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.

Javid Javadi | Scholar & Activist

Most people correlate success to financial stability. Although I have nothing but respect for individuals who feel this way, for me, I correlate success with happiness. If I am living a happy life, then I am living a successful life. Herein, to succeed means to be happy. But what is happiness? It’s different for everyone, but for me, it is to be with loved ones, while working towards something that is somehow helping out the community/society. Helping out the community in some way, shape, or form is essential for my success, because if I am not helping any one, I would not feel good about myself. Read more>>

Diamond Dez | Singer, Songwriter, Rapper & Live Performer.

Success is something like a ladder. As long as you’re climbing new heights, you are indeed achieving success. Success looks different for everyone & often takes time! Just make sure to never take that word away from yourself…We all won’t be billionaires but that doesn’t mean we aren’t successful. Read more>>

JonCarlos Adley | Artist, Poet, & Musician

I define Success as a constant progression forward. Granted we all have those unfortunate days where we take a few steps back but as long as we acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them we can always look ahead toward a brighter future. Success is such an allusive term because everyone has a different perspective on the matter, most people associate success with Money or Social Status but I find that “True Success” you find within. Read more>>

Alicia Lucas | Candle Maker

I define success by not giving up. In the past I was someone who, if I did not immediately excel at something, I quit. Truthfully it wasn’t something that I viewed as negative because I felt like there were enough things that I was naturally good at, that the things I wasn’t good at just weren’t for me. But having started this business and dealing with failing over and over again whether publicly or privately I’ve started to see the beauty in not quitting and I now view that as success. Read more>>

Carolina Amador | Biotech Connector

Doing what you love and doing it in a way that inspires people to do better in their own respective fields and push the boundaries of what is possible. There is also nothing more fulfilling than giving back to your community and staying connected. I understand the frustration PhD students might feel before graduating; I decided to move away from the lab and go into pharma business and I understand how much it takes to make that leap and how much you need to believe in yourself to make that jump. I want my community to know they’re not alone and that they should believe in themselves and feel empowered to forge their own path. This is a big theme in all the initiatives I am a part of and something really close to my heart. Read more>>

Fay Behbehani | CEO + wild child turned sober-curious

I used to think that success was purely monetary, until I hit the $$ goal and still didn’t feel like I had reached the mark of success. After this, I started to dig a little deeper on what success really looked and felt like. I looked to identify people around me who I thought were successful and realized that there were patterns of behavior and 3 common traits; a childlike curiosity, levity at times that are hard and shifting with a ‘no matter what, this will happen’ kind of attitude, and helping others to realize their ambitions – rising tides lift all ships. Read more>>

Tyree Exum | Photographer/Creative | Owner of Loco Visuals

Success to me is having a vision, creating a plan, implementing the plan & sticking to it ultimately creating your own destiny. Just overall being at peace knowing you’re doing what you love to do! Read more>>

Sydney Jarvis | Songwriter, Musician, and Artist

I would say that success to me means achieving something that you’ve been working hard and trying to do, even just small personal goals. To me, success isn’t defined by popularity or wealth, although it can be included, but success itself is fulfilling that lifelong dream or reaching a goal that you have been working towards, and right now I’m in the middle of making that happen for myself with my music. Read more>>

Jerilynn Stephens | Hollywood Hairstylist & Author

Happiness. If I am happy doing what I love, then I am successful. Through out my life I have tried different avenues in the beauty industry and outside it. I always come back to making people feel comfortable and beautiful for camera. I have been in the film industry for 18 years. Read more>>

Romy Bavli | Actor & Writer

Success, to me, doesn’t mean: Check. I got this done. SUCCESS. I think success comes in layers and you, in any given circumstance, can decide to put a last, ending layer to success…or not. What I mean by that (for example) is, I wrote a feature film screenplay: Check. Success. Finishing the first draft of my screenplay, 107 pages long, my story all transposed onto the page. Success for sure. FInishing every further draft? Also successes, of course. But is that where I want to end? It could be. And if for you it is or it would be, that’s fine. But no, personally, I don’t want it to end there. Getting my script to management or a studio or something? That will definitely be a success. Read more>>