We have the good fortune of connecting with so many bright, accomplished folks from a variety of industries and we often ask them to tell us what they feel has been the most important factor behind their success. We’ve shared some highlights below.

María C. Párraga | Actress + Painter + Creative and Art Director, Visual Communicator + Trainer + Life lover

TRUST Trust is the key. In my experience, people that know me personal and professionally recommend me to others because they really trust me. I appreciate that trust as a treasure. The success at work it is not just about offering talent, also, you are offering what you do, how you do, what you are. They don’t expect you to know everything but to solve it and make it simple. Furthermore, when you enjoy what you do it affects positively to the project result, and the client get contagious of that enjoyment and passion. More reasons why they would like to have you near again and why they will keep recommending you. That’s the best marketing, when you respond to the expectations generated and it is the client who talk about it. Read more>>

Alexandra Atlanova | The Premium Quality Daycares / Owner

Always offer the best you can afford for your customers and for yourself. Choose the best furniture for your office, the best service for your customers, the best and latest technical solutions – and you will enjoy your work every day. You will know and feel – you’re the Best! Never skimp on the quality of the product you make or service you provide! and of course, don’t forget about unique gifts and perks for your clients – they will feel your love and how you care about them. Read more>>

Emily Roggenburk | Emily Roggenburk is the Founder + Chief Designer of Emily Roggenburk Studios, a modern art + apparel company founded with the mission to unite others through camaraderie and shared passions.

I believe there are many factors behind success, but one of the most important is being able to adapt. When things change or you’re faced with a new challenge, you have to be able to adapt and pivot. It’s important to not give up, but equally as important to know when a change needs to happen to sustain your business long term. Read more>>

Jorge Grau | Photographer

The honesty of the curiosity. Being in constant research. Even when I don’t have a camera with me, my mind is all the time looking at the light reflections or the colors. The people that is close to me know this well. Read more>>

isamara Herrera Valle | graphic designer , artist.

I would like to think that the most important factor behind our success and the success of our brand is our commitment. We have always been committed to putting our best work out there and listening to what our customers want to see and feel when they order a custom design on a product. We work hard and put a lot of work into every item we create weather it is a personalized item or an Item we brand and have readily available for our customers. Read more>>

Kate Moore | Co-Founder & International Educator

The Global Career Center bridges education and employability with bespoke programs developed and delivered through partnerships. The most important factor behind our success? Putting partnerships at the forefront. Whether a university collaborator, employer partner, student participant, global team member, or industry colleague…we are looking towards and working for the long view and greater mission. Our collaborations are based on relationship rather than transaction. Read more>>

Cecilia Wen | Dance Instructor, Mentor & Founder of Move In Touch

Before i tap into this question, i would like to say that the definition of success is a very personal yet broad. Success can mean so many different things for every individual and is definitely not a one-dimensional idea. I do consider myself successful because what i do is aligned with my purpose and passion in life–i built my brand by taking a leap of faith and really following my vision and i can see it steadily growing and making a difference in people’s lives, no matter how big or small, While i celebrate what i have built so far, i know this really just the beginning and the best is yet to come, which i personally think is another important defining aspect for success–longevity/room for growth. Read more>>

James Flanders | Music Producer

For me the most important thing is loving and believing in what I do. Being a musician is a long grind, and a job that is certainly hard at times. If I didn’t have true love for music, finding success would be a lot harder. If you’re in anything for the money, status, or lifestyle (the wrong reasons!) it’s going to be hard to grind through and find the motivation. I firmly believe that regardless of skill/background, if you’re PASSIONATE about what you’re doing, you can find success. Read more>>

Meme Kelly | Licensed Cosmetologist, CEO of SILK ME KIDS SALON AND HAIR CARE PRODUCTS

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is the fact that I am providing a solution to a need. I am a licensed cosmetologist that specialize in kids hair. I have totally niched down to cater to a section in the beauty industry that is overlooked. How to deal with kids hair and finding the right products for them, was a mission. With my branding and marketing, I point out the problems that parents having involving their kids hair, and provide the solution that my business have created. The brand provides educational material, along with tutorials, and product knowledge information to keep parents on top of things. Read more>>

