We asked some of the city’s hidden gems to tell us about what they feel is the most important factor behind their success.

Yuno Imai | Writer & Children’s Book Author

There are two main habits that helped me get where I am today – staying motivated and being productive. As a writer and author, I spend a lot of my time alone. Keeping myself motivated help me get focused and stay on track. 
I make a point to review written goals to remind myself of where I’m headed. I also turn to music, films, yoga, reading inspiring stories or petting my cat for a little motivation pick-me-up. I believe in working “smart” and there is a difference between being busy and being productive. It’s easy to waste time on miscellaneous tasks and feel like you had a long, busy day, but that doesn’t mean you accomplished something meaningful. I often ask myself, “am I just being busy or being productive?” Being productive can always get you closer to your goals. Read more>>

Jes Workman | Photographer & Filmmaker

The old “throw a bunch of sh*t at a wall and see what sticks” has served me well since day one. Opportunities won’t just land at your feet. You have to put yourself out there and ask for it. Send 15 emails a day. DM 10 people a week that you think would “never even see it”. Odds are that eventually someone will respond and give you a shot. Sitting back and complaining that it’s not working out is the only absolute way to not get your business off the ground. Keep pushing forward! Read more>>

Eva Gardner | Bass Player & Singer-Songwriter

I feel like one of the most important habits to my success has been being prepared! I learned early on that being prepared So much of what we do and how we carry ourselves depends on our confidence levels. Being prepared removes fear and anxiety and allows us to function at our best! Read more>>

Heather Thomas | PHYTness Professional

Over my lifetime, I’ve always been in search of different tools and tactics to help me succeed. For me, success as HT Physique, PHYT Pro and owner of the PHYT brand, ultimately comes from having productive days where I feel as though I’ve got a lot done, efficiently. Being an independent contractor in the health and wellness/influencer industry means I’m doing a lot of different things. A typical day for me includes training clients via zoom, working on training programs, and meeting with other business owners, and content producing. Most of these “to dos” are self induced, meaning there is no other party involved. This makes getting work done difficult because there is no “set schedule” to follow. No boss to look over my shoulder and hold me accountable….It’s just me and the computer. Read more>>

Kase Peña | Writer, Director & Filmmaker

I’m not sure it is a habit, but I am driven by hard-work ethics mentality and see firsthand how that has helped me get to the place in which I find myself today. I am a Trans woman of color from inner city New York, the offspring of immigrant working class parents from the Dominican Republic. I have absolutely no access to privilege of any kind, so my only option for me to get ahead, my entire life, has been to always work hard, always remain focus. Read more>>

Clare Cameron | Executive Director

I really believe in the adage “if you don’t succeed at first, try and try again”. I have always been persistent. It is in my nature, I can’t help it. But the secret is never to let that person who you are tiring to persuade, feel as though they are under any pressure, or that you even want anything from them. There is a subtle way of being persistent, Knowing when to call them and when not to call them. This has helped me enormously throughout my career and I have been able to sign up sponsors and get donations for the nonprofit I work for. Read more>>