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.

APOORVA SANKAR | FILM EDITOR

The most important factor behind my success is the motivation to believe in myself. Independence comes with its own set of turns, and it comes from a lot of mental strength and the ability to be self-sufficient. I’ve realized that all your hurdles will make you a stronger individual when you start believing in yourself. It is funny how our world revolves around people and their opinions about us. Sometimes, it’s okay to have bad days, and I always say this to myself, “Self-love can only come to you when you realize the value of your wellbeing and start working towards living a better life for yourself.” I believe in embracing my fears and have learned to love myself even more. Read more>>

JayTee Thompson | Director/Apostle of Creativity/Entertainer

The most important factor behind my success is the people I touch and lives I save. The success of my brand (Ryda 4 Life Filmz) is based on the merit of the company. We go above and beyond to satisfy R audiences and fanbase. Success is not defined by money or material things, it’s defined by the example you set and your integrity. Being impactful during these devastating times and being able to provide hope for R Culture is the root of R success, MY success. Read more>>

Cristina Wunderlich | Health & Wellness Coach

Love and empathy! I think this is key. One aspect is the love and empathy I have towards my clients, as I support them to achieve their health goals. But more important is the love and empathy my clients show towards themselves. Many of my clients beat themselves up for doing too less exercise, eating to much junk food, working too hard, not taking enough care of themselves and so on. Often I spend the first hour with them dealing with this issues. They have to learn to have empathy towards themselves and love their bodies and characters, no matter how flawed they think they are. Once they come from a point of love the rest becomes easier. Another big factor of my success – food related – is that I help clients adapt a lectin free diet, and this dietary approach makes such an huge impact on all of them, so that they feel major changes in their well-being in less than 2 weeks. Clients dealing with digestive issues, fatigue, loss of energy, weight gain, migraines, eczema, high blood pressure, asthma, and more – they all benefit from a dietary change. Read more>>

Jonas Muthoni | Founder & CEO, Deviate Agency

People! My team consists of individuals that love to win. Driven by a passion for creative excellence, innovation, and the desire to deliver exceptionally best-in-class results consistently has been a critical factor behind Deviate’s success. Our team includes a global network of remote employees, which allows me to bring diverse ideas and points of view to the Agency and uncover winning and top-notch solutions for our clients. Driven by the “deviate” style of thinking, networking, learning, innovating, and adaptability, we excel at finding solutions for every opportunity that presents itself regardless of the industry/niche. It is not about the uncontrollable circumstances (like the pandemic) but rather how you choose to let it affect you. This mindset and culture have allowed us to help clients succeed by finding creative ways for brands to communicate to their audience, get the desired attention, and boost engagement. Read more>>

Chelsea Neille | Creator of Golden Hippie Co

The most important factor behind the success of Golden Hippie Co is the ability to treat my community as an extended family member. Golden Hippie provides a safe space to feel honored and celebrated. My brand is huge on the idea of community. I interact daily on social media, reach out often, and even go and support whenever I can. Every win is a win for the community and I make that known. On this journey of entrepreneurship, the community of GH the most important factor in the success of my brand. Read more>>

Andreea Braescu | Artist

If you find yourself smiling while being outside on a sunny day, it’s no coincidence. This positive impact on our emotional health and wellbeing is what I think that lighting should bring to an interior space. Without this, interior spaces cannot be experienced to the fullest. Of course, lighting should assure a comfortable and functional atmosphere in your home, but I think it should also elevate moods and create wellbeing. With my emotion-led approach, I certainly tend to impress more people that are receptive to emotions. I guess, artistic inclination and receptiveness to emotions have been predictors for my success. Read more>>

Kimberly Dixon | Pediatrician, Public Health, Mentor,

I truly believe that persistence and belief in one’s self are crucial on the path to success. At one time becoming a Pediatrician appeared to be an impossible feat. Number one, I had never seen any one who looked like me become a doctor and additionally I did not believe I had the fortitude to achieve something so great. This all changed once I entered my studies as an undergraduate student at UCLA. Naturally I was drawn to extracurricular activities and clubs that were health related. It was then that I began to see those who looked similar to me with similar backgrounds achieving success in the medical field. Unknowingly, they were my inspirations. The pathway that led me to where I am today was filled with twists and turns. I was told no several times before I received that one yes. I did not let the disappointments deter me from getting to my goal. I surrounded myself with those who believed in me and more importantly I never let the limited beliefs of others prevent me from reaching success. Read more>>