Kelly Von Schleis | Entrepreneur, CEO & Business Owner, IT Healthcare Programmer, Procurement Consultant, Elite Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Dedication and sacrifice. No one’s success is easily earned. I’m no exception. For ten + years I’ve worked a 60+ hour day job that allowed me to afford my luxe lifestyle. I eventually made it to the top of my sector as an IT Healthcare Programmer and Project Manager, but it has been mentally draining and spiritually unfulfilling. I wanted more out of my one life. At night, after work was complete, I dreamed about a career in health and fitness – my passion. I decided to go for it and began designing bespoke workout programs for my innovative body transformation app LUXEFit. Read more>>

Zoe Zappas | Marketing and PR, Real Estate Management & Development

For me, a lot of my success has come from community engagement. In my mind, there’s not much that is more important than knowing the people in business around you and really knowing the people that live in your area. Being from a small town makes this a bit easier, but even on a larger scale this is totally attainable. I don’t just mean networking, networking is certainly part of it, but what I mean here is relationship development. I want to be everyones biggest fan and cheerleader. I post about them on social media and remind them of why they are special and worth supporting. Read more>>

Kevin Williams | Owner and Chef

Raw Authenticity! Its important for myself to embrace all success that comes my way because of the loyalty to culture. Young adults (my age upon the Company’s establishing) are constantly growing, maturing, and traversing in the world of social acceptance. I honeslty believe that being yourself is the easier said, yet toughest task for a entrepreneur. You have to see the world buying into YOU, before you introduce your product. There were many people making chicken wings before myself, and of course many will emerge during our spotlight, but there will always be something a bit different about the level of intent, passion and mission I originally set out to accomplish with my brand. Read more>>

Ana Novacic | Production Designer

As a Production Designer, the most important factor behind my success is being able to see the bigger picture. There are many hidden aspects of this job – from graphic design, budgeting, managing large teams, drafting – to name but a few. In order to stay focused and deliver excellent work in the face of high pressure, I need to continuously remind myself why I do what I do. This is especially important during long shoots where the threat of exhaustion-induced tension looms over a hard-working crew. I prioritize my efforts in respect to the overall objective of a project, remembering I am not performing life-saving surgery, and that it is important to say thank you to others, and to lift spirits. Read more>>

Sofia Amburgey | Brand Director

After launching a month ago I keep reflecting on what I hold value in during this whole process. One factor that I feel holds the most importance to me would be maintaining an organic presence. Creating an identity for a brand takes time so I vow to get comfortable and allow TOCA to take its form with the friends we meet along the way. There is a community involved, there are real people helping me build this and I want us to all learn together. Being pleasant to the people who are making this happen for you is not hard. Making them feel seen – the consumer, the manufacturer, the photographer, etc. – without them I don’t have a piece to my puzzle. To sum this all up, keep it very real with your viewers + collaborators – I plan to make a big effort on keeping this alive and well as growth and changes arrive. Read more>>

Michele Morrissey | Founder of BKLYN Affair

Trust the process. There are always ups and downs, ebbs and flows to anything in life, especially in the world we live in. One main thing that gets me through on the daily is believing in myself and my creative vision. To not succumb to what the masses consider to be fashionable/stylish or on trend. I have this undeniable urge to stay true to myself, and that’s the creative expression that carries over and exudes through my brand BKLYN Affair. Dig deep and wear what makes you happy and feel comfortable. Not what you are “supposed” to wear depending on your body type, color of your skin, or what some random influencer deems as “in” at the moment. Here is a quote that I love that really exemplifies my feelings about styling and fashion, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Gore Vidal Read more>>

Alex | Ceramicist

Staying authentic to myself is probably the most important factor behind REN. There were times and moments where I felt like I needed to adjust my style or tone down the personalization of my business because somehow it would mean I was inadequate. I want my small business to reflect the things I love and am inspired by. Imperfection and some wonky bits that are in everyday life. Read more>>

