In our view, values and principles are the foundation upon which our lives, careers and relationships are built. So, we asked folks we admire to open up to us about the values and principles that matter most to them.

Kirstyn Shaw | Start-up Baker

Treating others with respect and kindness. Growing up the motto “treat others how you want to be treated” was instilled in us from a very young age, and I’ve taken it with me into the business world. It is ultimately what has inspired me to create a business. The handful of jobs I’ve had working for others left me wanting more. Oftentimes they didn’t practice what they preached, played favorites with departments, and undervalued/demoralized employees. It is EXTREMELY important that I build an inclusive culture that appreciates employees, pays fairly (i.e. no minimum wage here!), and builds in feedback both internally and externally every step of the way. Read more>>

Lindsay Dodoras | Vocalist & Music Educator

Being a musician and educator, authenticity must come above all; whether I am in front of an audience of strangers or classroom of students, being myself is the most important quality to demonstrate. I strive to give all of myself to every person that I come in contact with and in return, I am willing to receive all of you; the good, the bad and everything in between. There is no one else in the world just like you, and to me, that is wildly exciting and gives me the outstanding responsibility to be the best I can be. If you are yourself, you cannot fail. Only when you try to be someone else is where you can fall short. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maurice Ravel when speaking to an aspiring young composer, George Gershwin, he stated, “Why would you want to be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?”. That always stayed with me as I have grown through my career. Read more>>

Zachary Morawiec | 3D Layout Artist & Animator

Positivity can go a long way. I feel that most people focus on the negative aspects about themselves. Don’t let your negativity get the best of you. Try to keep in mind the good parts of your life. Learn to appreciate what you have right in front of you rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Such as your loving family, friends, home, hobbies, pets, whatever it may be. If you try to think positively and have just a little optimism in your life, you will go very far. Staying positive 24/7 is no easy task, we are human after all. I myself have had moments where I’ve been in a negative mindset. But you just have to shake off those negative thoughts, jump up on that high horse and keep riding. It’s a lot easier said than done but trust me, staying positive can have a dramatic impact on your work, relationships, outlook towards life and self-appreciation. Read more>>

Sydney Cutler-Abich | Meditation Guide

Accessibility to wellness services is so important, especially in the age of COVID-19, when so many people are experiencing uncertainty, anxiety, and financial difficulty. Wellness can and should be both safe and inclusive for everyone, not just those privileged with financial resources. You can only benefit a finite number of clients if you keep your offerings exclusive! As we establish the mission and vision of our businesses, setting pricing in conjunction with our education/certification/experience, we can ALSO make some aspect of our offerings financially accessible for as many people as possible; for example, by creating spaces of service through offering self-selected sliding scale/payment plans/donation-based/free services when possible. Read more>>

Jonathan Soormaghen | Executive Resume Writer

Integrity. I am a firm believer of the model in which doing things the right way ultimately leads to success. Going the extra mile to ensure a customer is satisfied is a top priority. After all, they chose to support you and your business, and you owe it to them to deliver exceptional results for trusting in you. Read more>>

Eric Sanders | Artist, Investor & Philanthropist

For the last twenty-five years I have carried a piece of paper around in my wallet- on it are these six words: respect, learning, emotional courage, creativity, self-actualization, and connection. Each of these concepts guides me on my journey. All of my pursuits in life strive toward self-actualization: my practice as an artist, the philanthropic work that I do, how I relate to my family and the world; in all of these I seek to better myself each day. Read more>>

Holly Jo | Photographer

In all aspects of life, reliability, kindness, open mindedness, and gratitude are my main essential values. If you are Reliable, people want to be your friend, they want to date you, they want you to work on the school project with them, they want to collaborate with you creatively, and they want to give you their money. If you are Kind people are attracted to you, they will tell you about themselves, you will be able to develop meaningful connections. Kindness can change a vibe, a day, or a whole life. Open Mindedness keeps you curious, allows for growth, learning, and creativity, and brings you opportunities and relationships (romantic or otherwise) that those without an open mind are shut off from. Gratitude helps you maintain balance and keeps you grounded. If you do them all together, you live a more meaningful life and everything within your life is more precious. I highly recommend it. Read more>>

Tere Rodriguez | Documentary, Street Photographer & Portraitist

Culturally, the main principle I follow and have followed since childhood is respect. If you’re good to me, Ill be good to you. I don’t take sides in a conflict if it doesn’t affect me personally. I keep to myself and I mind my business. I’m not God. Therefore I have no right to judge anyone. Respect is something I believe this young generation is lacking and it needs to be reintroduced. If my photography can help with that, then I’m happy to do so. Read more>>

Adam Tan | Artist

Authenticity is the value that matters most to me. Nothing inspires me more than to witness an individual driven by unconscious motivation. Read more>>