We asked some brilliant folks from the community to tell us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them.  We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Eliza Bacot | Nurse Practitioner, Certified Wellness Practitioner, doTERRA Wellness Advocate

Building my business, The Organic South, has been one of the most valuable growth exercises in my life. It has grown me in ways personally and professionally that I couldn’t have imagined. I would say the most important lesson it has taught me is to show up big and leave a lasting legacy. You only get one chance in this life to leave your mark, to impact others and to do what makes your heart sing. Even in times when I didn’t know if I was going to be successful what became the most important value for me was helping people and following that desire to make sure my work never feels like work. What is interesting about this is as I leaned into that passion the success continued to follow like a positive feedback loop. Read more>>

Yolanda Darnell | Wedding, Branding and Portrait Photographer

My business has taught me that you can never learn enough about your craft. I’m always studying magazines, YouTube videos and other photographers. I love seeing how other photographers and film makers create and process color, shadows and light. I’m very inquisitive. I take little pieces from those I admire and incorporate them. It keeps me fresh and on my toes. Read more>>

Kendra Greene | Makeup Artist

The most important lesson that my business has taught me is that people always gravitate to who they feel is genuine. No matter what services or products that you provide, you are your brand and people will patronize who they feel relates to them the best. Read more>>

Toni Chiarini | Personal Trainer

Be genuine and be valuable. Your clients will only respect you as much as you respect yourself. In the beginning, I was a little timid about running my business. I was scared to raise my prices, to hold my clients accountable if they violated our written agreement and for that reason, I “let things slide” at times and ended up giving a lot of my time for free. Now, I realize that I was doing a disservice to myself and to my clients. By not creating a clear process and set-in-stone policies, it garnered confusion from customers and turned me into a freebie workhorse. If you want to succeed as a business owner, you must first respect yourself as a business owner. This means respecting your time, value, and expertise. Don’t waiver on the things that are important to you. Read more>>

Nikki Turner | Founder & Managing Director

The most important lesson that I have learned in business is that failure is part of the journey. In practice, not every relationship with a client will quickly materialize into a profitable outcome. Some clients do not have the capital to immediately pay you at your asking rate, but they may present an opportunity for you to sharpen your skills in an area that can take your business to the next level. Every failure should be leveraged as a lesson instead of a rejection. This is especially important for us at The CFO District because it gives us more empathy and coaching capabilities when delivering our services to tech entrepreneurs during the fundraising stage. Read more>>

Courtney Taylor | Educator

G. Read more>>

Sara J. | Lifestyle Writer & Podcast Personality

Vision. I know its simple and may even sound basic, but vision is the key to anything that we do in live. When I started my first business, I had a lot of energy, passion and great ideas but I lacked vision. When I started working in corporate america, I had a lot of nice outfits, passion and energy, but I lacked vision. I lacked vision for the things that I wanted out of the company and the first business I started. I thought all I needed was passion, but I quickly learned that was not so. In business, we are asked to do things that may not line up with our goals, but without vision how will we align ourselves. I truly believe in counting up the cost with anything we do, and with that it is imperative to create the vision. Read more>>

Jarrett Christian | Business Owner | Speaker | Believer

In life in general, a lot of us need the co-signs, approval, praise or reassurance of others to empower us to go after our dream or goal 100%. We feel we need that backing or extra confidence that someone’s support may offer. If you need those things to go after your dream, you truly haven’t found your dream yet. Your passion and drive will wake you up and energize you daily once you’ve found your purpose. Don’t rush or force it. It’ll be the most genuine feeling you’ll experience. Read more>>

Leana Martinez | Creator of Lele’s Project

Hands down, the most important lesson Lele’s Project has taught me is; Be authentic. For most of us, the journey to follow our creative hearts is filled with highs and lows. My many lows in Lele’s Project’s early stages left me jaded and confused on what my path would be. I would be consumed with anxiety, uncertainty, and an overwhelming sense of being lost. In a sense, I did lose myself and my passion for a time. A hiatus from Lele’s Project, self-realization, acceptance, and letting go is what saved me. I knew that in order to continue pouring out into the community, I needed to constantly fill myself. The word authenticity manifests itself in many different ways to me. Authenticity is knowing no one else is me and that is my strength. Read more>>

Ashley Deka | Fitness Instructor and Accountability Coach

One of the most important lessons in business is that those closest to you are not always your means to money. Leave your expectations at the door and find long term clients. Your friends and family are great to help spread the word, but do not expect them to spend money. Often people assume they should receive free services or discounts and when you are starting a business or even when you become established your price is your price. If you have long time clients and your prices increase (which they should) you can always make exceptions for those who have proven to be consistent and support your business. Starting a business is not easy it requires long nights and not much pay if at all in the beginning. No one asks large brand names for the “friend” discount so you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that either. Read more>>

Jessica Durrant | Illustrator

That believing in yourself and the life you dream of creating is the key to success. Once you begin to visualize what you want, and see it as a reality the universe will bring it to you. But it takes constant self-love and self-belief despite the rejections, failures and negativity you may experience. When you combat those low periods with continued self-affirmations coupled with hard work anything is truly possible. Read more>>