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.

Collin Kozola | Singer-Songwriter

One of the most important lessons i’ve learned from my career is that nothing comes free. If you want it, you have to go out and work for it. The journey is going to be hard. It’s not going to be easy. But you have to keep going regardless of how difficult it gets. If you fail, you keep trying. You fall down 7 times, get up 8. You can have other people around you to push you and all but at the end of the day it comes down to just you. Read more>>

Alayna Eberhart | Vintage Seller

Persistence. Sometimes I have vintage listings lingering for months until the right customer finds them. I continue to hone my eye when buying and am always guided by my customers. When I started out buying vintage, it was all about me, my style and what I would want. But that’s evolved to think about my community and what my customers are loving right now. Read more>>

Tiffany Jamison | Principal of Jamison Communications

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout my career and especially in my last position as Director of Sales and Marketing is that you cannot be all the things, to all the people. We all have strengths and areas we excel in. Once you focus on what you’re good at and apply that to your business, you will see your business start to grow and celebrate the great impact you make on your client’s business. In the ever-evolving world of marketing, it’s absolutely impossible to know how to do all the things. Trying to sell yourself as an industry expert in every area of marketing in an unrealistic path to go down. My personal plan for my career is to continue educating myself in my industry, evolving and growing my skill set. As passionate as I am about growth and opportunity, I have learned the hard way that you cannot know every tactic, strategy, social media channel, PR pitch, etc. 100% and be an expert. You have to build a team, ask questions and bow out when it’s not a good fit. Read more>>

Karli Webster | Singer/Songwriter

I’ve always been one to go with my gut and be a bit stubborn about the things I want to do. This has both greatly benefitted and challenged me throughout my music career. Although I’m still a bit of a baby in the music industry, I’d argue that I’ve had a fair share of lessons learned the hard way… all of which I’m very grateful for. Because of this, I’d say the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far is that knowing yourself and trusting yourself is KEY to creating and achieving anything worthwhile. As a person, I’ve grown and changed in some pretty dramatic ways throughout the last three years and because of that, my music, my voice, and what my words say has changed too. It can be super easy to get caught up in the noise of what external powers might “want” you to do, but that’s nothing but noise. I spent the first few years of my career listening to those around me, assuming they knew better than me, only to end up with a product that felt more like a character I was trying to keep up, rather than something I was truly proud of. Read more>>

Jessica Valenzuela | Wedding Planner & Designer

To fail forward. Often times I felt the need to be perfect and that I had to nail everything down before accepting a client. The truth of the matter is we all learn from our mistakes or experiences. I once saw this quote and it’s stuck by me ever since which was, “First Attempt At Learning.” It’s an optimistic view that has helped me cope with the fact that I do not have to have the answer for everything or feel like I need to have it all figured out. Read more>>

Navid Ezra | Board Certified Dermatologist and Entrepreneur

I am the child of immigrant parents who moved to the United States for better opportunities for their children. As a young boy, my parents taught me to “think big” and told me “you can accomplish anything with hard work and discipline.” This has been the theme of my life and career. I initially started a single-provider dermatology office in Thousand Oaks, CA where I built up the patient base by spending time with each and every patient that walked in the door. I grew to know these patients from both a medical standpoint and also a personal outlook. Once the office was going in the right direction, I started other California Dermatology Institute locations throughout Ventura and Los Angeles County. Read more>>

Tej Kaur Khalsa | Owner: TejTV.yoga & Nine Treasures Yoga-Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher

I found a beautiful scroll with a writing by the Dalai Lama, and I gave it to twins at their birth. Today they are about 5 years, and starting to read. Their parents sent me a recording. of them reading it (How Great Is That? Learning to read with the Dalai Lama!) reciting together, “Never Give Up. No Matter What Is Happening, No Matter What is Going on: Never Give Up.” I constantly remind myself that Step by Step, we get better, we progress. When my daughter was 3, we had a kitchen with large tiles. She would put one foot on a tile and say, “Step” next tile, “By” and the third tile, “Step”. For hours she would walk on those tiles, repeating this mantra. She sort of chiseled it into my subconscious. This saying, along with “Never Give Up” helps me as challenges constantly arise. Learning to be in an Elevated Flow — to just watch, listen, assess, and then do — has been a big development for me. We began teaching yoga online with TejTV.yoga — and it’s reaching people from all around the world who are tuning in daily. Read more>>

Tory DiPietro | Multimedia Neon Artist

the most important lesson I have learned from starting and running my business as an independent artist is that anything is possible when you simply refuse to quit. Prior to pursuing my dream of being a professional full time artist I had accepted that my life would forever be a product of circumstance and the range of possibility for my achievements in this world were slim. In doing the work of staying committed to my art and my business no matter the circumstances trails and failures I have managed to achieve things quite literally beyond my wildest dreams. Possibly even more importantly my business and career have affirmed my true life’s purpose and taken my life from one of depression and struggle to great joy, excitement, and continued adventure and growth. My career and business fulfill me in ways I never thought were possible and leave me living in a perpetual state of extreme gratitude regardless of the hardships and tribulations that come with running them. Read more>>

Ted Goslin | Steelpan Artist and Writer

Never give up. You’ll always be faced with hardship and challenges but the more you want something and the harder you push, the more likely you are to get it. I’ve been close to the edge of defeat more times than I can count. I’ve lost some battles along the way that felt like the end. Then I regrouped, got it together and tried again. Eventually, I succeeded. And it never ends. You need to keep pushing and striving for more. Don’t become stagnant. Doing something is better than. Read more>>