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

Lindsey Villarreal: Writer, Producer, Filmmaker

The myth of meritocracy. No one benefits from the idea of meritocracy unless the playing field is even. It’s not and it never will be. There are so many barriers to entry in the business I work in. How can the best person win if the sampling of persons is so narrow? You need money to enter contests. Read more>>

Tiombé Lockhart: Creator

I believe we have created unrealistic viewpoints of life with duality. Constantly looking at life as wrong and right. In this hamster wheel of regrets. All for the sake of comfort. I’ve learned to look at life as we came here with each lifetime to fulfill agreements. Agreements that offer learning experiences that will support the evolution of our family lineage and/or the world. Hitting rock bottom 4 years ago was the most liberating experience I’ve ever had. Comfort is a trick. Read more>>

Anika Ray: Luxury Beauty Owner & Writer

Women should be groomed and limited to domestic roles as a lifelong goal. I absolutely don’t agree with this. Women should not be limited. However, I’ve found myself fighting society for not holding these beliefs since I’ve been able to speak. Read more>>

Grace Lim: Pianist & Opera Répétiteur

As long as I drill 10,000 hours during my waking hours, I will surely become this bulletproof, know-it-all expert, right? The “10,000-hour rule” is the popular notion that after 10,000 hours of practicing, one will become an expert; however, I believe that the sheer amount of hours dedicated to one craft is only a small piece of the puzzle. Read more>>

Joe Homs: Hypnotherapist

New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of your time. The mind and body isn’t set up to make the (usually) drastic changes that are typically thought of in a New Year’s Resolution. As a hypnotist, there’s many reasons why I just shake my head when someone tells me they have made a resolution to go to the gym more often or stop drinking, or whatever else they desire. Read more>>

Dalia Malek: Comedian

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Telling someone to do what they love is terrible advice. If you turn doing what you love into work, then you’re ruining the thing you love. If you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life because you’ll be unemployed. Read more>>

Natalie Sutherland: Actress, Writer, Producer & Director

When I first came to America (and straight to Los Angeles), I was told that there’s a “way to do things in Hollywood”, and that way, was the basic, ‘you try and get an Agent, then you wait for the call’. Read more>>

Jane Coats Eckert: Gallery owner

The piece of advice I was constantly given is “You can’t make it there”. My first gallery, where I specialized in 19th and 20th century art was in a small town north of Indianapolis, literally in a cornfield. Everyone said no one will travel that far to see you. Read more>>

Alice Foy: Founder + Execution Strategist, The Digital Jane

“Jack of all trades, master of none.” My career has allowed me the opportunity to use my skills and expertise in a wide variety of industries and roles. It is possible to be a master of multiple things; Read more>>

Doe Paoro: Singer, Songwriter, & Sound Healer

“Stay the course.” This advice is really a delusion of the ego which has many plans for us, but which may not always be in our best interest! I would say this advice has pressured people into feeling trapped or limited to certain trajectories, just because an outdated version of themselves thought it would be a good idea. Read more>>


Kim Montelibano Heil, CSA: Casting Director, Producer, and Consutant

There’s a saying that is often bestowed on aspiring writers: “Write what you know.” The idea behind this adage is that we as individual artists should write or create from personal experience, from whatever seat of expertise we occupy in order to craft a truthful and effective story. Read more>>