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.

September Penn, M.Div. | Artist-Theologian, Singer-Songwriter, Worship Pastor

It’s all about relationships. We should be mindful of how we treat people. The first impression is important, but it’s the lasting impression that will get you the invitation back. Strive to be excellent in your craft, but also in your intentions and actions. Most of my work is collaborative, so I must always consider the other players. If we can play well together, then the creative process will be more enjoyable, and that will show in the final product. Read more>>

C. Darayl Howard | Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

Getting a good night’s rest is the most important ingredient to being successful as an entrepreneur. You’ve probably heard the saying, “I can sleep when I die,” but my motto is if you don’t rest, how can you be effective when you work? That isn’t to say that I don’t work hard, because I do. As a writer, I have a million ideas floating through my head at any given time that I would love to just spill out at once. But that’s impractical. I’ve learned to pace myself and enjoy the creative process as it’s happening. My writing is important to me, and I want that to shine through in my art. The best way for me to do that is to work when I’m at my optimal best. Read more>>

Justin Ferrer | Creative Director & Editor

As a creative the most important lesson is to always express yourself and form your own interpretation of art. But looking into it as a business perspective, in order for you to keep pursuing your art, you have to sell and network your art! You can be the best in your field at whatever you do. But if you do not know how to network yourself, you will go little to nowhere. Taking on the business standpoint in a creative field, there is going to be a lot of fall outs throughout your direction. Read more>>

Sonu Ratra | Co-Founder of Akraya and Founder of Women Back to Work

There are a few crucial lessons I have learnt through my career and during the course of founding and growing our business. The one that has stayed with me is that with success come even greater responsibilities. When you put special emphasis on giving back to your community, society and the environment, it directly impacts your bottom line. This couldn’t be more true given where we are today in history and in time. Read more>>

Brock Prince | Chief Operating Officer

Throughout my business career, I’ve learned many lessons, but one that encapsulates a few and that I’m reminded of daily is to hold my ground. When it comes to effectively navigating through hurdles, both mentally & physically, the important thing to keep in mind is to not let it stop you from progressing forward. To be more specific, some days may not be as productive as others, but that doesn’t mean it was a ‘bad’ day. It’s similar to the quote “I haven’t failed because I haven’t given up”. This can be applied to implementing new strategies within the office, managing staff, and/or helping a client/customer. If you aren’t able to remain a pillar for your business, who will? Read more>>

Lili Pettit | Founder, Clutter Healing®, Inc.

The most important lesson my career has taught me is to take breaks…I mean a lot of breaks. Society has conditioned us to work in a conventional way and I have learned to unwind this concept through more cyclical living. When I take a walk around the block, call a friend to or sink into a bath to break up the working parts of my day, I find that more work gets accomplished. Read more>>

Hailee Hutchings | Drummer / producer

To just be your authentic self and too not worry about what anyone else thinks, just be you. Read more>>

Sonia Sebastian | Film Director

The most important lesson my career has taught me is to be passionate. Everything that I create, direct or write, needs to come from a state of passion and love for what I’m doing. If not, it doesn’t work, or the results will be just fine, never exceptional. Read more>>

Kai George | Product Photographer & Video Producer

I remember when I first started my product photography business, ContentSugar. I was so excited at the thought of becoming an entrepreneur, I did what most new aspiring entreprenuers do–I began collecting and reading all the go-to business and mindset books. I started following entreprenuer influencers online, and began putting in countless hours studying strategies and videos. I started pushing myself based on the extremes I saw other successful people willing to go, and would often feel guilty whenever I fell short. I knew there had to be something that clearly separated the successful people from the rest and I was willing to drive myself crazy getting there. Read more>>

Amy Hruby | Life & Executive Coach

The most important business lesson I have learned so far is to do things afraid. In my first year as a Life/Business Coach, there were many things I didn’t know how to do. I knew in order to grow my coaching business quickly I was going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. For example, I was invited by a coaching/leadership training company to co-facilitate a leadership workshop in another state and I have never done that before. I was terrified. Read more>>

Isabelle Wei | Food Blogger

One of the most important things I have learned for starting my food blog has been emphasizing the significance of staying true to your roots and values. When working on social media, it’s easy to get lost and lose sight of your goals because of factors like paying too much attention to the numbers, constantly comparing yourself to other content creators, and even sharing content solely for engagement rather than what aligns with your interests. Read more>>

Justi Embree | Wig Designer/Celebrity Hair Stylist

What’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The entrepreneurial world is always a case of “feast or famine,” so basically, every part of me has been tested in some way or another. Honestly, to choose just one thing is really tough, however, I must say that there is something to be said for sitting in the driver’s seat. Being in a position that requires you to make all of the choices offers you the unique opportunity to live or die by your own sword. And trust me, I have definitely fallen on a few sharp blades. Read more>>

Eric Jewell | Podcast Co-Host & Producer | Content Creator

The most important lesson that I have learned throughout my career has been that success takes time and looks different for everyone. Don’t judge your own success based on other people. When I was younger, I thought that I would have my entire life figured out and be working my dream job by age 25. Well, I just turned 25 the other day and I still haven’t figured out my entire life and my career path is still murky and unclear to me. Read more>>

Kimberly Belcher | Public Relations Specialist

When first starting my career, I read tons of books, listened to countless TED talks, and attended seminars on how to be successful, but the reality is, most of things being taught are unrealistic for the average person. Most people can’t dedicate 20 hours a week to their business because they are exhausted from working two jobs or caring for their family, in my case, both. So I learned to improvise, utilize trail and error, and figure out what tools would work best for me to achieve my career goals.  Read more>>

Ezra Schaefer | Designer and Creative Director

The most important lesson my career has taught me is that technical skills can take your far, but emotional skills will ultimately take you farther. Kindness and humility will always be appreciated. Honesty and transparency builds trust. Read more>>

Tori Garcia | Licensed Professional Makeup Artist

The most important lesson that my business has taught me is to be okay with setting my prices at what I feel my services are worth. In doing so that has attracted the type of clientele that I love to work with.It has also taught me the value of patience and quality over quantity. Read more>>

Wren Eustis | Actor & Singer

I would say the most important lesson I have learned thus far is not to compare myself to others. Comparison is a dark, winding hole that is easy to get sucked into, especially if you feel like you are not as successful as others around you at that specific time. it can take you down and ultimately make you jealous and unsupportive which is never a good look. When I find myself spiraling into the comparison trap, I try to check myself. Read more>>

Chris and Amanda Combs | Owner/Operators of Solvang Flavors

I think of a famous quote that says (Success is not final: Failure is not fatal and it is the courage to continue that counts… That was by Winston Churchill If there is one thing I have learned from my career so far, it’s that I know what it feels like to fail, and I know what it feels like to succeed. I have been lucky over the years to work under some great minds in the food industry, taking those trainings and applying my own ideas has lead to this creation thus far. Read more>>

Christopher Montgomery | Chef Chris | Chef Owner

To strive and always get better. In this industry you are only as good as your last meal. So you have to strive for perfection every single day, every order etc. We are never safe is my model/belief. Read more>>

Kate Grahn | Artist/Musician

I love making music so much and cannot imagine doing anything else with my life. This of course creates the existential fear of “not making it.” My mom has ingrained the phrase “stay in your own lane” in my head from a young age. Basically she was telling me not to compare myself to other people and to stay true to my authenticity and originality. Although I do my best to follow that mantra, I am in fact a human being and compare myself to other people. Read more>>