Never give up.  It’s advice that is thrown around daily – but is it always right?  We asked some folks we admire about their thoughts around how to know when to give up and when to keep trying.

Nadiya Strother | Dance Coach and Entrepreneur

The impact of moving forward is already enough as it speaks volumes for many on all different levels of understanding our true selves. The phrase to “give up” is not really an option for me, I believe in proper breaks and rest for the body. I’m a busy body myself but my body knows when it’s time to settle down. I tend to look at the mood board of my dreams and apsirations which help me to continue to keep going. We are all human and process the way of life in many ways but I know who I am and continuously stay true to myself and what is right for me. AND THAT is what keeps me going for the long haul and not a short haul. I allow myself to unpack all the negativity from the worlds’ chaos and create new waves of art or anything that truly makes me happy. That’s the best part of life. We all have different paths but I know and understand my journey within. Read more>>

Dominika Barnes | Owner- Coastal Chic Co & ModelCitizen Studio

It is time to re-evaluate your skills and assets and find a better fit. When I started my retouching house, ModelCitizen Studio, 15 years ago; it was at the peak of an era of endless glossy printed fashion magazines, sleek car ads, flawless beauty campaigns, over-the-top special effects for movie billboards. Then everything went digital. Then everyone starting using retouchers in India for a fraction of the cost. Then Covid. It was time for a “remodel”. So I started Coastal Chic Co, an Interior Design company. My eye for design, computer system, tablets and digital drawing skills moved seamlessly into 3-D rendering; and with on-site installations being required – someone in India cannot take that client. Art is making an evolution into NFTs, something I will be using my skills and assets to venture into also. Sometimes “giving up” is a blessing, and anyway, aren’t we are all meant to evolve?. Read more>>

DJ Dangerfield | Artist

There really is never any reason to give up because I always think back to the famous art depiction of the 2 men mining diamonds and one gives up when he literally about to strike it big. I know in my industry it’s hard to have patience and it seems that sometimes your time will never come but if you’re doing it for the love of music and it’s truly a passion you’ll never quit you’ll just learn from your failure and try a new course of action but giving up is a definite no no. In my opinion if you give up on your passion you’ll be giving up for the rest of your life on anything you attempt to do so best to stay the course and see it through. Read more>>

Tim Bennett-Huxtable | Screenwriter & Actor

Never give up! I’m obstinate. I’ll make a tactical retreat to develop new strategies, but I would be loath to abandon something I’ve devoted time, energy, money and creativity into simply because there wasn’t an immediate return-on-investment. I play the long game. I may need to shelve a project for awhile, but I’m always thinking of ways to dust off old scripts and breathe new life into them, whether as a TV/film project or adapting/re-contextualizing to other media. Though, it is important sometimes to take a breather and find gratification in things outside of career, particularly in a business of constant rejection. It’s too much an assault on the psyche without taking the time for self-care. Read more>>

Dr Alison Curdt | Golf Coach & Psychotherapist

There comes a pivotal point in someone’s life where they are unsure whether to keep going or give up. My philosophy is to embrace failures and to learn from there. In fact, I often learn more from my failures than my successes! There comes a point when too many failures, disappointments, and lack of goal attainment occurs and its time to pivot. For me, I assess this based on whether what I’m doing makes me truly happy and if the grind to succeed still motivates me. If the answer is yes, I keep grinding, keep going, and look for alternative ways to attain success and reach more goals. If the answer is no, and I’m feeling burned out, not motivated, or have exhausted my passion for the project, I table it and move on. The good news is, if I decide later down the road I’d like to try again, I haven’t burned a bridge and am free to pick back up the project, re-evaluate with a fresh set of eyes and begin again. Read more>>

Sandra Mendoza | vintage boutique owner

I want to give up every other week. I think that is normal for entrepreneurs and creatives. And if you are both-well, you often question your sanity. Being a business owner, during a pandemic, in a very niche business is not easy. But it also does not feel like a job and brings me and others joy. We need more joy in our lives. We need to balance the hard, uncomfortable parts with creativity and relationships. At the end of the day, those are the two things that keep me going – being creative and making relationships. I think I would give up when it stops being fun. One can always pivot and continue to generate revenue. But if it stops being fun, why bother. Read more>>

Tony Camaro | Artist & Creative Director

never give up. Read more>>

KarriAnn & Christine Khalil Nell | Nurse Practitioner

When we were mandated to close our physical doors on March 17, 2020 we immediately opened our virtual doors at Ava MD and Skin Five by Ava MD. Seeing as though Dermatology tends to be more of a visual medical practice we were able to treat patients virtually. Our patients needed us. There are a lot of stress related dermatological skin issues and many people were having flares or experiencing them for the first time, which can be scary. Acne and Rosacea were probably the two most common conditions that were in full force, but once the word of “Covid toes” was announced any bump on the body suddenly became of great concern. A lot of our virtual appointments tended to veer more social and psychological. We have known some of our patients for over a decade and they reached out to us for support. It was such a stressful time and everyone was just trying to figure it out together. Read more>>

Stephen Ohl | Filmmaker

This is the number one existential question that I sit with almost daily these days. It’s a time when things have never seemed more uncertain. Both for my own future and for the future of the world. And with nothing but time to reflect on past decisions and the current state of one’s life, much ruminating has been happening for all of us. But as for the question of giving up or continuing on, I feel as though I always come to the same conclusion, which is that i don’t really have a choice… I came to LA like a conquistador who burned his ship upon arrival, so he couldn’t go back even if he wanted to. “Conquer or die.” This doesn’t mean that I don’t contemplate quitting on the daily, but ultimately I know that this life is very short, and quitting just wouldn’t make sense. Read more>>

