Through our work we have been constantly amazed at the incredible things people in every neighborhood are working on. What’s even more exciting is that they all have different stories, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. That there isn’t a single formula for success means that everyone can take their unique set of strengths and characteristics and turn it into a success story. We recently reached out to some folks we admire and asked them what characteristics they feel are responsible for their success.

Alexia Yee | Interior Designer

The most important factor behind my success has been motivation, consistency and passion. Motivation is what makes me feel invincible and keeps me driving the business. Consistency is what keeps me focused and dedicated to my goals. Being consistent has not been an easy journey as it required long term commitment, sustained efforts, sleepless nights and a lot of discipline. To me consistency is the difference between success and failure and being consistent can catapult you to the next level where you live out your wildest dreams. Read more>>

Charmian Stephens | The Ultimate Entrepreneur

The most important factor behind my success is the process of execution. If you don’t execute in business, you will find yourself without a business. You can have amazing ideas all day long and brainstorm about so many different things, but without a plan of execution and a great strategy, you are setting yourself up to fail. Read more>>

Madeleine Goodhand | Founder of Imagine Music Festival

The Iris brand has been around since 1996, 26 years, and the festival has been around for eight years since 2014. Why have we lasted so long? We think our brands appeal because we are authentic and came up from within the electronic dance music community. We are always listening and interacting with our customers, who provide meaningful feedback that we make a priority to implement. Another factor is undoubtedly perseverance and patience. It’s taken many years to develop this small business from a dream to a scalable brand with a proper foundation to continue to grow. Read more>>

Monica Nwagiwe | Portrait photographer & Digital Artist

The most important factor behind my success has been being consistent. In the beginning you don’t have a ton of clientele so during the less busy seasons I invested in myself to become a master at my craft. I took on classes on using different lighting techniques and understanding the camera settings. I also started a series in which I would use what I learned to create different images. Read more>>

Marcus Alland | Music Artist

The most important factor behind my brand would be consistency. Consistency is very important behind any business or brand and it definitely helped me along my journey. Read more>>

Teo | Musician

This is a great question! I’ve found that practicing maximum patience mixed with faith and relentlessness have been the key factors to my success in all of my artistic/business endeavors. Throughout the years, I’ve really honed in on patience and realized that I can’t worry too much about what’s out of my control when it comes to executing my ideas and the results that come with them. I had to learn to detach from the results and be grateful and present during the process and trust that it will all come as it’s supposed to. Read more>>

Dwight Buckner Jr | Pastor, Author, speaker, Entrepreneur, Coach

The most important factor behind my success is God and my faith. For years I had this imagination that if I connected with some influential people that would contribute or be a door for my success. True indeed connections are important but the bigger question is who is making the connection. It had to be God every door that has ever opened for me God did it. In fact many doors I did not want to walk in however, after I got in some of those doors I realized it was God. Read more>>

Dr. Nishan Pressley | Optometrist & Eyecare Influencer

Building a brand is more than just creating a persona or posting pretty pictures. And once I learned that, my brand soared. I had to realize that building a successful brand is more about the people you are serving. How are you helping them? Are you informative, inspirational, motivational, encouraging? The list can go on. Read more>>

Ferdon Hawkins | Actor & Voiceover Talent

Lots of training and coaching over the years from some of the best coaches in Atlanta,Ga. And consistency is key! It keeps you ready for any opportunity that may come at any given time. Read more>>

Missy Jacobs | Makeup Artist

Relatability. I want when a bride walks away from her big day to not only feel confident and beautiful, but I want her to walk away feeling heard, encouraged, empowered and loved. Being relatable and engaging and real with your customers not only comforts them, but encourages them as well. I love it when brides and their bridesmaids tell me that they felt like I was a part of the family or bridal party or group. To me, that is key. As artists we shouldn’t be there to provide a service, we should be there to enhance the day and to do that you must be part of the journey. Read more>>

