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

Shaneisha Dodson | Founder of Black Girlz Productions

The most important factor behind my success is my ability not to give up on me. When times get hard, I stay calm and adapt to my environment. I also pray before I make any decisions. Sometimes things look good, but it’s not aligned with my purpose. Therefore, having discernment and strong faith is vital. Read more>>

Andreea Moyes | Baker, Barista, Business Owner

Our vision for Surf Cafea was always about exceptional product and customer service. We have worked hard and diligently on all aspects of our business to achieve this goal: the product and service is easy going, informal but comfortable and welcoming and we work incredibly hard to select, roast and brew the best coffees. We put a lot of attention into every detail – the house made syrups that complement the coffee flavors, the simple, home tasting bakery items, carefully chosen teas… everything we bring into our brand is carefully chosen to meet our brand goals. Our team members get the brand and bring their contribution to make guests feel welcome, delighted with their experience. Read more>>

Cadogan Price | Founder

Our people! I have been incredibly fortunate to surround myself with amazing people that love what we are building together just as much as I do. Our team’s passion for our brand resonates throughout all touchpoints of our work and as a result, this effort is creating memorable experiences for our customers. Running a business is not an easy feat and unfortunately, issues arise. The ownership taken by my colleagues and partners has helped us to continue to grow at an exciting rate while identifying and deploying solutions that resolve growing pains. As a team, we are cementing the future of the business together. Read more>>

Eric Stern | Model Manager

The most important factor in my continued success in the Modeling industry has been to always take the high road when confronted with problems. To succeed in this industry it’s crucial to keep things clear. If you set high standards for what people can expect from you then you can hold people to those same standards; it’ll make people want to work at your level. Read more>>

The Songery | Musical Artist/Singer/Songwriter

Authenticity. No doubt about it, and this answer also answer’s another question you have listed as a starter question, “What have I learned in trying to start this/pursuing it?”… I have to find my message, and stay as true as I possibly can be to it. Integrity is everything to me. When you attempt to make anything of yourself, out on your own, it’s imperative you find your own way, and be your own person. And I’m personally such a people pleaser! But you have to be true to you, because anything else will burn you out, or fade away… but if you stay true to yourself and what you’re about, that fire may ember, but it will never burn out. Read more>>

Mark Kuroda | Photographer

I believe success to be a balance of three things, focusing on the right things, having a great attitude, and doing my best. It’s a delicate balance, there are a lot of people I see hustling, putting in really long days, and making the same mistakes over and over. I see it as I first need to understand the rules of the game, then can proceed forward. Just making good imagery isn’t enough, but who are the people with the hiring abilities, and understanding the structure of how the advertising world works. But that alone isn’t enough… there have been also who mistake being hard edged with being successful, and I find the people who go the furthest, are kind. Kindness allows for others to risk, to do their best work, it also garners trust, and being on the hiring side, I weigh this heavily, do I want to spend the day or week with a kind person or someone steamrolling everybody. Part of having a great attitude for me too is being generous and giving because it’s the right thing to do. Read more>>

Hannah Koo | Floral Artist

Giving my all to whatever task is at hand, whether it be a small order or a grand event.  It doesn’t matter the size of the project, I treat each client with the most attention to detail and try to understand where they’re coming from, whether it’s celebrating a wedding or a milestone birthday, mourning the loss of a loved one or to cheer up a friend.   My goal is to not just create beauty but to evoke emotion and make the experience more meaningful and joyful for the receiver. Read more>>

Ghrimm | Emcee & Entrepreneur

For me, it’s a 50/50 split between consistency and quality. Consistency receives a share of the trophy because today’s fan/consumer expects the same things that grabbed their attention, every time an artist presents something new to the universe, which is certainly understandable. I mean, we all go into experiences wanting to feel a specific feeling. It’s definitely a balancing act between keeping those original vibes and exploring/expressing new versions of us through our art as we are constantly evolving. I make sure to maintain the nostalgia as well as consistently present fresh ideas. That’s where the quality portion comes in to play. I believe we all, whether we’re fans or not, deserve to be presented with quality work no matter what. I’m a firm believer that my brand will never grow if a potential new fan/consumer’s first experience with me doesn’t have a “professional” feel. Nothing I attach the Ghrimm name to can seem “thrown together.” Nothing is winged. Read more>>

