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.

Calliope Scherrer | Business Mentor & Spiritual Advisor

The most important factor behind my success is the commitment to never give up. I never toy with or entertain the idea of giving up, having fallback plans, or questioning if there is a different path I need to take. When you play in that arena of thought: you waste energy, time, and confidence. Having a brand is not something you do half heartedly. A successful brand needs full power behind it and an “all in” commitment. Every roadblock is a learning opportunity, every failure is really a pivot, every change is a necessary adaptation. When you step into seeing your brand and success as a life long legacy: you stop acting small and start playing big. You gain more patience for the process and less anxiety about the daily rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur. There are many things that make me a success, but my ability to commit to the success is foundational. Read more>>

Ali Starrlight | Recording artist and founder of Starr 44 Artists Alliance (non-profit organization)

The way I make decisions. I put value into doing the best I can in a moment for myself and others around me. Thinking longterm with my career and taking a step back from the fast pace of the industry we’re in is a discipline. There’s so much pressure to do something and to be someone. Instead of trying to compete with the energy out there I commit more to the truest expression within the music. I’m very inspired by the quantum factor and it impacts the way I create in the studio. The artists that are in my circle share their experiences on this other level and we grow together. Read more>>

Greg Mollin | Owner-Bookseller at Artifact Books

I think that the success of the Artifact Books brand has a lot to do with my love for what I do. It might sound quaint, but I believe that people really see and feel my enthusiasm for reading, collecting, and selling books. I spend a lot of time and energy with the curation of the inventory, whether it be new releases or the rare collectible books that I offer. I also really try to spend the time to talk to my customers and get to know them before I recommend something. I’m not just sitting behind the desk with my nose in a book, I’m attempting to connect with people and find them something that they’ll love. One of my greatest joys is putting a favorite book in a customer’s hand and having them come back later to tell me how much they enjoyed it. Since independent bookstores are becoming somewhat of a rarity, I think it’s very important for it to be a personalized experience and something that impacts the customer more than just pulling a book from the shelf of a big store. Read more>>

Latonya Wallace | Founder & Compassionate Connector

The most important factor behind the success of Purseverance 207 was truly understanding my personal brand. It’s so important to understand who YOU are. You’ve got to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Just being true to yourself will shine through in all that you do. Read more>>

Tian Liu | CEO, Digital Advertising Agency

My name is Tian Liu. I am the founder of the Tigertail Pictures. Tigertail Pictures is a Los Angeles based production company providing full-service production needs, from the first steps of the creative planning all the way to post-production.Our in-house team and our vast network of filmmakers and photographers allow us to carry out every stage of the development process successfully and efficiently. We work with clients all over the world, we have offices in LA,NY and Beijing, China. Read more>>

Eleana Hsu & Kevin Gondo | Owners/Fermenters

We have been tremendously fortunate for all the success our business has achieved thus far. While we attribute a lot of our success to consistently staying true to our company’s mission and a heaping spoonful of luck, the most important contributing factor to our success is our community’s support and belief in what we are doing. Our community is made up of passionate food lovers, fermenters, and foragers who constantly inspire and awe us with their support. Our incredible customers, vendors, and restaurant partners allow us to sustain ourselves doing something we love each and every day. Our family, friends, and mentors have always been the most resilient source of emotional support, guidance, and inspiration as we traverse the journey of growing our business. Without our community, we would not be where we are today. Read more>>

Victor Lara | UX Designer & Mentor

I strongly believe that the most important factor behind my success was having access to a mentor. Being an undocumented immigrant, having non-English speaking parents, and growing up in Souther central LA exposes you to a limiting world. As you can imagine I had a lack of resources in my high school, with no access to design courses, computer science, or the arts. It wasn’t until I met my lifelong mentor, Oscar Menjivar. His mission in life and the nonprofit he started, Teens exploring technology, was to expose kids like me to the world of code and design. I had no idea someone like me could get paid and work as a creative. In my neighborhood, people like me typically work in warehouses, construction, etc. Of Course, Having a mentor and access to this nonprofit was a big factor In my success, but having a strong resiliency to keep going through the struggles of being a first-generation college student and spending many years in a community college to transferring to a state school and landing over four internships, and a full-time six figure job out of college took so much handwork and perseverance. Read more>>

