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?

Kastin Lewis | Business Owner, Actress, and Model

The most important factor of success is FAITH. Believing in yourself and not giving up is a huge advantage to succeeding in life. There’s at times where things do get hard but always remember to have fun and do what you love to do. As long as you have full faith in yourself nothing and nobody can stand in your way. Read more>>

Hellè Weston & Lukis Mac | Founders of Owaken Breathwork

We’re big on doing what feels right and following our intuition in our personal and business decisions. If something doesn’t feel right, we trust that and pivot. We go inward for answers daily – whether it’s for small or big decisions. We’re not attached to what we think “should” happen, so we can adapt pretty quickly and embrace new ideas that support us to move forward. We love what we do and deeply believe in the power of Owaken Breathwork to transform people’s lives so sharing it has felt natural and purposeful from the beginning. We know if our energy is right and our action-taking is consistent, success follows. Read more>>

Tasha Wade | Photographer

The most important factor behind my success is authenticity. I came into the photography industry vowing to always stick to my guns and stay true to myself, not compromising my morals , and I believe my brand embodies that. I value inclusivity and showcasing all types of love. As a boudoir photographer my main goal is to always prioritize making women feel empowered. As for my couples, showcasing their true authentic selves. Posing isn’t really my thing, I prefer prompts for the raw authentic emotion. Read more>>

Michelle Harrison | Founder of HoneyInk Publishing & Health Coach

The most important factor behind my success is faith. For me, everything starts with faith. The belief that I can accomplish and live out my dreams of being a successful business owner through the power of faith. I have learned through my life journey that hard work and discipline produces perseverance, hope and success. But without faith how will I get to where I am going if I do not believe in something bigger than me? Being a black woman owned business, I have been faced with many challenges and adversities, however, my faith is my superpower to stay the course and prevail. The success of my brand is rooted in authenticity, genuineness, and simplicity. HoneyInk Publishing was created to inspire you to freely express yourself through the power of journaling. Read more>>

Faith Streng | Psychic Healer & Spiritual Mentor

The combination of Connection and Collaboration! (Okay that’s two factors, but I couldn’t pick just one!) These are the foundations of my business model. It is important to me that my clients have more than just me to share their spiritual journey with! Almost all of the people who are drawn to my work are experiencing an awakening without like-minded friends to talk to about it. I quickly realized that part of my services would be introducing my amazing clients to each other. This has solidified into a strong, supportive, and high vibe global community that is continuing to grow and expand! Read more>>

Pamela McCune | Clean Beauty Creator

I believe the most important factor behind the success of my brand is ultimately being myself. My brand is about natural beauty and empowering others. I have a love for beauty and seeing other women win around me. I have created relationships and bonds with others by simply being me. I want people to feel beautiful and empowered when when purchasing from me or meeting me at pop ups. It’s not just gloss or oils, it’s an experience too. I have found myself while developing this business which has been very rewarding and has made it easy to build a brand I love. I don’t have to try to be someone I’m not or feel like a sales person. My products work and people support me because of that too. I have always been a user of clean beauty & anything that is cruelty free. My products represent that and are handmade also by me. Read more>>

Ana Aranda | Illustrator and picture book creator

Thank you for having me here! As a children’s book illustrator, one thing that is very important for me is to incorporate play into my work.
I want the illustrations to feel fresh always so I try to have a sketchbook practice and also an experimentation practice. For example, I like incorporating food in illustrations, or bury paintings and water them weekly as if they were plants, I like to try new techniques and draw with my non dominant hand. Sometimes these experiments make it in the books and some times they don’t, but the feeling of something fresh is joyous is one thing that I pursue frequently. I believe that bringing the joy of creating into the work can ultimately be transmitted! I am hoping that when people look at it, it will make them smile and bring a little bit of color to the hectic every day life. Read more>>

Ariana Matthews | Full Bawdy Wax & Curly Hair Specialist

The most important factor behind my success is 100% the team that supports me. For so long I had this idea that I needed to be every woman and do everything by myself but I quickly realized that is not how to achieve success and growth. It is so important to surround myself with like minded & goal oriented people so that I am constantly wanting and reaching for the betterment of myself and the business. Read more>>

Steve Hartfield | Fashion Photographer & Production Coordinator

Courage and Perseverance. The moves I make for the sake of my company largely depends on my confidence and efficiency when it comes to the content I put out. I am not afraid to make mistakes and be the new guy in the room, I’ve done it all my life. I’ve failed more times than my peers have tried, because as a veteran, you have to focus on the mission regardless of daily setbacks. I ensure to my clients that creativity and performance can be nurtured in a focused environment, and I take it upon myself to set the tone when I show up to work. Read more>>

