We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Solo Ceesay | Co-Founder of Calaxy

I think the biggest, most impactful decision that has contributed to my success outside of deciding to work for myself is deciding to be a founder that prioritized employee morale over control. It’s important to foster a team first culture where individuals prioritize the wellness and growth of the company over their individual desires. In order to achieve this, founders need to incentivize their employees so that this outcome is achieved. This can be achieved monetarily but the more important factor in my opinion is making sure employees feel fulfilled. Read more>>

Danielle Casilio | Tech Founder & Hospitality Specialist

Working for other people! I think I can say that there was a part of me that knew I would always end up working for myself, or being in a top leadership position, but I wouldn’t be successful doing this had I never worked for other people. In high school, college and the first few years after I worked for lots of different people, whether it was restaurants or other gigs. I made a lot of relationships, met a lot of interesting characters, and had a lot of different experiences. Read more>>

Elly Hanssen | Dance Studio Owner & Coach

Doing what i love regardless of opportunity. Read more>>

Yoni Alter | Designer and visual artist

Constantly producing new personal work, no matter how busy I am with commercial projects and with orders that need fulfilling. When I’m working on personal projects I experiment and discover new ideas, it keeps my reservoir full with new ideas available for me to use for commercial projects. These artworks that I create (the personal work) also attract more commercial clients. Clients who commission creative work are more excited by impressive art projects than by commercial projects. Also, continuing to work on my own art keeps me happy and prevents me from burnout. Read more>>

Lela Luster | Actor & Model

The single most important decision that has contributed to my current success, and where I currently am in my career is a faith in myself that makes sure to not constantly compare where I am with where others are, to know that I’m exactly where I should be, in my career and to know, without a doubt, I will be where I want to be in my career, within MY time. Read more>>

Autumn Johnson | Owner, Esthetician & MUA

The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success is to change my mind. Whenever a decision or an action evokes a feeling of fear, doubt, anger or any low-vibrating energy, I say out loud to myself “Decide in this moment to change your mind.”. That doesn’t mean I don’t feeling the feeling or the energy, I do but I give myself a limit, depending on the situation, then change my mind. instead of “Why’s is going wrong?” I decide to to change my mind and ask “What is this teaching me?”. Read more>>

Justyn Iman Roy | Executive Director of Laces To Bows Inc., Author of Pretty Girl With Purpose interactive workbook, youth mentor, community leader

The single most important decision I have made that has contributed to my success would def. have to be communicating effectively and clearly at all times. Being a woman owned business its the most important thing you can do for your business. I’m a social emotional gal so it’s important that I myself “walk it like I talk it” showing is wayyy better than telling…I meN really what do you remember more of what you were shown? Or told? You get it? Lol Read more>>

Annie Sieg | Artist & Arts Educator

At some point in the last few years I made the conscious decision to stop worrying about making people cringe. For a long time I worried about posting too frequently about my art, being awkward on camera, coming across as delusional or embarrassing. Somewhere along the way I realized that it doesn’t matter. The people who like what I do and who I am can only find me if I put myself out there, and the people who aren’t into it are welcome to look away or cringe or unfollow- that’s their call. As a result of that change in mindset I’ve found myself part of a kind, supportive community that genuinely supports me, and that has made all the difference. Read more>>

Anthony Navarro | Business Owner

Focus primarily on marketing the business on all platforms possible. Read more>>