Dr. Gemma Goeyardi | CAT,CFTe,MFTA,CWM,CSA,CTA,CFI,CFII,MEII,IGI CEO & FOUNDER ASTRONACCI INTERNATIONAL,LLC GROUP

As the CEO and founder of Astronacci International,LLC (USA and Southeast Asia) group which leading financial advisory services focus into financial asset investment research based on the financial astrology method named ASTRONACCI, trading education, brokerage & investment banking since 2008, we also diversify to the aviation training business, 14DAYPILOT Flight Academy in 2016 The major success key of our business is using a holistic approach of marketing and management which promote “PAY IT FORWARD” Philosophy and give extra miles to our clients. We dont care if we have to lose some money after signing the contract as long as the clients can get their goal and happiness Surprisingly, with this philosophy and commitment, we are growing very fast and get more clients by recommendation Our brand equity rose significantly as a trusted financial market advisory and flight school. Read more>>

Alyssa Nobriga | Personal + Professional Coach

One of the biggest contributing factors to my success has simply been staying true to myself. I’ve found that when I make decisions that are in alignment for me, things always work out better and I go further than I ever could have planned on my own. Staying true to myself also means I make choices that lead me to work I enjoy more, which of course makes me more motivated. There are so many different paths to success, and the right one looks different for each of us. That’s why it’s so important to have tools that help you stay in alignment for what works for you, even if it looks totally different than someone else’s path to success.  One of my favorite tools for this is using my top values to help me stay on track in each area of my life. If something is feeling off in my career for example, I look at my top 5 values and ask myself which one isn’t in alignment in that area. The easiest way to know if something is out of alignment is if you’re feeling frustrated, stressed, or unhappy in any area of your life. Read more>>

Briana Thomas | Sociologist & CEO and Founder of Timeelessbeauty

The most important factor behind my success as an individual would be my dedication and taking a risk on myself. I adopted the mentality incredibly early that if you want something, you must go for it. When you have a goal, you are trying to achieve, you should always take a bet on yourself to get to the next step(s) within your life. Additionally, I do believe that you must see the greatness in you because if you don’t then who else will believe in you?! The success of my brand came at a remarkably interesting time because my brand was birthed January 2020 with an official launch date of June 2020. Within those first six months, our country experienced the pandemic that had surfaced around Covid-19. For many of us, we encountered various lost whether it has been with jobs, lost of loved ones and/or lost of what our “normal” lives used to consist of. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was laid off from my job like many Americans however this idle time away from corporate really planted the seed for Timeelessbeauty. Read more>>

Beatriz Valim | Fashion Photographer

The most important factor behind any success is consistency. For the past few months it has been difficult for me to leave the house and create due to the circumstances. I take care of my two nieces and nephew full time so it was definitely difficult balancing a creative life and being their aunt but I made sure to find a way. I was inspired by a graphic design artist Jesiah Atkinson to start the 365 Daily Art Challenge. I knew once taking up this challenge it was going to help me stay consistent and give me that push I needed to keep me creating. My niece and nephew have helped me with the everyday challenge by helping me set up our at home photoshoots and helping me come up with fun concepts. Being consistent has helped me learn new skills and brush on the ones I already had. Read more>>

Thea & Duane Harvey | Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists & Imago Relationship Therapists

The most important factor behind the success of Harvey Center for Relationships is that what we do works. We work with couples, helping them fall back in love and, more importantly, stay in love. Most people make the mistake of getting relationship advice from their friends and family, which often makes their situation worse. Relationships require us to stretch in ways that are counter-intuitive and frequently bucks conventional wisdom. Doing what feels right often merely reinforces the stalemate. As licensed marriage and family therapists and certified Imago Relationship therapists, Duane and I assist couples and individuals with their unique romantic challenges. We teach them skills that break negative cycles of interacting, improve their communication, and enhance intimacy. Our goal is always twofold: to eliminate the negative and enhance the positive. Our mission is not only for couples to get along but to experience sustained ecstatic union. Read more>>

