Webster doesn’t know everything. Some words can’t be defined by a dictionary. Rather they are defined by our values, ethos, and principles. We asked hidden gems from the community about how they define success and have shared their responses below.

Dr. Shekina Moore | CEO, Formidable Brand LLC

Authenticity has been the key to my brand’s success. It is the #1 comment I get from women! From an early age, I struggled with confidence and this notion that women were less than. This struck a nerve with me and going against this notion fueled my purpose to empower women with confidence to be whatever and whomever they choose. I have spoken out against gender oppression and disempowerment since 1992, penning my first published article, “Blocking Out the Gender Gap”, while a high school student. This article garnered the attention of the National Press for Women. So, even then I was thinking about what I wanted the future to be like for women! As a kid I knew I needed to advocate for women, and I have been doing so ever since. My life’s work focuses on championing confidence in women. I believe confidence is the great separator and, so, it permeates through everything I touch. Read more>>

James Camp-Woods | Streetwear Influencer/Creative Director/Stylist

The most important factor behind my success and future success is being perculiar. The world has a way of persuading individuals into comforming to the normalization of stigmas and stereotypes. The truth is, be yourself and love being the person you are meant to be. Read more>>

Marc Dub | Recording Artist

The most important factor for me is having a genuine passion for what I do. I really love music. I enjoy the creative process behind making it. I enjoy writing, recording and everything that comes along with it. I enjoy sharing the music with the world and I love to perform my music for other people. I believe consistency is definitely key in the music industry. And the only way to stay consistent is to truly love what you do. Read more>>

Cole Banks | Founder/CEO

The most important factors behind our business are our customers and our ability to execute. On average our customers book at least two of our travel experiences. This speaks to our companies ability to execute the plan we present to them several months in advance. Read more>>

Justin Harris | Content Creator + Actor

I would have to say one the biggest factors behind the success of my brand is authenticity. So many people put up a façade of what they think people want to see, but so many of them burn-out or fail because of this. I’ve always been my self, never tried to fit in a specific mold or a particular niche or demographic, I’m me and my audience is built around that. I would have to also attribute long-term objectives as another big factor behind the success of my brand. Whether it be a Podcast, Merchandise Line or Web-series I always have goals set and where I see the project going long-term. If I can’t see long term goals or objectives I usually won’t do the project. Read more>>

Nicole Renee Ryan | Artist – Imagined Places & Misremembered Spaces

Interestingly and perhaps ironically, ignoring the business end of my art practice while I am painting, has actually been quite successful. The most wonderful thing for me in creating my artwork is that when I make work for me, meaning paintings that I do just because I find them interesting or challenging vs making work that I think will “sell,” these paintings seem to also be more popular. And in doing this, I am constantly experimenting, exploring and reinventing the landscapes I make. The imagined landscapes have become over time, more abstracted in a blocky colorful and minimal way. And I am so lucky that creating these weird little worlds also capture the imagination of my collectors. Read more>>

Christina Perry | Interior Designer/Jewelry Artist

Having been a self-employed artist and interior designer for over 25 years, what feels most meaningful when I look back is in how my work effects people. Whether is it is enhancing a family’s life by decorating their home, or commemorating life’s miles stones with designing a custom ‘update your heirloom’s piece’, I am so grateful to have purpose-filled work. People work with me because I have an innate sense of style, I am insightful, intuitive, have keen eye for detail, and I am thorough and reliable – everything that is expected of a professional. I am realizing what is uniquely special about my approach is that it invites people to explore their own creativity and learn to see and be more creative themselves. Read more>>

Wren Breen | Graphic Designer & Owner of Wren Design

Community. I’ve found myself in the really lucky position of being immeshed in a scene of entrepreneurs, small business owners, other creatives, and just generally good people who support one another. I’m always getting tagged and referred by friends and clients who support my business and believe in my work. I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in! Read more>>

Rose Shields | Dance Artist

I think the most important factor behind my success as a Dance Artist has been my desire to keep learning new things, new techniques and ways to approach dance training, choreography, and performance. I also love to read and learn about topics that inform the creation of my work. Right now in particular I’ve been learning so much about the history of our country’s politics and how it has evolved for better and for worse over time. I also enjoy using my love for science and math to inform how I approach building dances and to use as topics for choreography. Embodying the mathematical idea of a manifold has been challenging and fascinating in my most recent choreographic work by the same name “Manifolds.” Read more>>

Candice Macon | Philanthropist & Business Owner

I feel that humility is the most important factor behind the success of my personal and professional brand. I believe humility is vital to the development, growth and the longevity of a successful business. For me it’s important that I remain grounded in humility first as an individual because I feel that your personal attributes have a direct impact on your work ethic. A dedicated individual with integrity, who demonstrates balanced authority, and who acknowledges and respects the collaborative efforts of others (all while remaining grateful) is the key ingredient to a successful business manager. It is extremely important to me that humility and integrity always remain the most important factor behind the success of our non-profit organization. Read more>> 

Leah DeVon | Executive Producer/Network Partner

The team I’m blessed to work with is absolutely the most important factor behind my success. It’s quite incredible when you are surrounded by people who see your vision and believe in you, doors of opportunity begin to open. The Indie Style TV with Leah DeVon team consists of such talented people who are all successful in their own right. My supervising producer Myki Bobo is a television veteran who has 2 Emmy nominations for her work in television. My guest coordinator Warren McIntosh has a successful celebrity eyewear line with his wife Tiffany. Our show photographer Todd Barron has a thriving photography business, and the show videographer and producer Cymande Coburn is gifted in his craft and is there to make sure I know what to do from the beginning to the end of our live tapings. Read more>>

Amos Johnson | Pastor of Church for Entrepreneurs

Besides the leading of God our biggest driver of success is “focus.” Lack of talent is not the reason many people are unsuccessful in entrepreneurship. The real culprit is a lack of focus. Without focus, success is slow at best and nowhere to be found at worst. Most people believe that hard work is the key to success; however, many of us know many people who work hard, but success is far from them. This is because hard work is wasted energy if it’s not focused on a specific endeavor over a significant period of time. Read more>>

Lavinia Asante aka Mrs. Vee

The most factor behind my success was sharing and teaching others to level up in their Fashion business by sharing the information that I have with complete strangers across the globe and helping them become successful and having a financial break threw for their families. People should understand that success comes when others you come in connect with become successful that what has made my brand and name successful. Read more>>

Renee Lowe | Executive Brand Manager

The key factor behind my success is i put God first. Everything else falls in line after that. God, Family. Business. Always in that order. I am pretty relentless when it comes to completing tasks and getting projects done. I push my clients as well, even if they don’t like it. After a project or specific campaign is done, they understand why I nudged them out of their comfort zone. This is the reason clients stay for long periods of time or one-off clients continue to come back for peridoic consulting. I always want to make sure that I am accountable and I try my best to keep company with other people who do the same. If you are looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear, I am probably not the person for you. LOL! I’m tough, but lovable. Read more>>

Joe Havasy | Illustrator and fine artist

I believe the most important factor for success as an artist is making quality work. I strive to make sure every item I ship is free from defects and is shipped securely. I always include a personal thank you note, with an original sketch. I even do this for single sticker orders. Read more>>