There are so many factors that can play a role in determining our results, performance and ultimately our success, but some factors matter more than others. We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor driving their success.

Paula Baruc | Tattoo Artist

Love for my work. This is essential for your brand to be successful. We at Baruc Tattoo do what we love and deliver our products with love and care to our client, that is the main thing for us. Education, love of work, patience, seriousness, and being punctual. Important factors. Read more>>

Alvaro Manrique Iribas | Director of` Photography

The work we do requires full commitment and a lot of hard work, but everybody in the industry or pursuing this career already know that. As Director of Photography, it is necessary we play the role of an artist, a manager, and a technician all at once. With time these are skills we manage to acquire and improve. But to me what makes an artist truly successful is the love and care we put into our work, and since filmmaking is a collaborative process, that care needs to extend into the relationships of those we work with on set. I’m not talking only about the crew in the department we lead but to every person we interact with on a daily basis. Eventually we all find people we click with, and those become our closest collaborators. But sometimes we are brought into jobs where we encounter people we clash with for various reasons. Read more>>

Michael Gaeto | Audio Engineer

The most important factor to my current success is directly related to the relationships formed with my clientele. Those that choose to do business at my studio are not seen as a customer to profit from but rather a trusted creative partner. I work with a large number of humbly talented vocalists and musicians that approach every project with the utmost passion. By going into business with artists, I become an investor in their creative stock, I offer every tool in my skillset to help highlight the gifts these creatives have been given. Many say to be careful when doing business with friends; however, I can truly say I have made so many connections since starting my company. I feel blessed in being able to call more than half my roster close friends, and some, even family. There is no bond like making music together and I plan to continue making genuine connections with all of my customers. Read more>>

Richard Policastro | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

Continued education is the most important factor behind the success of my brand. There will always be new information and new equipment to learn about in any industry. When you have the ambition to always stay educated within your industry it gives you an edge up on your competition. Your clients will recognize it, therefore you will get busier year after year. Read more>>

Radina Veliova / Krissi Koch Radina Veliova / Krissi Koch | Food Entrepreneur

As long time foodies, healthy and delicious food is very important for us; in the end ‘you are what you eat’. Especially in times like these, where dining out has never been harder (if even possible), we wanted to bring a restaurant like experience into every personal kitchen. VK Pumpkin Seed Oil stands for quality, taste, health, and culture. We wanted to share this Austrian specialty with the rest of the world, starting with California. Quality – VK Foods represents quality and commitment to the highest of standards in oil production. Only the best pumpkin seeds with the richest flavor are used for our oil production. All of our oils are cold-pressed and bottled in high-quality glass bottles for maximum taste and long-lasting shelf life without preservatives. Quality you will taste! Taste – Unlike any other, VK’s Pumpkin Seed Oil is mild nutty in flavor, rich green color. Read more>>

Monica Pontrelli | Dog & Wine Lover

Nectar of the Dogs Wine was created to celebrate our love of dogs and wine, and most importantly to honor rescue dogs – those we’ve loved and lost, and those that continue to bring joy to our lives. Our mission is to give back to non-profit dog rescue organizations, so as long as we’re able to continue to make those donations every year and shine a light on the rescue community and the amazing work they do to help dogs in need, then our brand is doing what it was meant to do. Establishing relationships with our rescue partners, understanding their needs in addition to staying up-to-date on the wine industry and expanding our wine knowledge are important parts of our brand’s success. Our partnerships and the quality of our product is essential because no one will regret buying a really good bottle of wine especially knowing that a portion of the sales is benefiting dog rescues and the more wine we sell, the more we can give back. Read more>>

Chael Bischoff | Movement Facilitator & Digital Marketer

The only thing getting in the way of our dreams and success is ourselves. The moment I realized this and shifted my perspective accordingly, life just seemed to fall more deeply into place. Working a full time job while trying to develop my yoga business and practice in tandem was not easy, and there are still many moments where I am filled with self-doubt and negative self-talk. I spent so much time feeling defeated by the weight of what was in front of me within my professional workspace that sometimes it felt nearly impossible to go teach a class or to try to develop my website, social presence, etc etc etc. Once I shifted my mindset to that of a more positive one which was more true to my authentic self anyway, I saw my world begin to change. Read more>>

