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

Alyssa Hunter | Photographer

When I first started my business, I was told to say yes to everything. While I think it’s important to say yes to new opportunities and get out of your comfort zone, I disagree with saying yes to everything that comes your way. While I was building my business as a family photographer, I kept getting inquiries for weddings. Everyone was saying that I should just take on a couple of weddings because even though I wasn’t a wedding photographer, it was a great way to make money. I don’t get excited over weddings, therefore I didn’t want to be a the photographer for such a special event. You aren’t going to be the right person for every job and that’s ok! The more clients you repel means that you’re narrowing down who your ideal client is. Read more>>

Dominique Sheth | Interactive Media Producer

One piece of conventional advice that you’ll hear a lot if you’re looking to get into the entertainment industry is to pick one thing (a skill, a trade, a role, a specialization) and to focus on becoming really, really good at that thing. This is something I heard over and over in film school and then again every time I’ve been on the job search. While I don’t think this kernel of advice is without some merit, I do think that this type of thinking can be severely limiting to building a truly creative career. What I’ve found as a sociologist, turned filmmaker, turned producer for interactive location-based media (think museums, theme parks, etc.), is that a varied background, or what my employers referred to as a “twisty path” in my initial interview with them several years ago, is actually a huge asset for storytellers, artists, and even for those who run the show (producers). Read more>>

Allison Louie | Hospital Manager & Musical Artist

Perhaps it’s not conventional advice, but I’ve been told that I couldn’t do music “part-time”. I understand that someone who has committed their life to doing music full-time might see my attempt as half assed, but I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to participate in music as long as it’s something you are doing for yourself and for your own creative outlet. Read more>>

Rich Jacques | Music Artist & Grammy Winning Producer

I’ve always disliked when people say success requires hard work. They say it as if the “struggle” creates something. In my mind, if you’re forcing something you’re doing the wrong thing with the wrong people. And the reason I say this is because when I’m inspired to do something I can put in 14 hour days and never run out of energy and be excited to go the next day and do more. When it feels like “work” I’m exhausted after a half hour, and it’s never the best outcome. I think the real message is find what you love that gives you true enthusiasm. You will give it your all but it will never be forced and never feel like work. Read more>>