We asked the community what factors they felt were responsible for their success and we’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Dana Arnett | CEO

It matters to me in our diverse population that all people feel heard and understood. Wicked Bionic is a multicultural marketing and advertising agency. There are thousands of marketing agencies that do what we do. Clients expect their agency to be great at marketing – that is the expectation, just like when you go to a tire store, you expect them to know how to put a tire on your car. There’s no magic there. I have come to understand that yes, we are a marketing agency, but we spend most of our time understanding the psychology of why people do what they do. We know human beings and what makes them interact with each other. Our agency connects people – connects brands with people – in ways that genuinely make a difference to the consumer by providing products and services that educate and enhance their lives. Read more>>

Rana Shahi | Dentist & Periodontist

My family has always been my rock. They have supported and encouraged me from day one.  My parents taught me to study, work relentlessly, and to never give up. My family immigrated to the United States when I was 6 years old.  I watched my parents work hard and sacrifice in order to provide me and my siblings with better life full of opportunity. The values and strong work ethic they instilled in me have played a major role in my success. They taught me the value of community and philanthropy. I am blessed with a very supportive family who encouraged me to pursue an education in dentistry. I have a sense of duty to help those who do not have access to dental care. I carry that value into my practice by participating in various charities over the years. A cause I am most passionate about is “SmileOnU,” an organization which provides free dental care to the less fortunate around the world. Read more>>

Vántha Somm | Licensed Esthetician & Pro MUA

The most important factor behind my success is service. Giving exceptional service is everything! My passion to want to help people have better skin or learn how to apply makeup is what drives me to continue to give great service. It may sound superficial but to hear a client tell me “I haven’t felt this beautiful in years after becoming a mom” brings me so much joy. It lets me know that I’m in the right service. It isn’t the only factor to success but it’s a key component. If your service brings you joy and a steady income, you’ll be successful. Read more>>

Dan Gordon | Executive Business Coach & Transformational Speaker

Success is a word I use quite often in my work with entrepreneurs. It is the Namaste of the business world. Success means so many different things to so many different people depending on where and how you use it. I find Success to be a terrific catch-all term. It can be about growing one’s income, increasing their happiness or satisfaction, and strangely enough, Success can even be a description of massive failure. Indeed, Success and Failure are NOT two opposite sides of the same coin. They are, rather, the SAME side of the SAME coin. Recently, on my podcast, Shock to the System, a guest asked me what I considered to be the key to success. I flashed back to a moment in July of 2015. I was a man in an unusual position, face down on the floor of a Washington DC hotel room suffering, what I can only describe as an emotional breakdown. Read more>>

Tony Nguyen | Founder & CEO

I think the most important factor behind the success of COTA Media is that we have been extremely open to taking risks and adjusting our game plan throughout the years. By being open to different strategies and unconventional methods, we went from growing 30% per year to a 92% growth in 2020. With that being said, we went all in with completely different marketing channels and ditched everything we have used up till this year. It sounds crazy, but the risk paid off and now we have positioned ourselves to grow exponentially in the years to come. I am a firm believer that sometimes even when things are going great, you need to clear some things out to make room for better things to come. Read more>>

A.J. Jacobs | Author & Journalist

One of the most important factors is self-delusion. Which I know sounds strange. But honestly, I think self-delusion is crucial when you are starting any big project or career or job. This is because the chances of success are often a long shot. So it helps to force yourself to be be delusionally optimistic. Otherwise, anytime something goes wrong, and things will go wrong, you’ll curl up into a ball in the corner and eat Cheez-Its all day. I feel incredibly lucky that I am able to make a living as a writer. But I wouldn’t have stuck with it if I didn’t have this delusional optimism when I was younger. Read more>>

Salim Hughes, Jason Love and Brandon Love | Online Sneaker Store

Salim: The most important factor behind our growth was writing our goals down and sticking to them and making sure we cross them off. Our brotherhood is also a strong factor because it’s more than a business, these are my brothers and we know what we are creating for the future. My family is from the islands, so it’s a lot more pressure for me to be successful in life so that’s an extra drive. Jason: I would say working freely and being in control of the company’s outcome. Also knowing that I’m building something that we intend to last for a while makes it worth it all. Brandon: I would say having patience because when you first start anything, you aren’t that good so you have to be patient with yourself and the mistakes that you are making. Understanding that the mistakes are not avoidable and when you do run into them, lean the lesson from it. We’re playing a long game, so we can’t trip over small mistakes. Read more>>

Stephen White | Lead Surf Instructor & Surf School Owner

]Having an amazing team and providing the best customer service possible! When I first met my wife I told her we make a great team. She had her MBA and I had the passion and love for surfing and the ocean. We both were entrepreneurs and interested in starting something. We put our backgrounds together and created Fun Surf LA. We started as a team of two giving a few surf lessons and sharing our passion and love for the ocean to having big group lessons, corporate events, charity work for kids and contracting several surf instructors during peak season. We believe having a team that is supportive, cohesive, respectful, and share the same love for the ocean is the most important factor which helped us to become one of the most popular and highly rated surf school in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Belinda Jimenez | Owner & Instructor

The factor I value most in my business that I believe makes it successful is being able to develop a personal communication with each of my students. In doing this, I can generate a unique lesson experience for each student that is tailored to their learning style. Every lesson is based on what they want to learn, their strengths, and their weaknesses. I try to develop trust within this communication because I want every student to be successful. Read more>>

Inbal Gonen | Owner

Starting your own business is scary. You have to take chances, not only financially but emotionally. You want it to be perfect and you hope everyone will love it. It’s a form of putting yourself out there in hopes of not being rejected. So for me, the most important factor behind my success is looking fear in the eye and thanking it for being part of the process but not the one in charge. Calm Nest is about being the best version of yourself, personal growth and developing and creating a community of people whose ultimate goal is to create a better world. That mission is what will lead to the success of the brand. Being honest and vulnerable are badges of courage and there is not much room for fear once I committed to making those traits my guide. Read more>>

Shiraz Simonian | Managing Attorney & Employment Attorney

As cliché as it may sound, it’s customer service. The reason I left the big firm life behind and started my own law practice was so I can represent clients the way I want to represent them, without the rules or guidelines established by a hierarchy of managers. I mainly represent employees who have been wronged by their employers. Gaining their trust is important, because they usually come from a background of either having lost their job recently due to wrongful termination, or not having been paid proper wages. I make sure my clients have direct access to me, as their attorney, instead of a receptionist so that I can answer any questions they have and alleviate their fears or concerns. Our google reviews confirm those goals. Read more>>

Jo Ann Block | Visual Artist

Never give up. small steps and consistency. just show up. Read more>>

SuperTallPaul | Entertainment Artist

I believe being consistent is the most important factor to the success of my business. I do what is agreed upon and then go above and beyond. I have made my brand be fun and eccentric which stands out in an authentic way. Read more>>

Melanie Fuentes | President

Customer service is everything. You can have a great product but if you don’t know how to talk to and treat your customers then the your product has zero value. My repeat customer rate is excellent not only because I have a product people love but because I make it my job to make each and every transaction personal. People like to feel important and treating each order as though its my top priority is what keeps them coming back. Being attentive and showing them they are more than just an order number is what sets me apart. Read more>>

Andrea Chernin | Educational Therapist & Executive Director

The most important factor behind the success of my company is working with educators who truly understand students with learning differences from various angles, including their learning profiles, their social/emotional needs, and their strengths/stretches. We all realize the importance of fit and chemistry in the one-to-one working relationship with our students, and when we are able to step back and consider the whole child, magic happens. Read more>>