There are so many factors that can play a role in determining our results, performance and ultimately our success, but some factors matter more than others.  We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor driving their success.

Teferi Taylor | Photographer & Creative Director

With most brands that are successful, there is an emphasis on customer service and on delivering a quality product. For Tektography, I think that our approach to working with our clients and aligning our vision with the one they present is essential to creating a quality product. My favorite quote about photography comes from Robert Frank which says, ” There is one thing that the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” At Tektography, we are obsessive over trying to capture the humanity and special feeling our customer feels whenever they look at that picture. Read more>>

Jen Hunt | Photographer

Perseverance, authenticity and relatability… These three factors are what have made my business into what it is today. I used to be so worried about what other people thought of me and would try and follow in their exact foot steps as if they were the master mind of all things “perfect” when it came to being a business owner. I learned quickly that owning a business is hard and it will only be enjoyable and easy if you stay true to yourself. I try every day to be better than my last session, my last encounter, my last post. I strive to be fiercely authentic and creatively unique in every session I do – the more unheard of or unusual something is, the more I want to do it. Read more>>

Courtnie Owens | COO & Co-Owner of Smokehouse Cigars

While it’s hard to pinpoint just one factor for success at Smokehouse Cigars, I would have to say that it is simply “community”. Our business consists not only of our local cigar community, but our First Responder community as well. We take great pride and humility in honoring them/their service daily. Because my husband and business partner is a career firefighter of nearly 30 years with Atlanta Fire & Rescue Department, I personally make it my mission to show him and his colleagues that outside of the politics of local government, our brand and its patrons sincerely appreciate how selfless they are in placing their lives on the line for our safety and health every hour of every day. Read more>>

Rodney Cofield, JR. | Content Creator & Artist

The most important factor behind iSmooth Media success would have to be our networking ability, connections, and our relationship building skills. There are tons of talented creators and media outlets out there, but what sets us apart is our customer service. Not only do we guarantee a high quality product, we take the time to actually get to know our clients for a better understanding of the finish product. Be likable, be personable, be trustworthy, and be able to properly communicate! That is the key factor behind our success! Read more>>

J Weary | Creator of Buried N Kulture

The most important factor behind my success is the people who support/promote it. This brand is to feel as a community brand. I want people to really feel apart of something when they wear the product, i want people to know that they have a company that actually cares about the well being of communities across America. Read more>>

Mariya Bentz | Founder of MBM Agency | A Website & SEO Company

One of the main factors that I attribute to my success is mindset. It was the number one thing that accelerated my business growth. In fact, the reason I named my top-rated podcast, “The Marketing Mindset,” is because I truly believe that in order to have a successful business you need two things: the right marketing plan and the right mindset. A mindset is a combination of belief of what you believe in about yourself and the world around you. This collection of thoughts shape your habits and how you make sense of the world. Read more>>

Dove Bennett | Publicist, Author & Serial Entrepreneur

The most important factors that have contributed to my success would be both my refusal to limit myself as well as my willingness to take risks. When planning out my goals and where I see myself in the future, I focus on exactly where I envision myself in my career, regardless of my circumstances, lack of knowledge, or lack of funding. I do not limit my goals based on the fact that I have no idea of how I am going to accomplish them. After I map out my goals, I put myself into a mindset where they will be accomplished by any means necessary, and this is where the risk comes in. Read more>>

Christie Pike & Beth Pike Smith | Maestro of Creativity, Virtuoso of Innovation

Transparency and relatability. We like to use the term “sharing our trip-ups and triumphs.” Social media doesn’t always portray life in a realistic way. It’s easy to share the time you wore that perfect outfit, achieved the ultimate workflow, hustled at the gym, then cooked that Pinterest worthy dinner. But what about the time you didn’t brush your hair and stayed in sweats all day, or cried in the bathroom at work, or skipped the gym and had wine and ice-cream for dinner? The ugly days are not as easy to share, but that’s real life. Read more>>

