Hardwork? Luck? Good habits? What would you say is behind your success? We’ve shared some thoughtful responses below.

Marquell Byrd | Educator & Business Owner

The most important factor behind my success is God! I remember when I got married. I felt so ashamed because my wife and I didn’t have money to eat. It was extremely embarrassing to me. I felt like such a failure that I wasn’t capable of doing the things I was supposed to do for my family. I had those moments by myself but never in the care for someone else. But by the grace of God things started to take a turn for the good and as they progressed I continued to give my time to what I wanted to be an “Audio Engineer”. Way before marriage I left my home-state of Virginia to pursue this dream in New York City a week after my high school graduation at 18yrs old. I was afraid and innocent to the city life but nothing was going to stop me from becoming what God had already destined for my life. I attended school, navigated depression and suicide, interned for studios, cleaned bathrooms, worked as a security officer in the psych unit. Read more>>

Meg Mangano | Sports Dietitian & Functional Nutritionist

I believe the most important factor behind my success is my ability to connect with people. This allows our work together to be more impactful and personal, as there is a higher level of comfort, trust, vulnerability and accountability. Read more>>

Irene Riley | President & Adoption Coordinator

The most important factor behind my success in adoption has been the honesty I have in my relationship with expected parents and adoptive parents. I am in a field where adoptions can be high stress and emotional for all involved. It’s important to be empathetic to their needs but sincerity builds trust between the adopted triad and can usually always solve a problem that arises. Being straightforward/honest allows expected parents and adoptive parents to get to know and understand each other. In all my advice, and I do give a lot, it boils down to honesty in your interactions. This guides the adoption process to be successful creating a healthy relationship for all involved. Read more>>

Lauren Reyes Lim | Interior Designer, Owner & Principal

Why my brand and my company is so successful is because of the people who have helped me along the way. Becoming an entrepreneur is a very lonely path initially — but I learned very early on that you need the help of others in order to grow and scale efficiently. While we may still wear many different hats, there still will be tasks or things on our to-do lists that could be trusted to someone else who could probably do it a lot better than you — and that’s completely okay. When I began my journey four years ago, I had freelancers and interns by my side to help me in the places where I just simply could not pull through quickly enough. I still provided all of the creative direction so no matter what, my filter and my eyes still saw everything that came in and out. But it is so important to be humble in aspects such as these because it allows you to let go and focus on the bigger picture. Read more>>

Kelsey Fugere | Freelance Photographer & Image Maker

I would say the most important factor behind my personal success is being passionate about what I’m doing and having a strong work ethic. Like every human, I have days where I question my purpose and I have moments when I really do not feel like working. When it becomes hard to find motivation, I simply remind myself that I have such a great job and I love what I do! The freedom of my schedule drives some of my passion and also, I’m a voracious aesthetician and enjoy the endless pursuit of finding and creating beauty. I believe that success is largely driven by committing to both the passion and the work itself. Over the years, I’ve found that my creativity comes second to the actual art of being a business-person (which at first, was a hard reality as an artist). Read more>>

Nived Ravikumar | Admissions Essay Tutor

I’m a random guy from the internet. Please give me your money.” While the actual content of these interactions is more nuanced than this, that’s the gist of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing that technology exists that can put me on the radar of people in L.A. or anywhere in the world who I would have never crossed paths with otherwise. But it puts an extra burden on me, proprietor of an internet-based business, to prove myself as a trustworthy, effective professional essay tutor. In the early days, this was a difficult burden, but in hindsight, it gave me a mindset that has ensured the continued success of Statement Guru. If all you have is your own website vouching for you, you don’t have much. So, I advertised heavily on Facebook and Google, spending a lot for very low conversion rates. When opportunities did arise, I tried to make the most of them. Which brings me to the most important factor in the success of the brand: Myself! Read more>>

Wendy Braun | Actress, CEO & Founder

I think my success as an actress has definitely come from mastering the fine art of dealing with rejection, frustration + failure. Whether you’re an actor or an entrepreneur, learning how to handle all of that without letting it devastate you, define you or defeat you is what ultimately determines your success. The more I was told “no,” the more I found ways to tell myself “yes,” and to just keep going. As the owner and the founder of ActorInspiration.com, I think what has helped me to succeed is the combination of my years of experience in this industry along with my passion for inspiring others, as well as my willingness to be vulnerable while also remaining eternally open to my own personal growth. Speaking all over the world has made me realize that our challenges as creative artists are quite universal. Read more>>

Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT | Psychotherapist & Counselor

