We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

Judie Mancuso | Founder, CEO, & President of Social Compassion in Legislation

When I was a kid, the conventional advice was you must eat from the four food groups to be healthy, that milk was essential for your bones and teeth, and you had to have meat for protein. Little did I know how much propaganda was literally being fed to us. Eating animal products was hammered into my head. Then, as a young adult, I was introduced to some new and revolutionary ideas at the time, that you could be healthier if you avoided meat and dairy. Not only are there great health benefits, but avoiding these foods also have enormous positive impacts to our environment and for the poor suffering animals being raised, exploited, and slaughtered for these foods. To this day, many people are still buying into the big lie from the meat and dairy industries. Read more>>

Grace Abbate | Screenwriter

I once was told by someone (that shall remain nameless) to listen to my brain over my heart. And that’s the biggest slice of bullshit I’ve ever been served. Fortunately, I didn’t do that, because I couldn’t. My heart was always my propeller, the thing that drove me to take action toward my goals. If I didn’t feel the passion, why would I listen to my brain telling me to do something I wasn’t sure I felt compelled to do? I was learning how to find the balance between my brain and heart, and that’s the sweet spot. Both are crucial. But, they should be working simultaneously alongside each other, not separated. Read more>>

WyattTroy Christensen | Music Producer I Marketer

“You can either make business-related decisions, or you can make artistic/creative decisions. But you can’t make both. They are at constant war with each other.” This is a fallacy of immense proportions. Business and Art are not opposites. They are not enemies. They are two sides of the same coin. They are two sides of the same sword. They are best friends, life-long companions that crave each other. The synergistic energy between them is amazing!! Bussiness will never reach its full potential without the artistic side. And the artistic side will never reach its full potential without the business side. Read more>>

Grayson Villanueva | SAG-AFTRA Performer | Vocal Arranger | Audio Engineer | Videographer

“Stick to what you know.” If I only focused on what I did best, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Having multiple interests and perspectives is my superpower in a world where society teaches us to specialize. There is nothing wrong with specializing, but it’s just not how some of us are built, including myself. For example, because I’m a musician, my video editing style has a musical rhythm to it. My background in Linguistics helps me understand how to place and shape sounds when beatboxing. My degree in psychology helps me understand how to work with my clients in a team setting and also one-on-one. I’m not a specialist in any of these areas, but combining all my interests gives me a unique perspective and approach to each project and makes me a valuable asset to any team. Read more>>

Delilah Brao | Singer/Songwriter/Producer

At one point or another, we’ve all been advised, “Don’t make a fool of yourself.” I was reading “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, and he was discussing that to be successful, you can’t be afraid of looking stupid. His example was pro hockey players, who at some point, had to get on the ice for the first time, and slip and fall. To live afraid of looking foolish is to live an “other-oriented” life, looking at yourself from the eyes of other people. You can’t follow your path with that distraction. You can’t stretch and grow in that arena. In the world of art and being a creator, you can’t produce novel or genuine work if it’s not true and revealing of that part of yourself that might be a little off-kilter, unconventional, strange or “foolish.” Vulnerability speaks to people in art, and being vulnerable makes you somewhat foolish. But whether or not we admit it, we’re all foolish in one way or another. Read more>>

Lavinia Lascaris | Exhibition & Graphic Designer

“Follow your passion”: I find this statement vague and misleading. A passion is not an external thing that one needs to “find” and then follow. I think better advice is to shift the focus away from identifying the one passion and onto what are our interests and how we approach them. In my experience, finding purpose in what we do is an active, non-linear process. The enthusiasm that we all look for comes from randomness, experimenting, curiosity, learning, changing your mind, being useful, and observing how we respond to that process. Then building on those observations. Read more>>

Erin Yeschin | Creator of Hippocampus Clubhouse

There’s a saying that keeps cropping up, mostly via memes, that offers various forms of “We all have the same 24hrs in a day”. This bothers me greatly for I, personally, find it rather dismissive of other people’s circumstances and almost demeaning if they’re not full-on 24/7, 365. While we all experience the same time frame in the earth’s rotation of the sun, each person’s activities, responsibilities and availabilities vary greatly. (ie: Cinderella and her Step-Sisters) A single person living alone working stable 9-5 without the responsibility of even a pet has a very different experience in 24hrs than that of a single parent, working multiple jobs just to make ends meet, while also caring for their children. We don’t all have the ‘same’ 24 hrs in a day but we DO all have the option to make goals and put plans in place to achieve those goals based on what our specific 24hrs in a day looks like. Read more>>

Usman Khan | Mental Health Advocate & Career Counselor

Copy genius: I disagree with this popular phrase because I believe it is really important to create our own personal brand and pave a path for yourself that allows you to practice your values and what is true to you, and who you are as a person. Contrary to popular belief, “copy genius”, why not seek to build your own brand continuously and strive to emulate what is true to you and your personal and work values. Had other innovators followed the “copy genius” philosophy in the past, we would not have any trailblazers or new age inventions in the 21st century. I think it is more admirable when an individual seeks to create their own brand and rather pave their own kind of path, as a trailblazer, which is actually more challenging to a certain extent, from how I see things. More challenging because you have to think “outside the box” and rely on your critical thinking and creativity. Read more>>

Gabrielle Marshall | Music Marketing & Fan Engagement Specialist

I don’t believe in following every opportunity that comes your way. Some opportunities are not best suitable for us, our energy, mental health or our craft. Your best interest isn’t served by the money of title a job may bring you. There are so many opportunities and when you close one door, another one opens. One of the best pieces of motivation I was told is, “Each no is closer to the yes that is meant for you”. Read more>>