Sayde Jabra | Professional Photographer

I believe that starting a career should be based on a vision; an objective; a target. After that comes the commitment and hard work. Throughout the journey i faced lots of bumpy roads, lots of struggles, lots of doubts and lack of confidence but I didn’t give up on myself, on accepting the fact that to be able to climb the mountain you should walk through the valley. Consistency was the key to my success! Keep on learning and following the trend and be capable of adapting to the change of the market. Read more>>

Nik West | Vocalist, Musician,

Learning how the nuts and bolts work to having a successful career in the arts has to be the most important component of my success. I didn’t have a label, a manager, or someone helping me “get famous”. I didn’t get to open for an artist or band. I had to figure out how to make everything work on my own. I had to research. Learn how to create graphics and create a brand that stood out. My success is so much more than my artistry. It’s mainly about being a business person. When I figured this out, that’s when bigger artists like Prince started to take notice and mentor me which helped my knowledge grow even more. I had what I needed to succeed and reach the goals I had set for myself. Read more>>

SHDW | Writer & Rapper

I’d say the most important factors behind any of my previous & future successes are my integrity, followed by my desire to learn. I believe in doing right by people because it’s the right thing to do & I want that to be my reputation in an industry that has been referred to at times as corrupt. Plus, it’s always fun challenging myself to do something different or develop a new skill. Read more>>

Taylor Gates | Writer/Director

The most important factor behind my success is authenticity. There was a time when I would play it safe and just write what I thought people would want to read. It wasn’t until I started writing about the things that scared me that I was truly happy with my work. I’ve learned to lean into the things that you think are going to make you different and weird — that those are the things that actually end up resonating with people the most. If you see a hole for a certain type of story or character in the industry, chances are that you’re not the only one seeing it and wishing someone would fill it. Read more>>

Briana | Founder and maker behind Sun & Lace

Staying true to the Sun & Lace core mission of providing heirloom-quality, neutral baby shoes and accessories has undoubtedly contributed to the success of my brand. While I admit that I’m sometimes drawn to creating something around a current trend, I stick to my aesthetic and values, which ultimately makes my styles timeless. Read more>>

Shara Kay | Certified Professional Organizer & Owner, SK Organizing

A key factor behind our success is abiding by our core values of clarity and simplicity. Our mission is to bring clear, simple and easy to maintain organization to our clients’ lives, and this starts with “walking the talk” in our own business. Our pricing is outlined clearly and simply on our website (rare in our industry) and it is consistent for all clients and all situations, whether we are tidying a kitchen, installing a closet, moving a household, or helping settle an estate. Our clients appreciate this transparency and it sets the stage for clear, honest communication throughout the organizing process. Read more>>

Duke Liddell | Clothing Line Owner

It has to be the support from my family and city. Most importantly me being myself throughout life, not creating a false image of myself. I’ve always been a through guy it’s kinda like that amongst my family and friends. Read more>>

Mauricio Velasco | Mauricio Velasco is the founding member of The smArt Collective. He works as an Artist Manager with professional expertise in the museum industry, encompassing a broad background in Curation, Collections, and Exhibitions. He was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles.

What has and will continue to be the most important factor behind success for The smArt Collective can be summed up in an unspoken motto, as a prevailing attitude amongst its members, best expressed through the old idiom, “a house divided against itself cannot stand”; meaning as a collective group of professionals in the arts we understand that success comes from sticking together. With the ensuing pandemic, the arts have been drastically hit, with many institutions closing and the ever increasing competition for work amongst artists and art professionals rising. In response, The smArt Collective was created to combat the economic hit the art world has taken by bringing artists and art professional together to work as a collective, with the sole aim to provide opportunities. Read more>>

Ziggy Moon Karraa | Musician and Music Producer

I would say by far, consistency. Even though I absolutely love music and what I’m doing, there are still days where I just don’t want to do anything, or days where everything I do sounds wrong. But I’ve learned that if I can push through those days, and still manage to do work even when it’s the last thing I want to do, I end up growing and learning from it. Being consistent has definitely helped me to get where I am today. Read more>>