Lauren Howard Hayes | Comedian, Actor, Writer

For me, when I reach a fatigue-filled-fork-in-the-road, the best way to know whether to keep going or let it go is by going inward. I pause then ask myself “How do I feel about this? Does this bring me joy?” If I feel tired, sad, or indifferent towards it, then I know to let it go — without judgement. If I feel invigorated and curious to see what’s on the other side, then I know to keep going. This can be applied to creative endeavors, relationships — or even that sourdough starter that just can’t seem to bubble right! Hang onto what feels good and set free what doesn’t. Read more>>

Cherlynne Joseph | Photographer

I personally have struggled with this question a lot over the years in terms with my photography. In 2015 my only camera got stolen right as I was about to start my business as a photographer. The wind got taken out of my sails, so to speak. I gave up on photography what I thought was forever. In hindsight, I’m glad that happened because it caused me to move in a direction and changed my life in ways that I needed in order to grow as a person and as a photographer. I continued to shoot photos with my phone, enjoying doing that as a hobby for a few years while I pursued other endeavors with my life. Only recently have I started pursuing photography again, and I’m glad I have. Taking photos has been a light in a lot of dark times though my life. I’ve gotten a lot better technically, where if I had really started my business back in 2015, I really wasn’t all that good. I needed the new light and experimentation that came with being limited. I made friends who were also creatives that helped me learn what I was doing. I met people who were also my age starting their own businesses, who could help me find a place to start. Read more>>

Jackie Loeb | Stand-Up Comic

Giving up has never been an option, however I do believe there is strength and courage in giving up. It’s not a sign of failure but a proactive measure of taking control of one’s life and opening the door to new possibilities. And that’s about as philosophical as I get. Read more>>

Jason Klamm | Voiceover Artist and Podcaster

Anyone who knows me knows that giving up is something I don’t do easily, which I won’t say is necessarily a strong suit. This can be a very stubborn way to live your life, so in recent years I’ve tried to reassess the things that matter most to me, and see which projects or ideas I’m actually dedicated to – stuff I feel I need to have completed. If something doesn’t fit that category, I set it aside. I never really give up on a project, which means that any idea that doesn’t become its own thing ends up either consciously or unconsciously integrated into something else I work on down the line. This is the same for business or for entertainment as a whole. Learning from your failures is very much the same as integrating bits of old ideas that weren’t enough on their own into something new and more complete that you can be proud of. While I’d never give up entertainment, if I for some reason decided to leave podcasting, I’d just use some element of what I liked about podcasting in my next venture. Read more>>

Paulishia Augillard | Marriage and Family Therapist & Licensed Professional Counselor

I have always been an on-the-go girl! I think that my innate drive to accomplish what I set out to do is a foundation set by my parents. It is generational for me and in the process of running my race, there have been many obstacles along the way. I believe whatever a person sets in their mind to achieve whether it is owning a business, having healthy relationships, parenting, marriage, etc, there will be times where you feel overwhelmed with the process and yes may want to give up. Giving up is not an option for me but I have learned and recognize when I need to slow down, ask for support, and take care of myself. I encourage you to keep going on what motivate and inspires you because if you give up on yourself, you will never know what can be accomplished. It is okay to take a break and nourish your mind, body, and spirit, however after you have taken time out for yourself, get back up and keep going!. Read more>>

Liam Wall | Singer Songwriter

I think this is a simple one. If you ever wake up one day and realize you don’t want to do what you’ve always thought you loved anymore, then maybe that’s a point at which you may want to consider letting it go. Giving up seems like a harsh term because it means you’ve finally realized you can’t reach the goal you always wanted to reach. But, for some people I think goals change and giving up on something doesn’t necessarily mean you failed, but more so that your direction has changed. In my case, I continue to love what I do with music, songwriting, and I want to continue to share with people as long as I have stories and music to share. I think whether or not you feel like you are making progress, as long as you are not comparing yourselves to other and continue working on your craft, it is always the best decision to “Keep Going”. Continue to write, continue to showcase your art. Eventually, this will pay off. Read more>>

Alexa Ferr | Singer/Songwriter/Producer

This is often a question that many independent artists like myself, entrepreneurs and people with big dreams sometimes ask ourselves. What usually helps me over come this, is to remember why I’m doing what I do, what inspires me and if I am still enjoying myself while doing it. A lot of the time, when we feel like we should give up, is the exact moment a new door opens and things start to fall into place!. Read more>>

Matthew Watson | Photographer

That’s a good question. Wether to keep going or to give up is something I have asked myself at times. People often say that we are our own worst critics. And it’s true. I’ve done photoshoots in the past, and on the drive home, I’m thinking I suck – I was terrible – I should give them their money back. Then, when I’m home and reviewing the images, I’m thinking, I did pretty good. I can’t wait until my client sees these. I say that to say, when it comes to considering to keep going or give up, you have to be mindful that you’re not being too hard on yourself. You can’t expect to get things perfect right out the gate. Read more>>

Brittany Cox | Voice Actor & Creator

I hear this question a lot, especially from people looking to get into the entertainment industry. It’s something I thought about early on in my career but I’ve since learned to reframe it: how to know whether to continue on your path or make a turn. 
There is so much pressure in starting a creative career; from the constant auditioning or applying for gigs, to learning to grow and improve your craft, to the mental adjustment of being a freelancer. I think the secret to a creative career is there is no end destination. Your journey will constantly evolve. So I don’t feel like it’s a cling to this path and maybe it’ll work out or decide to give up. It’s a journey that will take turns you could never plan for. When I started off as a theater actor who did the occasional on-camera gig, I was doing ok. I didn’t get cast in everything, but enough to make me feel like I was working. But then I stumbled into my first voice over job. I realized that I found more artistic freedom behind a microphone than in front of an audience or camera. Read more>>

Candace Nicholas-Lippman | Actress, Spoken Word poet & Arts Educator.