Erecia Williams | Website & Graphic Designer

The most important factor behind my success is having a good work ethic and being committed to serving my clients. Read more>>

Koby Kumi-Diaka | Actor / Producer

Self discipline, a tenacious work ethic and the ability to make major sacrifices are just a few factors that play a major role in my life when it comes to my success. Overall the most important factor for me when it comes to success is a strong sense of belief. The type of belief that I am talking about is one that comes from the depths of a person, it is one so strong that it is connected to a sense of purpose in an individual. This deeply rooted belief takes priority in a way that supersedes any and all ostacles. Read more>>

robert parks-valletta | Actor/Host/CEO making it media/ best selling author/Producer /Philanthropist

Im a successful artist not because the world viewed me as successful, but because I’ve successfully made art—over and over, time and time again. I didn’t just imagine life as an artist; I took the practical steps to produce tangible projects. I made things and made things until one day, I had made so many things that I truly understood what it took to win an Emmy Award, lead employees, and make art I’m proud of. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve made “it.” And guess what? Anyone who is willing to take the practical steps can make it too. I’ll show you how. It all starts with a shift in your daily perspective. Read more>>

Sheel Bhuta | Medical Intuitive, Holistic Health Practitioner and Children’s EQ Teacher

The most important factor behind my success is my passion for healing and helping. Everything I do is not just my work, but my life purpose. I do not even call it work anymore, I address it as my divine mission. This reframe has helped fuel me every single step of the way and inspire me whenever I seem to hit a roadblock. It gifts me momentum against all odds and most of all it keeps me in a state of absolute joy and gratitude. Read more>>

Travis Matthews | Business owner & entrepreneur

There’s a few things that I feel play an important factor on my success and the success of my brand. One big things is paying attention to the details. It took me a year to figure out the design down to how I wanted the signature done. There was a lot of trial and error . Things like what type of shirt to print on, what type of print I wanted to use on the shirts etc. these are the things if done properly that can’t separate your brand from everyone else. The other equally important factor is customer service. I worked in retail for 10 years and I’ve leaned the customer experience is just as important as a good product. My goal is to create a experience for anybody who supports Iconik Blac. Read more>>

Wynter May | Fashion Designer

This is a tough question because success means many different things to different people. To me and my brand, Wynter May Designs, success is being able to accomplish the goals that I had set my brand! The most important factor behind my success is simple, putting in the work and never giving up. I first started my business when I graduated high school in 2016 where I faced a lot of challenges. Ranging all from going to college, having a daughter, working full time jobs and just life itself. Sometimes the pressure of these challenges would have me questioning myself on if this was what I was meant to do. Read more>>

Julie Perlmutter Audrey Bromstad | Co-Founders of Figue & Co.

Adapting to the market, while staying true to your brand. When you launch your own business, you think of a thousand different ways to sell a product, a hundred different business models, and find a reason that everyone on the planet will want to be your customer. If the last two years have taught us anything, it should be that flexibility and fluidity in business is key. Go where the market takes you, and be a brand that others want to work with. Treat people with respect and be kind. You can get a lot more done when people want to work with you instead of against you. Read more>>

John Lacy | Actor/Filmmaker

Tenacity is everything. Too many people come out to Hollywood and give themselves an unrealistic timeframe for success. The most reliable path to success in this crazy irrational business is a passionate never-ending belief that your story is worth telling. So then the challenge for the artist becomes developing rational and realistic daily, weekly, monthly pro-active habits that keep you in a collaborative, inspired frame of mind. Once you begin living in that creative flow the ideas and connections and relationships begin to reveal themselves – and then anything is possible. Read more>>

Insightful Babes | Co-founders & Co-hosts Of Insightful Babes Podcast| Maria Garibay & Diana Contreras

The most important factor behind the success of Insightful Babes is to be a voice and share stories with all of the hustlers, dreamers, outsiders and visionaries out there. We embrace our culture, while being our true selves to help empower and inspire others who are not being themselves because of fear or traditional beliefs. Read more>>

Bunny Urick | Embodiment Coach, CMT, & Reiki Master

Meeting people where they are at, making sure they feel honestly heard and seen, and treating them as equals and partners in our work together is what has allowed me to build my brand successfully. Making heart-centered connections with trust and vulnerability allows my work with others to be as impactful and transformative as it is. True healing and transformation are only possible in a safe and supportive relationship with self and others. Read more>>

