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.

Noah Fontaine | Actor/Photographer

The most important lesson that I have learned so far in my career is that you HAVE to be your authentic self. Your own light shines through so much brighter then one that you “think” you might be. Own who you are. Take time to learn things about yourself. Being Transgender, I have to check in with myself all the time to make sure I am still where I want to be. Is it hard at times? Oh you bet- but absolutely worth it. Read more>>

Mariana Tosca | Photographer & Filmmaker

Being proficient at one thing is not enough. The business of art is more multifaceted than ever before and we are called upon to not only be aware, but be highly proficient at numerous disciplines ancillary to whatever our main skill set may be. Ford invented division of labor, which on a production line is very effective. But for the entrepreneur in the arts, that would be near suicide. Being a good photographer, for example, is only one piece of an ever-expanding puzzle. It used to be that in addition to your professional proficiency at your craft, you had to have a well-produced portfolio to showcase your work. Then the portfolio became a website. Now it’s a website, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, etc. In art, photography, filmmaking, all the disciplines of story on numerous platforms become intertwined and each is informed by the other. Today, one could easily ask, “Am I creating because I’m inspired by the subject, or because I know it will be a good fit for Instagram?” So even our motivations for making our particular art are evolving. Read more>>

Tannie Xin Tang | Cinematographer

I have learned an incredible amount ever since I started my cinematography career. It is such a beautiful craft that contains solid technical dexterity and allows you to fully express your sensibilities as an artist. Little did I know that the commitment it requires to become an amazing cinematographer. No. 1 important lesson I learned is to work hard, no matter what. It might seem like a common virtue to carry for any field. Yet in this context, being a crew member on a film set or being a Director of Photography takes years of experience and hard work. It is a tendency, in the entertainment industry, to overlook at the traditional core value of simple hard work and place excessive emphasis on maneuvering networking power to achieve your goals. Crew positions call for both mental and physical hard work, and either side could break before you think you can handle it. Knowing your craft and working hard to perfecting it is the golden principle. Read more>>

Brent Concolino | Business Owner – President & CEO

After being in business for over 20 years, it has become clear that the greatest lesson I have learned is that building meaningful relationships is more important than the sale of a product or service. No matter what job or business people have, I believe it must be fueled by creating solid relationships through biblical principles. When practiced, relationships last forever and will naturally develop a sustainable business and personal life. ROCK Institute is a faith based company that seeks to create meaningful and lasting relationships with our athletes, patients, clients and community. In general the stronger your love for Christ is, the stronger your connection for people will be, creating a true foundation in business and life. It is not always easy, but that is not what I expect. Read more>>

Debbie Winston Litoff | Artist

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to trust and have confidence in myself and the art I create. For many years the opinions of others would affect me emotionally and gauge how I valued my work. As I have grown as a artist my confidence has grown. I no longer need, for the most part, a stamp of approval to value a piece I have done. It’s very liberating and has carried over to all facets of my life. Read more>>

Amy Batlowski | Salon Owner And Stylist

That it’s impossible to please everyone. In the beginning of my career, I would drive myself crazy if a client didn’t leave happy with their service. Sometimes I did make mistakes and sometimes I knew there was just no way I was going to please them no matter how hard I tried. Now, if I feel a client and I are not compatible, I’m more than happy to refer them to a stylist who I believe will give them what they’re looking for. With my stylists, they might not always agree with certain decisions I make but having their respect that I’m doing my best is what’s most important. It’s really hard to understand where the person in charge is coming from if you’ve never been in that position. And sometimes I react the wrong way and say the wrong things out of frustration and it’s how you handle it afterwards that can make or break the comradery. Read more>>

Dovi Plattner | Insurance Broker

To think outisde the box. In my industry, there are many brokers. To be able to succeed in this business, I found that a creative, dedicated and driven mindset is the best combination for success. Read more>>