While it’s inspiring to read high level summaries of success stories, we think it’s just as important to learn about what drove the success and made it possible. We’ve asked some of the brightest folks we know to open up about what they believe was the most important factor behind their success.

Sera Ramadan | Doctor of Internal Medicine

Most physicians practice medicine in a very paternalistic fashion. As a millennial physician, I understand the demands and needs of most adult patients today. Easy communication via tex messaging, online scheduling, and efficient appointments are what we all desire. I have adapted to the times by integrating HIPAA compliant technology into my practice to achieve all of these things. Read more>>

Jade Flogerzi | Owner | Clever Punch Marketing

I could list SO many things, but I’ve realized that only two things matter when starting your own business; you have to really want it, and you have to believe that it’s possible. If you have both of those things, nothing can stop you. The resistance that comes up when you start your own business is endless. So, when people tell me they are thinking of starting their own business, my first question is, “Oh awesome!! How come?” If it’s because they hate their boss, or they think it will be fun, that likely won’t be enough to push through all the obstacles. Additionally, when challenges arise, and you start telling yourself it’s not going to work, or it’s too hard, then you are toast. Game over. Mindset is everything. Read more>>

Norma O’Bryan | Custom Window Treatment/Designer

What is the most important factor behind my success? Great question- There are a few key factors that have gone into making Discount Draperies successful.
1st- I make sure the focus is on the clients. They are who make our business. I give them the service they deserve and that I would expect. It is something as simple as returning an email or answering a question promptly. I really listen to what they want and am with them from the initial design consultation until the installation process. I always leave the customers a Thank You note or a small gift to show my appreciation. 99% of our business are referrals and repeat business. Read more>>

Connor Grayson | 4th Generation Music Store Owner & The Guitar Guy

The truth is, I can’t point at just one thing to explain the success of our business. Rather, it is a culmination of different factors working together to create the secret sauce that has led to four generations of ownership. Although, if I had to boil it down to just one ingredient..? It would have to be treating our staff members like family. Since opening our doors in 1953, My Great Grandfather, Val and after him, my Grandfather, Ken always preached that having a great relationship with staff members would make for a more enjoyable work environment. Over the fifteen years I’ve worked in this business I have seen this practice pay dividends. We have a highly motivated team that works exceptionally well together and that energy is infectious throughout the store, right down to our customers. Read more>>

Jesus and Vanessa Rodriguez | Pink Flamingo Vintage… finders of dope shit

The most important factor behind our success is the hard work and dedication we put in, to find our customers that perfect dream pair of vintage denim they have been looking for. Read more>>

Amira Gadd | Creative and Client Services Coordinator at Garrett Whoosh Trailers for Motion Pictures I Songwriter I Sync Consultant

The most important factor behind my success is by always showing up. Even if I was tired or feeling down and not feeling like doing anything, I’d gather my strength to show up. Every time I did, I either meet someone new who’d be crucial for my career down the road, or I’d learn something new that I would’ve missed if I didn’t show up. Also, I found out that many professionals in the industry appreciate that and by seeing me at the same panels, I ended up getting a few job offers from just that. Read more>>

Arnaud Fabre | Winery Owner

I think that the success of my life is due to the happiness with my family. I always wanted to establish my family before my career. Having a supportive wife (to my business and me personally) and two kids (not done yet, we want 3 to 4) is giving me all the joy and force to continue to take risks (at a certain level) in my business in order to be pro-active on the development of it. Passion, love and balance are key to me to a successful life. Read more>>

David Edmondson | Founder/Owner/Food Producer

At times my tenacity can be a huge asset or a curse, depending on how I apply it and to what end. In the case of my business, it’s my greatest strength. It’s not that I don’t ever feel overwhelmed or nearly beaten, but there’s just something inside that won’t let me quit this. As far as success goes; I don’t feel like a complete success, My business is still a one-man operation, so I’m rarely able to take a day off. But I’m doing what I love, My work doesn’t really feel like work. I don’t have to answer to a boss and I feel like my success or failure is entirely up to me – so in those regards, I’m successful. The financial success will come – I hope. Read more>>

