Every overnight success we’ve seen has been years in the making. And those overnight successes are rarely because of an amazing idea or a stroke of luck. We asked some of our favorite folks from the community about what characteristics are at the heart of their success story?

Jen Robin | Founder & Chief Organizing Officer

Connection and community! My business is a service-based one, and at the end of the day, it’s very intimate what we do. We consider every job an honor as we understand how difficult it can be for someone to relinquish control of their items and put their trust in our hands. Therefore, for Life in Jeneral, I’ve made connection such a priority. When my team walks into a home, we want to feel warm, calming, and inviting as we are otherwise strangers handling personal items. It’s important to build a relationship and find a thing or two that builds trust and establishes connection between us and our clients. I genuinely believe that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the value that we place on fostering a trusting relationship from the get-go. Read more>>

Noesh Hordagoda | Preschool Owner

From a young age, my parents instilled me with a resilient work ethic, which was to always stay focused, work within my morals, and to continuously progress. The most important factor behind the success of my brand is expertise in the industry. My work ethic has allowed me to use my educational background and my ability to challenge the industry of preschool education/childcare to create a successful sustainable brand. Read more>>

Tessa Brand | Wedding Planner & Owner

Aside from good customer service and hard work, Tessa Lyn Events grew quickly because of thoughtful marketing. More than half of my clients find me on Instagram, therefore every photo I post on social media must represent my brand and appeal to my specific demographic. Many post haphazardly and don’t give enough thought to the representation. I spend time on cultivating relationships with press outlets and sharing my best work with them which results in free marketing. Read more>>

Aiko Fukushima | Composer for Film/TV & Choir Director

I used to think that being successful was my goal – I wanted to sound, act, and look like someone successful. But after trying that path, I found that being myself and accepting who I am is the way to be. When I went back to Japan after being in the U.S. for a year, my former band manager looked at me and said, “You haven’t changed! Why aren’t you wearing a jean jacket with an American flag and look more American?” I used to think that being in a male-dominated industry, I had to look strong and be loud, but I finally realized that presenting myself and my work authentically is how it should be for me. Now I am fortunate to have a manager who believes in me and says, “Write the music you want and like and work on the projects you care about.” Read more>>

Ali Handal | Recording Artist & Entrepreneur

I continue learning how to become better at all aspects of my art and my business, and I never give up. Read more>>

Ash Miner | Dog Trainer & Music Teacher

My success is largely dependent on my specialty training. I’ve always been a teacher, from when I was in middle school helping my teacher with beginner ballet classes, to high school when I taught horseback riding camps and lessons, into college when I taught music. I’m highly motivated to master a skill and share it with others in a way that is easy to understand and fun to learn. I double majored in my undergrad, getting Bachelors of Music Education and Music Performance. The education degree definitely helps me train the human end of the leash, which I would say is actually the most work! The dogs tend to pick up on things very quickly, then the rest of the time I help teach the owner to do the same. Read more>>

Simon Cooper | Founder & Creative Director

Providing a service that focuses on benefitting the client, before benefitting our agency. If we work for what is in the best interest of our clients, it will be in our best interest also. Read more>>

Raquel Reyna | Visionary Entrepreneur & Human Design Transformational Teacher

What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand? As a person who has been a lifelong seeker, I have been introduced to quite a lot of strategies for success. I have also been a serial entrepreneur who has rode the wave of highs and lows that are inevitable with this career path. Through this journey for most of my life, even though I had experienced a lot of big wins in business there was always something missing. I had a sense that I was sacrificing a part of myself, hiding my true wisdom, over-working, not really being acknowledged for who I was. I was successful but also incredible bitter. I felt over-worked and unrecognized. However, it took a real burnout before I understood what was happening. Read more>>

Revital Romano| Business Consultant

Working hard has never intimidated me, it’s an ideal I value and pass along to my children. And I keep it positive, believing that optimism leads to productivity. Having served in the army after graduating high school, it inherently matured me, turned me into a responsible adult who understands what it means to be there for each other. You’re part of a special community and interact with people from all walks of life, and that’s something I cherish till this day. I’ve always been direct and honest, because to me that’s the core of professionalism. Clients not only rely on me for financial efficiency but also peace of mind. I help and reassure, especially at times when the future is uncertain. And funnily enough considering cost vs. value served as a turning point in my personal life. Read more>>

David Lovejoy | Carpenting Sculptor & Sculpting Carpenter

The most important factor behind my success is that I do what I say I’ll do, when I said I’d do it, for the price I said it would cost. Obviously, that’s often not possible, but if it changes, it changes in a way that we’ve both agreed upon, due to circumstances that have arisen since the contract was signed. Regarding the success of my “brand”, the Spring Arts Tower has been the most important factor, with the Gallery at the End of the World a close second. These are two locations where I’ve had a studio – over ten years in the Spring Arts Tower. The Last Bookstore, on many short international lists of places to see, surrounds my current studio there. The bookstore became a thing at the same time as Instagram, so it’s been a huge showcase for me. The owner of the building has commissioned me for work that has been seen globally, as has my work in the bookstore. The Spring Arts Tower has brought the world to me. Read more>>

Sean Kara | Photographer

Hiromitsu Yamanouchi | Ramen Restaurant Owner & Chef

The most important factor that made my business successful is not sticking to tradition too much. Although our restaurant provides authentic Japanese style, it is also important to absorb local tastes and adjust our style to the current trends and demands. Being flexible and sometimes breaking the rules is the key to run a business in a foreign country. Pablo Picasso had enough skills to draw a picture looking like a photo, but what made him famous is not following such a basic style. Since my ramen is driven by the Daruma Ramen from Hakata Japan, I could simply follow the traditional Hakata style. However, I am becoming a Ramen Picasso. Read more>>