Sally Shin | Event Planner

Accessibility for all. Everyone wants that “Pinterest worthy” dream party and we understand the formula to bring that to life. Good design and impactful, memorable moments. Creating a cohesive look but personalizing the details so it’s custom and special to each client is what we strive to do. We pour the same care, love and attention to detail for every client’s event. It’s not just a date on our calendar to fill our books but it’s the day our clients have been waiting for! My philosophy has always been to do to others what I would want done for me! If that means going the extra mile to pick up that perfect decor element or spending a bit more time fine tuning a detail on a cake or the color of the florals, we will make sure that each decision sits right with our standards and aligns with how we want to treat others. Read more>>

Madilynn Beck | Founder + CEO

It’s always tricky for me to answer questions where I can only assign one, in this case contribution, to something that feels so complex. But, if I had to, I’d say the most important factor behind my success to-date would be my ability to call failure by it’s name and to do it fast. I’ve read, watched and listened to the arguments against why we need to reassess our relationship with failure and even call it by another name. I completely agree that how you deal with failure is important to examine and has a huge impact on your success. But “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?”, no. It wouldn’t. My ability to humbly accept my defeat, my failure, is directly tied to the fact that I call it by it’s name. If I called it, “an opportunity” or ‘a pivot” I wouldn’t try to so rigorously to evaluate why it fell flat and create a solution that flies. With Fountful, a space that was new to me as an entrepreneur (tech), I failed…a lot. I’ll probably fail again tomorrow, because we’re no where close to where we’re capable of going. Read more>>

Tara Lyn Emerson | Fitness Expert and Influencer

I’m in the people business! Connecting with my students, clients and fitness community is a very vital to my success. The thing that allowed me to really breakthrough and build impactful relationships with these people was telling my story. My story is unique and imperfect- just like me.. My clients really connected with who I was because many fitness professionals seem to have perfect bodies and every day show up with endless energy and motivation. I on the other hand was born with a neuromuscular disease which causes progressive nerve pain and damage to my lower limbs and feet. I was dealt a bad hand in life with my physical condition but I spend every day making the most I can out of it. Read more>>

Nicholas Bailey | Content Creator & Lifestyle Blogger

Authenticity. I never want to fake the funk, turn into a salesman or do anything that’s not authentic to who I am. In the content/blogging/influencer world, there are so many opportunities for growth at the cost of sacrificing who you are and what’s true to you, but I never want to go that route. Anything I do, talk about, promote, etc comes from the heart. No phony biz. Read more>>

Corinne Chooey | Actor, Writer, Producer and Teaching Artist at Company of Angels

My decision to start a family of my own is the most important factor behind my success as an artist. # I grew up in a family of Asian American performing artists and I’ve been acting since I was eleven years old. I really enjoyed working in theater and film as a kid. However, as I grew older, I found myself getting caught up in the business of acting as opposed to concentrating on telling stories. At the time, my relationship with acting was tenuous and filled with uncertainty. # I stopped acting for many years to build my marriage and raise my children. During that time, I learned to care for other human beings in ways that I’d never experienced before. I adopted a larger perspective on what I wanted, and being a mom and wife helped me to love unconditionally. I understand that a family isn’t for everyone, but it certainly was the right choice for me. That time away also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my writing and producing skills because I had more life experiences to draw upon. Read more>>

Claire Sully | Pop Singer & Songwriter

I think the most important factor behind my success is patience. Nothing in life comes easy. Nothing happens overnight. I had a dream of becoming a professional singer at 13 years old, and it was a lot of performing at open mics, bars, restaurants etc.. not only that, but building a brand, or a name for yourself takes a lot of work. I had to deal with a lot of rejection, and at the end of the day, you become stronger because with every no you get told, it just pushed me to work harder. I was releasing songs on Spotify, apple music and iTunes every day praying someone would listen to me and want to pick me up. However that wasn’t the case. Eventually I gave up and said, I want to write music because I love it, Writing is my outlet. As soon as I hit my mid teens that’s when I was getting more attention. Recording artists were reaching out wanting to write with me, producers were inboxing me with collaboration ideas, so I am not one to say, it can’t happen. Read more>>

