We asked some of the city’s rising stars to reflect on what made a difference in their journey. We asked them to tell us about what they think the most important factor has been behind their success.

Dr. Daniel Kimbley | Chiropractor

The most important factor to my success as a husband, as a father, as a business owner and as a man has been my ability to do the work required to become who I said I would become. I make commitments to myself and I stick to them. I think that too often, so many of us have amazing ideas on how to grow, on how to be as people, but it’s nothing more than an idea and there is little action. To be a successful human being or to have a successful brand is delivering on what you say you’re going to do. Read more>>

Ali Ringer | Women’s Life Coach

The most important factor behind my success in Recov.her.y has been EMBODIMENT. Embodiment of the work I have done with myself, continue to do, and teach to my clients. Many of which say they are attracted to my simplicity, calm, and how grounded I am. In life coaching I think it’s SO important to hire someone who just not has the results you want in your own world (the business, the abundance, the relationship, the calm) but also the essence and energy you yourself are looking for more of. The beauty of embodiment being an important factor in my success is that I just get to live my life and be open and honest about it because it is simply WHO I AM. Read more>>

Viviana Hsiao | Palos Verdes Tutoring Company CEO

The most important factor behind the Palos Verdes Tutoring Company’s success is definitely our tutors’ love and dedication to helping others. Our entire staff is hand-picked each year for their academic expertise, tutoring experience, and passion for helping others. Our philosophy is to ensure that each student not only achieves their immediate academic goals but also develops the capability to approach future challenges independently. As students themselves, our tutors can uniquely relate to the obstacles of South Bay elementary, middle, and high school students. Read more>>

Phil Rice | Actor & Entrepreneur

The most important factor behind my success is perseverance. I started my fashion brand, Dude Lifestyle, when I was 16, and my brand as an actor even younger, at age 13. Along my journey, I’ve heard it all. But, the constant is I never give up. Only greatness can stand the test of time. I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of greatness and that notion has motivated me to achieve all that I have accomplished and everything I will achieve. My ultimate goal is to take the perseverance that is inherent in my spirit and breathe its life into my work as an artist. Read more>>

Amy Bess Cook | Wine Specialist & Social Entrepreneur

I have a high tolerance for—and perhaps even weird enthusiasm for—uncertainty. Admittedly, this may be both a strength and a weakness. Either way, it’s shaped Woman-Owned Wineries from day one. It’s invited me to work beyond my comfort zone. It’s helped me take risks that might seem scary to other entrepreneurs. It’s allowed me to surf out difficult periods of simply not knowing what the hell is going on—which is especially true this past couple years, since the pandemic hit. Read more>>

Michael Johnson | Host of the Tea with Mike Podcast

I first started the Tea with Mike podcast in January 2019 as a College project where I was required to sit down and record myself talking to another person. What started; as something done to pass a class has turned into something meaningful that I want to do for the rest of my life. The number one factor behind the success of the podcast has been consistency. I’ve put out 148 episodes of the podcast since January of 2019 which, has allowed me to build a community around my podcast and interview amazing people with powerful stories both face to face and virtually around the world. Read more>>

Dane Hesse | Barber/Barbershop Owner

My barbershop became successful because of consistency, both in the quality of the haircut and showing up to work. So many people in my industry can be flaky. I realized that “what not to do” is cancel on people last minute or block off too many days of work. I have only missed about 12 days in 10 years of owning my shop. I use a scheduling application called Acuity to streamline the booking process, provide open availability to my customer, and maintain a standard of openness. Read more>>


I do not view success in my life as things that can be defined by my wallet or the revenue of my business. Focusing on the strategic focus of leadership, management, and planning has built my business success. It helps keep it steady and sustainable. Because of this foundation, I have built a self-sufficient team. I will also mention my team and their hard work as that is the backbone of my company. Read more>>

Brandon Espinosa | Father, Entrepreneur & Salsa Enthusiast

The most important factor behind my success has been around “creating my own luck”. When I say “creating my own luck” it means not waiting for things to come to me and having a go-getter mentality. The time is never going to be perfect for you to chase your dreams and tackle goals, you need to show up hungry every day and put yourself in environments that empower and catalyze the things you want. There are no shortcuts, you need to put in the work. Don’t give up and believe in yourself more than anything else! Often you are closer than you think and people are watching. Read more>>

Rishi Patel | Managing Partner, Dip Shabu Restaurant

Since I was 16, starting my own business was always a dream of mine after watching my late father’s success as an entrepreneur. I enjoyed watching the creative and financial freedom he had at his disposal. I experienced his peaks and valleys and learned that it isn’t just how much money you make, but how you carry your integrity and passion towards your brand. From the age of 22 i’ve been a part of or owned my own business. My focus was always on two aspects of our brand. The environment for our staff who work so hard and the experience we create for our customers. Read more>>

