We asked some brilliant folks from the community to tell us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Brian Femminella | USC Leadership Scholar and C0-Founder of SoundMind

I am young, there is no doubt in that, and it has allowed me to bring a diverse perspective to my entrepreneurial career. My time is divided in half; from being back into the college setting at USC for academic rigor and when I am out of the classroom I feel that I am five years out of college working on a full-time business. With this divide, I have been forced to learn more about myself and where my priorities in life stand more than I ever have before. Having a career that has already taken off in the start-up scene at 21, I have been taught a lot. Read more>>

Lisa Niver | Journalist and TV Host

Thomas Edison said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time.” I have learned that I need to keep taking small steps towards my goals. I have had to change my path literally and figuratively many times. I used to feel like my train was derailed and jumping off the track when things did not work out—when I left one grad school program for another, when my company went bankrupt right after 9/11, when I left my marriage, but now I realize I was just changing trains. Read more>>

Matthew Dennis Lewis | Actor

As an actor, there are many lessons you’ll learn along the way. A few examples are; the flexibility of schedules, dedication to your craft, and understanding of basic set etiquette and work environments. However, the most important lesson that I have learned is patience. The patience to accept the long game, knowing that being a working actor isn’t a flash in the pan phenomenon. You won’t book every audition. That’s okay because there will always be the next role and the next one after that. Find peace in the ebb and flow of success. Read more>>

Sam Puskas | Actor / Director & Online Marketing Manager

Something that was my father’s credo for a while but I had to experience on my own to comprehend. As soon as you accept that you are only the main character in your own life, and there’s an equally attention-worthy, driven human being standing right beside you to whom you’re just as much a background player as they appear to be from your point of view, suddenly you’ll be enjoying a much smoother cooperation. Letting yourself see someone else’s path beside yours on your horizon will just widen your perspective. It’ll never make you less goal oriented or self efficient. I had to lear that not putting yourself in your peers shoes upon confrontation, or making sure to be looking at both sides of the coin certainly makes you a weak team player. And acting is just as much a close cooperation as Online Marketing Management or Graphic Design – what I did for 10 year before starting my acting career. Read more>>

Jet Eveleth | Artist

Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of becoming a monk. I imagined it was like being a puppet who had cut its own strings. I wanted to live beyond feeling reactionary. However, performing as an improvisor and clown has taught me that I can pull my own strings for the pleasure of others. The job of the clown is to play with the wild horses of their own emotions. Over time, the clown becomes a horse whisperer, calling their own feelings out for a ride or signaling them to stay in the stable. Through this discipline, one can learn to be both the puppet and the puppeteer. For this reason, the stage has become my monastery. Plus, I heard monks can’t have dogs. Read more>>

Brandi Day | Founder/Chief Executive Officer

To keep going and not count myself out. There have been many of times where I haven’t felt qualified enough or positioned to fulfill the the huge role that I hold as the Founder of my organization but once I started giving myself the grace to know that many have and are walking in the same shoes that I am and the realization that we are thriving and doing good work and making an impact! Read more>>

Max Gleiser | Director // Director of Photography

Be humble, keep a smile on. The film industry can be quite harsh, sometimes we work for over 20 hours, and there’s nothing worst than bringing bad energy into set life. Actors are really amazing, they strip out of who they are into a fictional being that they need to convince the audience that is real, that had a story and that their emotions are to be believed. I find that truly outstanding. And working, both as a Director and/or Director of Photography, gives me the opportunity to sync with those talents. Read more>>

Katie Mack | Filmmaker | Writer | Director

The most important lesson that the film industry has taught me is – if you don’t believe in yourself FIERCELY, no one else will. Read more>>

K Tak | Tattoo Artist/Owner

Have you ever cried because you don’t want to go to work in the morning? Before I became a tattoo artist, I was working at a very toxic work environment (figuratively speaking) in Down Town Los Angeles. I would call my mom who is in Korea every morning and cry, sharing the difficulties I faced on a daily basis at work. Let alone being a person who always had a hard time being bound by routines and rules ever since I was young, the toxicity in the office felt like a prison sentence every morning. I had no ambitions because there was no interests, which made me depressed since I was tasked to do things that did nothing to help advance my career. Read more>>

Liana Hou | Self Care Boutique Owner

To always take care of me first. I love that concept so much I turned it into my mini slogan. I work a full time job as a lab technician/phlebotomist and worked all throughout the pandemic. Additionally I started this business during the pandemic as well. I love everything I do, working in healthcare and making self-care goods for customers but at the same time, I have to ground myself and remind myself to take care of me first because working on my business is also like another full time job. Read more>>

Elizabeth Rollins | Entrepreneur, Co founder of Cabin Creek Crystals.

My Career has taught me that if the work required to make my buisness more successful is also going to lead me to realized authentic version of myself than it’s worth it. Otherwise I need to reevaluate my career goals. I have learned that true work success require s true personal growth. Read more>>

Evan Wilson | artist/decorative painter

My career in Fine Art, and Decorative (site specific) Art has taught me many important lessons over the years. The importance of hard work, the importance of taking care of the customer/client, but perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is the value of understanding the need for both “right brained” creative tasks, and “left brained” organizational tasks, and how to switch back and forth between the two. It takes a conscious effort to recognize when its appropriate to turn off the phone and get lost in the creative development of a project, and when to put the brushes aside and take care of the business. My ability to do that, to a greater or lesser extent, has been the single most important key to my success. Read more>>

Ariana Drummond | Publicist and Talent Manager, Kreative Approach Productions

I believe the most important lesson that my business has taught me is that success can come in different forms. Each journey to happiness and success is going to look different. If you constantly overthink or let doubt creep in – it will only hold you back from your destiny. Don’t allow the fear of failure to block you from reaching your purpose! My journey is unlike many of my colleagues in this industry and you will drive yourself crazy trying to measure up and compare yourself to others. Stay in your own lane and keep your blinders up! Read more>>