Ac Hampton | 8 Figure E-commerce Marketer & Business Coach/Mentor

Consistency and knowing my “why”. My “why” is creating generational wealth for myself, my family, and my next generation. Also being able to be in total control of my destiny and outcome of life. Knew making money for someone else was never me, which killed me working my 9-5. i would wake up everyday making someone else rich, and i couldnt sleep at night knowing this. Being my own boss, traveling the world and being able to make money with just having a laptop and wif. Read more>>

Derrick Reed | Private Chef, Photographer, Creative

The most important factors behind my success would be my patience along with perseverance. To understand that we all have a purpose in life and to reach that purpose, one must first go through many of life’s learning lessons. Many times it will feel easiest to walk away, whether or not that’s in the beginning stages of what can be a new hobby turned life mission or in those final moments right before your big break. The thing is, you don’t know until you keep going, which is why I keep pushing, growing, and learning, knowing that each moment is only preparing me for the highest success, a best me. Read more>>

Quintin Puebla | Visual Development Artist

Learning how how to enjoy the journey, but never getting too comfortable with my process. Read more>>

David Roitstein | Jazz Program Director, California Institute of The Arts

Shoutout LA “What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?” I have taught at CalArts for 38 years, and believe that I am the luckiest person with the best job in the world. I love what I do and the people who I work with, and am always grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by creative, original, fascinating artists who are passionate and independent. When Charlie Haden and I started the jazz program, it was very much underground, but gradually over the years, it seems like our reputation as a unique alternative to most university and conservatory programs is well established throughout the worlds of jazz, creative music, and education. The most important factor in our program’s success is our extraordinary team of faculty and students. We take great care in selecting students every year, and they know that we respect and admire their talent and will do everything possible to support and encourage them. Read more>>

Joe Bunn | DJ Company Owner & Entrepreneur

Marketing. I truly believe that marketing has elevated our brand and been a key part of the success of Bunn DJ Company. Read more>>

Amy Liule | Cosmetic Tattoo Artist

Passion. I love what I do. That love is what gets me excited to go into work every day. I believe the key to any successful business is the passion and love that has be poured in to that business, It fuels hard work and determination making success possible . If you pour your heart into your craft, it’ll also translate to how you treat your clients and the quality of work you produce. Everyone starts some where. Rarely do you ever see anyone succeeding overnight. Passion is that drive that continues to push you to never give up; to be resilient when presented with obstacles. When you have love for what you do, you’ll go that extra mile to overcome any hardships that are thrown your way. It’s the key to self motivation. Read more>>

Colleen Tracey | Illustrator & EcoSassy Podcaster

I think my success as a full-time creative really boils down to two things: following the fun and being a human. When I first began practicing my craft, I was really focused on the making rather than the content of what I was lettering and illustrating. However, soon even I got bored with what I was creating. Once I ditched the pinterest quotes and just started lettering and drawing things that made me laugh — my community found me. Now my vibe is that of an ecosassy plant killer. I channel that ‘bad plant mom’ guilt into my pieces, along with a healthy dose of sustainability and sass. The second I began not caring about what strangers thought and started creating the work I found fun, it actually made my art more relatable (the irony, people!) and I found others who loved the same things I did. Now I follow the fun and my feed is filled with humorous thoughts about sustainability and my dead house plants. I’ve coined the term “EcoSassy” to describe my work. Read more>>

Melissa Lanz | Helping Good People Build Great Systems of Recurring Revenue.

When I think back on the path to success in my business, the most important factor was failure followed by innovation. I didn’t spend too much time worrying about results. I implemented, failed quickly and readjusted for better results. Stay in action! Launch your business, listen for feedback, optimize and don’t be afraid to fail. Read more>>

Sam Smith | Healing Hardwear™️ Designer & Style Strategist

I truly believe entrepreneurship is 30% business acumen, 20% creativity and 50% self discovery and understanding. The most important factor behind my success has been my openness to grow.. in various ways. Many of the roadblocks I experienced in business were attributed to fear fueled by insecurity and ignorance. Although I am more vulnerable, I am stronger for it- both personally and in business. Read more>>

Jessica Matat | Producer & Head of Development

The most important factor behind my success is the networking skills I’ve accumulated during my career. Over this past year, I created an online networking page in response to the pandemic, which jump-started the beginning of my profession. In a matter of weeks, the page had garnered over a thousand members comprised of working professionals from all different backgrounds. As a first-generation Muslim-American from an Egyptian and Peruvian family, connecting to creatives from different backgrounds gave me the incentive to hunt for representation for those who have never received it. Between the platform, I’ve created for like-minded individuals, i.e., Networking for Career Filmmakers, and my networking abilities which landed me my position at The Enclave Entertainment Group, I’ve created my own personal hub of creative contacts. Ultimately, I feel that Hollywood currently primarily hires based on an “ethnically diverse” merit – But I yearn for a world where international stories are told from a creative standpoint, not a demand for Hollywood to become more inclusive. Read more>>