Judi Fox | Founder of the LinkedIn Business Accelerator

Over the last 20 years, I have consulted for more than 100 Fortune 500 Companies and started 3 businesses which has offered many perspectives of success and failure. And the most important factor for success has been learning how to take fast intuitive action by setting “Feeling Goals.” Instead of doing the annual corporate style goal lists, I shifted to asking myself how I wanted to feel when I achieved those goals. Those feelings became my focus instead of my goals. I knew that I wanted to feel something when I looked back over my life and what I would see as success would be remembering how those moments of achievement felt. My personal brand skyrocketed to hit 3 million views in 8 months and over 100+ interviews, which resulted in a thriving consulting business when I shifted my focus towards “Feeling Goals”. This is why I started a podcast with the tag line “Level up your Business with Heart and Humor.” I believe long-term success comes more easily when you lean into your heart and find more humor in life by thinking about your goals for how you want to feel. Read more>>

Giulia Dunes | Designers & Entrepreneurs

First of all, to answer that question we should define what success is. For us it isn’t about money on the bankaccount, a widely known brand name or only working with the biggest names in the industry. Success means freedom. Freedom to create and collaborate, freedom to dream and image without any boundaries, freedom to be and become who you want too be, fail and succeed. Strangely enough it is also one of the factors that seem to be at stake once your company is doing well and you are ought to be in control over so many different things. As we move forward with our company ‘Range’ we are always in search of the right balance. Always trying to remind ourselves to be free and make conscious choices. Read more>>

Irene Morales | Comedian, Writer & Actor

The most important factor behind my success is how people feel and I want people to feel happy and less alone. If my comedy, in whichever way you experience it, makes you feel better and less alone, then that stand-up set, movie, podcast, project is a success. Read more>>

Charmaine Utz | Bias Coach & Therapist

Being clear about what my brand is and what it isn’t! I chose to approach my work by doing things outside of the box. When I began, people continued to give me advice to steer me in the direction of what they’ve “seen” work. I was very clear on my vision and the uniqueness of my services. I consistently get feedback from clients about how they experience my work and that it’s the reason they continue to work with me. Read more>>

Carmen Margaziotis, L.Ac. | Mindset Coach & Energy Healer

When it comes to my success, mental health is everything. I make poor decisions when my brain isn’t balanced. I lose focus. Motivation feels like it got lost under a pile of laundry. When I’m in a bad place mentally my business decreases. It never fails. What I put out there is directly reflected in the numbers. If I have a million things to do, my mental health still comes first. My mental health and my success aren’t separate. My business succeeds when I feel clear. When I’m in flow, I’m efficient. Work feels fun. Creating time for practices that keep my mind strong take top priority because I know that without them, nothing will succeed. And nothing else is even worth it. Read more>>

Mauricio Abril | Concept Artist, Illustrator & Instructor

I believe the biggest factor behind my own success is the fact that I’ve kept my brand true to itself and didn’t try to change it to mimic something that I saw as being more popular or easier to create. As an artist, it did take me a while to find my voice but once I did, I made sure that the artwork I created never strayed too far from that voice, which can be described as visual storytelling centering around childhood imagination, whimsy and pop culture-related humor. And even within that singular voice, there is a lot of diversity and versatility that while great for the individual artist isn’t always a positive when trying to build a brand based on a streamlined visual style. While I might imagine I could’ve grown my following much more rapidly or even perhaps doubled or tripled it by creating content that was more in-line with the most popular Instagram artist accounts, I believe that the success I did create is because the work I do is different and offers unexpected surprises that are not easily found elsewhere. Read more>>

Ibla Hanna | Creative Strategist

The most important factor? Success is unattainable. You may think I am crazy to think so, but I do not see my brand successful even if it were labelled to be. No matter how many goals you achieve or new projects you innovate, you will always be hungry for more. And this is when you will know that there are always great opportunities of “successes” ready for you to seize. If I call my brand successful, I would have stopped pushing to do my utmost best and finding new creations that are different and unique to bring into this world. As a designer, you need to keep pushing amongst all odds and not settle for “success” because there are endless possibilities ready to take. You need to keep evolving, originating, and solving, and that is when your brand becomes timeless. Read more>>

