! I have shifted creative direction multiple times and choosing to believe in myself continually has always helped me rise to the top when ever I have had difficult times or struggled along the way. Read more>>

Edward Kil | Concept Artist and Designer

As cliche as it sounds, the decision to never give up. Being a creative is difficult and risky. It’s definitely a road for the fearless, as there are many obstacles that will discourage you on the path to success. There are times in the journey when lack of motivation, skill gaps, finances, and so on can feel like walls that are insurmountable. Whatever your methods are– whether it is to work around, climb, or break those walls– I think it boils down to the decision to relentlessly pursue your goals and dreams. I know in my journey as a creative, perseverance alone helped me get to where I am today. Read more>>

Alex Cerda | Crystal Jeweler

That decision was giving back to the community. I was born and raised in East Los Angeles, but I had the privilege of going to college on the east coast and traveling parts of the world thereafter. That really opened my eyes to the way communities grow and thrive or stay stagnant. I want my community, the one I was born into, to grow and thrive. Making beautiful, accessible crystal jewelry and selling healing stones is my way of giving back to my community. I’ve been to crystal shops on the westside that aren’t very accessible to mi gente. I wanted my shop to be a safe, inviting place for those seeking gem healing. Every online order gets a little gift because I believe the root of success is generosity. Read more>>

Danielle Nichole Morgan | Founder, CEO and Creative Director

Two things that go hand in hand. The first is embracing and accepting failure as part of success. The second piece is making a commitment to myself to never give up. Recognizing that failure is inevitable if you’re trying to achieve something is so important. Rather than seeing failure as defeat, I like to look at it as a lesson and take what I’ve learned to continue forward. Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Staying committed to learning and growing from my failures has led me to find my own success. I know there is still failure in my future and I still have more lessons to learn, but it’s all in the name of becoming the best version of myself which is reflected in creating the best version of my business. Read more>>

Joy Rumore | Artist, Tattooer, Writer, Podcast Host/Editor, and Mother.

Other than deciding to work for myself, the single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was simply to follow my instincts. Even when people told me I would fail, I trusted myself gut and trusted the research and preparation I’d done. Even when people told me I couldn’t do things by myself because I wasn’t a man, I trusted my determination to spend all day working to pay the bills and all night building or painting to get my shops open. Read more>>

Dawn Jackson | Founder & President, Bosom Couture®️

The biggest decision that an entrepreneur has to continue to make over and over again is to BELIEVE and to persevere.
Along the journey you find yourself in different seasons, and you have to learn how to be in tune with the season you’re in. I’ve always pictured it like a floating staircase in complete darkness. There are three options as you stand on the step that you are on; 1.) Slowly and carefully move your foot around feeling for the next step and cautiously move forward. 2.) Jump! Take the risk and just go for it, blindly jumping forward.3.) Standstill and continue to utilize all your current resources until a greater clarity comes. Read more>>

Mychal Brandon | Photographer, Director, & Singer

I think the single most important decision I’ve made, that has contributed to my success, is my choice to be more than just an artist, who has to be an entrepreneur. I try my best to always keep a balance of being artistically driven, but business conscious. Residing in Los Angeles, as a midwestern transplant, challenges your resolve to be here. LA is one of the most expensive places to live, let alone thrive. In order to grow and sustain, you have to be willing to operate in diverse work climates. If you’re so creatively particular, you miss the opportunities that give back consistently; you have to be able to adjust and redistribute your artistry to fit the need. Read more>>

ANGIE & GINO SCHENONE | Owners of House of the Peruvian Cookie

Determination, I believe that is what made us get to where we are right now. Having a clear picture of what you want and just going for it with a positive attitude and getting it accomplish. We always wanted to own a business, for over 20 years we talk about many ideas but really didn’t focus or believe in them enough. In 2019 we had the opportunity to help out in a fundraiser and offer to make alfajores. 5 years before that day I was determine to make the softest alfajores just as I remember them in trips to Peru. I had the recipe just needed to adjust it to get to it’s perfection. My family was very proud once after many attempts and it became a hit in every gathering that I would share them. Never did I know I can make a business out of them. Well on that fundraiser was when it hit us….We notice the huge demand and the very little competicion. We then notice how even a person that has never tried them just loved them….suddenly we visualize our business and since that day all has been coming together. Read more>>