Ed Carreon | Commercial Photographer

The question is kind of like asking what organ is my most important organ, so I would say there are a few “factors”. When I ask people why they hire me, the first thing they say is that I was the most helpful. I often present two budgets for big jobs, if I don’t know the client. That is because I don’t know their price range or how savvy they or their clients are. That way I come it at what my ideal should be and then what their ideal might be. Read more>>

Shannon Shiang | Jewelry designer , art director, fine artist

I’ve had many important factors behind my success. I believe that with integrity, luck, talent, perseverance, and compassion anyone could be successful. Success is not a goal but a mentality. The relationships we build along the way will sometimes surprise us in the outcome. Read more>>

Rick Jey | Renaissance Man…involved in every aspect connected to my profession/s. 

The most important factor behind your success and the success of my brand would be to never stop believing in yourself first and secondly, never give up on your dream. That means, self motivation, self discipline and work diligently no matter how many years it might take to finally have a shot at your dream. rj Read more>>

Romie Bo | Life Activation Practitioner | Shaman | Healer | Kabbalist | Intuitive Reader

I feel the most important factor behind success, and this can be applied in any business/situation in your life, is creating from a heart center. We were taught to think with the brain in our head to come up with ideas and develop them when really we should be connecting to “the brain” in our heart to create and manifest. Creating anything from our heart center holds the frequency of love and whether consciously or unconsciously people will react and receive this energy and will be drawn to be part of it just because Love is the strongest energy. Read more>>

Nicko Guerrero | Drummer, Educator, Composer.

I consider that one of the most important factors for success is perseverance. Constancy and discipline are the key to bring you always to the next level. Being a persistent person will always give you different attempts where you can learn new ways and paths to develop what you want. Remember “No” Doesn’t mean “Never”, Read more>>

Cristina Codinha | Founder and Head Chocolatier of Codinha Chocolate

The most important factor behind the success of Codinha Chocolate is we truly take the time to build our customer relationships. We’re happy to say that our mission of spreading chocolate happiness is at the heart of what we do, and through connecting with our audience, not only have we built a very personal brand, but a brand that our audience (whom we call, our “chocolate friends”) can really connect with. We pride ourselves on caring about our customers and continuing to make chocolates our customers love as well as being able to ask their input when we are thinking up new ideas whether that be for future collections or special holiday items, for example. Our customers are right there with us every step of the way and we’re grateful for them, for sure. Read more>>

Emily Grodin | Writer & Poet

I believe that honesty and transparency have been critical in my success. When I first really thought about writing a memoir about my life as a non-speaking, autistic person it was a little scary. I knew I would be asked to reflect on hard times. I knew that my darkest moments would be spelled out on paper for the world to read. That left me feeling a sense of vulnerability. But I came to understand that to reach people and to allow readers to connect with my journey, it had to be the honest and transparent truth. I had to be okay with that vulnerability if I wanted others to be able to relate. This is true for all of my writings and all of the work that I do. Honesty and transparency are key. Read more>>

Rich Bracken | Keynote Speaker, Media Personality, & Executive Consultant

The absolute most important factor behind my brand is the genuine passion for helping people achieve personal and professional success. As a speaker, media personality, and writer, everything I do is driven by the joy I derive from watching people find their voice, their groove of success, or their story. When I speak or consult executives who want to be better speakers, I go into each interaction thinking “How can I leave them better than I found them?” as my Grandfather always taught me to do. Read more>>

Sanyu Estelle | Soothsayer, Word Witch & Writer

As someone is who is most commonly known as a Soothsayer, a Word Witch and a writer, the most important factors of my work are my integrity and my word. Soothsayer means, at its root of Proto-Indo-European, “being, existence” + “to say, utter.” Then it also described a “true teller.” Both writing and truth telling came very naturally to me as a child. I asked my mother to teach me how to read in preschool because I was enamored of bedtime stories. By kindergarten I was writing my own stories and throughout elementary school I was getting in trouble with adults for asking too many questions about the way things were. Read more>>