Hannah Shtein | Business + Mindset Coach for Entrepreneurs

The most important factor behind my success is my willingness to pursue what feels right even when it feels hard, scary, or like it’s not happening. Most people don’t go for what they really want or quit before they get it because they’re scared of failing, or scared of what others will think, that they’re not good enough, or a litany of other potential reasons. There’s always a reason something may not work out, and it’s the willingness to take this risk and feel the scary feelings that come with it that allow you to create the life you dream of. Because when you’re willing to fail, be judged, have something not work out, etc – that’s when you open yourself up to everything that’s on the other side of that Read more>>

Rin Mizumoto | Lighting Designer

My success as a lighting designer stems from my ability to improvise, which I believe comes from being up-to-date with constantly evolving technology. Live entertainment requires frequent improvisation, both on and off stage. As a designer who collaborates with directors, managers, other designers, and technicians, I always strive to be ready for anything, and spend a lot of time preparing for shows like drafting detailed drawings of all lighting components and where to pull power and data from, programming “macros” on the lighting console to accommodate various emergencies during the show, and planning emergency procedures for the technicians. Read more>>

Jam Dong | Illustrator

I think the most important factor behind the success of my brand is that I always stay true, have fun, and enjoy the process. All my works no matter illustrations or products, I have so much fun making them! I like bright colors and dramatic shapes. I get inspiration from nature and I enjoy adding a sense of humor into my works. All those elements delight my day. I believe my customers could also perceive that joy and positive energy from my arts. I used to be wondering if I should change myself to be more fit into the market, but it didn’t work out. I lost myself as well as the happiness of illustrating. So, from then, I realize that only being yourself could let you stand out and make a unique voice. Read more>>

Ariel Josée | Singer. Songwriter. Actor. Model.

When I was really small, I was too shy to sing in front of anyone. When asked to perform, turning my back to the audience was the only way I’d oblige. I remember standing in my dining room, probably 5, maybe smaller, and I was facing the door and singing for family members. I had this picture running through my head of me providing food for people. I’d planned on going to a wholesale store and making brown bag lunches for everyone who needed it – whole countries, even. I thought to myself, this is how I can help people – singing. Of course, making millions of lunches a day by myself is not a realistic dream (I was a child), but somehow, even with my stage fright, I thought becoming a known performer, was within reach. Read more>>

Lamont Duverne | Hip Hop Artist & Tech Founder

To not give up. I just believed in myself more than anyone else does. Once proof of concept verified itself with the clients; seeing value in the product (Adresst – Rideshare Smart Display Advertising), it has been off to the races. Read more>>

Paiman and Sormeh Salimpour | Co-Founders of Sormeh Lifestyle

Our focus on the creative rather than commercial has been crucial, seeking beauty and storytelling through our creative process. The boundaries between our work and our lives can get blurred, because we are so passionate about what we do. Our work is very much an extension of the way we live, embracing the art of slow living. Turning our mistakes into lessons, history has been our mentor and nature our muse. Read more>>

Katharina Geringas | German book vendor

Being surrounded by so many families that all have their own connection to Germany and the german language, I am always aiming for the best possible solution for the individual in front of me. Bringing german books to them to learn and upkeep the language that are the best possible choice for their personal needs always is the main goal in my consultations and the selection I offer. It is not just a sales gig it is a cultural exchange and enrichment of our cultures. Read more>>

Samuel Manar | Chef boulanger/entrepreneur

Consistency and authenticity are key factors but the most important factor is love ! Love for what you do. Love for food and people of course and also Love for details. I try to improve myself everyday. Through my pastries I want to tell a very personal story. The Pastries come from my childhood memories. Read more>>

