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.

Cayla Jones – Burden | Graphic Artist, Illustrator & Web Developer

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain I’d honestly have to say the most important factor behind my past, current and the future continued success of my business is my love and passion for what I do. I take pride in my work and my main goal is to ensure that my client is 100% happy during and, most importantly, at the completion of our project. I genuinely enjoy creating for different brands and personalities. It’s more of an outlet than anything else can ever be for me. Daily motivation for me will always be the reactions I get every time I create someone’s vision and bring it to life. I have a unique, complex yet divine outlook and I spread that in every piece of art I make. The most important factor behind my own success is my drive. There isn’t anything I believe I can’t do and that’s makes me unstoppable as an artist, an entrepreneur/ business owner, and most importantly , a young black woman. Read more>>

Jake Evans | Attorney

Results. While ‘results’ seems like a simple answer, it is not. Every problem involves a unique set of circumstances. Achieving results within those differing circumstances requires different skill sets, strategies, and disciplines. Some individuals achieve results consistently within only one type of circumstance. As an example, a football team can consistently win games against teams with a weak secondary; a politician can relate to a small crowd, but never a large audience; a lawyer can win scorched earth cases, but never win those involving diplomatic resolutions. The most proficient individuals consistently achieve results regardless of the circumstances. To do so, a person must be highly adaptable, have a highly diverse and versatile arsenal of skills and talents, and must be able to prevail in the face of unknown and new situations (which is alone an impressive feat). Read more>>

Jill Doty | Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Most entrepreneurs don’t make it past the 3-5 year mark. As a business owner for nearly 7 years, I guess I must have done something right? If I think back to where I started vs. where I am now, my reason and driving force for my success has shifted completely. As a young twenty-something with a background in psychology working in higher education, I found my lifelong interest in photography sparked once again after shadowing my wedding photographer (Lacey Gabrielle Photography) for the sole purpose of wanting to learn how to use my new camera I intended to take on my travels. Suddenly, telling people what to do and capturing that moment and seeing what worked and what didn’t for couples was a rush I had to have again and again. Read more>>

Marianela “Malita” Belloso | Professional Flamenco Dancer, Teacher & Dance Studio Owner

Someone once said, “you are what you dream.” For me, being successful and achieving my dreams came from a mix of knowing when to take the next step, having the right people by my side, and learning from my experiences in life so I could constantly grow from them. Knowing when to take the next step: I think that everything starts with identifying the right time to take the next step. I can set a goal and have a vision, but I also know that I have to be realistic about how and when to proceed in order to reach that goal. When I started Caló Gitano, I did not rush and try to do everything all at once. I took small steps, and I only took each step when I saw that it was the right time to do so. Having the right people by your side: Even though a lot of times we can be tempted to think that we can do everything on our own, we have to learn how to rely on others, ask for help when we need it, and surround ourselves with people who can help us stay in the right mindset to keep moving forward. Read more>>

Brandy Hall | Founder & Managing Director

Shades of Green has found success by remaining aligned and accountable to our core values of honesty, mutual respect, consideration, humor, and integrity. By building a company culture that is a microcosm of the culture we hope to seed, we have been able to find success. Our mission is driven by the belief that harmony between the natural world and the human built environment is life-giving. To achieve such harmony, not only does our work on the ground and with our clients center our values, but so does our company culture. Part of that is fostering collaboration within the Shades of Green team, working with others for a better end result, just like an ecosystem. We encourage each other to lean into learning edges, maintain a willingness to grow and learn from mistakes, and remain students of our craft while also being experts. Read more>>

Brittany “2KBoo” Lias | Gamer, NBA 2k Streamer & Esports Brand Ambassador

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is how raw it is. As a passionate NBA 2k gamer. I really play and I play hard. The 2KBoo brand is authentic, fun and competitive. I get to be myself everyday and engage with people from all over the world. My viewers get the genuine real me. Read more>>