Dopechè | Graphic artist & Samplist

Trusting myself is something I find that I do a lot. Being so in tune with myself and what I need, that I always go to me first for advice. These past few years or so, I’ve just been getting out my comfort zone and doing things that scare me, but I constantly just dive right in and just trust my gut and the process. I had a 9-5 job and it was a career I could excel in. One day I started drawing again, like I did back in high school and someone requested to buy one of my drawings, but on a bigger canvas. I’ve never painted before nor have I drawn on a bigger scale besides my graffiti book. Read more>>

Malaika Morris | Bling Artist

The most important factor behind my success is my dedication to providing a quality product. People pay good money for my products so i believe in exemplary customer service. I enjoy seeing my customers reactions when they receive their products. I take my bling art very serious. Never provide someone with a product that you wouldn’t purchase yourself. Read more>>

Zavier Fields | Artist/Songwriter

Mostly just staying consistent even when I felt like it wasn’t any progress being made I had to just trust the process and keep going. Read more>>

Tina B | Ceo

Being humble. Appreciate everyone time and creativity. As I always say “No one wake up like this” it’s a lot of work and sacrificing to become successful Read more>>

Melvin Jones | Award Winning Musician & Educator

I think the most important factor behind any success is how you actually ‘define’ your success. Too many people get so caught up in chasing the outward signs or appearances of what they believe represents success such as money, fame, and really impressive photos on social media outlets. Those types of things are nice but tend to only serve as peripheral effects of true success. Historically, the more superficial gains have never been the actual goals for most of history’s most successful individuals, but rather a byproduct of true success. Read more>>

Andi Banks | Independent Singer, Songwriter, and Musician

Important factors of success for me are a solid team and good work ethic. I wouldn’t be where I am without the team I have backing me. An artist can only do so much on their own, and I realized that very quickly. When I first started on my journey as an independent artist all I knew to do was create and put that creation out for people to hear. I was producing, writing, recording, and was exhausting myself. I didn’t have the proper resources that I needed to put out the quality of sound that I wanted, and was lost with what to do next. Not only was I at a standstill on my own, I was so uneducated on the business side of music and how much more went into being an independent artist. Read more>>

Emma Okyere | Creative Architect | Founder & CEO of Modern Natured

Passion is definitely the most important factor behind my success. My passion is to drive out Modern Natured’s mission through creativity, innovation, collaboration, and Community. Modern Natured is a black-owned beauty retailer of cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, haircare, aromatherapy, and beauty accessories. In addition to our own products, We support other beauty brands by housing their products on our shelves through our Co-retail Program Read more>>

Maquita Eaton | Podcaster & Actress

Consistency and curiosity. Success is pretty subjective but to me success is defined as making an impact and uplifting others. It can take years to make an impact but by being consistent you increase your odds of hitting that target, Curiosity keeps me thinking outside of my limited experiences and allows me to consider others points of view. You can’t uplift or impact people only thinking about yourself. Read more>>

Courtney Zachery | Graphic Designer

I believe the reason my business has been so successful in such a short period of time is due to the customer service I provide my customers. I treat every customer I have like they are my only customer. I only take on a certain number of clients per month to ensure I am able to give each of my customers the level of service they deserve. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and more referrals. Read more>>

Tywanna Smith | Professional Athlete Business Manager & Best-Selling Author

First of all, the most important factor behind my success is my faith in God. In addition, the success of my sports management brand has been heavily influenced by my ability to cultivate relationships. Some people confuse “connections” with “relationships.” When you connect with people, you simply become aware of them, what they do, and how to reach them. However, when you start and build genuine relationships, you enter a more intimate form of collaboration. As many people know, relationships are critical in the sports industry. Read more>>

Marquita Chi Robinson | Chilitesmanagementpromotions CEO/OWNER

Chilitesmanagement & Promotions company started in March of 2019 was first based in Saint Louis Mo. Now residing in Chicago IL. Chilitesmanagement & Promotions is a company that manages artists, models, comedians, producers. Behind the success of my brand is a deep love for art. Music creators are artist and it’s the highest form of reality expressed in words. To speak to the heart of people you have to love and like people and you have to understand that people are only people. I have compassion for my artist; Read more>>

