We asked folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice that they disagree with.

Shino and Ken Charlson | Letterpress greeting cards designer and printers

“Do what you love and your audience will find you” A lot of people do art because they love making it, because they want to do it, and because it fulfills a need within themselves. They want to honor that instinct they feel deep within and express themselves and go where their creative spirit leads. This is a pure thing, a good thing, and a “north star” that we can all recognize. Letting one’s artistic instincts lead the way is wonderful and feels great, but if you’re going to build a successful business, it usually takes more than that. Read more>>

Misaki Saito | Pianist, Photographer, Arts Leader

To always stay positive and be happy! This was actually my motto while growing up. For many years, I always wanted to please others and to look happy on the outside so that people would like me. I never wanted to say “No” when invited or asked to do stuff. But what I was left with at the end was sadness, frustration, loneliness, the rejection of part of my inner emotions, and a lack of self-acceptance. Even though my outside may have looked all positive and happy, my inner self was sad, stressed out, and often depressed. Read more>>

Krissy Mahendran | Macrame Artist & Instructor

One piece of conventional advice I disagree with is needing to have everything figured out before you start. Why? Because that’s literally impossible! When it comes to starting a small business, all you need to figure out are the basics (legally, financially, logistically, etc.) and determine what you want to sell/do and how. Once you’ve got that settled, start! You won’t know what you need to know until you start and if you try and predict everything, you’re going to end up spending time on things that might not matter. Read more>>

Anna Harrington | Creative Designer & Artist

“In the end, the only person you can rely on is yourself” is one of the most misleading pieces of conventional advice I know. Relying on yourself and feeling grounded in your purpose/identity is important, but people are social beings that need connection, support, and communities. People can and should rely on others for help, encouragement, and motivation. Personally, if it wasn’t for my support network of friends, family, and mentors I don’t know where I would be! They had my back when I couldn’t have my own. It’s because of my trust in others that gave me the confidence to rely on myself and I believe that relying on others is necessary and simply empowering. Read more>>

Kathryn Morgan | Professional Ballerina, YouTuber, and Entrepreneur

Something I’ve always stood for since I started my career was the idea that ballerinas had to be waif-like thin. I have NEVER been the smallest one in the room. By normal standards, I’m tiny (size 2) but by ballet standards, I’m on the “bigger” side. I’ve been told many times to lose weight. I’ve been taken out of roles because I wasn’t considered to be “in-shape enough”. So it’s something I continue to fight for, stand for, and try to change. Dancers shouldn’t have to be rail thin in order to succeed. Ballet is for all body types. Ballet is for everyone. Read more>>