Take the focus off of me and remember my purpose is to serve. The gift(s) that God has given me is not for me but for others. My art, my testimonies, my journey is not for me but to, prayerfully inspire others and make a difference. I have to keep going for that little boy or girl… that person who feels like they can’t go on. God has put me on this earth to accomplish great things, give Him glory and be a vessel that He can use to, again prayerfully make a difference in lives of His people. Read more>>

Steven M. Taylor | Director, Producer & Entrepreneur

I’ll. start by saying that if you truly are passionate about something – then you won’t give up. You will keep going. What most people do when faced with ongoing difficulty is to give up on everything all together. What I do is re-strategize and ‘give up’ on the specific aspects of my approach that lead to dead-ends then try to adopt or re-image new ways to arrive at my desired destination. I take as much time that is needed to assess everything, think outside of the box and be honest about my efforts. If you become disinterested and are no longer intrinsically motivated then you can ‘give up’ I guess but most importantly you should take what you’ve learnt from your many attempts and apply it to build your character. I tend to enjoy finding the positives in all of my experiences and embracing it all as growth. Read more>>

Jessie Rosen | Writer/Producer

I picked this question because it literally made my stomach clench. In my experience as a writer, that means it’s worth pursuing. I think the decision to keep going when you’re the CEO of your own company – in my case a company of one television/film writer – is hard to explain but easy to know in your heart. Since leaving my 9-5 in marketing eight years ago I’ve worried about my ability to support myself financially. I’ve feared that I won’t “succeed” in the traditional, name-on-a-marquee sense. I’ve even wondered if I need to pivot my focus from TV/film to maybe novels? But I have never lost my passion for this work. And despite many huge professional disappointments, I’m still able to focus more on the wins. They motivate to keep pushing and remind me that I have the ability to make and sell my work. Read more>>

Tristan Manfredi | Music Producer/Artist

Well when it really boils down to it, the simplest way I can put it is to never give up. Easier said than done, right? I’ve had numerous experiences where I asked myself if I want to keep going or not. There’s been times where I had given up, and wished I didn’t. The best feeling is when I muster up the strength to continue on whatever the venture is. There will always be times where you make the decision to give up or to not. Never give up. Read more>>

Will Day | Contemporary American Abstract Painter

There is no right answer to this question, the most important thing is to always believe in yourself and trust your intuition. With that said, I shifted my life and career back in a time of chaos in 2008 when the world’s economic system seemed to be collapsing. I could have then given up the dream of becoming an artist but I consciously made the choice to be a creative spirit, I was scared and afraid because it didn’t seem like that was the right decision to make at the time. But I continued to see if my path as an artist would manifest into something real and inspiring. The only thing constant during this period was change. Which for me meant being open-minded so that I could handle the coming challenges of uncertain times. Read more>>

Dot McDonald-Saint-Fleur | Actress & Producer

Sometimes in the pursuit for your dreams, you will look up and question if you’re doing the right thing. So often we determine the answer to this question by evaluating how closely everything resembles the images we created in our head. This is a false narrative of where your path is actually taking you. Always look at where you started and where you are now. Ask yourself are you further along? What have you learned? Do you want to quit because it’s not happening as quickly as you want it to? We never know why the detours or turns pop up on our journey, but we have to trust that they are to help us get to the final destination. Read more>>

David P. Kronmiller | Co-Owner FishEyedLensy Productions, Director and Stand-Up Comic

JENNIFER: I honestly don’t think it’s possible for us to “give up”. That somehow implies that there’s a choice. This is our way of life. We came home early from our honeymoon to rehearse a play we were producing. When we both lost our day jobs in the 2008 financial collapse, we made 3 seasons of a web series (and Boris) with a $200 gift certificate to Home Depot and a borrowed camera. When the pandemic hit, within 3 weeks we were doing a live Zoom sitcom (Wicked Widgets) despite moving David’s mother cross country during the first 2 weeks of the shutdown. The world shut down on March 16 and out the window went all our plans and expectations about what we would be able to accomplish for the year. By April 5th we went live with the first episode of Wicked Widgets: Apocalypse Edition. It’s a zany cartoonish sitcom we performed live on Facebook about a magical IT company that accidentally deletes the internet during the pandemic. We poured into it all our fears and frustrations of the moment. I always joke that our trauma response is to make a webseries. Read more>>

Rosana Aziernicki | Artist/Surface Designer @ Antenna Studio Art & Design

I’m a very determined person, and I always push myself to keep going. I always try to follow my dreams, trust my instincts, listen to my heart, and to be loyal to myself and my loved ones. I’m a creative person pursuing a creative career, which can make all of the above a bit tricky. Sometimes my own demons win more battles than I’m ready to accept, but I opt to keep going. Sometimes I get stuck in a loop. I get to a point where nothing feels right, where I don’t enjoy the process, or I’m simply overwhelmed by it all. Those are the moments when I need to stop and reflect on what I intend to do: What is the right path for me? What relationships do I want to keep? Are my dreams even my own, or do they come from what is expected of me? I’m not saying to give up. Rather, we need to remember to stop and learn, to listen, to adjust and shift our attention. And after that, keep going—and it may be in a completely different direction—but always, always keep going. Read more>>