Sean Kara | Photographer

I have always thought I had a vision to create, create images which will move people and motivate me enough to create more. I was not patient and very fragile in the past. I remember a point in my life feeling like-I have to go all the way, I was sick of wasting my potential. Once I have learned how to be effectively obsessed with creating images, and get great feedback from people that have a vision, that feeling became an addiction to me- the feeling of creating a moment that will never exist again (photography). I had to do more to feel good about myself and it lead me to success. Read more>>

Clarissa Kusel | Founder

Community. When I started The Ocean is Female with Tiare three years ago, I wanted to deepen my surf community. I craved a community of women who supported each other in the water regardless of surf experience, ethnic background, age, size, and geographic location. I was initially planning to do this by collecting stories by interviewing female surfers in parking lots. I honestly was planning on just approaching as many female surfers as I could find. But armed with the power of the Instagram DM, in three years we had interviewed over 1,000 women from over 35 different countries and amassed over 16,000 followers on Instagram. It wasn’t until a major surf brand contacted us did we realize we were on to something. Read more>>

Ozan Karakoc | Brand Designer

I believe that the most important factor behind my success is how much I care for my clients and for my job. Design has never been a tool for me. It is my entire life and my true passion. When that’s the case, it becomes a matter of ‘principle’ for you, not just another way of earning a living. Designing something that really works, creating a meaningful brand that touches people, and working on a client project as if it is my own make me the happiest person in the world. I define myself as a ‘design partner’, because when I work for a client, I feel like an actual part of their brand. I think like them, I understand the strengths and weaknesses of them, and I provide solutions for them, with a pro-active approach when needed. Even after I’m completely done with the project, I keep monitoring how the brand performs. When I see something wrong from branding and design perspective, I reach out to them and share my suggestions, solely for the sake of the brand. That’s why, I believe that I have the happiest clients in the world! Read more>>

Michael and Josie Herman | Podcast Creators

Collaboration is the most important factor to our success. We constantly listen to each other and trust each other throughout the creative process. We believe compromise is the death of art. In compromise, both parties walk away a little disappointed, but with collaboration, the whole team feels like they have built something together. This means working with our fellow artists and not against them. We cast people that we trust and then respect what they bring to the table. The result of this collaboration has been over 100,000 downloads across over 80 different countries. Read more>>

Mary Mahler | Coffee Program Director

I believe the most important factor behind success is loyalty. Yes knowledge is very important, but I wouldn’t have gained all that knowledge and vital connections without being loyal to my previous employers. I know that the past two companies hired me based on the fact that I managed a coffee bar for almost 10 years at such a young age. I never jumped around and tried to advance my career by looking for the next best thing. I commit myself to growing within whatever company I am currently working for and if after a while I can tell I will not advance, then I move on. The knowledge and business connections I made through being loyal, is what made my latest, and most successful venture, possible. Read more>>

Jordan Ancel | Filmmaker, Producer & Serial Entrepreneur

The most important factor behind my success is helping others to be successful. I believe that a to be truly successful, we must serve others, and help them achieve their goals. As a filmmaker and producer, yes, I make projects because I love what I do, but what drives me is I get to hire other people. I get to employ their creative vision, their ideas, their passion. It allows them to contribute their creativity and expertise, which is what anyone really wants. This helps build powerful teams, and therefore, when everyone feels fulfilled, the success of any project becomes my success as well. As a serial entrepreneur having started multiple businesses, the same principle applies. My business cannot be successful unless I empower those around me to be and do their best. Read more>>

Dee Murphy | Interior Designer & Content Creator

My success as a brand and as a designer comes from staying true to who I am, and from taking “style” risks. Any designer can follow what is “trending” on Pinterest, or succumb to the aesthetic of the moment, but that would be a bit too easy, right? I hope that what I create, is something that hasn’t been seen before, and I believe that is why my specific clients seek me out! Read more>>

Jeff Runyan | Chief Executive Manager & Founder

In the words of MIT professor and author Angela Duckworth, “grit,” or an unrelenting persistence is the single most important factor behind the success of our brand at Runyan Capital. Also, a dedication to the business, meaning, always have the client’s needs come first (operate in a fiduciary capacity), say what you mean and mean what you say, and make sure you and your client are always on the same page. Read more>>

Adhi Sikand | PhD Candidate & Biotech Networker

For a networking organization trying to connect and grow the biotech ecosystem of greater los angeles area, the most important factor behind the success is collaboration. Los Angeles’ biotech ecosystem is small but growing. There are multiple geographical pockets all over the county which stay isolated and unaware of each other. This void was filled by my organization, BCLA by collaborating with numerous organizations. Just in 2020, we have had the pleasure to collaborate with over 15 institutes, non-profits, small and large companies to deliver networking events both in person (before march) and virtually. With new collaborations, our outreach expands and we enter new demographics of the life science community. Now BCLA’s monthly reaches more than 6500 subscribers. Read more>>

Mike Tempo (Temple) | Bandleader

As the bandleader of The Bonedaddys for over 36-yrs, I’ve always considered my role to be one of a “benevolent dictator.” Sure, I make the final decisions but always leave room for the creative input of others. Because the music and the experience of performing is unusual and fun, I’ve been able to attract great players throughout the lifetime of the band who want to make their individual creative mark on the music. As a bandleader I allow that and embrace the changes and roll with the punches. The main ingredient necessary to empower a musical ensemble that improvises a lot like The Bonedaddys is trust among its members. This is supported by creating a professional environment in which each are supported musically and emotionally by the rest. Read more>>