Kana Ishii | Hair Stylist Based in Beverly Hills

Whether you make it happen or not. I think all the successful people just challenge everything they come up with. It’s important to “just try” and I believe that’s what separates people. We always learn from mistakes since we are born so shouldn’t be afraid of failures. Read more>>

James A. Holmes | Visual Artist

The key to my success is an unwavering commitment to remaining authentic in my work while following my creative path. I believe by remaining open to my sources of inspiration while seeking to be original in my expressions, I will produce relatable work that will resonate with collectors around the world. I rely heavily on my intuition when meeting new people and being presented with new artistic opportunities. I believe that by remaining true to my creative voice, values, while embracing gratitude for every successful painting or achievement, I will manifest the highest purpose in my work and maximize my art life and career. Read more>>

Michele Rivard | Painter and Shop Owner

Over 80% of my annual sales are of DIY painting supplies for home decor projects and furniture refinishing. I am a firm believer in “giving it all away”…my knowledge that is. Most people are apprehensive and hesitant to start a DIY project, especially one that embarks on transforming family heirloom pieces or weighty furniture that has been a staple in homes. I firmly believe in selling confidence. In selling empowerment. In selling inspiration. But, to do that I have to be generous with my knowledge. I spend an average of 30-45 minutes with a new painting customer sharing ideas and information so that they will be successful embarking on their projects! There is nothing more satisfying than watching someone walk through the doors with hesitation than to see them walk out the doors with a box of supplies, a smile on their face and the confidence to tackle their project. Read more>>

Forrest Devitt | Salon Owner | Hair Stylist

Our brand revolves around being a team and educating one another. Each person brings their own distinct set of skills and ideas into the salon. When we act as a unit it benefits the team as a whole and it creates a culture that unique to The Young American. We do not work off a hierarchy like most places. It could be the tenure stylist or a new heir that brings a fresh set of ideas that allows us to grow. We’re a democracy that prides ourselves on individuality. When we hit hard times, we always remind ourselves to reinvest into our stylists and our culture. Read more>>

Nick Lara | Artist Manager & A&R

It’s honestly difficult for me to attest our success to just a single factor… There are a myriad of variables that I think come together to articulate a great equation for success, especially in our industry. Nowadays, it seems as if almost everyone’s an artist/entertainer, producer, influencer, agent, manager, or self-proclaimed A&R so there’s no shortage of advice or “secret/proven tips for success” flying around the internet and your friends’ social media feeds. However, amongst all of the noise and from my own experience, one factor has cut through the noise without fail: people. A cliche I know, but I’ve never found anything to be so remarkably true, particularly while endeavoring to start a creative agency during trying times such as these. When backs are against the wall, one is able to see what he himself and those around him REALLY value. I was fortunate enough to figure this out pretty early on during my time running within the major label sector and managing artists independently. Read more>>

Victoria Theodore | Music Director/Pianist/Singer/

The most important factor behind my success is the balance of my optimism and tenacity. I choose to never give up, and I choose to always find the silver lining. Read more>>

Nicole Nemiroff | CEO of Nicole’s Beauty Lounge & NBL Cosmetics

The most important factor behind NBL Cosmetics, and Nicole’s Beauty Lounge is dedication, hard work, determination, and integrity! What I mean by hard work…late nights, early mornings, lots of research, turning down social events to stay focused, and going in on “off days”. In business, there is never a day off. It took me 10 years until this very day to have everything the way it is now. My goal is to use Nicole’s Beauty Lounge, and NBL Cosmetics as a platform to give back to the community, especially young women, but also inspire while doing so. The success of NBL is to make everyone look, and feel good, not only on the outside, but on the inside too! When you look good, you feel good. Read more>>