Gabby Muzzarelli | Founder of Formation

To me, the success of Formation, a digital fitness platform, is based on the success of my clients. If their lives have been improved by Formation, even if in just a small way, I consider that a success. Maybe a client wants to build strength or recover from a past injury. Maybe they want to gain confidence, find community or just let off steam after a particularly challenging day at work. If someone feels better after they walk out of a Formation class than they did before they got there, I have been successful. Read more>>

Dorsa Vaziri | Roller Skater & Business Owner

For WOW Rolling, the most important factor that continues to bring success for the brand is our community. The Orlando roller skating community is filled with talented, kind, intelligent skaters that bring something different to every corner of our scene and makes skating in Orlando so much fun. I’m grateful for all the friends and connections I’ve made through skating and being able to give back to my community through this brand is my definition of success. Read more>>

Catherine Deptuch | Writer, Director, Producer & Founder of Vulcat Studio

The most important factor behind the success of my brand as a filmmaker “Catherine Deptuch” and under the umbrella of my production company, Vulcat Studio, is being classy and remaining true to myself while also being as specific as possible with the core values in my work. Classic. Multi-Lingual. Coming of Age “At Any Age”. International. Music-Driven. Those are core elements that not only shine in my work but also in what I wear and how I genuinely express myself, almost without thinking. Putting words to my brand early on has helped with moments in creating and writing where I am meandering, lost in the woods of experimentation, and need to come back to my center as an artist. Read more>>

Evan Jackson | CEO/Creator of the entertainment media news company Young Bold And Regal

The most important factor behind my success and the success of the Young Bold And Regal brand is consistency. I dedicate my time being detailed and clued in on the cutting edge information of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. At Young Bold And Regal we love to do media coverage of up and coming talent so I pride myself on research of seeing not only who the next star is but also who the next best cinematographer, fashion designer, producer and author is so we can dive more into their story. And when it it comes to my personal brand I like to give my audience a peek into what I do when I’m on red carpets. A look at the process and real time feeling of who I’ve spoken with and also personal touch on how I feel about the event I’m attending overall. That draws the audience in so that they are not only buying into what I’m giving them but it is also an overall experience they can only get with me in front of and behind the camera. Read more>>

Nomad Mr. Murk City | Rap Recording Artist

I would have to say dedication is the most important factor to me. I always felt that if you’re truly dedicated to something then you won’t let anything stop you from achieving that goal. When I first started out on my journey I saw a lot of talented people stop and give up. But the ones who were dedicated were the ones succeeding, so I had to move and act accordingly if I wanted to be successful. Life will throw you curve balls which may result in setbacks, your patience, sanity and faith will often be tested. There’s no road map to being a success, and everyone’s path is different. However, if you have a vision and a goal for yourself then you need to make up in your mind that nothing is going to stop you from achieving it. Then wake up everyday with the mindset that nothing is going to stop me not even myself. Read more>>

Alyssa Noui | Food Stylist and Culinary Producer

Success to me is being able to move fully expressed in the joyful gratitude I wake up with every morning that I get paid to play with food. The success of my brand is the environment I bring along with my creativity and attention to detail. I try to take the phrase “Leave Everywhere Better Than When You Found It” to a holistic level. Beyond the obvious material cleanliness aspect, how can I uplift the energy on set? How can I make people laugh and move through the day a little lighter? How can I teach and challenge my assistants so they will be ready for their time to come lead? How can I learn from, support and communicate my needs to production so we can all anticipate and consider the other’s needs earlier? This has made my business successful as an 90% word-of-mouth hiring rate! Read more>>

Ruth Kogen Goodwin | Writer and Editor

Resilience. I keep at it. Even if there is a lean period with few client projects or a streak of rejected pitches, I keep moving forward. Freelancing can be feast or famine. The amount of work is not always consistent, and to succeed, you have to become comfortable with uncertainty. To be honest, this is something I am still working on. It is easy to become discouraged when you are hearing “no” more than “yes”. The key for me has been to continue chipping away at building the business through those discouraging times. Read more>>

Rashian Burns | Information Technology Consultant

I credit my success to the support of my family and growing up in Brownsville section of Brooklyn. If you are someone who currently lives in New York City or has at some point in your life, you know Brownsville is one of the toughest places to live in the country. Violence, poverty, and drug addiction is what you’ll experience in some form growing up in Brownsville. Living through that day in and day out forces a person to make quick decisions and pay attention to detail. Read more>>

Neesha Colvin | Stylist/ Loctician

I generated my business wanting to be apart of the change versus the problem of discriminatory practices within the industry/city, in order to do that it required consistency and accountability which in turn segwayed into being authentic, having humility, and empathy in order to build my brand. Read more>>