Mayly Tao | Entrepreneur, Donut Princess & Owner of DK’s Donuts & Bakery

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is creativity and consistency. Continuously understanding that to really create the brand you love, you must be the brand that you love. Choosing to be the face of the brand was something I never thought I wanted to do until I stepped into it. Associating the small wins and successes of myself always overlapped into the success of my brand. The best advice I have for someone starting a new brand is to immerse yourself and believe that it will be a successful brand one day, if you continuously work towards that goal. Read more>>

Chef Shani Davis | Owner of: chefshaniskitchen

The most important decision that contributed to my success, Starting off my culinary career at LMU Loyola Marymount University’. Mentored by Executive Chef Yavieshala Mitchell & Executive Chef Carlos Mercado, which then presented the opportunity for me be the youngest chef to cater the DNC Democratic Debate 2019. Read more>>

Grimstyles | Rapper Songwriter Musician

Success is a relative term because everyone defines “success” differently. To some, owning a mansion in the Hollywood Hills is success – to others owning their own business and being self-employed is success. As an Rap artist, my main objective is to put out the best music I possibly can. I strive to better myself as an artist on every song I record. The most important factor behind my success is drive and determination; my drive and determination to hold myself accountable. Read more>>

Blyth Kemp | Filmmaker

I know it sounds cliche, but hard work and dedication is the most important factor to my success. I never give up when I set my mind to something. I fell in love with movies at a young age. It started with karate movies and later progressed to horror films, and I was hooked. I started paying attention to directors and cinematographers. I wanted to know how films were made. My first attempt to make a film was a total disaster. I was just out of high school in Tulsa, Ok., I wrote a horror short, rented a camera and cast my mother and uncle to play ghost in my haunted house story. Read more>>

Isabel Ibañez | Author

For me personally, it’s been to recognize what I’m good at and what I’m not. It’s easy to compare other peers, wishing I could do X, Y, or Z just as well, but it’s never helped. There are things that only I could write, there are only stories I could tell. When I come up with something that isn’t in my wheelhouse, it’s OK to delegate, or ask for help. Ridding space of what isn’t working makes plenty of room for what is. Read more>>

Megan Graney | Singer-songwriter / Artist

The most important factor behind my brand is staying authentically vulnerable as a songwriter. Sounds simple, but can easily lead to a road of self-betrayal if it’s not a priority. I think that’s a massive challenge with how surface level social media can be in portraying your artistry ‘image’, while maintaining some level of privacy. How you’re perceived as an artist is crucial to building a long-term fanbase. My creative team plays a huge role in establishing a successful brand. Each choice is backed by how much I value their input towards a vision in helping the collective heal trauma through music. We are committed to curating a community from the ground up. That also includes volunteer work with local nonprofits based out of Los Angeles. A great organization we’ve connected with is A Place Called Home, they’re doing incredible work with children to combat systemic issues on all levels. Read more>>

Robyn Gardenhire | Founder & Artistic Director of City Ballet of Los Angeles

I have built my school and company by applying what my teachers offered me, how they gave me direction to and motivation to dance. My brand is to work hard and be specific in what you are asking for and what you are giving. Read more>>

Drew Blackwell | Photographer

I truly believe that artists create their greatest work when they feel supported, relaxed, and empowered. I always strive to achieve that vibe when I’m working with others because this field of work is incredibly people-oriented. Being kind, funny, and easy to work with has gotten me through many doors. Read more>>

Nathaniel Neubauer | CEO – Contemporary Catering

We often hear from our guests and clients, “you and your team have a very special brand of service.” I believe we make spectacular food, and honestly, I believe many of my colleagues and competitors make spectacular food. However, a top down, heart leadership hands-on approach focusing on the guest experience, even prior to any interaction we have with them is what makes what we do special and the real X-Factor that separates us. Focusing on pouring into our leadership team so that they can pour into our frontline staff, creating an outward mindset driven environment that every one of our clients and guests reap the benefits from. We focus more on teaching our leadership and staff about our thought process and philosophy than what to do. Read more>>