Aimee Matias | Wedding Photographer

For me, the most important factor behind my success is the support and motivation I receive from my husband. He’s the reason I kickstarted my business and although I wish I were as driven and committed as he is, I’m not. He’s the driving force behind my entire business. I often struggle with doubt and not feeling good enough yet he constantly motivates me and encourages me to pursue learning. “You can never stop learning, you need to adapt as our culture and your business changes”. The other biggest factor to my success has been that I’m reachable. I listen and I’m constantly wanting to learn and grow. I connect with different photographers, those who are just learning and those who have surpassed my knowledge. I’m constantly asking them for tricks and tips. In order to succeed you have to be coachable and stay true to yourself but also humble. Read more>>

Jessica Begum | Floral Designer

Great question and one I’ve embarrassingly thought waaaay too much about. I would say the most important factor behind my success in business is learning to master the stage of business I am in, and then growing to the next stage and mastering that one. If one defines success as achieving “the ultimate dream” in business, then it’s going to seem pretty far away and pretty unachievable. For me, when I close my eyes and daydream of my “ultimate business success,” I see my brand being recognized in my industry, I see a gorgeous design studio somewhere on the Westside of LA, with high ceilings and a huge (vintage) counter where I can design my flowers, and hold classes and private events after hours. Reggae and Dolly Parton will be playing throughout the day and Beastie Boys and Kaskade will be pumping at night. Read more>>

Erin Skipley | Celebrity Makeup Artist & Cosmetic Tattoo Artist/Trainer – Owner of Contour + Ink Los Angeles

The most important factor in the success of my brand is the ability to adapt to trends and new directions in the industry, relying heavily on my intuition and maintaining a positive outlook. I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 20 years and I’ve reinvented myself many times in order to stay relevant in the industry, Just like Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” The only thing that has truly been a constant for me, is that I never stop looking for what’s next. Read more>>

Dora Endre | Director

It must be my family and my closest circle of friends. I think a strong support system and having people you truly trust are the most important. Taking time to celebrate success, recharge, relax with my loved ones is what keeps me moving. Being there for each other, happy for each other but also honestly sharing our opinion, not letting the other do something incredibly stupid are all essential for me. I have learnt that there is always a way to work things out as long as we stick together. That gives me a profound sense of safety and courage. I am very lucky. Read more>>

Nathaniel Muñoz | Operating Partner

The incubation of Bar Avalon and EVE Bottle Shop was focused on neighborhood ideals. Bar Avalon was focused on offering an elevated casual all day environment serving coffee and nibbles during the am hours, flavorful and easy to execute day time lunch items with soulful share plates in the evening that would pair well with any number of the $5-$35 glasses of wine on the list. EVE Bottle Shop was the compliment to the Bar Avalon experience through a Global Hedonistic Wine Selection curated through the classic palate lens but explorative of current trends of natural and skin contact wines. Essentially, our neighbors could depend on a warm, friendly experience any time of day, any day of the week and not spend a fortune. Whether they want to share a bottle with a friend at the bar, entertain relatives that were visiting or have a special dinner with their partner, they could consider Bar Avalon and EVE Bottle Shop as the local independent restaurant and wine shop that would remember their face and make sure they felt taken care of. Read more>>

Morgan Young | Fashion Designer

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is my ability to be as authentic and transparent as possible. Showing the process behind my work and where it is made has really created a very close connection between myself and our customers. I would also say that constatnly learning and connecting with new people has truly helped grow my network and build my brand. Read more>>

Melissa Goodman | Boudoir Photographer

Being a Boudoir Photographer is more than just taking “pretty portraits” of women. We offer an experience that is unique to each client, depending on their particular story and what they are looking for. I have the honor of working with folk who are healing from past traumas, making the decision to embrace scars, start or continue on the path of self acceptance after having kids and so much more. It’s also just as important, if doing a boudoir shoot is about being pampered for the day with professional makeup and hair and doing something fun for yourself. Plus, who doesn’t want to look back and have memories of how amazing they look! I strive to build a brand that is inclusive of all women and have our time working together be a safe space where they feel valued. The most important factors behind the success of making that happen are making sure that I lead with empathy, Integrity and staying authentic to who I am. Read more>>

Daniel Loumpouridis | Music Producer, Recording Artist, Dog Enthusiast

My success in music production has come from a lifelong admiration for innovative thinkers. All the artists that have ever blown my mind – whether we’re talking Prince, Stanley Kubrick, or Alan Moore – have changed our expectations for what their respective art forms could be. I’ve achieved my success by looking at what isn’t there, the negative space in the music industry. “What do I wish this genre was doing right now?” is one of my favorite questions to ask when I’m producing. It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m working with a country artist, a rapper, or an EDM group, that question keeps us on our toes. The other thing I ask is, “How do I best serve this artist?” Once I’ve figured out how to answer both, we’re golden. It’s a mindset that requires a lot of trust, both from the artist and from myself, but it’s that same trust that allows us to make things that are truly beautiful and unexpected – and the unexpected is what keeps me in business. Read more>>