Louis Heriveaux | ASAP-LIVE-MUSIC Representative

Well you would think in my field the music would come first, but people who handle their business I believe make success easier to achieve. The best players are not always the most successful, I would even say most of the time they are not the ones at the top. While creatives are being creative there are business people somewhere behind the scenes making more than the artists themselves. Read more>>

3 friends TALK Dr. Courtney, Dr. Leah, & Dr. Sylvia | Doctors of Pharmacy & Podcasters

Our friendship of 20 plus years definitely has been the most important factor behind the success of the 3 friends TALK brand. Attending and finishing pharmacy school together gave us the expertise to start our own podcast. 3 friends TALK is a weekly podcast featuring fun and authentic healthcare conversations, with a twist! From physical and mental health to creativity and culture, the show delivers unique stories and useful insights. Read more>>

Liz Shivley | Licensed Aesthetician & Certified Phlebotomy Technician

Maybe it sounds cliché, but I have to credit hard work, dedication, and perseverance for all of my success. There were many sleepless nights involved. There were times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. What kept me going is the vision I have of who I wanted to become and what I wanted to be. Read more>>

Dominiquè Mays | Master Cosmetologist & Healthy haircare specialist

In being a Master Cosmetologist I believe that one of the most important factors behind my success would be giving my absolute best to each and every person that sits in my chair. When they sit down it’s more than me just doing their hair, it’s also about building a relationship with the client. Through conversation I’m able to give them the insight of what can work best for them based on their lifestyle, hobbies, things they like or dislike. Giving my best also includes making sure I take continuing education classes and take certification classes to make sure I can serve each and every client to the best of my ability. Read more>>

Christopher Serrano | Owner & Artist

Honestly, I’m going to have to say God. When I first found this skill set I have, I didn’t know what to do with it. I had to seek guidance from my spiritual leader to gain the confidence and to understand how i should move. After prayer and seeking answers, my spiritual leader came to me and blessed me with the words of encouragement to move forward with my business and that God blessed my hands and my vision to create amazing art. And in the same conversation, she gave me my business name… “Restor2glory Kicks”. Read more>>

Birdbrainsnyc | I quack myself up

Create what you like and not what you think people want because art is subjective and different to everyone. If people like what you make, they will naturally gravitate to it. Read more>>

Tiffany Worthington | Marriage, Motherhood, & More

Authenticity. What you see if truly what you get. No fluff but of course a little filter (lol) if you know what I mean (winks). I want women of all ages who stumble across my page to see “true life” in every aspect that I share. From my interactions with my girlfriends, what motherhood looks like for me as a true boy mom, and marriage with my “college sweetheart” all while being a black successful career woman who has had her share of hardships. You can have it all, whatever that may look like to YOU! Read more>>

Kelly Strawinski | Photographer & Filmmaker

I think the biggest factor behind my success is being passionate about learning new things. My never-ending thirst for knowledge has paid off more times than I can count. Working in video, the industry and the technology is constantly shifting and growing in new directions. Staying curious and trying new things has enabled me to move with the market as well as have a bigger picture of what other creatives are doing. Read more>>

Christopher Harvey | Musician/Saxophonist

The most importing factor leading to my success is continually seeking God first and remain humble. Being spiritually rooted continues to open my mind and heart to so much becoming a very humbling process for me! This allowed me to come to the realization that my aspirations as a musician were mine and mine alone. I got what I gave at the end of the day. If I didn’t spend time honing my craft, then it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Read more>>

Samirah Muhammad | Marriage and family therapist

The most important factor that contributes to my brand is keeping hood energy. All my products are hand made and I only make my products when I’m in a positive mindset so that I can transfer that energy into my products. I believe the second part of my brand being successful is that all the products are vegan or organic. My products are meant to be healing as well as pleasing to the skin. Lastly my brand is successful because every post and or picture is catered to my beautiful black people. Read more>>