Ryan Noggle | Television Writer/Producer

Hard work and kindness. That’s it, really. I mean, there are hundreds of factors to finding success — your upbringing, education, talent, dumb luck, etc. — but in the end, everything pretty much boils down to hard work and kindness. Regardless of your industry, if you’re the hardest working person in the room and show the interns the same respect you show the boss, your career will find success sooner or later. Work your tail off every day, always choose compassion over cynicism, and please hire me if our paths ever cross. Read more>>

Keiki-Lani “Keiki” Knudsen | Photographer

For me, the most important factor behind my success, has been not only been believing in myself but having a community of people around me who support me. From friends to family members, there have been a lot of people along the way who really helped me get to where I am now. But at the same time, had I not believed in myself from the beginning, the level of support from them would not have been the same. Read more>>

Lauren & Mellinda Gorski & Hensley | Co-Editors-Chief, Exposition Review

Community. Exposition Review is proud to be a part of the Los Angeles literary community. Without community, we would not be where we are today. Exposition Review is more than just a publication, we are a team dedicated to the success of our contributors. Besides the traditional narratives of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, we also feature experimental narratives, stage & screen, visual art, and comics. Read more>>

Sarah DeCristoforo | Portrait Photographer

The most important factor behind the success of my business is that my brand accurately portrays who I am as an individual. When people book with Sarah Irene Photography, they aren’t purchasing a solitary object. They are purchasing my work, my artistic eye and my ability to create captivating photographs. As a photographer, you’re selling yourself because you are your brand. On social media, I try and show my daily life so people can get to know me as a person and as a creator. That way when we meet for a session, they feel like they already know me. Read more>>

Christopher Cargnoni | Founder of Fresh Pawz

I think its the authenticity. We wanted to come out and own the “streetwear” lane for the dog category. So that means everything we do much represent that culture from our content, the voice of our brand, the products we develop, etc. So when you are authentic with your brand and you are unique in your category, its easier to find success when you are filling a void. Also since we were the first brand to represent streetwear culture in pet market, we gained a lot of interest from major brands like NBA, Hello Kitty, Spongebob, etc. This is because these brands understood there was a voice Read more>>

Kristi Vaccaro | F.I.T LV Fitness and Nutrition Owner and Personal Trainer

“Training is like moving a big ass pile of dirt. Some days you get a shovel and some days you get a spoon. But as long as you move a little bit of dirt each day, you’re making progress toward your goal.” -John Wellbourn This “just move the dirt” metaphor has worked for me in business and in training from the beginning. As long as I keep showing up, consistently, every day, my business and success will continue to flourish, Too often I see young entrepreneurs or just regular people give up on a goal or dream because they don’t see immediate success or instant results. Read more>>

Lauren Foster | Sustainable Lifestyle Creator

This is a great question. Since beginning my online content creation journey I’ve grown so much. At first I was just creating because I wanted to have a creative outlet but as a content creator who focuses on fashion and who has now seen how detrimental fast fashion can be, to our earth and our communities, I’ve tried to strive to make more conscious decisions and educate others who follow me and are interested as well. People have noticed that and I think when people see that you really have a passion and authenticity behind your content they feel connected to you and really want to support you as an artist. Read more>>

Joseph Pearlman | Celebrity Acting Coach

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is that we honor our clients’ unique personalities and we value fun and happiness above all else. We show our clients how to be happy in minutes. Read more>>

Mahala Herron | Cannabis Entrepreneur

The most important driving factor behind the success of my brand has been my own self-actualization. As I have grown to know, understand, and accept myself, my brand has become more successful. I’m actually really blessed to have leisure time which allows me to dive into my personal interests and pursue my goals. It just so happens that I really do believe in the future of hemp and cannabis within the sustainability industry; so I’ve researched it frivolously, which only adds to the success of Hala Hemp. Read more>>

Jazmin Jones | Owner of Wylde Olivia

The most important factor behind the success of my brand would have to be my passion. When it comes to Wylde Olivia, Inc and anything in relation to it, I always want people to both observe and feel my passion in every single detail. As an individual, I am very much a workaholic. So naturally, when it came to creating and overseeing my Wylde Olivia Sea Moss & Things, I applied the same dedication and work ethic and I would say that it is paying off. Read more>>

Stefan Fagerholm | Owner – LifeHacksLA

My brands platform is mostly on social media so success is relative since the currency there is capturing and keeping attention. For some, growing a following of 10k would be success in this space while others would consider it a failure if they didn’t reach at least a million people. So the first step is to define what success is for you. For me success is making enough money doing what you enjoy but still having time to lead the lifestyle you want, with the people you love. Read more>>