Arlene Martin | The Hair Architect

The most important factor behind my success is my determination, and my desire to never settle, to always know that God has more for me and greater for me. I feel that it’s an insult to God to live a defeated life. We were born to do great things in this lifetime and I have made it my life’s goal to wake up everyday and be great on purpose. Read more>>

Leticia DeSuze | Mindset Coach & Business Strategist

The most important factor behind my success is my level of self-awareness and authenticity. I’m clear on who I am and also who I am not. I’m clear on what I do and what I don’t do. I can remember meeting someone in person who I’d previously only spoken to on the phone. After conversing for awhile she looked at me, smiled and said, “You’re exactly the same as you are on the phone!” I’ve heard that your authentic place is your wealthy place. Where so many people feel the need to be someone other than themselves, I find my greatest fulfillment and success comes from being who I am without a need to hide certain parts of myself to make others comfortable or to get people’s approval. The more I am myself the better things go! Read more>>

Ashley King

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is trusting Christ. I know that may seem cliche to some, but when I am overwhelmed or burned out in entrepreneurship—by trying to do business in my efforts and strength—and I finally surrender to God is when things begin to flow. I have gotten referrals from people I didn’t even know, and it truly wasn’t through my efforts. Surrendering to God, to me, means making sure I spend time with God before I spend all my time in business. Being OK declining customers if they do not align with my morals or if they disturb my peace. And not focusing so much on money but purpose. Social media can make you feel like if you aren’t making six figures or more, your efforts are in vain. Read more>>

Deandra Coleman | Brand Strategist & Manager

The most important factor behind my success is my mindset and my belief in myself. My life has been a series of setbacks, places I thought I would never find myself, situations that I thought I could never come back from, but I did. I knew beyond anything that I’ve ever known that my life was meant to be great, free from struggle, free from the grind. I hate those words! Life is not meant for you to struggle or grind… work hard, yes, but not grind. I had to bet on myself and start creating the life and business that I wanted to run and stop letting circumstance dictate that for me. Read more>>

Dakoro Edwards | Artist

The most important factor behind my success with the Dakoro Art Brand is compassion. The willingness to view life from another person’s perspective has been extremely pivotal, it is what creates a bridge between where we’ve been, the impact we have on each other, and what we have or don’t have in common. Read more>>

Darbi | Business Credit Specialist

I learned with The Business Credit Agency that I could not keep up with the demand on my own. I needed a team and automated system that could do the heavy lifting so we could be more customer service and community service focused – and voila BCA Culture was born. This our online platform that truly automates business credit and the process of starting a business for many business owners. Read more>>

Brenda Hill | Owner

The success of my brand is providing a quality product that’s memorable and unique from any other within the same industry. I pride myself in filling every single jar with my turn reflection – that I’m passionate about “spreading” the love of canning and preserving. It’s all about celebrating the flavor! Read more>>

Ron Robinson | Master Trainer

The most important factor behind our success is leading by example. Getting in and staying in good physical shape requires resiliency. There are always going to be setbacks & obstacles during your journey. But you have to push through in order to achieve and maintain your ultimate goal. It all starts with an individual making up their mind that he/she deserves better for their well being. The GYM-On Fitness staff displays that resiliency on a daily basis. The examples that we display gives the clients that extra push when they feel like giving up! We have coined the slogan “Get Up & Do Something” because that’s what our bodies are designed to do! Who are we to argue with that? Read more>>

Janlatae Mullins | Writer, Director & Producer

The Heart. Heart is what connects people. Heart is what makes people feel alive-alive to others, things, the world and to your art. When you connect with people in that way, you leave an invaluable footprint on their soul and it propels them to make choices that could ultimately change their lives and the world. And joy. That’s an invaluable asset that everyone can bring with them. Choose joy even in the darkest of circumstances. As an artist, knowing your purpose and using it in these ways can make you unstoppable- and just what people need. Read more>>