Sergio Lopez | Actor/Director

Focusing on the humanity in storytelling has been the driving force in my success as an actor and filmmaker. Every film I’ve directed and hope to be a part of has a focus the human experience. My first feature follows the forgotten humanity of homelessness, while my second feature is a study of PTSD and its effects on on our lives. Corona forced me to scale down to a short, but my emphasis on humanity pushed me to create a story about grief. These stories connect to audiences because of they shine a light on our humanity. Read more>>

Tierra Amira Jones | Actress, DJ, Model, & Host

It’s hard to think of myself or my brand in terms of success, because there is so much I want to accomplish. With that being said, the biggest factor of my success this far, has been my ambition to want to learn, my motivation to want to inspire, and my work ethic that got me through the hard times. My journey has not been easy, there have been many down points. However, the good always outweighs the bad for me because each failure and every mistake shaped me into the person I am today. I appreciate my journey because I am leaning so much along the way. I think that is part of being successful. I believe that our abilities to pursue an interest and enjoy the journey along the way while learning and evolving, is my idea of success. My brand is my simply doing what I love which is Acting, Music, Dance, and Modeling, and giving others the chance to do the same. Read more>>

Kevin Davi | Doctor of Physical Therapy, Reiki Practitioner and Yoga Instructor

I think that the main factor that has allowed me to be successful is flexibility. When I first set out to work for myself as an independent physical therapist and healer, I had this grand idea of being the physical therapists that all the yogis would go to. But I remained open to see what the market dictated and to see what people were really asking for. When I stopped to listen, I was able to pivot my game plan and give people what they wanted in a way that felt in alignment with who I wanted to be as a healer and professional. Read more>>

Jon Ososki | Artist & Composer

The most important factor for me has been doing one thing really well and focusing on developing that skill. Instead of stretching myself too thin and trying to do everything in my business, I’ve focused on doing what I’m really good at well. Read more>>

Fernanda Belmar | Chilean Filmmaker

People, to be more specific my mom and my friends, without them I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. I always have dreamt of coming to the U.S. to study, and then when I found out my passion for filmmaking they always supported me. Pursuing any kind of art is extremely challenging. You can have all the confidence in the world but there’s always a time in life where you doubt yourself, at least I do, I often have those moments where I think I should do better, or I’m probably not really good at this, and I should just give up, but in those moments is where my friends and my mom reminded me that I have to keep going because even when I don’t believe in me, they do. My success is not just my passion, my creativity, and perseverance, it is also the people who are behind me, who inspires me, and who motivate me to create opportunities for myself when they aren’t there. To summarize, my success is me and all the people behind me. Read more>>

Rachel Smith | Professional Underwater Entertainer, Artist and Business Owner

The most important factor to the success behind the brand of my LLC Mermaid and Mom, and our convention, The California Mermaid Convention, is community and genuine authenticity. We owe our success almost fully to those who have helped us build our business, the community we entertain and serve, and the work we do to give back to those who have assisted us. In a time when surface qualities seem to be celebrated and admired, we strive to be as genuine in our ethics, presentation and performance. We are who we proclaim to be, and we to our best to hold ourselves to a high standard. Read more>>

Christina Marin | Woman Motorcyclist/Founder of She Wolf Moto Co.

One of the most important factors in maintaining success behind a brand would be to keep the message bold and clear. She Wolf Moto Co. was created to empower other womxn riders, and raise animal awareness together. It’s a sense of community, and support for all living things. Having a brand that is not just a merch company, but an all inclusive lifestyle. There would be no success without support. Thankful for each and ever individual who I’ve come across within the brand existing. Read more>>

Sophie Gragg | Founder & EIC of The Luna Collective

While it’s difficult to narrow it down to one thing, I ultimately think remaining authentic has lead to the success of Luna. We’ve been able to evolve and change in so many ways while always remaining true to our values, taste and the things that draws our audience in to begin with. Though often unspoken, our values have always centered around curating genuinely good and diverse talent. As we’ve grown there have been plenty of opportunities to “sell out” but at the end of the day we’ve grown our platform and connected with our audience based on our genuine tastes and curating what and who we believe to be worth our community’s attention. We continue to be transparent with our audience and make efforts to keep that relationship strong. Read more>>