Candace Barclay | Content Creator, Personal Chef & Foodie

Not being afraid to see if the grass is on the other side, take that leap of faith. While other people would rather stay in the valley, or make a plan of how to climb the mountain, I say “f**k it, let’s just do it. We’ll learn along the way… but the longer we wait, the more likely we could miss a divine moment.” Read more>>

Melissa Giles | Family Photographer & Newborn Artist

Ever hear of the phrase, “it’s not personal, it’s business?”. I never agreed with it. With my business, everything is personal. From meeting with my clients, helping them with the tiniest details from outfits to hair and make up, or the art pieces they want within their home. It’s all personal. I always love speaking and consulting with my clients. From conversing with them, I get to know them and their dynamic on a deeper level. This helps me to understand how to better photograph them and capture those key moments that families treasure. It’s more than clicking a button- I like to create experiences. Read more>>

Mbele Kongo | Initiated African Traditions Priestess, Certified Reiki Master, Spiritual Mentor, Zumba Instructor, Community Volunteer, Energy Healer seen on RHOA

Growing up, I always loved trips to different kinds of spiritual and metaphysical shops. It would tweek my interest in studying the arts and paths of enlightenment, traditions, cultures and ancestral veneration. My vision of having my own became a dream, then a passion and then fruition. Oya’s Market { for shopping} offers authentic handcrafted products for your spiritual endeavors. Custom made shrine decor and online modules for Mbele University help and teach you to tap into and turn up the magic within you. Read more>>

Kevin Atkinson | Producer/Brand Clothing Designer/Brand CEO

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is a multiple of things. Integrity & quality Read more>>

Kyle’jacquea (KJ) Hair | CEO/Owner Debonair Decor

The most important factor of my brand success, is my drive and will to go to my mother and brother who recently passed away. I kind of believe if you believe in yourself, and grind you can will you way into a good space, the pain of them passing me as pushed me beyond measure the hurts has caused me to dig deep and tap in with my creative abilities. I feel like if you create something from a place of brokenness and authenticity it will grow and evolvei into something incredible, and if you keep going while it hurts at some point the people will come. Read more>>

Solomon Franks | Rap Artist/Actor

Time Management Consistency Read more>>

Chelsey Green | Lead Designer & Co-Owner

I believe the most important factor behind the success of All Custom Carpentry is being responsive. The ability to make connections with people in our community and build relationships past just providing carpentry work is so rewarding. We love people and conversing with our clients on topics outside of their home renovations has helped us to build rapport and enhance our networking capabilities. We have been told by many clients that they chose to do business with our company because we are responsive and show up. Read more>>

Brianna Patterson | CEO of NyamByPeppa

The most important factor behind AUC J’ouvert’s success is the desire to educate our people about Caribbean culture. Bringing J’ouvert to the Atlanta University Center has broaden the perspectives of West Indian heritage amongst many students and has even allowed some to find a new love for the culture with a deeper understanding. When discerning “black culture” at HBCU’s, African and Caribbean culture play a pivotal and indispensable role. Read more>>

Ty O’Banner | Content Creator & Social Media Growth Strategist

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is CONSISTENCY. When it comes to posting consistently and posting quality content I ensured I stayed on top of it. I knew what it felt like to be consistent with sports and that feeling of winning. However, when it came to business I struggled finding my lane. I found a mentor, @MarkTheBadGuy, who really helped me with the tools and strategies to create my brand from scratch. Read more>>

Khulula | Fine Artist

The most important factor behind my success is the fact that I love and I’m passionate about painting. I love creating art. It’s all me being authentic and I think others see and feel my passion through my art. Read more>>

Karson Norris | Hairstylist

I believe majority of my success has come from pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In turn it sounds like a very typical thing to say, but when it’s reality, it’s different. Taking a jump and trying something new is vital to growth in yourself and your business. Over time I’ve learned if I don’t do things that scare me, I’ll never get anywhere. Every time I step out of my comfort zone and do something that scares me, it always pays off. Pairing this with determination and hard work has helped get to where I am today, however I’m still growing. Read more>>