Maureen Martinez | Storyboard Artist

I would have to say that the most important factor behind my success as an artist is my consistency. Out of college I for sure did not have a portfolio good enough to get me into a studio, so I spent the next two years just beating at my craft, pumping out new personal storyboards every month or two. Last year I made it a point to draw every day and pump out personal comics or illustrations for my artist instagram. It takes 40 days to change a behavior or instill a new habit and I lived by that last year where for the first 40 days of the year I drew a personal comic every day. Were they all good, absolutely not, did I get better absolutely yes! Consistency is key to growth and progression, and its doing something everyday that makes you better at something. Those daily rituals that happen every day without fail. I drew more last year than I did I think in most of my years in college, now that may be a bit of an exaggeration but is sure felt like it anyways all because I was being far more consciously consistent about it. Read more>>

Elijah Dittersdorf | Technology Care For Senior & Adult Learners

Mom’s Computer is a technology company dedicated to Seniors and Adult Learners. The most important factor for our success was our earnestness in tackling this demographic. I had no illusions about senior vs. youth market, but I made my choice and it’s been a rewarding success. Technology is constantly evolving, at Mom’s Computer we understand the challenges that our customers are facing every day. As we developed our program, the clients, individual, corporate and non-profit just started showing up. Minimal advertising, word of mouth. We do advertise now, but our largest client, The City of LA, found us on a simple Google search. We never lose focus on who our clients are. We ask ourselves everyday; 1. Who needs the most help. 2. Who is most likely to fall victim to scams trying to get that help. 3. How do we meet those vulnerable technology users or potential users. We have a saying around the shop developed by one of our techs who’s name is Cecily. ‘At Mom’s Computer we Understand Technology, but Understand Humans Even Better.’ And as each year goes by, we just grow and take that responsibility seriously. Read more>>

Amanda Bauer | Hair Stylist, and Owner of Beck + Brix

The most important factor for my business and the success of my salon has been good people. A good team, is everything. We are a very open and honest place for each other. We support each other by constantly asking questions, seeking advice from one another. Never stop learning, never be too good or stubborn to try something different. I feel like this has set Beck + Brix apart from other places. At the end of the day were a family, and I think clients feel that energy. Read more>>

Jimmy Cha | Criminal Defense Attorney

The most important factor behind my success is actually caring for my clients. As a criminal defense attorney, I actually take the time to listen and really try to help my clients to my full extent. Even if it is time consuming and exhausting, I always take the time to communicate with my clients and explain to them in detail their case. I truly do care. Why? Because I really want to help people. A lot of people have a misconception that all my clients are harden criminals but that is not the case. Most of my clients are working professionals, college students, and young adults. I want to help them get past this and move on to be a productive member in society. At times it can be exhausting because it is hard to separate my emotions from a case but I really want the best for my clients. By truly caring for my clients, I have built a practice that has only gotten better over the years and I am proud that most of my cases come from past client referrals, as it is a testament of the quality of work I do for my clients and that they know they are in good hands. Read more>>

Raymond Ibrahimian | Cannabis Cultivator + Connoisseur

We attribute our success in our cannabis business to our extensive knowledge of growing quality and consistent products. We have always believed our branding is an intricate part of our achievement to stand out amongst a huge marketplace. We have worked for years to craft sought-after strains to offer our clientele. We are so grateful for the repeat clients we’ve had for many years as they enjoy and trust the flavor, taste, and experience of our cannabis crops. We’ve grown exponentially in the past few years and we feel a lot not only has to do with a superior product, but our brand architecture is sleek and sophisticated and yet offers an affordable fair pricing for our superior product. Read more>>

Ana Vee | Singer-Songwriter / Actor

The most important factor behind my success is my faith in God. I believe all the success that I have received on my music journey and in life is from him. The challenges I may have faced along the way is him preparing me for what will come ahead or what I may need for the next level. He has blessed me with the talent to be a singer and songwriter, and I continue to seek his guidance on my journey. He also blessed me with an amazing family and team that have contributed to my success. The foundation of love and support I receive from them is unmatched and I know is a blessing that truly comes from the Lord. I would not be where I am today if not for God and for my family/team. Read more>>

