Through our work we have been constantly amazed at the incredible things people in every neighborhood are working on. What’s even more exciting is that they all have different stories, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. That there isn’t a single formula for success means that everyone can take their unique set of strengths and characteristics and turn it into a success story. We recently reached out to some folks we admire and asked them what characteristics they feel are responsible for their success.

Ksenia Plastinina | Recording, mixing and mastering engineer.

“I can’t go back” mentality. I was born and raised in Russia. I moved to United States by myself with no family of friends at the age of 20. My parents are pretty conservative. They always wanted me to go “the safe” route: go to college, get a degree, get a regular job, get married, have kids etc etc. But I always felt like Im not where I suppose to be. I always had big ambitions, I would set bigger goals and have bigger dreams. So after I moved here, my parents were not too happy about it. They wanted me to come back home and I knew that if stopped working out here, I can always go back home to Russia. But that was the least thing I wanted to do. I think that gave me the biggest drive in my life. I remember always thinking: “No matter what I do, I can’t go back home. I can’t fail”. This literally gave me no choice, but to succeed. Failure is not an option. I need to learn as much as I can, I need to try as hard as I can, find ways to get what I need in order to succeed. I cannot fail. Read more>>

Julie Elody | Singer-Songwriter

I believe the biggest success for me has been simply: gumption. The music industry is really tricky. I think with a lot of career paths you still need to work hard and may need to make tough decisions along the way but the outline is there to follow. You do such and such and there’s a reasonable expectation that you’ll be successful. Read more>>

Jason Torres | Photographer & Editor

I would say perseverance. Aside from being passionate about my brand and what I do, persevering and believing in myself has been the biggest factor that’s allowed me to push through any obstacles I’ve faced. Big and small. Read more>>

Chaunette Daniels | Owner/CEO of ThreeC’s Couture

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is definitely “Passion” without passion I have nothing. I’ve had a passion for fashion for as long as I can remember. I eat breathe and sleep Fashion and how I can help others. I believe that anyone can have a successful brand as long as the Passion come first. When I set my new goals for my brand the drive I have to reach it Is always amazing. Read more>>

Michael Graef | Director & Cinematographer

There are two important factors. First, and most importantly is my focus on team building and collaboration. You can be good at many things. You can be really good at a few. Building a team allows room for your collaborators to fill in gaps around your weak spots. Surrounding myself with talented friends allows my good ideas to shine and my bad ideas to be questioned. By sharing the labor, creative process, and the credit, I’ve been able to work longer and smarter without burnout. Making money doing what you love is a really special thing. But doing it with your friends is even better. Read more>>

Domanique Taylor | Rebrand Expert & Web Designer

The success my brand has experienced so far is due to the fact that I’ve infused my personality into my brand. I’m creative. I keep it real. And I’m very passionate about women making money. I let all of that shine through my brand: everything from my website copy, to my brand photos, to my Instagram stories. I don’t try to be overly professional (I left the corporate world for a reason) or use words that I wouldn’t naturally use when talking with a friend. Because my brand is authentic to me, it attracts like-minded clients that love working with me and that I love working with! Read more>>

Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed | Television/Print journalist, Blogger and Diversity Expert

When I am asked about the most successful aspect of my brand, authenticity immediately comes to mind. Years ago, I read this quote from Sara Barnard, “Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes,” and it validated so much that I had discovered during my journey towards entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, authenticity is something that is not nearly as common as it ought to be. Those who show up as other versions of someone else don’t tend to last the test of time. It’s hard enough being yourself. It’s much harder to try to be someone you are not. Read more>>

Ashley Senecal | Creative Director | Founder & CEO

Wavey started as a fun creative outlet to express my love for California. But it was not just for me, I noticed how the sunglasses brought people together, guys, girls all wearing the same sunnies. They brought with them a sense of community. Still to this day, I hold the creativity behind the brand, and the inclusiveness for anyone who feels drawn to the vibe at the highest standard. Having a concept that just clicks with people, from all backgrounds. Unique out-of-the-box art, authenticy, flattering & affordable products and the energy of the brand is the most important factor behind the success of Wavey. Read more>>

Hugh Lee | Rapper & Mental Health Advocate

I’d say honesty. People can see through BS. And the universe can see through it too. When you do things with genuine intent and be true to yourself, you can accomplish unimaginable things. Couple that with being pure, you start to attack all the things that are also pure and genuine. So i try to be as honest as possible in my actions, my work, and my thought process . That’s been a key for me getting where j am as well as where i want to go. Hence the Libras Never Lie company Read more>>