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.

Stephanie Hoffman Garcia | Vocal Coach & Piano Teacher

How determination, passion and persistence really is the driving source to pulling through hard times and developing a successful business. Read more>>

Aaron Roth | VP Sales & Marketing

To survive and thrive in business long term, one must always be willing to change and adapt to successfully compete in the frequently changing business environment. My company’s areas of business, customers, and products are significantly different than they were 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. Our willingness to adapt, innovate, and reinvent as opportunities presented themselves is the defining factor of our continued success. Read more>>

Hyun Yu | Jewelry Designer

For me the most important lesson in starting and running a business is the realization that I can make my own opportunities. Making my own designs, and the process of building a business have taught me I am capable of creating something that fits me. These have opened me up to taking a chance on things I want, like being able to create my own designs from start to finish on a flexible schedule. Sure, I am much busier than I used to be in my salaried job, but having control over my time makes a world of difference.  Through running a business I have learned to open up more with people. In the beginning, I used to feel extremely uncomfortable interacting with customers, being an introvert. But I have learned to relax and get to know customers at the maker shows. Read more>>

Brandy Middleton | Confidence & Self Worth Coach

Your success is a 100% reflection of your personal development. Read more>>

Felicia St Denis | Flower and Gift Shop Owner & Floral Designer

I think every business/career has its highs and lows and I guess the best lesson you can learn is how to roll with that which is not easy. For me, I would say that people appreciate honesty& consistency, and consistency requires being there every day, and overseeing your product that’s going out with your name on it. Read more>>

Simone Nieves | Graphic Designer & Fine Artist

For years, I would wake up, go to work, come home or go out after work and repeat. I work in the entertainment advertising industry so I design posters for movies and television shows. I always felt creatively exhausted after leaving my job everyday so I never had the energy or even wanted to do any other creative work. I love my job but I do feel constrained at times because of how client based each project is. It wasn’t until I began to see my peers growing and evolving much quicker than that I realized how important it is for me to make an effort in fulfilling myself creatively. This year especially, I have had more time than ever to jump into personal projects. I decided to just run with what I love and create pieces of art/design around social justice issues, music poster design and album cover design. Read more>>

Cole Carson | Owner

Nothing worth having comes easy. I mean that in the sense of real long lasting fulfillment. Often in business, especially early on, you see these little moments of greatness. In those moments of greatness it’s tempting to let your guard down and cruise for awhile. I’ve found that when things are going great, that’s the time to execute further. You have to keep peddling even when you are going downhill because the next uphill climb is coming up. Not that you can’t enjoy and celebrate your successes but business is a long journey that isn’t for the faint of heart. We would all love instant results but I’ve found that the more adversity I’ve been able to overcome, the more fulfilled I become. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your sacrifices add true value to your team and communities. Read more>>

Lisa Royere | Artist & Designer

No one is going to do the job for you. No one is going to love what you do more than you. You are your own boss, your own cheerleader. Yes you can hire people to do certain tasks for you and help you get to certain places but what I’ve learned is in the beginning stages, you have to motivate yourself and light a fire under your own a**. If you truly want it, you have to get it yourself. Read more>>