How do you think about risk? What role has taking risks played in your life/career? Check out responses from hidden gems from our community below.

Laura Odermatt | Cinematographer & Poet

If you have big plans for your life, you are going to have doubters. Your lofty dreams are discomforting to those with none; people like this will want to yank you back down to their level. It is important to empathize in this situation: understand that this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. They regurgitate what they’ve been taught. I’ve learned that as a creative, it is absolutely essential that you protect your energy from leech people like this. I feel that when I can’t create, I have nothing else. It is important to give space to consider criticism, however. If you find applicable truth within it, it will make you a stronger artist. But sometimes criticisms are less useful and are more like projected-insecurities. It can be difficult to tell the difference, but if it does not service you, let it go. This is not to say to follow your faith blindly. Not at all. Read more>>

Mindi Abair | Saxophonist & Singer-Songwriter

No one ever told me that being a woman saxophonist was an odd thing until it was way too late. I thank them for that! I believed what people around me told me… that I could be anything… that I should follow my heart. I found music early, and my saxophone became this amazing extension of myself. I could scream through it, whisper through it, and emote in a bigger way. I learned later that I would be judged differently as a woman playing an instrument. I auditioned for a college when I was 17 and when I walked through the door of the saxophone professor’s office he promptly told me that he would not let me into the jazz department, as “girls didn’t make it at this school.” He’d let me into the music education department instead. Needless to say, I didn’t attend that university. Read more>>

Avi R | Owner Operator

It’s funny you should ask… I held a deep meditation about this recently. Since the very start (2008!) we have been “winging it” in the sense of not having a cohesive plan. We knew that creating something for our people was the most important factor of them all…Having a vessel, everyone can connect to share a message everyone needs to hear. People before products. Community over commerce. At the very core of Iron Lion Soap, we believe that the most crucial factor behind our success is the ability to see beyond the typical and focus on the human element. In today’s digital world, people can sense authenticity before ever seeing a product page or even experience the product physically. Our soaps are just the vessel to our message… Read more>>

Madison Young | Owner

Trust. Your. Gut. There has not been one situation where my gut instinct has been wrong. The only time I put myself in a compromised situation is when I listened to others over what my intuition was telling me. Opening Open Eye Crystals was my first entrepreneurial endeavor and was very green to business operations so I was keen on listening from other experienced people in my life when it came to how I should run the business. I gave their advice a thoughtful listen and if it didn’t give me Christmas lights in my stomach, I moved on. There was one instance where multiple people gave the same piece of wisdom as to how we should construct our shipping services. It didn’t seem like the right fit for us, but since multiple folks said the same thing, I figured I better take it. That moment of side stepping my intuition around these people’s advice cost me $11,000 on a botched shipment from a premier customer. It was the last time my gut feelings took a back seat in my decision making. Read more>>

Rissi Zimmermann | Creative Director

I feel successful when I share peace with life around me. The most integral part of reaching this success, I feel, is nurturing peace within myself. Engaging in healthy dialogue through challenges and misunderstandings, finding ways to release and process the full spectrum of my emotions, listening to when my body is in pain and giving it the necessary attention to heal. What I have found is that the health of my entire being is rooted in the attention of my thoughts. The more I am able to purify my thoughts, the healthier I become and in turn feel greater peace to share with life around me. My understanding of success has changed over time. I used to understand success as an accomplishment, reaching a goal that I worked hard towards, whether it was a competition, performance or job I was dedicating myself to. Read more>>

Marisa Bosquez-White | Floral Designer

I think the most important lesson my business has taught me is to stay true to myself and my design direction. It is my distinct look and aesthetic that has earned me my clients. I try to remain true to my singular vision and avoid jumping on trends in my industry. I sometimes question myself, but I always come back to this timeless advice- be yourself. I am aware I am not for everyone, but I am very happy with the clientele I attract. I try to only showcase work I want to do more of. Read more>>

Chianne Ozgur | Artist, Singer-Songwriter & Spiritual Advisor

I don’t really think of ONLY ONE important lesson my musical journey taught me, but there are SEVERAL lessons. 🙂 I’m gonna try to put them in bullet marks. 🙂 -Authenticity. Don’t be a copycat or try to follow a “formula of success”. Don’t mold or change yourself in order to fit in. If you want true success and deep fulfillment; being yourself is not negotiable. -Be Brave. Be brave enough to listen to your heart, tune out the outside voice, what people think of you or say to you, and just be conscious of your own patterns that may be self-sabotaging your growth and success. Inner work is a pathway to freedom of self-expression. -Focus your attention on what you can give to the world and how you can serve and make a difference. Read more>>

Lori Bregman | Author, Doula, Life and wellness coach & Co Founder

As A doula for almost 20 years, I would say there are a few things behind my success. First being that I am so passionate about what I do and I truly believe that I am doing my souls purpose. I also build deep relationships and strong bonds with my clients and provide a ton of mind, body and spirit support and care. As a doula, I have never just been about birth, for me its always been about the whole journey. The more supported they are the better and more relaxed they will feel and so will their baby within. Lastly, I love creating whether it’s writing my books ( “The mindful mom to be”, Mamaste” “The doula deck” ( launching March 2021), creating my mindful mom to be 12-week virtual online group coaching program, making awesome healing blends for my Seedlyfe smoothie company or creating a product line that I am currently working on. I love providing tools and products that help women live a healthier, happier more empowered life. Read more>>

Dianne Porchia | Holistic Stress Reduction Spiritual Therapist

The most important lesson my career path in holistic health and wellness has taught me is TRUST. When I first embarked upon my Mind-body medicine career path in 1998, my intuition told me the missing link to a holistic approach must include emotional and spiritual connection in addition to intellectual understanding and behavioral action. I had an inner knowing that these two elements were critical in an integrated healing program. Twenty plus years ago spiritual practices Were still looked upon as very new age, woowoo and inconsequential to Mainstream medicine and healing. I was afraid to take ownership of spiritual practices And principles in my business model for fear of being labeled a quack. However, my inner guidance told me I was on course and to keep true to my re-visioning of medicine as an essential integrated body-mind-heart-soul approach. Read more>>

Sofia Pellegrino | Actor & Filmmaker

The success of my brand definitely falls behind persistence.  Being in the entertainment industry is not easy, perhaps I believe is one of the hardest career paths to take on.  You have to be strong minded in order to be able to surpass the constant rejection this industry brings.  I live by “What’s for me will be for me” and when something doesn’t work out as planned, I accept it and continue to move towards my goal.  Maintaining my faith that things will turn out great at the end is what keeps me motivated and persistent, no matter what the circumstances may be. Read more>>

Keri Marrone

Here is my answer to this. Kundalini Yoga and what it can do for you is its own success. The most important factor behind my success was my ability to SPREAD THE WORD…..share the tools! I walked into a Kundalini class 16 years ago and it hit me like a ton of bricks this was one of my callings. I took it from Gurmukh Kaur and when she spoke I knew I was witnessing something special. Come to find out she was considered the “Queen” of Kundalini ,and she is one of the most respected and sought out teachers in the world. This was unlike any other yoga class I have been too, there was a lot of lectures on well being. Kundalini is the practice of awakening our Higher Self. If you google the defitnition this is what it says. “Kundalini yoga is a magical science that uses mantra, energy healing, exercises and meditations to release trauma from the energetic body which surrounds the physical body”. Read more>>