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?

Christopher Shaibi (chriscameraguy) | Cinematographer & Editor

From a very early age children are indoctrinated into a system that creates polite, well-behaved, employees. Learning how to unlearn that and think for yourself is the first step to beginning to accept the task of creating a functional and viable business. That was the biggest hurdle for me personally. Once I broke those mental barriers, it was like awakening for the first time. Read more>>

Astarte’ Rises | Artist & Spiritualista

The single most important decision that I’ve made that contributed and continues to contribute to my success has been stepping into the unknown. Pushing myself to venture into experiences that are not the usual and allowing my feet to take me where my intuition leads. Read more>>

Nicola Smith | CEO of Kilnhouse Design Studio

Working as a ‘one-woman-show’ has been a true rollercoaster for the past few years and I would say that other than making that truly important decision to start out on my own, the second most important decision that I feel has directly aided in the success of Kilnhouse is to continually show up for my business. Read more>>

julia pitch | Film Director

Hey! My name is Julia. I am a freelance Director and DP who within the past year has moved from New York to Los Angeles. I think the most important decision I have made is threefold; to stay curious, to not let fear control me, and to use empathy in my leadership. Read more>>

Cathy Lu | Artist & Educator

I decided to make the work that I wanted to make; to allow myself to experiment without putting a value judgment on it. I stopped thinking as much about the work’s legibility. I should also say that I’m defining success as making artwork that I’m excited about, work that is missing from what’s being presented in the art world. I do not financially depend on my ability to sell my art. Read more>>