Robb Havassy | Artist, Author, Creator, Designer, Producer

When I talk counsel other creatives one of the most important things I discuss with them is that their success depends on the truth and power of the work. Most importantly is some broader universal truth, beauty or power. I tell them that they must create and share and if there is “truth” people will come like animals to water. The old “Field of Dreams” quote comes to mind. “If you build it they will come.” So with my own art and creative I believe that that “essence” of truth in some sort is readily apparent to others. People have always reacted to my creations in a way that is authentic and positive. I often hear from those who are confronted with my work that it connects with them and makes them “feel” something. That’s key for any creative to be able to turn a hobby into a career. And that’s pretty much what I’ve done. I have created things that have power, relevance or beauty and have shared them in all sorts of way. Read more>>

Steven Van | Fine Artist, Muralist & Illustrator

Authenticity all the way! Being appreciative in my ability to learn, adapt, and think, independently and creatively. In a world with so many possibilities and more freedom than ever, there’s also a lot to sort through! Style and originality prevails always.. We see this commonly demonstrated in nature. There’s not one leaf on a tree that’s similar to the next leaf. Understanding and harnessing that concept of individuality and then going against the grain of mediocrity requires great balance. It’s our purpose to be different! But yea lots of practice for many years. I feel like an olympic athlete sometimes but a day well spent brings great sleep right! Balance in everything. Practicing daily authenticity in all my activities though, I’ve been able to channel that essence and incorporate it visually into my artwork making a powerful emotional connection, raising awareness and communicating on a deeper level with people. Read more>>

Pamela Quinzi | Celebrity Fashion

The most important factor behind my success is passion and determination. I never gave up, even when it was difficult or life made me face hard times, i always believed in myself and in my work. I dedicated many years to develop and grow my Kilame brand and push it Internationally. Read more>>

Ariana Offray & Hannah Q. Glover | Content Creators at The Angelinos

Success is a lot like happiness, it tends to be more of a fleeting sensation that occurs when we’ve reached the peak of one goal, just before starting at the bottom of another. We have felt successful many times, and also incredibly frustrated and ambivalent at others. But ultimately, we do have a successful brand in the sense that we are financially supported by our creative business 100% and that we can see a bright future full of upward momentum. To us, our growth is limitless and that potential feels a lot like success. That being said, the most important factor in our success has been authenticity. Our message is about visibility – we create with being seen in mind. And because of that, authenticity is the most important thing because we each individually need to be represented in a way that is genuine. Read more>>

Candy Washington | Founder + Content Creator + Actress + Podcast Host

The most important factor behind my success has been a fundamental shift in my mindset. When I was able to redefine success as showing up fully as my authentic self in both my business and in my personal life, was when I was able to enjoy the journey and the process of building my brand while living life on my own terms. I don’t define success as a number in the bank account, press, awards, or accolades, but rather success is waking up every day and making the conscious choice to be my own best friend and to make my own well-being my first and best priority. It is from this place of inherent worthiness and value that allows the external markers of “success” (money, press, partnerships, opportunities, etc.) to manifest in my business. Read more>>

Kpavio |Artist That Fuses Time & Death

For me, success is not based on sales. Sales are a secondary issue, I am not motivated by money, I am creating works of art and for that I am tremendously satisfied. I have learned a lot of incredible things, I really make a lot of people happy, and contribute with something to the artistic world and society in general. I am happy. Read more>>

Blake Wayne | Private Chef

As a Private Chef, I’m often asked what has helped me stand apart from my peers. I believe that my passion for researching, identifying and sourcing the highest quality ingredients from unique and exceptional sources has not only been the key to elevating my craft, but also is what inspires me to create innovative and flavorful recipes that I can share with my private clients as well as at my Supper Club dinner parties guests. Read more>>

Jody Chapman | Branding & Website Design Specialist

I think the most important factor behind my success & the success of my business is constantly learning and evolving. I started my design consulting business about a year ago now and within that time I’ve constantly evolved my business offerings, strategy and process. I’ve consumed so much information and have taught myself new custom coding and website design techniques that enable me to provide quality services to my clients. When I’m feeling like I am in over my head I push myself to that much further to improve my business. Read more>>

Sam Cimino | President/Founder CIMINO HOME

The most important factor for the success of CIMINO HOME is authenticity. When you do a search for the definition of authenticity under “similar” you will find: truth, originality and dependability. Staying true to my mission and belief that there is an audience of people who are looking for stylish bedding with unique patterns, colors, and textures is a guiding principle for CIMINO HOME. Although aesthetics are the key differentiator of the brand, it is never at the expense of the quality products or the quality of rest they provide. Authenticity is a key factor in picking my manufacturing partners, design collaborators, stockists, wholesale partners, and the people on my team. When there is genuine connection, care, and respect it’s so much easier to succeed and exponentially more rewarding for all of those involved. It’s easy to let outside forces influence. Read more>>