Judy Whitmore | Vocal Artist

I think my achievements intrigue people because they are in fields so varied and unrelated. In addition to being a performer I also: 1) have a commercial pilot’s license and have flown hot-air balloons, seaplanes and jets, 2) was a theater producer in Los Angeles and London, 3) have a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology and still maintain my California license, 4) have written three books including a #1 best-seller. From conversations I’ve had with many people, this versatility appears fascinating. To me…it just seems normal. Read more>>

Lee Kodo | Fashion and Wedding Gowns Designer

I feel that the most important factor behind my success is my family’s and my husband’s unconditionally support. they always support and encourage me to go after my dreams. knowing they will always help me and be there for me is giving me so much confidence doing what I love. Read more>>

Roberta King | Video Producer

One of the most important factors behind our brand success is giving our clients 100% commitment to their project. Whether they are a fortune 500 company or a solopreneur everyone is a VIP client. Read more>>

Shayla J. | CEO/Founder Most Def Music Label

I believe the most important factor behind my success and brand would have to be having a willing team to help the business thrive. For the longest time, I had problems trusting people to do things as I would have them done and it made getting tasks done a lot harder for me. As I began to expand as far as new clients, events, and projects, I realized that I couldn’t do everything by myself. For the past year and a half, I’ve had the pleasure of slowly building me a team of dedicated and driven individuals to help not only contribute to my dream and goals for my label, but also learn and grow within their own goals and aspirations by watching and working along side of me. It took a while for me to understand the role that I hold and understanding that there is nothing wrong. Read more>>

Kevin Seals | Managing Partner | Seven Entertainment

The most important factor behind my success is staying consistent. As a managing partner at Seven Entertainment we provide our clients with a detailed schedule that allows the artist to create freely while providing structure systems for daily, weekly and monthly goals. Read more>>

Kalina Silverman | Founder, CEO of Big Talk

Humanitarian goals come first for Big Talk. Profit has been a side effect – or more so an afterthought for Big Talk. It began as a passion project about helping to establish empathy, connection, and belonging. So, Big Talk has always strived to maintain that passion and purpose before all else. As long as Big Talk is helping people to feel more meaningfully connected, I feel successful!. Read more>>

Bao Su | Entrepreneur & Body Builder

Customer service! For any successful business, developing and selling a good product or service is only half of the battle. Providing consumers with good customer support is just as important. I believe that a loyal customer is more valuable than their first purchase. Delivering great customer service will effectively assist and empower my customers through the entire purchasing process. Customer service is important to my business because it retains customers and extracts more value from them. It also adds value to my product, brand and service. It increases customer retention and recurring revenue. It also results in positive reviews and brand image. By providing top-notch customer service, businesses recoup customer acquisition costs and cultivate a loyal following that refers customers. And, when my customers are happier, they’re more likely to spread the goodness to friends, family, coworkers and are likely to share a positive brand experience with others. Read more>>

Chatthip Phungtham | Women Entrepreneur, Co-Founder & Designer

A meticulously thoughtful and thorough approach, which leads to better results. Quality, consistency and patience are our virtues. Our core values are based from the philosophy of the virtuous cycle. We use knowledge, the sharing of knowledge and adhere to strict quality standards, systems and protocols we have developed for our brand. We apply these principles to all projects with the goal to create a self reinforcing cycle of positive action. Pure Luck® began with the aim to earn its living through paying it forward. By creating a business, meant to be self re-enforcing. Making profits by creating better qualities of life for our clients and consumers. We act on the idea of “leave it better than you found it”. Read more>>

Steven Barber | Filmmaker

The most important factor behind my brand and the success is never ever ever ever quitting!! after 37 years in Los Angeles and getting up every single morning and swinging the bat and never taking a day off and overcoming improvising and adapting! there were some very dark days especially during the pandemic but I just woke up every morning got on the phones went to the post office and just kept moving forward failure was not an option!!. Read more>>

Je’Nalta McCullum | Digital Artist and Greenery Enthusiast

The most important factor behind success for me was me staying true to myself and what I like to do so I always just wanna make sure I’m being my true self and bringing in my ideas and not letting outside forces or wanting to please others change how I feel about what I’m doing or what I’m creating. Read more>>