To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Vanessa Osman | Voice-over Artist, Actress, Model and Writer

I’ve always appreciated a good redemption story, I just didn’t know I’d end up with a powerful Phoenix rising story of my own. I pay attention to people and their stories. I believe in miracles. I do my best to stay present and connect within. When I’m clear about my intentions and my purpose there’s no stopping me. I’ve had to learn how to balance the darkness with the light. One cannot exist without the other and so deep introspection as well as cultivating understanding makes it easier to break through. When the beauty of my life is revealed once again and I’m in a place of gratitude, I cannot imagine giving up. I just want to keep smashing goals and experience more of life! Read more>>

Idrise Wardel | Record Producer, Songwriter, Singer

Giving up isn’t a selectable option for me anymore, but there was a time I had to make THAT my choice. If [insert passion here] is life… giving up on that, is giving up on life. Right? And since I’m not giving up on life, I’ll never give up on music. No matter what the capacity; as an artist, vocalist, writer, producer, engineer, arranger… I do it all whenever its needed. I remember in my 10th year of being active duty military, I had to make the decision to either go for music or give it up and keep doing the military career path. The Voice type casted me and had me come to LA. They offered to pay for flights, hotels, per diem… and the recording contract was there… The exit door was there! It appeared out of nowhere, and it was cuz I was doing music on the side, and by then I had already passed on a few opportunities. I was afraid to let go of my security. The military is FOR SURE. Read more>>

Aimee Sadler | Founder/CEO of Dogs Playing for Life

For me, personally, if I have thought something through and deeply believe in the merit of the concept (with regards to a positive purpose), I’m determined to keep going until there is some movement or change. If I’m more individually driven for something, then I’m more inclined to give up if I’m not able to singularly influence the change I want. In other words, in my old age I’ve learned that “you cant’ make people”, therefore, if what I want requires something from another and I’m not inspiring enough or they’re not interested, then I will move on. I have also learned that when I find myself banging my head against a wall, I’m better off stepping to the side and proceeding on another path rather than trying to force myself along that one resistant path. In this process, I’ve found that I’ve been able to successfully drive change by being nimble. Read more>>

Steven Gostin | Hospitality & Business Educator and Consultant

2020 has been a year of challenges, difficulties and change for many of us. I found myself starting a new consulting business at the start of the year and things were progressing nicely. I had several new clients who were looking to expand and grow and focus more on training and technology to manage their restaurants and business operations. This is exactly what was necessary to help them improve their standards and increase their bottom line. When we were hit with the pandemic and COVID ran its course, hospitality was hit hard. I found myself forced to close my new business because let’s face it, if my current clients no longer needed my services, why would anyone else? I was still consulting for the SBDC in Orange County and found there was still some hope as people were beginning their own homebased food businesses and finding some success. Read more>>

Kristy Choo | Pastry Chef and Owner

When you do not feel excited waking up in the morning going to work. When it drains you creatively and you loose your drive. Back in 2013 when I had to move out from Abbot Kinney due to high rent, I did not want to give up, I was not going to walk away as I was very driven to make it work. I had to quickly switch my business from retail to wholesale in a matter of 2 months. It was like an expansion as I have moved from a 1000 over square foot location to a 5600 square foot production kitchen and warehouse space. I was working very hard for the first few years, to secure as many wholesale accounts as possible and dealing with the challenges in the kitchen at the same time. Read more>>