Asya Watkins, MBA, 6σGB, PMP® | Founder, Women Of Project Management

The biggest contributing factor to the success of my brand is Authenticity. It can be very hard to show up authentically in boardrooms that weren’t necessarily created to recognize or support the leadership and growth of a woman of color. I love the quote, “Sometimes just being yourself is the radical act. When you occupy space in systems that weren’t built for you, your authenticity is your activism” – Ellen Welteroth. A few years ago, I totally rebranded my business –I didn’t just rebrand my business. Read more>>

Rachel Eve Holmes | Freelance Opera Singer; Opera Stage Director, Reinhardt University; Executive Director, Peach State Opera

I believe that the most important factor behind my success is knowing where I belong in the opera world, and staying in my lane. I know that I am a compelling story-teller, and that I am happiest when I am making art with good people in a healthy, kind, and nurturing environment. I always say that if I am making good art with good people, I am living my dream of being a successful opera singer, whether the gig is considered “important” by the world’s standards. I have been lucky to perform all over the world. Read more>>

Nabil Khan | Photographer/Videographer

The most important factor behind my success is the quality of product I deliver to my clients. I give 100% credit to my success to the quality I provide. I never treated any job I got differently. I always wanted to give my clients the top quality that they expect from very best in the industry, no matter what their budget is. Read more>>

Abbey Bruggeworth | Content Creator & Branding Specialist

Saying yes to opportunities, no matter how big or small they are. It is crazy how beginning one relationship with an individual or brand can come full circle years from now. At the early stages of I was eager to get my name out there locally. I said yes to Photoshoot opportunities and collaborations that are coming back now, three years later, to be full business deals. Say yes more and put yourself out there if you want to be successful. Read more>>

Lyssa Pfauth | Owner & Licensed Stylist

Trusting the process of building a brand and a team. I remember when I first started my business there were so many directions I wanted to explore but realizing I couldn’t do it all, I focused on a specialty service and hired team members who had a passion to work. Keeping a small team with the same vision as myself has kept us steadily growing without burnout. Read more>>

Shakeera Springs | Organic Alchemist & Accountant

The success that lies behind So Refreshed is my family. Without them, I would not have had a reason to build a family business. Everyone takes part in So Refreshed being successful. From marketing to operations, every one plays a part. It is part of the reason I have chose not to turn to a manufacturing company to mass produce and distribute orders. It means the world to me to be able to teach my children what entrepreneurship looks and feels like. Read more>>

Chef Tiffany Moore | Chef | Entrepreneur | Veteran

Passion. Passion is the key to my success and I’m sure others can relate. You have to love doing what you do to make your business successful. I enjoy feeding life into people. I enjoy creating memories with them. That’s how my legacy will live on. In the memories of those that have had the pleasure of experiencing my gift to the world. Read more>>

Tera Carissa Hodges | Life Coach, Empowerment Speaker, & Overcomer

Constant growth, learning, and evolving, is the key to my growth and success. So many people get stuck, when evolution is always an option. Think about it! No business that’s been in business for decades would still be in business if they thought the same way, handled business the same way they did in the beginning. Don’t commit to a particular way of doing things. Commit to the outcome. Being committed to growth and a new way of doing things is the key to success. Read more>>

Alicia Flanagan – Mccoggle | Esthetician & Spa Owner

The most important factor behind my success is staying true to myself. Often times we find ourselves comparing our success to others. I can admit I would beat myself up about not being where I wanted to be mainly because I compared myself with someone else. When I began trusting myself and my craft and believing in me, nothing else mattered. Believing and trusting myself is why my brand will continue to be successful in my eyes. Read more>>

Blythe Tierney Dever | Professional Makeup Artist – IATSE 798

I think for me a huge factor has been following the path that the universe lays before me – I’ve never tried to force myself down any certain path, or fit myself into any specific narrative. I just let opportunity open up and followed my feet. For me this guarantees that I will never be somewhere that I don’t truly belong & I find a lot of peace in that. Also, being confident in yourself as an individual & all that you specifically have to offer. Your journey is yours. Don’t compare yourself or try to copy anyone else’s. Someone wise once told me “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.” I find this to be an incredibly clear & true definition of the word. In that same vein, I truly believe the feeling of “personal success” is reached at the intersection of your passion, opportunity (self made or given) & a lot of hard work. Read more>>