Nic Mac | Illustrator and Mural Artist

Success, is such a funny thing, for it is something that will never mean, just one thing or one goal, to any one person. It is individual, even though the external world will try to tell us different. But, in what “success” means to me, which is to find happiness and contentment in all that I do, then I think the most important factor behind the small amount of success I feel I have acquired so far, would be my determination and resilience in making sure, that no matter what happens, I keep walking that path and continue walking it, no matter what obstacle life may put in the way. Read more>>

Kiara and Ferdinand Gomez Glad Bak | Directors, Filmmakers, & Photographers

The test of time. Is the work we create going to be inspirational, meaningful, impactful, 10,20, 50+ years from now? You can still look at a Picasso painting or the photographs of Helmut Newton, listen to the lyrics of a Tom petty or Johnny Cash song, watch a David Lynch film, just to name a few of the greats, and still feel moved, curious or perhaps disturbed by these things. That to us is exciting. Not playing things safe, but taking artistic risks. Read more>>

Julie Civiello Polier | Holistic Esthetician & Energy Healer

I think a defining aspect of why we’ve experienced success and continue to build thriving, successful collaborations with bigger brands is our intention to offer individualized care. I greet each client, each workshop, each IG Live, each zoom class and show up for the needs that are cropping up in the present moment and also listening for the dreams and wishes of the individuals and the groups. I feel it’s important to see people as they are and keep the circle of presence wide enough to include their dreams of what they want to create and how they want to feel. Read more>>

Kyle Horton | Former Division 1 Athlete & Current Performance Coach

I think the most important factors behind my success are the trials and tribulation that I have endured. These obstacles have molded me into the person I am today. These same obstacles have allowed me to pour into my brand. Read more>>

Hovey Benjamin | Comedy Rapper and Music Producer

Earlier in my career, I would have said that the secret of my success is that I can produce and engineer my own music. It definitely enabled me to put out professional-sounding songs without any budget. But the longer I’ve worked as a musician, the more I’ve realized that there are a ton of super-talented people who never seem to find an audience. One reason for that is that the hardest thing for a musician (or any artist) to do is to distinguish between their good and bad ideas. Ever since I started making my own songs, I have worked to develop a sense for what works and what doesn’t. Read more>>

Trinity Rose | singer/songwriter

The absolute most important thing to bring yourself success, and keep that success is to constantly communicate with your audience. I keep up my engagement especially on social media by responding to every comment, reposting stories that promote my music, and interact with their posts. People want to feel like they’re a part of a community, which is one of the biggest reasons fandom in entertainment is so strong. If you make that connection with your audience, they’ll feel like they’re a part of a supportive community. Then, you’ll have a consistent community to support you. Read more>>

Nicola Moore | Ceramic & Mixed Media Artist

I think the most important factor behind anyones success comes down to attitude, perspective and a little bit of belief. It’s not that I don’t think hard work is important, but for me, that is the easy part. I’d happily be in the studio making all day everyday. So, for attitude, I think it’s important to actively practice gratitude for the circumstances that are allowing me to do what I love each day. While gratitude has an emotional component to it, I do think, like love, it also takes action. And it helps to keep the focus on the positive in life. Read more>>

malcolm garret | Creative Consultant

i have total faith in what i’m doing and total faith in the plan that is already laid out i just follow my passions and instincts that’s what helps me also just reflection learning from mistakes making mistakes traveling seeing different things and lastly keeping people that are like minded around me Read more>>

Caroline Stinson | Casamia Co-Founder

If I took a step back and looked at our brand Casamia from a 30,000 foot view I would say there are three things that has made our brand successful: (1) having our customers best interest (2) team work, and (3) endless resilience. Having your customers best interest is the most important thing we focus on as business. The whole “birth” of our business was built around finding a solution for people to become better hosts and find joy in entertaining at home. Read more>>

CoreyLTE | Artist

The biggest factors are staying true to myself, keeping my own best interest at heart, and trusting my process and progression. Even if it feels like I’m not able to showcase my talent as often as I’d like, the growth in itself isn’t stagnant and the product displayed is always genuine quality. Read more>>