Coach Cherry | Choreographer, Movement Coach and Creative Director

How to know whether to keep going or to give up? How bad do you want it? How passionate are you about what you are pursuing? That’s how you know. Giving up should never be an option in my opinion. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I also think that learning to be still is extremely important. If it seems too difficult, or you’re questioning if it’s worth it, sometimes you just have to take a moment to relax and look at the situation from a distance. And there is nothing wrong with that. Take the emotion, the passion out of it. See if what you are doing to work towards your goal is effective or not. And if you have to change you approach or abandon a way of thinking, that’s not giving up. That’s still you moving forward just in a different way. A lot of times, we make things harder on ourselves without even realizing because we never just take a second to stop and observe. So if you’re thinking of giving up, maybe your intuition is actually telling you to be still and listen. Read more>>

Galadriel Mattei | Independent Textile Manipulator, Baroque Mortician, Gutter Clown, Recovering Vaudevillian and Feminist @The Threabare Lab.

I struggle with the question of continuing on or moving in a different direction regularly. It relates to other overarching life questions and concerns. I have an endless list of ways in which I want to be a part of and contribute to the larger world and community. I studied feminist theory at UCLA, and remain keenly interested in bioethics as regards gender, natalist policies and the environment. This is the existential struggle, how one decision potentially, precludes other possibilities. Given unlimited time and resources, I envision an endless flow chart of different careers/endeavors. But, neither do I want to move away from my business which has grown exponentially since its infancy in 2006. When I started doing trade shows no one else was offering shibori / hand-dyed reclaimed cashmere accessories and sweaters. Unlike other lines, I was the entire company: the designer, the maker, the accountant and the rep. Read more>>

Breana Watkins aka Brie Watts | Dancer & Fitness Instructor

I have to determine whether or not the outcome of the situation would be worth it or not. When I was an engineer at Boeing, I was happy at first because it was a great job for me being fresh out of college. However, I didn’t have a passion for it. If I had stayed at that job, even though it paid well and gave me a really cool job title, I would have been miserable to be there for years or even decades doing something I didn’t like. So I gave up. With pursuing a professional dance career in Los Angeles, I continue to keep going even though I encountered several major hurdles. I’ve been dancing since I was 8 years old, and I continue to feel alive to this day through the passion I have from dance. It’s worth it to take risks for something that brings me such joy, so I choose to keep going because this is something I truly love!. Read more>>

Kasia Trojak | Photographer

Beginnings are hard and every obstacle can be discouraging. Long time ago I came across a photographer who created a motto that defined his work and his process and it inspired me to make my own: “keep shooting no matter what.” And in the times of self-doubt i remember to just keep going and that the epic picture is still to come if i just keep going 🙂. Read more>>

Charlie Bryant | Canadian Expat, Storyboard Artist, Big Nerd

I think the biggest part of keeping momentum is that experience of almost giving up. Especially with art. Every time I sit down to create, whether it’s for work or for me, I have these same patterns. I think about how great it’ll be when it’s finished! Then I start and…nothing. Putting something down on a blank page is just so personal and emotional. It’s like going through all the stages of grief, but over how to hook up your shots! There’s so many steps to get to that level of internal acceptance, I swear I almost give up every time. I’ll daydream about throwing in the towel, giving up everything and becoming an accountant. But then… you make just one single drawing that you like. Just one, and everything grows out of that. You put a piece of yourself into it, this spark, and you build on it. It’s that spark you didn’t know was inside of you, that might have been there the whole time! It’s this rush of touch and go and highs and lows. That’s why I love working in animation, it has a natural emotional flow. Read more>>

William Medrano | Aspiring Artist Management & Multimedia Figure

I still tend to try to keep going. It’s hard because sometimes live gets in the way of a lot of things and especially with what’s happened in the past year, it can be a struggle to keep on going but I’m blessed to have people around me who are creative and push me to keep going, Got to have your circle and feed off each other’s energy, Inspire one another. Especially when trying to rise up because as they say it takes a village. Read more>>

Xiao Hua Yang | Illustrator

Most cultures, at least the cultures that I know of, value perseverance very much. I’ve heard countless stories where the protagonist keeps trying and trying and finally achieves his goal in the end. As I grow older, I gradually learned that giving up could be just as virtuous and wise as keeping going. I think most people fear that they give up too quickly without really pushing themselves to the limit. Yes, there is no denying that certain goals can be achieved with relentless effort and perseverance. But I think it’s equally important to know where the limit is, and that has a lot to do with our characteristics, personality and temperament? As I start to know myself better, I realize that there are certain things I will never be able to do no matter how hard I try or how long I keep going. For example, I am quite positive that I will never be an NBA player, doesn’t matter how hard I try. Read more>>

Dominique Howard | Actor, Writer, Artivist

It is completely human to want to at some point or another give up. Most of that can be attributed to lack of instantaneous results or the results of long hours and/or hard work put in. If I ever feel stuck or feel like I’m moving in a constant state of going nowhere, I always go inward to remember why I started in the first place. I change my perception of what is happening in my world and take a different approach. My motivation is simple – I either do what I love or don’t. If I don’t, that means choosing a robotic lifestyle, working wherever and being completely miserable. Every time I was on the brink of giving up, I’d always get a phone call for a project and that for me is a sign that I’m on the right path. Read more>>