Bob Barnhart | Entertainment Lighting Designer

I certainly did not understand this when I stared over 30 years ago. I have come to realize, that at the professional level, your “skill set” is expected. So it is hard to impress people, simply because you can do what you are hired to do. It is your Attitude, Work Ethic and Personality that truly allow you to stand out. It’s the one thing that makes us “different” – not better or worse – unique. For our entire career we are hired based on our reputation. Repetition is reputation. It is the reputation that totally effects our opportunities. Opportunities = Choices. Choices = Control. Control = success. The point being; if you have a lot of choices, then you can choose the direction you want to take your career / company. Again, the more choices we have the more we are in control of our career path. So our focus should be on our reputation; which is what other people think of us. NOT what we think of us. Read more>>

Raw Paredes | Photographer

I don’t know if i am a success yet, I know some people may see it that way. I am very passionate about what I do and I think everyone who has worked or hired me knows it to. I take great pride in bringing them the best images or videos for them. I also think being able to listen to what the client wants and not taking myself so seriously. I make the shoots fun and I keep it open to trying new things. Read more>>

Aedan MacDonnell | Harpist, Recording Artist, Writer, Producer

I believe the most important factor in my success is belief in myself. I also believe that we have to be able to see opportunities when they appear and be willing to see if we can open a door. When Warner Bros. approached me to rent a harp for The Big Bang Theory, they told me the actress was actually going to play the harp. So I told them if they wanted her to look like she knew what she was doing, I could coach her. I became the harp coach on that show. But that would have never happened if I hadn’t seen the possibility and followed through. I believe our thoughts have a great impact on how our lives unfold. Every day I give gratitude that I have a home, food, and enough income to be comfortable. What we focus on is what we bring into our lives. Focusing on lack, what we don’t have, brings more lack. Focusing on what one does have and giving gratitude, brings more gifts into one’s life. I also believe one has to be smart about things as well. I don’t live beyond my means. I’ve worked hard to eliminate most of my debt and only buy something in credit if I absolutely have to. Read more>>

Dr. Meg Haworth | Tanspersonal Psychologist/Holistic Healing Expert

The single most important factor behind the success of my brand has been consistently following my intuition all along the way. This is a talent that I had in spades that I intentionally developed into a skill by taking courses over twenty years ago. I now teach coaches, therapists, and healers how to develop and evolve their intuition while also certifying them in an emotional release technique I created fifteen years ago that removes blocks that inhibit self-trust, confidence, clarity, and can heal the body in the process. Had I not learned those skills, there’s no way I would be where I am today. Read more>>

Srini Perera | Floral Designer/ Owner Kreativehands

Support from family Excellent and dependable team Building a great online presence based on excellent quality of work and trust I attribute that to the following factors: Kreativehands was part time when my twins were growing up. I had the passion to expand, however, juggling family, home life and taking care of my elderly parents was too much on my plate. However, I continued to volunteer my time at the school our twins attended, local church to keep my passion for flowers! When my husbands business went down after 20 years, and the twins graduated from college, I had to step in and decided to rebrand my business . When I rebranded and started my business full time in 2012, I reached out to people that knew me, loved my work and believed in me and loved me as a person! They were the local church I attended the schools our twins attended and friends.. Secondly, even if it was something small I was willing to drive far to make that delivery. Read more>>

Enabelle Yang | Heaven and Earth Collection Founder & Mom

I cannot say Heaven and Earth Collection is a successful brand yet. However, our consultants work hard and taking this opportunity to support their family financially and we as a brand, we are trying to build something here. This brand is trying to give everyone an equal opportunity to make extra money. What I mean by equal opportunity is, Heaven and Collection has designed this brand to help people make extra money without spending tons of money. Also give all the consultants opportunity to work from home. Being a working mom is challenging to many moms out there, including myself. Our kids grow up too fast and I feel that we are missing a lot of joyful memories that we should witness as a parent, but for most of us our reality does not allow us to have that. Life is too short to have a full-time job and be a part-time parent to our children. Therefore, I started hiring consultants because I know how hard it is to not be there for your children when they need us. Read more>>

Wendy McGhee | Wealth Teammate

The most important factor behind my success is perseverance. When I encounter road blocks and want to quit I just tell myself “I’ll quit tomorrow!” And if the same thing happens I say it again. Success comes to confirm that I persevered. Read more>>