Matt Barri | DJ/Music Producer

The most important factor behind my success has to be the people I surround myself with. I’m very fortunate to have insanely supportive friends and family that always share and support my music. During the pandemic, I’ve met some of my best friends over discord. My friends Wish Lane, Lizdek, and THREESIXTY (just to name a few), are always there to support, challenge, and grow with me as an artists and as a person. I’m also very lucky to have an amazing family who I can always count on to be at every show whether it’s in minecraft or in a club. Read more>>

Kevin Teasley | Music Director, Producer, Composer, Keys, Sound Designer, Programmer

First, I am thankful that Shoutout LA is asking this question and very appreciative for the opportunity to be included. For me, it is a challenge to define the success of a (your) brand without first defining success itself. I believe we must ask ourselves, is success financial security? Monetary reward? Or, is it changing the world or contributing to society? Is success supporting your family or that everyone knows your name? And so on… It is so individual to each person. Read more>>

Sam Hernandez | Lesbian Money Coach

I identify as a demisexual lesbian and I coach the queer community on how being gay affects their finances. I officially began my business in October 2020, but a couple of months prior to that I tried to be a “money coach.” I did not have an ideal client in mind and I was trying to reach the masses. In doing this, my business was not personal at all. It felt like I was hiding myself. Read more>>

Dee Clement | Ceramicist/Creative

I think in the beginning my friends and family were able to see my progress on social media and at pop-ups. People like seeing growth and watching a business flourish out of nothing. I always kept my audience in the know every step of the way as I learned new things about pottery and also engaged with them as much as possible. Engaging with your clientele is so important to build relationships with them and also get a feel for what people want. Read more>>

Sean Moore | Commercial Photographer

Building a solid network has been the driving factor in my success. Be friends with everyone, you never know who is going to be a decision maker that can potentially hire you. Im constantly on set surrounded by people from all walks of life. By engaging with them and hopefully exchanging contact info, you stay on that persons radar, and you never know when they might be in a position to hire you, or refer you to someone else. Read more>>

Imani Quinn | Artist and Quantum Oracle

Listening to my intuition and following my divine path is what lead to the success that I have seen within my career. I am an artist, author, speaker and quantum oracle. I co-hosted the late Woke Mystix podcast for 2.5 years on spirituality and astrology, and co-authored Astrology SOS with Hardie Grant Publishing. Becoming a healer wasn’t something that I had desired for myself but it was surely written in the stars. Read more>>

Ashley Richelson | Managing Owner

The most important factor behind the Joshua Tree Bottle Shop’s success is customer service. Prices are easily visible on every display and/or bottle in my shop. We never want a customer to select a wine without help and then get to the register only to find out it’s a $50 bottle when they were only looking to spend $20. That’s a terribly uncomfortable situation that I think most wine drinkers have been in before and it sucks. Read more>>

Henry Graham III | Hairstylist

My success is directly supported by the people that trust my craft and allow me to create something specifically for them. I am beyond thankful everyday to create functional, wearable hair for the person who sits in my chair. I’m not just cutting hair that photographs well, but hair that works with them, for their specific texture, and their individual lifestyle. I can honestly say, being fully present and listening to the person who shows up for me, and being consistent in that practice, is a huge reason I’ve had continued success. ‘My brand’, is all about my clients. Making sure that they are heard, and that the process feels like a collaboration, instead of me just giving them a haircut. Read more>>

Lina Anderberg | Freelance Drummer

Dedication, and goals. I’ve dedicated the past five years completely to music. I decided from the beginning what I want to achieve, and I visualize myself already at that place, which strives me forward. When I decided to pursue a career as a drummer, I also committed to it. Im doing whatever it takes to make it to the next level. I sacrificed a lot of things, like relationships, friends, and a study income. I constantly remind myself of my goals, when I feel lonely, stressed, or tired. Read more>>

Michelle King | Psychotherapist

I know it’s cheesy, but I do believe that if you do what you love, success will follow. At least I have been lucky enough to build a successful business by pursuing what I’ve felt is my “calling.” I just knew I was meant to work with people, listen to them, help them, and try to heal them. Now here I am, a licensed therapist, working with people every day and seeing them grow and change into happier, healthier versions of themselves. Mark Twain said, “To succeed in life, you need 2 things: ignorance and confidence.” Read more>>