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.

Szilvia Gogh | Professional Scuba Diver, Stunt Women & Inspirational Jewelry Designer

Authenticity. Being happy is for most of us one of the key aims in life. But where we often go wrong is in figuring out which path to take to achieve that happiness. My own path has been a somewhat unconventional one. In my last year at college, most of my peers were busy applying for full-time jobs with large companies, but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to see the world, which was met with disapproval and scepticism by many. But excited, and somewhat scared, I set off alone on my travels. I have been traveling and making a living of my passions ever since. I am a professional scuba diver, stunt women and inspirational jewelry designer. Gogh Jewelry Design is a reflection of free will. Read more>>

Melissa Carter | Music Artist & Songwriter

By far, the single most important factor behind the success of my music career so far has been perseverance. This is in no way, shape, or form an easy route to take. In fact, nothing here on this road has been easy or come easily. I’ve always said that following this dream has not been a choice for me. It’s a matter of necessity. It is who I am. There have been so many close calls with quitting, where it just felt like it wasn’t worth it anymore. But then, what would I do with all my emotions? I poured them out, into music, and landed right back on the path. I believe with everything I have that when you fully love something to that point, you are at the point where you cannot give it up. It’s meant to be, and the success will grow and thrive from that place. It’s a few steps forward, a couple back, and a strong drive to keep it moving…someway, somehow. Perseverance! Read more>>

Natasha Nelson | Founder & Creator

There are two factors behind the success of MADRE that are equally important: the Integrative Fitness methods that we teach, and the community that is created here. The MADRE methods work synergistically to create wholistic results in the body and mind. People may come in for a good workout (and they’ll get it!), but they end up becoming members because of the far reaching effects they experience in their lives. Our community is mostly women – they arrive as strangers and soon become friends and supporters to each other. When we’re in the studio – pushing ourselves out of comfort zones – knowing and feeling the people around you are truly “in it” with you, lifts everyone to new levels. The fitness and yoga world can be competitive and comparative, but it’s different at MADRE – it’s an inclusive environment; people here are kind and generous with each other. Women may not realize that they want and need this kind of a community, but when they find it they feel at home. Read more>>

Tina Alexis Allen | Actor, Writer, Producer, Author & Entrepreneur

Mind set. That is one thing as an actor, you do have power over. Where I put my focus changes everything. And specifically, I commit to lead with gratitude. Recently, someone asked me about my experience working as a regular – playing “Shurn” – on the television series Outsiders (Sony TV). They asked me if I ever had any “bad days” being on the show. I said, “no, not one.”. And looking back I realized that it is because every single day I was grateful. Every single shot I lead with gratitude. No actor blessed enough to be working regularly at the thing you love, should ever have a bad day on set. Challenges, yes. Bad, no. It’s all mind set. Read more>>

Erica Giovinazzo | Dietitian & Strength/Conditioning Coach

Two of my core values are what has led to the continued success of Erica’s Edge Nutrition: Helping Others and Growth. Helping others is my motivation in being a dietitian and helping people realize that they are capable of more than they think is my personal mission in life. Staying focused on that motivation and passion keeps me going and makes me successful as a dietitian. If I stay focused on helping each individual and continue to be excited about their individual success, then I am successful by default. Growth is incredibly important in my success. By focusing on growth it means I’m always learning and staying up to date on new methods, products, and staying ahead of the questions that my clients will have. Read more>>

Dr. Dustin Plattner | Clinical Psychologist

One of the most important factors for my success is gaining a greater understanding of myself. Without safe people around me helping me see how I can grow, I would not be where I am today. Generosity of care, kindness, and support from others is what I found to be a major factor in creating my personal growth. Overtime, I began to learn more about myself for the betterment of my success. My advice to others would be to find good people in your life that support and lift you up. We cannot become who we want to be without the help of others. Read more>>

Shekinah Garner | Master Aesthetician

Passion is the most important factor! Without passion your work loses value. You don’t have the drive, the inspiration, the hunger. Fortunately I found a career when I was young that I’m still Passionate about today, seventeen years later. I’m hungry for information about the skin. I can work on skin all day and then go home and watch videos, and read about advances in the industry or different methods of doing things. I’m endlessly fascinated and inspired by all things skincare. Read more>>

Trina Altman | Yoga Teacher & Movement Educator

I think one of the things that has helped me be successful is that I put most of my energy towards tasks that align with my natural strengths while outsourcing the parts of my business that I struggle with and don’t require my voice or skills as a yoga teacher. For instance, I devote most of my time towards developing new education content for movement teachers and creative and science based yoga classes, while outsourcing things such as updating my website to my web developer. Read more>>

