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

Kelly Garthwaite | Photographer & Photography Manager

I got my degree in English with a technical-business writing concentration. I spent about four years pursuing that path and during that time felt a major pull to find a new career that resonated with my heart and soul in a bigger way. I could have made a financially comfortable life for myself had I kept with it, but staying the course would have come at a bigger price: I would have become emotionally hollow. I was working as a government contractor in Washington, DC up until the middle of 2011 when I decided that I needed to seek something else. I saved up a bunch of money with a plan to quit my job to leave for a long cross-country road trip that would end in a move to the West Coast. I connected back with one of my professors whose opinion I respected very deeply to tell him of my plans. Read more>>

Michael Snow | Creative Genius

Conventional wisdom is a bad idea if you’re a creative. They might as well just call it “survival tips for the boring” because all it will ever lead to is an outcome that’s expected & average. Thinking for yourself, highlighting your differences, & taking a chance on the unconventional is the only way to truly innovate. It’s the only way for the world to grow. Read more>>

Carolyn Owens | Music Business Consultant

Quitters never win is a big fat lie! In order to grow, find the right idea, or improve your life you have to learn to intentionally and proactively stop doing what isn’t working. In fact, quitting is the only way to win at life. Quitting has been central to every growth spurt I’ve had, and while I didn’t always choose how and when I had to quit, the acceptance that it was quitting time has always served me well. Read more>>

Elena Grinenko | Professional Ballroom Dancer, Judge & Coach

“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” ― Otto von Bismarck. No one does this 🙂 even if it’s a really wise thing to do so. We are all human and we want to experience the process of learning and creating on our own. I will take advice any day, but at the end of the day I have to do it my way, though my own experience. Learn from that advice and may decide it is not for you or modify the advice to fit your view on that subject or feeling to make it your own or better. Read more>>

Hope Ewing | Writer & Co-founder

I really dislike “Fake it ’til you make it.” Starting a business requires a lot of faith and confidence in your ability to achieve big things, but you owe it to anyone who invests or believes in you to be fully transparent. I want to rewrite this as “Believe in your ability to master what you don’t yet know, and others will too, as long as you own it.” Read more>>

Nathan Tetreault | Actor, Writer & Producer

Fake it until you make it. What does that tell you about the person who settles or follows that unwise advice? Consider what it means to “fake it until you make it.” It’s a way to deflect the truth or to fit in with the status quo. You can’t fake hard work. You can’t fake integrity. You can’t fake character. When adversity comes, and it will, you can’t fake the forging process. It’s about the process rather than the end state goal. Think about it in terms of when you climb a mountain. There are many things that can happen when you go into the wilderness on your way up to the summit and then when you reach the summit, you realize there are many other mountains and peaks in the horizon. Keep pressing on and uphold your values, convictions, and principles. Read more>>

Eric Schmidt | Licensed Acupuncturist

I love this question because my professional work is based on all those people who “fall through the cracks” of conventional medicine. In this context we can call Western medicine the “conventional” advice or treatment. Most of the people who show up in my office have seen lots of conventional doctors, but they have been unable to resolve their issue(s). My main specialty is called “Dry Needling”, which is a muscle-based approach to acupuncture. Based on my experience, I would say that conventional medical treatment for muscle pain is pretty limited. The basic Western approach for physical pain is to look for the structural causes. An x-ray or MRI is ordered and a physician will examine the bones and other physical structures to look for the root cause of pain. Read more>>

Dana Ward | Founder & Co-President

When I hear someone say, “fake it till you make it,” I immediately think that the person must be missing out on so many great opportunities to learn more about their industry and grow as a human. The truth is that no one is an expert on everything out there in the world, and to “fake it” suggests that we should be 100% proficient in whatever we are doing. It’s an unhealthy falsity to create a façade of confidence, and it prevents people from discovering their own inner confidence based on learning and evolving their skills, thought processes and interactions with others. I think we should instead strive to have real confidence in ourselves along with humility – regardless of where we are at in the journey to “make it.” Read more>>

Katie Grossman | Ethical Entrepreneur, Songstress, Warrior Ayurveda & Marma Specialist

I grew up with the phrase “knowledge is power.” I ended up spending my early life striving to acquire knowledge. I even gave away my personal power in exchange for knowledge. I have come to learn that power isn’t necessarily found in a book or in someone else’s words or experiences. Power lives inside each and every one of us. I have found that intuition, integrity, truth, patience, and self sovereignty can hold more power than knowledge. I would alter this conventional wisdom to read, “knowing myself is power.” I created ‘Brain Belly Body’ to support people in deepening self connection to find inner harmony. I believe that through balancing our brains, bellies, and bodies, we can access the innate wisdom of these three intelligence centers to harness our true power. Read more>>

Monica Kenyon | CEO

Hard Work Is The Key to Success I 100% disagree with the bit of antiquated advice, “Hard Work Is the Key to Success”. For me, the three main keys to success are: doing something that you are passionate about, collaborating with like spirited people and cultivating a feeling of ease and joy around whatever it is that you are doing. I found a passion for massage at the age of 10 when I began giving massages to family members and friends. After college I began working as an Assistant Director on on film sets which led me down a soul-sucking path. Eventually, I found the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, Sweat Lodges and the Art of Living which allowed me to clearly see that I needed to change my course. When I aligned with my highest self, I learned that I wanted to promote relaxation and to let go of the stressful lifestyle of working on film sets for 16 to 20 hours a day. That was when I reconnected with my passion of bodywork. I began attending networking groups and chamber of commerce meetings to get a better grasp on how Los Angeles, outside of the film industry, worked. I started collaborating with people who were business minded & people who were spiritually centered which allowed me to lay solid groundwork for UNWIND. After creating a strong foundation I focused on generating a client base with the focus of ease & joy which has allowed me to feel happy, joyous and free rather than bogged down with hard work. If I feel that something is being difficult, I practice letting go of it and cultivating the feeling of it working as it is meant to be (not as I want it to be) and then everything becomes easy and it works out really well. I appreciate growing up with the belief that hard work is the only way to succeed and am beyond grateful that I have learned a new way that works better for me, my family & our life-style. Read more>>

Steve Chang | Entrepreneur & Coffee Appreciator

“If you build it… they will come.” or “You can live the dream.” or “if you believe hard enough, it will happen.” or “pursue your passions and all will be ok.” Read more>>

Rachel Kelly

Do what you love. Let me just put it this way: Doing what you love and making money doing what you love are two completely separate skills. That’s why, when people ask me whether they should self-publish their book, I say no. Unless you have a Brad. Brad is my husband, and he is good at making what I love make money. I am not good at that. And if I didn’t have a Brad, but I chose to “do what I love,” I would have no money. See the problem? Now you’re probably not going to get lucky like me and marry a Brad. And I also don’t think you’ll find a Brad for sale on the Internet that’s within your price range. So you’re going to need to get yourself some Brad skills so you can make doing what you love make money. Read more>>

Charles H. Joslain | Creative Director

‘Fake it until you make it’ I’m not sure it’s necessarily ‘conventional’ but it sure is common and overused; especially in LA. I don’t think I could disagree with this more than just by saying: “The only people you will follow will be other fakers and you probably won’t learn a darn thing while you do it.” Read more>>