One of the most important lessons we learned is that our lives and our businesses will teach us along the way. We don’t need to know everything on day one because the challenges we face on day will likely be ones we are already equipped to handle. As we overcome challenges we get better and better and as the challenges increase in difficulty so too does our ability to tackle them.

We asked members of the community that we admire to share important lessons their business or career has taught them and have shared some of those responses below.

Connect Zero | Artist, Model & Visionary

The most important lesson I was taught during my career is “you can’t pick your hit song”, and what that means to me is, you can’t hand pick what will and will not relate to the masses. Your fans and support system will ultimately gravitate to what makes them feel more secure, my biggest song as of right now is a song I released Sumer 2015 called “Mobile Pharmacy” and I don’t even like that song, I made that song in 20 minutes while visiting family in Portland Oregon, basically the thought process for the creation of that went like this; “drug music is popular right now, Future is coming off his 3-peat album series with songs like “Codeine Crazy” & “I Serve The Base” Makonnen had “Wrist” & “I Don’t Sell Molly No More” so I thought to myself, all of this music coming out is extremely drug induced, I wonder if I can make something like that…” and I did, thus Mobile Pharmacy was born. Read more>>

Sandtereia Robinson | Singer-Songwriter & Model

Through the years I have learned that there will be times when obstacles, trials, and errors may try and discourage me from living out my passion and whether I’m singing, modeling, or anything else I must always push through and consistently work to be the best version of myself because it will all be worth it when least expected. Read more>>

Chyann Hawk | Owner of You Cute Couture

The most important lesson my business has taught me is to stay consistent. As we all may know running a business is never easy. It can be challenging especially during the pandemic. I had to change my way of marketing, my way of purchasing new merchandise all while making safety top priority. It is always important to keep going when your operating your business. I would get discourage at times due to the low sales and the slow process of my items being shipped to me. What helps me stay consistent with my business is to keep posting on all of my social media channels. Making sure my audience is informed and kept up to date, I have to tell myself that just because business isn’t going exactly as I may planned its ok and to keep grinding. I also learned that the more your potential customers don’t see your products they will forget about your brand. Read more>>

Ugeneis Hines | SAG/Aftra Actor & Stunt Performer

To have patience and perseverance, In my profession you will get lot’s of No’s before you get the 1st Yes. But more importantly stay prepare and ready, if you not prepare when the moment comes to audition, the chances of future audition’s is slim. First impression is everything, dont blow it unprepared. Read more>>

Rosemary Newcott | Theatre Director

Never discount the gifts possessed by the creative people you encounter on a daily basis. Theatre, by it’s nature, requires you to engage with others. The quality of that engagement is directly related to the success of the product, whether it be a production or a workshop, class or marketing meeting. Listening to and truly considering what another artist or professional or audience member says or does can lead to true revelation. Choosing how to incorporate or reject a new idea is another lesson I keep challenging myself to master. Read more>>

Dorian Jordan | Model For The Rya Brand

To just put in the work and to listen to those with more experience. I think a lot of people see the end game and all the possibilities that can come, but lack the planning to get there. They want to jump and be great the next day and that’s just not feasible. I’ve also never been afraid of constructive criticism. I can listen to others, accept the advice, and adjust myself so that I can be better. Read more>>

Rachael Popovici | Wedding Photographer

The most important lesson my business has taught me is that if there is a will, there is a way. I was so discouraged when I began by business with few to none of my friends, family, and colleagues taking me serious or even encouraging my pursuit of photography. When I would share things in regards to my photos lots of people often changed the subject or had negative words to share. Naturally I began to distance myself from negative people and find other creatives who understood my passion and struggles. I had to push myself to follow my passion because no one else was going to. I got my very first client by going downtown and stopping by every shop and asking if they needed photos. After spending a couple hours hearing ‘no’ I stumbled upon a business owner who wanted family photos. Long story short, I never sat back and hoped clients would find me. I spent hours asking local businesses, messaging random people online, and NEVER giving up on myself. Read more>>

Cece Carpio | Visual Artist/Cultural Innovator

Through my artistic practice, I learned that not only do I have to be creative about the products I’m producing, but how to also be creative on how I live my life, and inevitably, how my work engages with it. Creativity and innovation come in all art forms embedded in our everyday lives- how we wake up in the morning, how we prepare the food we eat, how we engage with our communities, etc… I’ve learned to gauge that I’m in the right path when my work fits in with my everyday rituals, and something that can be enjoyed and reflected in with friends, family and strangers alike. Creativity does not stop when I stop painting a wall, it is within the breath that I take and within the dreams and vision of the world we are transforming. Read more>>

Anthony Shannell Jr | Singer, Songwriter/ Director, Dancer, Actor

That you have to create the life you want. You pray then go get it trusting that everything will just fall into place and in usually does. Read more>>

Toi Kyles | CEO & Designer of Indigoz Shoes

The most important lesson my business has taught me is to believe in myself and when you catch wind of a opportunity for your business do not wait for the opportunity to be concrete prepare for it now so your always one step ahead and always prepared when the opportunity is presented to you. Read more>>

Colleen Cruz | Technology Management & Amateur Photography For Advocacy

This project has taught me patience and the beauty of imperfection in a big way. When you are photographing dogs (and children as well), you never know what you are going to get. Some are fantastic with a treat and a pose, others take a little more work. The humans of the shoots get frustrated if their dog is not cooperating and then soon the dog will feel the stress and things just get more challenging. I never want that, so we will change things up and try a different approach. For this reason I have learned to be patient and to also get what I can get. This project is not always about the perfect shot, sometimes it’s the imperfect shot that is what truly shows the dogs personality. Read more>>

Veronica Toscano de Leger | Goverment Liaison For The State Guanajuato, Mexico

Throughout my career, I have learned that with perseverance and humility, there are no limits to what one can achieve!. Read more>>