Angela Talamantes | Jewelry Maker

Being personable. Treating my audience with gratitude. Every experience I have, good or bad, I’m grateful for the acknowledgment and the growth. i listen to my audience, and they teach me how to build Ankata to be a fruitful, trustworthy business. Read more>>

JB/Collin Black/Franklin | Musician(s)

The most important factor behind our success is consistency. In our experience, incremental progress is what leads to breakthroughs. Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.” Read more>>

AC Tatum | Music Artist

I have no doubt in my mind that my commitment to consistency is the most important factor behind my own personal success. And I emphasize “personal success” because I believe that the idea of success is completely subjective, personal to the individual. Success for one person might mean leaving a positive legacy. For another, it might mean making 100 million dollars. I try not to place a value judgement on someone’s idea of success, Read more>>

Adela Guerra | Actress, TV Host & Content Producer

Focus, consistency and determination have been by far the most important factors behind my brand’s success. Read more>>

Riki Barker | Artist & Entrepreneur

I think it has been our creativity, the reaction time to each need and that we are always looking for new technologies to apply to our clients. Read more>>

Giovanni Piacentini | Composer and Guitarist

The most important factor behind my, (or anyone’s) success is, to a certain extent, not thinking about it. Focusing too much on “success” and achieving this or that, can be detrimental. I believe that success comes from focusing on the task at hand the most while only dedicating brief moments to the “goal” or “destination”. For me personally , this might mean working intensely and consistently on a few measures of music a day instead of rushing to finish a large work or being overwhelmed by that thought. If you do this, then the quality of your work will be much greater and you will feel at peace with the fact that you gave it your best effort. This is my definition of success. Read more>>

Kelsey Ulmer | Orange County Photographer

I believe that the reason my photography business has been so successful is because of the authentic relationships I have created with my clients and my community. There might be more technically skilled or tenured photographers out there, but I am confident that my focus on connection and relationship building is what keeps my clients loyal and excited to work with me. Read more>>

Andre Cadiz | Graphic Designer

When I first started Minti, I had only been living in America for 2 years and had just quit my stable 9-5 job. “Freelancing will be a piece of cake” I thought to myself at the time. I assumed that if I put my work out into the world, clients would flock to my door with plenty of handsomely paying projects. One week into my new business, reality hit me like a brick. Where were all of my new clients? Why hasn’t anyone asked me to design for their cool new project? My rent was due in 3 weeks, and I realized success wasn’t something to be waiting on, it’s to be created. The first step was to reach out. Read more>>

Arigato Grande | Pop Parody Music Artist

Being openminded, kind, willing to learn, and treating those around you with the utmost respect. I wouldn’t be where I am today in all aspects of my life (even outside of music) without the help and generosity of those around me that cheered me on, walked me through the process, and believed in me. Those are the people that help make your dreams come true and I’ll always be grateful. Read more>>

Alexis Trice | Painter

I have found that the measures of success for a painter in New York can be different, if not greater, than that of working artists in other cities. For example, just being able to make rent can feel like you’ve made it big. But really, success can mean being featured in a gallery, gaining popularity on social media, or simply in knowing where you’ve come from and how much you’ve persevered in exploring your personal growth. My work is driven both by stubbornness and by my own fascination with the natural world—a curiosity that never seems to be satiated. I’ve found that sharing my work with peers keeps me focused on striving toward my ultimate vision and honing my skills. Read more>>

Pawntra Shadab | Vice President

Over the past 25+ years, Elite Productions International (EPI) has continued to grow and flourish. Despite recessions and the Global pandemic, we have persevered and succeeded by consistently providing quality services to our clients, while passionately perusing our craft. We love what we do and its evident in our work and the relationships we have built, from the globes largest brands to local grassroots organizations. Read more>>

Crystal Chestnut | Professional Dancer

The most important factor behind my success is hard work and determination. I’ve always dreamed of being a professional dancer since a little kid, and throughout life I had to learn to stay headstrong through all the doubt, criticism that comes along with pursuing an artistic profession. With that being said I had to put the work in behind the dream, and through persistence and perseverance I continued to push to be my best self in what I love which led to my success and start of my brand. Read more>>

Grant Pearce | CMO of GUY FOX

I think the biggest key to our success thus far has been authenticity in our brand. It’s so cliché to say “Be yourself”, but it’s actually a tricky thing to do when creating a brand. For example, it can be really tempting write ad copy in a way that ads are “supposed” to be written, but then you end up sounding like everyone else and don’t stand out. I’m glad I have a co-founder that reminds me to continually create a brand that “talks” the way we do because that’s what resonates with our target market. It also lines up perfectly with the mission of GUY FOX that we don’t try to be anything we’re not, unlike many others in our industry. Read more>>

Angela Andikyan | Life Coach & Therapist

Authenticity and adaptability are the most important factors behind my success. Being a life coach requires these traits, among many others. To be successful in my line of work, I need to adapt my style when working with different people and in different situations. I consider authenticity to be about being true to your values, your intention, your objectives and your commitments. It’s not about being fixed in one style of interaction. Read more>>