Antwain Donte’ Hill: Founder/Artistic Director & Motivational Speaker

The most important factor behind my success or the success of my brand is that I will not exchange my morals nor my ethics to fit into anyone else standards. In the fashion/modeling industry, we become chameleons to the room we want to belong to. Instead of setting trends, we become the same trends we talked about in the rooms we just left. In my tenure of being an entrepreneur, there have been times when I traded my morals and common ethics for positions, contracts, and conversations but I have learned that if I had to do that, I don’t belong in that environment. The object in life is to never stop evolving and always willing to learn more. Read more>>

Shawn Woodall: Founder | Code Elephant

The most important factor behind my success is people. I don’t think I would have had any success without other people believing in me and the vision that I have. I have a very high amount of determination and grit to make things happen, but I realized through this process of becoming an entrepreneur that it’s the connections that I’ve made that keep me going. I have an amazing family that support me as well as awesome friends that help out and support in anyway they can. I’ve even met people that were once strangers that are now good friends and they give me contacts, tell people about my services and encourage me to go further. Read more>>

Diahann Thomas | Personal Chef and Owner

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is absolute integrity. In the quality of my work, and in who I am as a business owner. My Chef services were rendered during the time When families were at work and school. Thus building relationship and trust was one of the most important factors. Providing quality services, building non questionable trust and providing exceptional services has allowed my business to grow over the 5 years by just word of mouth. It’s amazing to know that what your building has people speaking about you to people who have never met you. Read more>>

David Carter | Owner and Executive Chef

The most important factor behind a Carter’s Creations is my team and support system has stepped up and had my back in different areas making This Journey This Dream as smooth as possible helping out and encouraging me along the way helps me to keep pushing my business Carter’s Creations to the next level. Read more>>

Chloe Mondesir | Health Equity Program Manager, Children’s Book Author, Writing Services Business Owner, PhD Student & Blogger

GOD. Read more>>

Jazmine Paige | MUA | Beauty Enhancer

I had to see it mentally first, visualizing the success of my brand and see it as if it is happening now. I matched my emotions and how I feel with that vision and remained in action doing what it takes to bring my vision to life. I believe this is the secret to any success! Read more>>

Bryan Shepherd | Tennis Instructor

Everyone MATTERS!! Never know where next client will come from as NO CAPTIVE AUDIENCE!! Stay engaged…. stay connected !!!! I am a customer service organization!!! Even during group sessions I strive to find a personal improvement item for every group member. I have been told it is the PERSONAL touch in these situation that sets me apart. I make a concerted effort to remember names, and to use them!!! My LOGO is fun and makes people remember ME!!! PERIDICALLY add new items to the inventory…. Dampeners Pens Koozies It’s the little things!!!! Read more>>

Dj Fadelf Jackson | D.J, Realtor, Contractor, Author & Philanthropist

They’re are several factors that have led to my success. For one, pride myself on being a person of value. From the lessons I’ve learned through failures, consistency, and hard work, to humility, patience and an undeniable belief in myself. Add all those factors to honoring and nurturing great relationships, and success is inevitable. Read more>>

Diana Chumley | International Business Administrator| Business & Organizational Development Consultant| Radio Host| Writer

The most important thing I have learned in my years in business is the importance of integrity. Call it old school, but in my experience, to succeed in business you need to keep your word when you give it. This is especially important when your business depends on word-of-mouth endorsements because repeat customers can make or break your business. Although there are some business models in which repeat business is less valued, it is vitally important for most small businesses. The amount of time that I spend with a customer would be the kiss of death to a business that offers no added value, nor is extra attention expected by its customers. Read more>>