Chelsea Perkins | Musical Artist

The simple answer is to never give up. You can always pull yourself out from the rut and get back in line with your vision of what you are here to create. Keep going. I used to struggle with this a lot within my mind. Earlier in my career, I would hustle working late nights serving and bartending barely getting by trying to save as much money to get my music projects off the ground. At times it felt as though my goals were impossible. I have a strong connection to my emotions so I always have to take a moment to stop, breathe and get rational and logical with myself before those emotions take over and halt my progress. What I’ve learned is it’s essential to have good people that surround you who will give honest feedback. Just a few individuals who will give it to you straight, because we all know mama is gonna love everything you do and some of your closest friends will lie in order to avoid hurting your feelings. Read more>>

Allison Sabrie | Interdisciplinary Queer Creative & Friend To Bees

Curiosity is what propels me forward daily. I do my best to approach each project and opportunity knowing I’ll learn something new, expand my capacity for artistic expression, and shift my potential awareness of what is possible. When tempted to give up, I try ask questions and posture toward a playful and open embodiment. What haven’t I tried yet? Who can I connect with? How can I re-prioritize my energy?. Read more>>

Mayra Stewart | Author & Entrepreneur

Ideas are like seeds, some take root and grow, while others die before sprouting. The difference between the two is in the way the seed is tended. When we receive an idea, we all make the decision to take action towards it, or to let it die. Many of the times, in the moment of the initial thought, ideas seem fantastic, and our inspiration pulls us to take the first action. The issue comes when challenges, and obstacles arrive, which they will. The urge to quit presents itself at the first sign of resistance. In order to make the choice to keep going or to quit, we must first check our thinking, and ask ourselves whether their are limiting programs running. For example, one has a magnificent idea they can’t help but to engage in action towards, and then one day they are presented with an obstacle, this obstacle subconsciously reminds them of that one time they lost the spelling bee and felt humiliated. Read more>>

Chelsey Goldsmith | Stuntwoman

I think we should recreate this statement. ‘How to know whether to keep growing on this path, or take a turn to another path.’ I, like many others, have found myself in situations that I’ve labeled myself as a failure, procrastinator, amateur, or less than. This stems from me thinking that others are above me in some way. “She/He finished this project, why can’t I?” And then when I don’t finish or get to the level of whoever I’m admiring, I think myself as one who came up short, to which I respond by “giving up.” Over time I realized that I will focus on staying in the moment, and do what I feel ADDS to my wholeness. I’m a stuntwoman and have less experience than a lot of my peers. In becoming a skilled performer on set, one gets to learn many different weapon styles, martial arts, sports, tricks, and tumbling passes. In the beginning it was a little overwhelming for me. I thought I had to be great at everything really fast. Read more>>

Jada Somiah | Musician & Digital Artist

In my own experience, the things I usually give up on come back around to challenge me again. Or I find that I never really gave up in the first place. There are definitely some exceptions. I always knew to quit something or put a halt to an idea, relationship, or personal behavior when I realized it was destructive to myself or others to keep going. I feel that it also just makes sense to stop doing something if it’s not adding anything positive to my life or other people’s lives. I feel someone should consider the possibilities—both positive and negative, before giving up. Read more>>

Jennet Chow | Co-CEO, Designer

Most entrepreneurs will question this at different points of their career. I am an eternal optimist and I love working with people. However, there has definitely been moments of intense stress throughout my 22 years behind the scenes working and running a footwear company, especially between 2008-2012. This was during some of the hardest years of my life personally and professionally. A plethora of different challenges tested my strength including a financial crisis, loss of loved ones who represented my family’s business, and the combination of my race, age, and gender. In 2008 there was an economic crash with the housing market which matriculated into a retail recession. My parents’ company, Prima Royale, struggled as revenue dropped over 80% within 5 years while maintaining the same fixed expenses. The company’s overhead exceeded $600,000/month with 70+ employees and 95,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Read more>>

Courtney Kanner Fishman | CEO & Founder, My Little Outfit, LLC

I think when you truly get to know yourself, you know when something doesn’t feel complete within you. You know whether you might have given up on something for the wrong reasons. You also know when it is time to no longer deny your dreams and full potential. This all recently happened to me. For the last 25 years, I have held onto a dream I once had as a teenager of owning a fashion company for affordable, trendy and stylish clothing. I have tried to push it away and often second guessed myself. I would say to myself- you are not ready to do this, you don’t have enough confidence, you will fail. I spent years pursuing other types of careers that I liked but didn’t love. Something was always missing for me. Read more>>

Isaac G | Masfortuna

That’s the thing, you don’t give up. Ever! Every failure is a lesson learned, a new experience, so it’s never really a loss. Read more>>

Kelvin Galloza | Award Winning Film Composer

This has to be one of the most controversial, most asked questions out there that I feel not a lot of people dare to talk about. As a Latino Film Composer/Music Producer I can tell you I had all odds against me back when I started. I feel, believe and preach that we must be one with our own universe and so there for the words “give up” shouldn’t be part of ones vocabulary. We got to hustle and then hustle some more. We MUST fall in love with the process rather than the “reward” so to answer the question, Only give up on the things that hold you back from getting where you want to be!. Read more>>

Jessie Biancci | Actor, Musician, Model & Photographer

In life there is necessary training, talents and skills to be put to use and over come challenges, so for me it’s only way keep going. Read more>>

Marsha Vacirca | Founder & Creative Director for Madame Adassa

If you think about the alternatives and they do not bring you joy, then keep going. Read more>>

