We’ve been fortunate to connect with so many brilliant, thoughtful entrepreneurs and creatives and we regularly ask them about the most important lessons they’ve learned over the course of their careers. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Kara Connolly | Singer-Songwriter & Actress

I’ve learned a lot of important lessons pursuing a career in the arts, which can be both an unpredictable and rewarding journey, but one of the primary lessons I’m reminded of constantly is that a career is built on relationships. Treating others with love and respect is always the answer. I never did this as a business tactic and that is not what I’m recommending here, but I’ve noticed how my compassion in the past has come back around in ways that I never would have expected. I think it comes down to the fact that humans are social creatures and inevitably want to be around those we connect with. We want to befriend and support people who are kind, caring, have our backs and support us over extended periods of time. The director of my most recent music video was someone I met at an acting camp at 15 years old. Read more>>

Rosh Roslin | Guitarist, Drummer & Tech and Software Developer

The most important thing I’ve learned about being self-employed and having my own business is patience. With social media you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, your goalposts move on a daily basis and you sometimes lose track of the progress you’ve made. Wherever you are, there you are. It’s difficult to remain patience knowing that your time will come. Things either happen incrementally that you don’t even notice at all, or incredibly quickly or some combination of both. The key is to make sure that you don’t lose yourself in the process and just keep pushing in the right direction. Read more>>

Al Sgro | Producer, Composer & Licensing Consultant

Surviving in music and entertainment has taught me to embrace my own strengths and explore every avenue that presents itself. When I was young and living in Hollywood, I was having considerable success as a performer and touring musician. But as time went on, I was drawn to producing, mainly because I liked the idea of having a bit more agency over how projects were executed. So, I opened a small studio with a partner that ended up thriving for more than 15 years. Writing music for film and television showed me first hand the importance of copyright ownership, and in time I gained an appreciation for the value of those copyrights. That experience led me to a grad school entertainment law program as a way of furthering my footing on rights issues and perhaps helping defend against any attempts in the market to undercut royalties or devalue US copyright. Read more>>

Patrick James Lynch | Business Owner & Filmmaker

Reality is the best asset. As a creative, I can spend a lot of time “creating” and forget that the world around me — the people, buildings, animals, lighting, ideas, all of it! — has so much more to offer than anything my siloed mind will come up with. As both a creative and a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in my own ideas, or in the aspirations of where I want to go; where I’m trying to take my company. Recalling that “reality is the best asset” grounds me in what’s available and what’s true. Then it’s up to my strategy side to think through how to best leverage that position. I think sometimes people are too scared of the part where developing an innovative strategy might be called upon and instead perform mental gymnastics or engage in self-delusion to change their “analysis” of a situation. That’s never going to work, in the long run. Use what you have, to the best you can. Be honest, then be smart. Read more>>

Kevin Welbeck | Activist, Actor & Filmmaker

“If you build it, they will come” That quote has been the most significant lesson I have learned. I can’t count how many times I have felt the thing I was attempting or desiring to do was way too big for me. Feelings like I wasn’t qualified or capable of fulfilling the task. That people would not show up, or support my events or even watch my films. That there was no way to get the finances necessary to accomplish certain goals. That I was just way too in over my head. But regardless of all those thoughts and feelings I could never quit. I’d hear God tell me or confirm in me that He was with me and to just go forward. And every single time I have been met with success and favor. There would be times at some of my outreach events where I’d just pause and look at everything and start crying to myself. Being on the other side of accomplishing something bigger than you is a feeling I can’t really explain. Being able to tangibly see your hearts desire fulfilled is simply a beautiful experience. Read more>>

Buffy Milner | Actor

Don’t worry or stress about things that are out of your control. This was a big one for me. As an actor I go out for auditions all the time and once you leave the audition room or send in the self tape, the wait begins. Either you hear back or you don’t, and that wait can be stressful. It’s a lot to carry around and if you don’t hear back, after all the worry and stress, the rejection seems all the more difficult to deal with. I adopted the belief that if it’s meant for me it will be mine and I realized that worry and stress are just wasted energy, especially when the circumstances are out of my control. So now, I go out, do the audition and then let it go and focus on the next thing. That way if I do hear back it’s a nice surprise. Read more>>

Jenny Dayco | Jewelry Designer & Wardrobe Stylist

I believe that one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to stay true to my own creative voice and vision, in conjunction with being flexible, so that I can creatively evolve as well! What I might be inspired by one day, may be just “meh” the next day! Or at times, I’ll be inspired by a particular theme or aesthetic, and I try my best to have it come to fruition by creating a collection that fleshes the all the ideas out. Just even knowing and understanding that one’s creative inspiration ebbs and flows, it can be still water one day, or become roaring rapids another day! I think it’s best to give yourself grace when it comes to harnessing your artistic sensibilities–not everything can be “green lights” all the way through! I myself have made pieces I didn’t necessarily like, and they are all unfinished and sitting in a box somewhere. Read more>>