Jeantel Carter | Mompreneur

Never giving up! As I approach my 1 year anniversary of being a business, I have been reflecting on where I was when I started and where I am now. I found the most important factor of my success was the fact I never gave up. There were plenty of times I wanted to stop because I wasn’t getting the sales, or maybe even the support I expected to get from certain people. However, now that I have a family I knew that quitting wasn’t an option! Read more>>

Mel Cornelo | Founder of Mel Method

As I developed my brand, my number one goal was authenticity. I spent hours every day flowing through class formats and exercises, tweaking things along the way, to create something I truly loved doing and knew my clients would love doing with me. Throughout my years of teaching, I’ve found the best classes and the best connections I build with clients are when I am 100% myself before, during and after class. I never feel the need to switch into a different persona as an instructor. My verbiage, cues, motivation, and relationships are all genuine and I think people really appreciate and connect with this. Read more>>

Raeah Carroll | Copywriter & Copy Coach

Empathy. My ability to emotionally connect with people and understand how they feel and what they need is why I am able to produce copy that effectively sells. When people are making decisions about how to spend their money, a lot of it is emotional. I am able to tap into the buyers emotions and write words that help them feel seen by the brands that I work with. That is what makes my approach to copy writing unique. Growing up, I didn’t always appreciate my sensitive nature. I often saw it as a burden and wished I had the ability to “care less.” Now as an adult and business owner I am forever grateful for my empathetic nature. It has helped me to grow not only my business, but the businesses of the women that I work with. Read more>>

Steve Bohn

The most important factor about my success has been the people around me and battlerap. I couldn’t imagine where I’d be without people believing in me and wanting to work with me. So it’s the people around me that give me the success I have. Read more>>

Rhea Michelle D’Souza | Production Designer

Success is always difficult to define. For a long time I was attracted to the moving target of my perception of it, which only resulted in my being in a constant state of anxiety. Someone once told me that we tend to live in the anxiety of our future and the guilt of our past. While that may always hold true because of the society we are set up to live in, I have tried to find my success in the present. I think of the films that I design as raising a child. From reading the script and the inception of ideas, to nurturing, sharing and realizing designs it requires so much patience and bodily effort. Read more>>

Amber Norris | CEO & Founder of Major Savages Corporation

The most important factor that initiated the success of my brand was demonstrating vulnerability about my struggles with invisible illnesses. My Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) diagnosis during my junior year of undergraduate school completely changed my life and what I thought was my future as a medical student. Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a pre-medical focus, I was already not prioritizing my health, and being diagnosed with a neurological disorder that can impact the brain’s ability to send signals to the rest of the body was definitely not a part of my four year plan. Read more>>

King Cassius | Hip hop Artist & CEO

The most important factor behind my success is having a cause bigger than myself. Since a young age my parents always pushed me to have a cause bigger than myself with my art and all of my other endeavors. I have carried that thought throughout everything I do. I whole heartedly believe that I am here for a greater purpose and to make the world a better place. Read more>>

Nancy Ulloa | Winemaker & Boss Lady

The most important factor behind my success is the transparency of my journey in becoming an entrepreneur. I have always shared my struggles, wins and every step of the way to becoming a winemaker and business owner. When people purchase a good from you, they’re not just buying a product. They’re buying your story and your vibes. I am aware of that and will do anything possible to pack my wines with all the energy that makes me, me. I want people to feel and taste my vibes when they drink a glass of my wine. I want people to feel empowered by the love and passion that I have invested in my project. I want my customers to feel inspired to reach for their dreams just like I did. Read more>>

D’Shawn Clark | Stylist/Designer

The most important thing behind my brand is to… 1. Stay Original. A friend of mine once told me that when you stay original and stay yourself it shows in your work and nobody can take that away from you. 2. Stay Focused. I’ve learned to stay focused and not let anyone get in between your goals and Dreams Read more>>