Jasmine Meadows | Actress

I think this is a very relevant topic when it comes to acting, the profession I have so bravely chosen. It hasn’t been an easy journey by any means, however, it is extremely rewarding. I couldn’t really see myself giving up on something that brings me so much joy and the ability to explore all aspects of my creativity. I think the question of giving up or continuing on any path truly comes down to the individual and how they see the rest of their lives. It isn’t just a matter of quitting or defeat, it can simply be that you believe in your heart of hearts that you have given every thing you can to something. It can also mean that maybe this path isn’t the end all for you and your life. You could need to give something up to find something that could possibly be that much better. So when people ask me this question when it comes to my acting career, I chuckle and politely say, “It’s not a question of giving up, its whether this is the path I am meant to be on. Read more>>

Renadda Wiggins | Founder of The Art of Runway

Is there something that we can use to determine if we should keep working on something, or simply accept that we failed, and let go? I wish!
Every experience is different, and unique. The decision to continue doing something, or to stop, is part of the art of living, and that’s what makes every choice interesting. Every risk you want to take, you will do it thinking about all the possible bad outcomes, but you will know that if it works, the reward will be greater. In certain situations, you’d want to use all the motivation, willpower, and courage you can muster to keep going. And in other situations, you’d need strength, humility, and insight to let go and move on.
But at the end, only time can tell if we’ve made the right choice, or not.
Don’t expect it to be easy, because along the way you will have failures and you will think you’re doing it wrong and need to give up right away.
Expect it to be hard. That way, when it is actually hard you’re not surprised and you can put your head down and keep after it. Read more>>

Troy Hardy | Music Editor & Composer

Full disclosure to the reader. We were given a few different questions to pick from. All good questions, brand, business, etc, but I picked this one because many people have probably asked themselves this same question especially within the past year. I’d like to give the readers a non-inspirational, “zero-fluff”, “believe in yourself” answer. It’s kind of like water skiing…if you let go too early you’ll never get up, and if you hang on too long you’ll find yourself with a mouth full of water and no swimsuit. Knowing when to hold on or let go is really tough, and something I always struggle with and I have found that it’s no different now than when I started my career. I like to keep in mind that every situation is different (personnel, project, goal), so the choice is not always black and white. The most important question I ask myself when trying to decide whether to keep going or not is, “have I exhausted every possibility?” If that answer is yes, then you have to stop wasting energy and pivot. I’ve been guilty of chasing a bad idea and when I’m finished end up thinking “well, that sucks”, so I scrap it all and start over. Read more>>

Zane Meyer-Thornton | Visual

It’s a matter of being in tune with your feelings and acknowledging the changes we go through. Quitting something is OK. Its more important to do things for yourself than to continue on with something your hearts not in because you feel some sort of expectation to do so. In short, people choose creative fields because its how they enjoy spending their time. If one day you don’t enjoy the craft anymore, move along and find something new. Social medias done a good job at convincing people their identity is tied to their career choice, when its not the case at all. Read more>>

Annie Taylor | Storyteller and Brand Maximizer

As a rising entrepreneur, a-lot of things are trial and error. I have some days I wake up, and I believe Ive conquered the day in excellence whereas others where I believe I’ve failed. Failed myself, failed my clients, failed at running a business? Why because it’s hard. No matter how many hours in a day, I realize its about patience, its about practicing better systems, preparation, and accountability. I don’t give up, because I realize the tenacity and determination is in me, and everyday that I at least ‘try’ is a successful day. Read more>>

Sopharra Sophie Kim | Story Artist

I was pretty close to giving up breaking in the animation industry. I had applied for jobs and emailed recruiters for years and didn’t hear a peep. Finally, after years of radio silence, I finally got an email back from a recruiter. But not just an automated email, a personal rejection. I was like okay, I’m getting noticed. I later finally saved up money to take storyboard classes and continued to meet people. After that I kept getting rejection emails, but they were all personal responses from recruiters. A part of it is that recruiters would hear my name from teachers I took classes with or other classmates. My network was slowly growing. I made a habit to email recruiter every 3-4 months. Rejection was hard at first but then I got use to it, it was a part of the process. I felt like it was bonus points when the recruiter addressed me by name and gave out a well thought out response. To this day, I thank the recruiters who responded to my emails. It was part of the reason I kept going. Read more>>

Annie Taylor | Storyteller and Brand Maximizer

As a rising entrepreneur, a-lot of things are trial and error. I have some days I wake up, and I believe Ive conquered the day in excellence whereas others where I believe I’ve failed. Failed myself, failed my clients, failed at running a business? Why because it’s hard. No matter how many hours in a day, I realize its about patience, its about practicing better systems, preparation, and accountability. I don’t give up, because I realize the tenacity and determination is in me, and everyday that I at least ‘try’ is a successful day. Read more>>

Helena Karadimos | Producer/Director

I think it’s our human instinct that continues to help guide us through our journey. If you can’t trust your instinct, our next best mechanism is our passion and/or drive. If either one hasn’t burnt out and you have a little more fight in you, then I say, keep on punishing until you get your big break. I mean, who’s to say when it’s time to give up, for those who have given up will never know if they could have reached their goals. Read more>>