After 18 years as a psychotherapist, I’ve seen time and time again that my ability to sustain and grow my business comes down to my personal practice style and the fact that I offer a take away at the end of every session. I’m a very honest person but I’ve made it my life’s mission to say what I have to say in a kind, gentle way. This gives me the ability to connect with clients even when I am seeing something that is painful for them to confront or they are resistant to addressing. Because I’m always truthful but soft, we develop a trust and rapport that makes them feel safe to explore and find progress. More often than not, new clients come to me after they’ve seen a previous therapist and didn’t have a great experience. After a session or two, Inevitably, that new client says to me, “Your approach is really different. Read more>>

Melissa Contreras | Tattoo Artist

I would say the most important factor behind my success is my persistence. I have tried many different art-related career fields and have failed at several of them. I kept going with a stubbornness that I was going to make a living with my art no matter what. It may have also been a hindrance at the same time because some of the paths I was on were leading to nowhere or at least not to success and I stayed on them maybe a little too long. That being said, who knows, everyone’s path is different and without all that wandering I may not have ended up here & I also gained a ton of experience along the way. Read more>>

Larissa Bahr | Wedding and Portrait Photographer

I attribute my business success to being able to take leaps of faith. Launching a business is hard, it is scary, it is tiring, and there is a lot of risk. But having the courage to step out in faith and take that leap is what separates dreams from reality. Since I first started my photography business, it has been a faith journey for me. I trust that God will see me through all the ups and downs and through the thick and thin of running a business. Entrepreneurship is like a roller coaster, there are times you are on top of the world and others that you are rushing down faster than you can catch your breath. But there is faith in knowing it doesn’t end there. The turn will come, and off you go again! I am grateful that my success is not all up to me. I do my part: I work with my whole heart, put in long and numerous hours, go above and beyond for my clients, and come with a mindset to love on others, but in the end it is in God’s hands. Read more>>

Matt Doolin | Artist, Surfer & Business Owner

It’s really hard to say that their is just one factor that is the most important because I really do believe there are quite a few that make it all come together. That being said, I do think that being original and staying true to yourself as an authentic person and not following trends or copying others is key. Be the person you’re meant to be not what others think you should be. Try not to second guess what you’re doing too much if you see it working, but stay smart and keep questioning things, re-inventing, and just make sure you follow your intuition. If you are a service oriented business or product designer and artist, or a combination of the two like myself I think this applies to any kind of business or career. I hear so many people say they aren’t happy doing what they’re doing because they followed a path that wasn’t really theirs. Read more>>

Hilary Alexander | Camp Hollywood Organizer

I think staying on message and being consistent is an important part of any successful business or brand. From the beginning my event has always been about fun and had a light, playful attitude, which I think people really respond to. When people think about coming to my event, they know that they’re going to be in for a good time. It’s a place to connect with friends, meet new people, see inspiring things, and hone your own dance skills. It’s a place for community and shared interests. Most events are already at an advantage because people come wanting to have fun, and bring their own creativity to make that fun for themselves and others. Those who know me know that I encourage that creativity and everyone’s sense of ownership over the event – it can be whatever people want it to be; I won’t stand in the way. Read more>>

Ashley Chew | Artist, Activist, Model & Writer

The most important factor behind the success of my brand has been authenticity. Authenticity wins every time. One could go back to my work as a child, teen, young adult and the consistency in my personality, passion, ethics, vulnerability within my work has not changed. As an artist and activist this is the core of my work. I want to live a life that inspires people to be comfortable to be themselves. Create even if no one ever sees it! The world is ever changing, especially with technology. Creatives can either be overlooked and swallowed by Social Media or decide to transform with it. I’m not a huge fan of Social Media and very protective of my peace, private life and family online. I like my authenticity to show through my work, But I know it’s essential right now to utilize Social Media, especially during lockdown when nearly everything has been going digital. Read more>>

Angela Watts | CEO

My favorite quote is “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” by Zig Ziglar. When I think of this quote, I think of all the years of building up credit card debt and sleepless nights. I think of crying to my husband about needing to get a “real job” because I didn’t know how we were going to pay rent that month – then waking up to a call from Shark Tank to say we made it to the final casting round after 3 years of trying to get on the show. If it weren’t for our resilience and waiting for the right opportunity to help us springboard forward then we would not be where we are today. Every business owner needs resilience because there will be good days and bad days, you just need to stick around longer than your competitors. Read more>>

Wendy Dailey | Co-Founder

The most important factor behind the success of the brand is integrity. Our brand promise is that each piece of jewelry is handmade by survivors of human trafficking and the proceeds go to help them rebuild their lives. Read more>>