Getting to do what you love? Providing for your loved ones? What does success mean to you? Below you’ll find perspectives from some of the city’s best and brightest.

Pearl Steffie | Chef and Model

Success means different things to different people. There isn’t one perfect picture of what it should be. There isn’t a dollar amount either. Success doesn’t have one definition. To me, attitude and character matter more than wealth and achievements. You can get on any social media platform and find people preaching about being successful. They almost always correlate the word success with other words such as money, followers, more money, and well…money. People throw success and money around as if they must coexist. You cannot have one without the other. This idea that money and fame will bring happiness is premature. As a society we are so focused on impressing the people around us. So much so that we often forget to impress ourselves.  Success to me is not fancy clothes, expensive things and driving luxurious cars. Success is pure and utter joy. It’s waking up every day and looking forward to what’s coming. It’s being surrounded by people who love and support you. Success is loving the process, the hustle. Read more>>

Nicola Buck | Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

Success is relative, but I feel it’s the ability to have life goals and achieve a percentage of them with a sense of accomplishment and with a level of happiness, while accepting some form of failure along the way, because learning from our pain is a crucial part of motivating change. While doing the very best one possibly can, holding dreams and high expectations, but being realistic and sensitive to others as you move through. Not being greedy, or over ambitious but with a strong will to keep pushing forward and wanting the best from yourself. Becoming an inspiration for others is a real bonus as well as having a positive impact on the world, as a result of your actions. Life is precious. Read more>>

Cristina Ward | Owner At HiDef Brewing

Being able to go to sleep every night with a clear conscience. Read more>>

Miki Yokoyama | Artist

When I think about success, there is no goal or any shape or definitions of success for me. There’s no shape or definition. That is also how I think about what I want to express in my art. What I want to express has no goal, no end, and no limit. That is something universal, something infinite, something unlimited. That is why, there’s no shape or definition. I think those ideas are like an illusion. But also real at the same time. Our life is like an illusion, but we are also here in reality. I think I can say the same thing about success. That it is like an illusion, but that it is also here. Rainbows put their colors in the sky and it makes us feel like someone painted on the canvas of the sky. But if we go close to the rainbow, it is totally different from what saw in the distance, and we can not touch or feel it as we had imagined. There’s no shape and nothing we can touch. Success has no definition for me, but what is why I can feel success at this moment. I am in a situation where I can paint and fortunately some people enjoy my artwork. Read more>>

Martha Reyna | Latina With a Love For 60’s & 70’s Fashion, Retro Travel, Vinyl Records, Living The Freelance Designer Life.

I used to believe that making others proud of me in all aspects of my life meant that I was succeeding. I grew up in a Mexican home and even though I was given some freedom, I also felt like my responsibility to my family was to accomplish this “American dream” for myself. That meant to graduate high school, go to college, get a good government paying job, buy a home, a fancy car, or anything along with these social expectations that are typically put on us. But that also meant putting my dreams aside. Growing up in a border town, a creative career isn’t typically something people see as a profession, and that is what I wanted for myself. I didn’t want to continue being the person who sacrificed their happiness for approval from others. It took over a decade for me to realize that being successful means what I want it to be, what I want for my life, and what makes me happy every single day. My idea of success is living a happy life with those I love and having the freedom to do what I love. Read more>>

Hazel Rose | Songwriter & Facilitator

I define success as a mixture of purpose, impact, creation, and joy. If we care enough about our visions, no milestone will be the end. We will always be driven with the purpose to move farther and deeper into our craft. This means having an actual impact on the world around us, and being champions of a new world that is possible. Success to me is also a life filled with joy. Read more>>

Jake Ferree | Actor

The idea of success in the world of Hollywood in all its glitz and glamour is often one that is equated to physical wealth or holding some golden statue and thanking your peers. That’s not to say that those aren’t things of value to me, but that they are just as fleeting as the next great new project. So if not that, what could be defined as true success and value? In an industry as unpredictable and unforgiving as acting in showbusiness, it’s important to remember it’s largely about being useful and understanding what level of value you possess in that usefulness in a given time. But more than that, it’s not staying complacent or equating your level or status and worth to that said project. Just because you booked the (insert jaw dropping movie or TV show here) means that you’ve “made it” or won’t ever have to fight for your next gig. So what does that mean? It means you have to love it. I find that if you enjoy the journey and love the hustle that it brings, you appreciate the devastating lows as well as the triumphant highs. Read more>>

Tanisha Cee | Owner of Bianmar Foods™

Success is achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself regardless of how big or small they may seem. Read more>>