Vicki Bowen Hewes | Inspired leader | Community builder | Partner in empowerment

This is a really great question, because I believe the answer is to never give up! The way you proceed with something might change, your level of engagement might be different, but I am a firm believer in never giving up in anything you start. My most recent and profound example is the social enterprise I started, Fashion Forward ( I full heartedly believed in my vision prior to launch — uniting consigners and shoppers to empower women through style — and still do. Through the process of building the business, I learned so much about e-commerce, shipping and receiving, social media analytics, hidden costs and much more; these are all aspects that I’d studied and taken into account prior to launch, however the hands-on experience provided an entirely different understanding, as each business is entirely unique. Read more>>

Monika Peña | Singer, Actor, Dancer & Veterinary Technician

Many artists have asked themselves this exact question. I know I have. But at the end of the day we have to do what makes us feel fulfilled and happy and I can’t get that anywhere else but in my art. So ask yourself, “Does this still give my life purpose and bring me joy?” If the answer is yes, then keep going! If it’s a no, maybe it’s time to explore new things and find that special something that DOES bring you joy. Sometimes what we used to want changes and we hold on to an old idea of happiness. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, then don’t do it and find something that does!. Read more>>

Dahlya Mani Glick | Singer-songwriter, actor, choreographer, vocal coach, comedic musician

The only way I know how to keep going, is because I’ve never considered giving up. I think like many artists, I’ve been encouraged to have a “back up plan,” but my backup plans are always in the same category of creative work. I am a firm believer that, especially in cities like this one where we are surrounded with artist communities, if you just keep going, you’ll keep going. There are so many tangible ways to make your dreams a reality here. Perhaps they’re not in the realm of “a big break” but so many opportunities exist, and you just have to keep chasing them. Time, effort, being open minded and open hearted to any and all opportunities, and knowing in my deepest gut that I simply can not do anything else with my life, even if I tried, keep me going. Read more>>

Carley Herlihy | Actor and Singer/Songwriter

Industry gives you so many reasons to give up. It’s easy to get consumed in not only the ‘No’s but the nothings. So many auditions end with no response, no notes, no feedback, and no reasoning to why you didn’t get cast. It’s very important to step back and gain perspective at these moments. Realise how many opportunities are really out there. And when you get them, it’s always a learning experience even if it doesn’t work out in your favor. When you get the impulse to give up you need to go back to your “Why”. Why are you doing this? Why did you start? Why is this important to you? Your “Why” will always over power any “No”. You need a mission statement for you in your craft. Mine is; “I am an actor and singer/songwriter because I want to share stories that other people can connect with to either escape from their worldly worries or know they are not alone in them. Art has saved my life many times and I want to continue that craft for others hoping to do the same for them.” No “No” or harsh criticism can ever convince me that that isn’t important. Read more>>

Ariana Kaufman | Actor, Comedian, Horse-Whisperer

There is this little demon voice I hear many days. It says, “what are you doing? You aren’t good enough or this or that enough. Give up.” And many times I think, yes you’re right I should give up. There are so many creative people wanting to do the same thing, so just give up. But every single time (after a long tearful battle) I decide to quit this other voice pops up, “NO! THIS-creating, is what you think and dream about daily. You can’t help yourself. You can’t help but make art.” So, even if I did “give up” I would still be expressing myself and making some weird video, even if it’s just for Instagram, where no one will watch it All of this to say, I think someone who really loves art doesn’t care if there is an audience. You will find a away to make your truth-your soul-speak. So if you find yourself thinking about your craft and making your spirit come alive then you can never give up. Read more>>

Audrey Buchanan | Entrepreneur & Digital Marketing Specialist

I tend to think about life as a journey. In my case, my journey includes choosing the road less traveled with pretty much zero idea on how to navigate it, and it’s made for some interesting turn-by-turn decisions. I’m currently in the 5th year of owning my own business, and I can honestly say the amount of times I have thought about giving up is much too many to count. Nevertheless, here I am, continuing on the path of entrepreneurship and fumbling my way through it so that I can help others navigate their own way much easier than I had to navigate my own. When it comes to knowing whether to keep going to give up, I’ve found the following to be true. When I’m in a place where everything is falling apart, it’s a lot easier to think about giving up than it is when things are coming together. That’s why I constantly have to remind myself of why I started and why I do what I do. Just like driving a car, you can’t spend too much time looking behind you. You have to keep your eyes on the windshield to see the road ahead, but the rearview mirror is still useful for keeping you safe on your journey. Read more>>

Nazeema Ali Sims | Poet and Fashion Stylist

I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, but you just know. You never truly give up though. It’s more like whether you should keep going or go back to the drawing board. Read more>>

Adelaide Pilar | Musician; singer, trumpet player

This can be such a trivial question for a striving artist. And no doubt we are often haunted by it everytime we feel we are failing to reach our personal goals or objectives. Then add an pandemic on top of it all that not only makes it even harder to share our art but also to financially support ourselves by it. I think many musicians, especially in the past 12 months have come to this cross road. However, I think if you are truly passionate about what you do, it’s only natural to second guess or question the worth of your process and product. Personally, a large portion of my mental energy is in a constant cycle of trying to trying to create, tweaking what I’ve done, and then then trying to be happy with it and move onto your next endeavor. Sounds simple but it’s truly a mental task. They say musicians are crazy, well maybe there’s a bit of validity to that. The thing is this is a process that I’m cannot stop, like it’s programmed into my DNA. Once I recognized this, I realized I could never give up being a musician because this is who I am. No question about it. And I will not give up on myself because if so I then what? Life would then seem pretty pointless. Read more>>

