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.

Mercedes Rojas | Chef & Owner

Through the years working in restaurants and hotels, I have been fortunate to have had the influence of some amazing mentors that taught me discipline and the ethics of hard work. I believe that you can do anything as long as you love it and it doesn’t feel like work. That is what working at the arepa stand means to me. it’s part of my life and what I love to do. I believe combining that joy of cooking and having the discipline and good work ethics so that our teams are excited to work with us its the perfect combination for a successful business venture. Read more>>

Emilía Turner | Visual Artist & Musician

As an artist, I try not to define success in terms of profit or commercial appeal; I’m more concerned with whether my work successfully engages themes or materials, whether it feels like I’m growing and progressing as an artist. I measure success in personal satisfaction or pride in my work rather than revenue or social media followers – because if I didn’t, my work would likely get very boring, very quickly. So because of this, my habits for success are pretty personal – I practice automatic/stream-of-consciousness writing daily, I take workshops constantly (lately, online courses on specific processes I want to learn, or general lectures on creative practice), I try to maintain some semblance of a meditation practice, I go to therapy, I practice yoga, I take breaks from social media. All of these things help to achieve clarity about what I want to say, make, and do as an artist – the goal is to arrive at my most authentic self within my work. Read more>>

Jennifer Currier | Event Designer

I became a serious a dancer at the age of 10 when I first stepped foot into a ballet class. I don’t know why, but there was an automatic “click” for me in that very first class that was run out of the ballet teacher’s living room-turned ballet studio. In the years that followed, I absorbed every bit of information and tried and tried again- failing all along the way. I was approved to start Pointe work, and then told, “Nevermind. We think you need a little more time to gain strength before starting on Pointe.” I was accepted into a dream program, only to be told that they would like to move me down a level for a little while. I learned how to channel my rejections into a stubborn discipline of effort. I might not be the best (yet!), but I can work the hardest! I eventually did end up having a career in ballet and later, commercial dance and I think the discipline and and more than anything, perseverance are what set me up for success later in my life. Read more>>

Mikhail Saburov | Writer & Director

I truly believe every single person has that one special story. Something so personal and true that only they can tell — and they go around for years and years mulling that story in their heads, some even try to write it. And I don’t doubt that special idea would make an amazing film. But what would you do after you’ve told that story? It’s astonishing how many filmmakers make a first feature and how few of them get to their second. I always had one dream to be a professional writer & director that means constantly creating content. And as I see it there’s one key ingredient and it’s not talent — it’s discipline. For me writing & directing is a nine-to-five job. Planning is one of the most important professional habits there is especially when you approach it in three ways: short-term, mid-term and long-term. Read more>>

Elle Nucci | Owner

I find a combination of factors lead to success. Being honest: Honesty plays a huge factor in my business, I can’t lie and say I can do something that I am unsure I can. I never take that risk. Paying on time: I have experienced it too many times on the other end when people dont or cant pay. I find it unacceptable not to pay vendors or employees on time, if your client paid then you can pay. Communication: I have never understood “ghosting”in personal or business matters, If you got a better price, or knew someone or didn’t like my vibe just say it. As business people we learn from constructive criticism and grow from those experiences. Read more>>

Richard Manriquez | Filmmaker & Writer

There are two the come to mind, that have been highly beneficial for mental preparation, clarity, and sanity. First, waking up early – yes, this means having also a good night’s sleep. On my off days, I’m up at 6:30 Am and when I need to have a productive week or a full schedule ahead, I’m up at 5 am. For me – this works, as I’ll get to take of me first. What do I mean? A morning ritual that puts you first. I do a combination of “Morning Pages”, Yoga and a 20-minute meditation. Depending on the day, I may mix the order but I’d like to be consistent with my morning pages as described by Julia Cameron book the Artist’s Way, followed with a yoga and movement workout. Then wrap it up with a Transcendental Meditation (TM) or other meditation such as shamata, insight, or metta, and even throw in a pranayama breathing technique to loosen up the soul. Read more>>

Ashlyn Des Roches | Creative Director, Photographer & Editor

Asset organization. I find that this is frequently overlooked, but absolutely should not be. When you are looking for a specific photo or project, having your assets organized makes this sometimes timely process way more streamlined. Each project can easily have 200 to 400 photos, and some even with 1000 to 2000. Upon ingestion, I immediately go through and make my selects. I delete all blurry or redundant photos; and while going through, I tag photos that I like and might edit. There are multiple different color tags to choose from, but for me, I use green for good photos, red for great photos, and orange for photos I want to edit immediately. For the photos I do end up editing, I add a grey tag after it’s finished. Additionally, I add a blue tag to shots that I took outside of the project’s scope. Read more>>

Dougie Newton | Wardrobe Stylist & Creative

A few habits that have helped me succeed are being kind, genuine & professional. I work with a range of different folks, some superior & some friends but I keep those three things in mind. Read more>>

Big Swede | Music Producer, Composer & Songwriter

I feel that the most important thing is to be consistent. It takes time to build a business or a brand. You have to get used to no’s, disappointments and even getting screwed over. My life is one big rejection, ha! I followed my intuition. I wanted to create, write and make my own music. I wanted to see what I could create and learn along the way. Learning and experimenting propels it forward. I never knew if anybody would listen or like it – or where it would end up. You just put it out there. It is the same thing for every song I finish. I taught myself everything I know about writing music and music production. I did spend half my life playing drums and studied classical piano when I was a kid. This is definitely not for someone that wants safety and security. You do it because you have no other choice. It is still an adventure on a rollercoaster – it goes up and down. It’s not enough to do one song. You have to do many! Read more>>

Greg and Daniel Gonzalez and Zafran | Podcasters

Above all, being consistent. It gives off a degree of dependability that translates to professionalism and legitimacy. More importantly it keeps US moving forwards always by imposing a schedule and deadline to strive for all the time. Read more>>