Bethany Endter | Fascial Stretch Therapist & Certified Personal Trainer

Building authentic relationships with my clients! People can tell if you are actually invested in their health and wellbeing or if you’re just interested in building your brand. If your clients feel safe, connected, and leave their sessions with you feeling better than how they came, your business will thrive regardless of what’s going on in the world. Read more>>

Melissa Gutierrez Clavijo | Film Producer / VP & Head of Production at Narrative Ads

I believe it’s a mix of factors: determination, focus, and the ability to adapt easily to circumstances. If we’re talking Melissa the Film Producer, I would say my determination to pursuit this purpose and calling I’ve felt from when I was a little girl to tell stories no one else has told before; but also focus has been determinant, been able to sacrifice countless sleepless nights, weekends, living far from my family, all to become who I am today. As to Narrative Ads where I lead the production team, I also feel we’ve reached a level of “success” because me and my team we’ve been able to adapt, we’ve been able to innovate, and we’ve been able to develop new methods of production through countless testings of multiple models (to the best of our core of AB testing), both in content creation and in the internal management of the company. Read more>>

Timony Siobhan Ramos | Photographer | Retoucher | Creative

I think the quickest way to answer this is that I show up on time, I turn in assets when I say I will, I actively communicate with my clients about their needs and expectations, and I am meticulous about the quality of my work. Until recently, I have always worked in-house/full time for brands. I’ve been working in Los Angeles for a decade now and I think that by working in-house I have had the opportunity to be more involved with the brands and have a deeper understanding of their needs. So, when a client comes to me now, even though my services are freelance I have a better understanding of what kind of assets they need across all channels (ecom, social, advertising, etc.). I work a lot with start-ups so being able to set a standard of visuals/assets is crucial to establishing a brand. Also, having worked in LA for so long I have met some amazing people and built a fantastic network of creatives. Read more>>

Yibo Wei | Founder & E-commerce Entrepreneur

Integrity. Sea cucumbers, bird nests, and fish maw; these exotic food items used in centuries-old Chinese dishes are only some of those we sell in the western market. As one of the biggest e-commerce platforms selling genuine Chinese delicacies in America, we always strive to maintain authenticity, trustworthiness, and transparency. Because we don’t have a physical retail store, it is especially challenging to establish customer trust given the high unit price of dried seafood. So we established rigorous product standards, provided accurate product information, offered product samples and unconditional return policy to safeguard our integrity. Confidence and trust are central to integrity, and this is also our commitment to our suppliers. Whether they are Alaska’s fishermen or Wisconsin’s American ginseng farmers, we partnered with people who share the same values ​​as we do. Read more>>

Stephanie Lawrence | Founder of Lip Lūffa

The main component behind the success of my brand is the ability to being open to learning. As a freelance artist-turned-entrepreneur, I quickly realized there is so much to absorb and my openness to learning new things has been key. I often remind myself that if I am gaining knowledge, then I must be growing and growth re-fuels everything. Read more>>

Kat, Angie McIver, Evans | Chef and Owner, Barista, Beverage Director and Owner of Wide Eyes Open Palms

The most important factor in the success of Wide Eyes Open Palms is intuition and partnership. As a business owner, you are required to make decisions about the direction of the business every single day. Some days they are small decisions, like should I charge for that extra butter or is it time to order more dish soap? Other times, they are big decisions that will have a huge impact, like which insurance company should I go with or should I sign that lease? Whatever the question is that you’re facing, owning a business is a never ending series of giving guidance, and, in our experience, a pretty unyielding process. There are many decisions that we have spent weeks or months agonizing over, and there are some decisions that will just never be easy to make, even when you know they’re right. But how do you know when you know? How do you know what is the “right” choice, for you and for your business (sometimes they might not be the same thing). Read more>>

Opie Macleod | Jedi(ism) Philosopher | Author

The most important factor is simply dedication. Commitment to the vision/goal. There are slow starts, failed ideas, tedious moments, as well as when things get moving and just seem to snowball and move very quickly. Through all of this a lot of core ideals will come into play. Adaptability, patience, problem solving, but mainly it is about adhering to the original vision. The determination to stick to the basics, keep to a schedule, work on the project at hand no matter how little. That commitment to the goal is what has ultimately seen the most success come my way. Read more>>