Jazlyn Miller aka Brown Rich | Professional Dancer

The most important factor behind my success, and the success of my brand, has been me staying true to myself. That has always been such an imperative factor to me in creating my personal brand. It was definitely something I had to grow into, but also something I was always doing naturally, and wasn’t really aware of the power of it quite yet. Not in a sense of, being someone I wasn’t and then learning to be myself; but being 100% okay with going into these rooms with MY humor, MY work ethic, MY confidence, MY style or MY energy. Very frequently this came with the reality of someone not returning the energy, the smile, and maybe not even wanting to work with me or believe in who I was as my own brand. But what I did realize was, it ALWAYS led me to the people who were a positive light and could actually add to the energy I did want around me. It created natural relationships, which in turn led to some of my biggest jobs and greatest friendships. Read more>>

Melody Lomboy-Lowe | Co-founder & Cancer Advocate

The most important thing to us is creating a platform for survivors to share their story. By creating Luna Peak Foundation, survivors feel empowered to share their stories and learn from others. We have a lot more in common than we think, and it’s nice to have the reminder that others have walked a similar path. Our definition of success is helping others get through difficult times. A big part of healing is knowing that you’re not alone – our books and online community are centered on healing together. We do this through storytelling, photos, and advice. Read more>>

Paula Chiocchi | CEO & Entrepreneur

The most important factor for me has been to not listen to the naysayers – the people that didn’t believe in me. I went through a good part of my career before forming Outward Media, Inc. (OMI), but when I made the decision to launch I knew my timing was right and I knew that what I had to offer was unique. Nobody was going to get in my way. After spending a dozen years rising through the ranks at Dun & Bradstreet, I recognized that I had hit a wall. I was confident that I had what it took to start my own data business and that my understanding of the market would enable me to hit the ground running. Once OMI was established and beginning to thrive, resilience and innovation became important factors for keeping the business growing over these past 20 years. For example, we started out providing data for direct mail campaigns, but as email use began to rise we became a front-runner in the email data and email campaign management markets. Read more>>

Michael Graves | Mastering Engineer & Audio Restoration Specialist

It’s a combination of factors. The foundation is that I love what I do. That foundation inspired me to do everything I could to become an expert in my field. From the very beginning I immersed myself in mastering and restoration and learned everything I could about my craft, as well as other aspects of audio engineering. I still do that now as technology is constantly changing and improving. Another big factor was that I got involved in The Recording Academy where I have met and been inspired by people who work in all areas of the music business. Those connections have been key in my personal growth and growing my business, and I’ve made some great friends too. For anyone starting a new business it’s important to know that it will take time, maybe years, to establish yourself, so it’s important to do something that you will look forward to working at every day. Read more>>

Aliek | Music Artist

I think mutual respect and authenticity have really served my success. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I’m making my own music and putting my own image out there. I’ve spent the passed decade, at least, collaborating with wonderful artists, being in bands, singing back ups and really training myself for what all of that takes; the rehearsals and long nights in the studio. I think surrounding myself with artists and friends that I really admire and having those respectful and safe environments to play and critique each other has been so important, And those same people have really shown up to support me now that I’m moving in my own direction. Having that community of friends and artists is crucial. Being a queer artist and human, growing up you inherently hide and try to assimilate as much as you can. Read more>>

Omar Martinez | Visual Artist

Deciding to be an artist and pursue this field is a risk in itself. The art field is competitive and highly subjective. You run the risk of making little to no money for your work, especially when you start off. You have to hustle and prove to yourself that you can do it. Being an artist can be rewarding. I am a true believer in giving your %110 in any opportunity that may present itself. You can aim for 10 jobs and get hired for one. That one job could be small, you may not create what you want to create, or the payout is lacking. However, you do not know what other opportunities can branch out from that small job. You never know who will see your work, who the client may know, or what kind of impact your work can have on someone. Sometimes it feels like you are making no progress in your career but in reality you are. Read more>>

Elsa Melero | Photographer

I think there is a tremendous challenge in building a successful career in any creative niche that almost always comes down to enough dedication and determination. But it is unavoidable that being in the right place at the right time can often springboard everything you have worked for to a completely new level. So I think random chance often has a role to play. To move from Spain to the US has been the push to my career, it has open me doors I would never think of. So I would say that getting out of my comfort zone brought me to the next steps. I also realized here that being a great creative does not guarantee success, but being a great salesman almost certainly does and some people are born with it, I am not but that doesn’t mean I can’t earn that skill. Specially in big cities like Los Angeles where the creative industry is on fire I knew that if wanted a successful creative career. Read more>>

Robert Strock | LMFT, Psychotherapist, Teacher, Humanitarian & Author

I have always had a non-traditional view of success from a very young age. Success to me from the time I was 18 meant that I would feel rewarded, connected, inspired and I could pay the bills! I also realized as a young man that people viewed success like the commercial with a guy on a horse with a cigarette being sexy! There was a definition of success being defined on the outside, and I had an instinct that I had to trust what was inspiring internally. I had a spontaneous in-touchness of whether this (opportunity, relationship, path, etc.) would be meaningful and would it touch me? I wanted to be connected, have integrity and not be harmful. Most important factor was doing what I loved and doing it well. What I loved from a young age was friendship and sensitivity and developing caring relationships. I love people, especially those that are authentic and caring. Read more>>