Brendan Russert | Animator

A mentor once told me, “Never give up on a drawing.” This really spoke to me because I would often say, ok, this is going south, then trash it and start on another one, by changing the mindset to keep with something until the end, even if it’s not going to be a polished piece of art, you learn to make fewer mistakes next time around. If you jump ship too soon, then you deprive yourself of important lessons to carry forward. Hours at my current studio are pretty brutal. We do 9 hours a day, sometimes more. Despite that, I regularly do personal work in the early morning before clocking in or once I finish the workday. Actually, sometimes I can’t wait until work work ends so that real work can begin. Read more>>

Chris Louis | Actor & Artist

I think people tend to give up because it’s easy. It’s easier to say, “I quit.” than it is to actually keep going and pursue whatever it is you’re going after. The way I know to keep going is by looking at where I’ve been, where I currently am, and where I have the potential to go. You never know just how close you are to achieving your dreams and having everything it is that you want. Another big factor in knowing to keep going is recognizing and believing that you’re enough. Once that’s set in your mind, nothing can stop your shine. Read more>>

Nadia Lanfranconi | Musician, songwriter, entertainer

You can’t give up. You can reframe, change perspective, change approach or plan but you can’t actually give up entirely without suppressing and abandoning your self. You are who you are, if you quit and go against your self you’re entering a much bigger war. Thing is, if you don’t try it’s for sure NOT gonna happen, why would you choose that? Why would you choose 0% chances than 50%? Cause you might get your butt hurt? Don’t worry, that bum gonna get bruised either way in life at some point, people leave, our pets die, we might even die before them so I suggest to live now. Make a bucket list, even with small things, simple things. I made one about a year ago and I keep adding more stuff as I go, as I write off my missions accomplished cause my wishes changes as I go, as I grow. There’s no right or wrong wish, it’s literally whatever you want. I can share just a few easy ones from this last 12 months I was able to make happen cause turns out it was mostly all up to me. Read more>>

Valentina Olarte | Actress and Freelancer

When you are an artist there are going to be a lot of times when you feel like you “should” stop. Most of the times these thoughts come when you aren’t making money with your art or when you feel like no one is attracted to what you do. To me, the moment when you should “give up” is when your art, career, etc, is causing you more pain than enjoyment. When your art isn’t causing you to smile, liberate or just feel joy (anything positive), then it’s maybe time to let go… Although, in my opinion, you can always come back. Being creative is nothing about a quick race and that’s it. Being creative requires patience and the willingness to fall and get back on the horse and KEEP GOING!. Read more>>

Santy Bauza | Music Producer & Audio Engineer

I don’t believe in giving up. If you are truly passionate about your craft than you will embrace all failures and use the experience to grow into the person you are meant to be. There will, undoubtedly, be times where you get knocked down but it’s important to use that experience to attack your goals. A positive mindset is key to success as your mentality predetermines your attitude towards whatever you are about to take on. Read more>>

Claire George | Musician

When it comes to knowing whether to keep going or give up the answer is simple, though we may complicate it endlessly: trust your instincts. This sounds easy, but the issue is the trust part. There is almost always an instinct, an inner voice that knows our true path, though often times we ignore or distort it by prioritizing other people’s expectations and judgments. It is those external opinions that get in the way of our ability to listen to and trust our instincts. That isn’t to say that other people’s opinions are invalid, it’s just important to hear out your inner voice first and work from there. When it comes to making art and music, for me, there is no “giving up.” To “give up” making music would be a denial of my very being, so there is no question there for me to consider. In fact, I almost find it insulting when someone tells me to “keep going, don’t give up,” though I know they mean no harm, because it indicates that they think I am not yet where I want to be. If I get to make art that feels like an expression of myself, then I am right where I want to be. Read more>>

Serenity Karima | Artist, Singer Songwriter, Creative

I chose this question because often times I do feel like giving up on my dreams and aspirations – and I’ve learned that being an artist and creative has little to nothing to do with that. I used to loop them together like a science project. In the very beginning of my journey, I just didn’t believe in myself. No matter how talented my family and friends thought I was, I need I had something, but deep down I would self sabotage and hide from my truth because so many things — how I look, how I sound compared to others, how behind I was compared to other artists, “i don’t have this/that” mentality. That for sure could make a person want to give up and not even think about starting over. What got me over was finishing my first EP. I had so much material. I was performing here and there in the city, and was surrounded by many talented friends who allowed me to share my gift and loved on me; believed in me. I finally put my doubt aside and made a choice to invest in myself this one time and see where it goes. I decided to believe in myself a little bit, and finished a whole project, and put on my own show/production. Read more>

Natalie Kim | Designer, Photographer

There’s a series of questions I ask myself before making that hard-pressed decision. The first being “Why do I want to quit?” If my response is due to a lack of motivation, laziness, or any internal mentalities, I decide to quit. Our bodies are natural pros at making excuses when it comes to things that we are not interested in or passionate enough about. Forcing myself to do something that I think I like is absurd. It doesn’t make sense. Beyond the internal circumstances, the next question I ask myself is “How confident am I to look back and say it was okay that this was a mistake?” I guarantee that there’s not a single person that has not made a single regret in their lives by quitting or continuing. But we quit or continue because we know that whatever decision we make, helps us move forward. We are okay because we know this is not what determines the journey. Read more>>

Tundae Mena | Photographer/Visual Artist/Musician

Knowing when to keep going or give up is one of the hardest points to be at. I think with all paths in life you simply have to ask yourself is this moving me closer to or further away from my goals. If the answer is closer, keep going, if further away then assess the situation and what you need to change to get where you want to go. If it it’s more than you’re willing to do or have the capacity for at the moment, that’s when you table it to come back to or move on from forever. Read more>>