Collin Deatherage | Musician

All my life people always told me to have a backup plan. Go to school, study something that will pay the bills in case what you want to do doesn’t work out. I always felt that in some way that was planning to fail. I’ve essentially left myself no choice but to make my business work. Read more>>

Jasmine J. Johnson | Development Executive & Producer

“Be nice!” I’ll explain this because I don’t want people thinking they get to just act any kind of way! But I do think women in particular are taught we need to be polite and “nice” and stay in our lane. And that’s just not true. If there’s something you disagree with, speak up! Your opinion has value. We’re often made to feel if we don’t agree and go along with the status quo we’re being “difficult.” This is especially true of minority woman. For a long time I felt I had to be overly nice and accommodating to not be labeled as an “angry black woman.” Don’t feel bad for expressing your opinion. Don’t put up with unfair treatment in an effort to not cause “trouble”. It’s something I’m still working on, but so important to embody. But, that being said, don’t be disrespectful. Don’t talk to people in a manner you wouldn’t want to be spoken to yourself. Be open to hearing others’ thoughts and opinions in the same way you expect others to respect yours. Be kind, be respectful, be open-minded but let’s stop being “nice.” Read more>>

Becca Ward | Stand Up & Sketch Comic

In my parent’s generation, the understood avenue to success was to follow the conventional saying “put your head down and work hard.” We’re in a new space where we see the prolonged negative effects of our parents allowing us to be raised outside- by wolves or a water hose or by whatever was near and mostly trusted. I’ve unlearned this and it’s the best 1/3rd life crisis I could have never asked for. I work smart so I don’t burn myself out from the comedy scene. I do my homework for jobs, gigs, meetings, interviews, etc. I’ve even snooped into potential employer’s or booker’s Spotify playlists just to have a glimpse into someone’s personality. Hard work is still a necessary rule, but my advice would be stay aware and pay attention because the rules are always changing!. Read more>>

Alex Palting | Founder/CEO, The Hustling Creative

I think one of the conventional beliefs that keeps artists from living those experiences of creating and sharing their work is thinking that they don’t yet “know” enough. Who am I to take a stand and make my mark? But I think today’s audiences are seeking connection with the art that they consume. And connection requires authenticity and vulnerability. At least in my experience, it’s only been possible to create vulnerably and authentically by showing up before you’re ready, without posturing like you have all the answers… like you have all the “knowledge.” Read more>>

Danny Denial | Musician & Filmmaker

“Fake it till you make it” I heard this so many times, over and over again, as an aspiring filmmaker in the L.A. scene trying to land a “big break” for years. I misguidedly took it for face value, going to every event, exploiting every resource, and adjusting myself for every occasion – and all it did was make me miserable. It wasn’t until I started over in Seattle that I discovered the power in being authentic to yourself, whether you make it or not, because people respond to that honesty. Audiences appreciate transparency from artists and creators, and “faking it” in any way is a disservice to both the dream and the soul. Read more>>

Leo Pastel | Musical Artist & Designer

A lot of people will tell you to take the safe route: focus a normal job until you get stable enough to fully buy into your passion. I disagree with that. I treat my passion as a job, and I do what I can to make ends meet. I’m confident that I am doing what I am meant to, and I don’t want a 9-5 to distract me from it. Read more>>

Angela Masters | Wedding & Fine Art Photographer based in Kansas City

Everyone is always waiting. Sure planning can be good, for some things, but life is so much more interesting when you just jump into whatever it is your waiting to do. 46 years I’ve been a citizen of this whirly rock and let me tell you, I waited. And waited. And I waited some more and nothing good has ever come of it. Once I decided to live my life with my eyes wide open to all the possibilities, I found the things I had been waiting on. Happiness. Joy. Purpose. That is within you right now. All of it. Just take the plunge and do what you have always dreamt of or maybe just do something spontaneous. Whatever it is, quit waiting on some miraculous moment to make it happen. Fail forward. Live your life and quit waiting on moments that seem to never come. Life is finite but it’s full of infinite possibilities. Read more>>

Elia Berthoud | Singer/Songwriter

Often I got the advice: “If you want to work in music pick one job and stick with only that one. You can’t be professional if you try to do everything.” – I always tried to produce, write and sing my own songs and direct, shoot and edit my own music videos. This may sound like I’m obsessed with doing everything on my own, but in reality, I simply didn’t know who could help me with any of that. Even though I developed my skills slowly, eventually it payed off, because when I finally started to get chances to collaborate with established artists, they often appreciate that I have some technical knowledge and experience. Read more>>

Isabelle | Singer/Songwriter

Most people have an opinion about your life, and the most common piece I have heard about mine is, “Do what everyone else is doing because it is working for them”…wrong! My outlook is, you can’t do what others do, because they have already done it. I like to take the time to look inward to figure out what I really have to say and what will make a difference. Read more>>

Duncan Burns | Inventor of the VeggiDome

I disagree with the conventional thinking (from centuries) that a healthy diet includes chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, fish, or animal products. It doesn’t. Eating animal products in the 21st century is unnecessary and is increasing the malady of our worst health problems: heart disease, type two diabetes, certain forms of cancer, digestive failure and many more. We are mistakenly concerned with eating animal protein, when it turns out that killing animals is an unhealthy source of protein. Far healthier sources of protein are whole food plant-based. Plant based food provides the only source of the much needed fiber in our diet and allows our bodies to synthesize the actual proteins we need: human protein. Read more>>