Anne Wilner | Event Producer & Hospitality Consultant

My strong sense of empathy ends up being a huge part of my success time and time again. When planning a wedding, it’s not just a party for the bride and groom, but truly for all the family and friends who support and play a role in the couples lives. Listening closely to what’s important to everyone helps me to uncover the hidden expectations for the big day. I want to please everyone attending the event as happy guests also make for a happy bride. Those happy guests who notice these details end up being my future clients! Read more>>

John Barton | Founder

The most important factor behind our success at Point ‘N Save would be our ability to pivot and adapt to whatever is thrown at us. We create game-changing software that allows chambers of commerce and non-profits to have their own branded mobile application. During this time we’ve had to adapt and provide a way for our clients to earn revenue in different ways and this has actually helped us come out with new features for our clients that we would not have been able to come up with if we were not willing to adapt and evolve! Read more>>

Michael John Mollo | Creative Director

I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of art and commerce. Where artistry meets utilitarian purpose. For the longest time, that intrigue is what drove my business model. As I get older, I watch my kids growing up, there has been a decidedly purposeful shift to reinforce the concept of “Family.” At Velvet Green Music we do our best to put our artists first. We focus on their accomplishments and highlight them as members of our family whenever possible. With artists on 6 continents, we’ve found that we’re able to build a sense of community with artists on our roster, opening up new musical collaborations and expanding the breath of our composers toolkits in the process. Focussing on this element of family allows Velvet Green Music to reach across borders and help artists from all countries tell their stories. Read more>>

G. Brian Benson | Actor, 5x Author, Speaker & Creative

There are so many important factors that have helped me along in my journey it is really hard to just share one. I would have to say it’s a combo of these three factors. Listening to and trusting my intuition, staying authentic and being true to myself and establishing a routine that helps me stay grounded and maintain balance in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not implemented these three factors. My intuition has been guiding me from day one. I had no idea I had any creative abilities inside of me until about 12 years while I was doing some self-growth work that included incorporating some ways for me to maintain balance in my life. My intuition screamed expand the list and write a book, so I trusted that voice inside of me and the book poured out of me in a couple of months. I had no idea I would be an author up until that point in my life. Read more>>

Marc Freccero | DJ/Electronic Musician & YouTuber

When it comes to branding, I spend a lot of time understanding how I come off to people. As someone who’s into a lot of different fields, looking at yourself as both a person AND business is key. For me, I look at myself as “Marc Freccero” the person while also looking at myself objectively as “Marc Freccero” the business. This allows me to look at branding and marketing through two different lenses, which is crucial for making important marketing decisions. The success of my brand has resulted from being truly authentic and not hiding anything, while also providing tons of value to anyone following me. Regardless of what you do, people only follow you because of the value that you bring – whether it’s entertainment, comedy, education, curiosity, and more. One imperative aspect of branding is to really figure out where that value is coming from and maximize it to further perpetuate yourself. Read more>>

Derek Taylor Kent | Children’s Author & Entrepreneur

Genuineness. My wife, Sheri Fink, and I created Whimsical World with a mission to inspire, delight, and educate children of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem and high achievement. All of our brand’s decisions are based on these principles. When our customers meet us at events, school visits, or virtual events, they can see that we have a genuine love for children’s books and wanting to inspire kids to fall in love with reading. Our social-emotional learning books can also help guide them through challenges and difficulties that many kids face and learn how to be kind, brave, and confident. My wife and I embody these values in our lives and truly love helping children. We believe that shines through with every element of our brand from the products, to social media, to our appearances. Read more>>

Michelle Cait | Director of ShemeshFarms

At ShemeshFarms we believe in providing work opportunities for young adults with special needs and diverse abilities that suit their strengths, interests, and abilities. We elevate our business by including everyone on our team in the process and development of our social enterprise. Our business meetings offer a space for everyone to contribute regardless of members mode of expression. Some are verbal, others communicate through technology, or through facial expressions. Regardless, everyone has the opportunity to share and contribute. Another important factor behind the success of our brand and social enterprise is our products are top notch. We curate our salt and herb blends on site, and use fresh organic herbs straight from our on site herb farm/garden. Read more>>

Latoya Boyd | Jewelry Designer, Jeweler, Graduate Gemologist, Content Creator & Podcaster

I believe the most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is because I believe in myself. I have always believed from day one that I was never destined to be a worker bee. I was destined to be the Boss. I dreamed of ownership since I was a little girl. I knew I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of other people not only through my creative expression, but also by being a positive role model and early adopter of self teaching and self believing. No matter what other people think, I believe it is important and the true key to success- believe in yourself and ignore everyone else. So many people think that their unsolicited advice is the “right way” when in actuality, they themselves have no clue about starting something from nothing but project their fears onto you as some sort of “moral compass” and masked by the words ” I’m just trying to help” or the endless “what if it doesn’t work out?” So what. Read more>>