We asked folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice that they disagree with.

Pamela Diaz Martinez | Artist, Art Instructor

It’s very acceptable and often encouraged to get out of art/grad school and not get a job, live off parents and friends or to have this vagabond, abstract personae-lifestyle. It is a luxury for only a certain few. I believe an artist should make money first and then make art. Read more>>

Monique Rojas | Artist

With art, I have always been told that you need to plan things to a T. I find that a perfectly articulated plan sets me up for failure. I think I am going to create this masterful piece, but in the end, I made my expectations too high for the task at hand. When I go in without a plan I surprise myself with the colors and shapes I use and the final piece is usually something I could not fathom when I started. Read more>>

Kenya Jackson-Saulters | Writer + Spiritual Coach & Outdoor Enthusiast

I cringe every time I see this phrase. I think it so unsettling to me, because it feels both disingenuous and inauthentic. I work in the mental health field, so I always want to be cognizant of the perceptions of the women I work with. I don’t want them to look at me as this person who has it “all figured” out-and then negatively judge themselves/and their struggles against me and mine. Now, of course, I can’t control how another person chooses to interpret me or my life-but I can control purposely promoting a false narrative because it makes me look more successful, more healed, more fit, etc. Plus, this phrase makes it seem like “making it,” is some final and finite destination (but we all know it isn’t). All things in life are a process-one that ebbs and flows. So, truly there is no need to pretend or “fake” to be “up” one moment-when the next moment-you might actually be “up. Read more>>

Morris Smith | Entrepreneur and Real Estate Investor

I would say during my teenage and young adult life, I have always heard experts, professionals and adults preach about the importance of saving your income. While I agree that having money set aside for a rainy day is important, I disagree with saving the majority of your income, instead of investing it. Money sitting in the bank does not bring you a return that you can truly put toward your retirement. Of course, you need to have 6 to 12 months reserved. However, if you really want to grow your net worth or see your money grow, investing in real estate is the way to go. It’s a slow and most of the time, non-risky investment that can double, triple and sometimes quadruple your money. If the average person believed this and actually put it into action we would all have more assets resulting in a more diverse plan for retirement or path to financial freedom. Read more>>

Jelissa Brooks | Digital Content Creator and Brand Consultant

Hard work is the key to success. I strongly disagree with this widely used statement. I feel we glorify hard work and we become gluttonous for the go, go, go way of life. We don’t tell the true story of hard work not always working in our favor, but it’s common. And because we’re overworked, we’re too burned out to put on a different lens, assess our situations and devise a more efficient plan. I’ve seen people work hard continuously and have nothing to show for their labor. And because it was so normalized in my upbringing, I thought it was the only way. And I began to follow suite until I grew physically and emotionally tired and gave myself permission to get off the hamster wheel that was passed down to me. Building my brand and business while simultaneously managing my career has taught me to slow down and realize hard work isn’t the way. Read more>>

J. M. Tompkins | Dystopian Sci-Fi Author & CEO of Creativity Untamed, LLC.

Within corporate America, I ran across too many people that view everything as a competition. And so much of the advice around success in the workplace deals with being better than others, taking credit, or focusing on relationships with people that can advance your career. But when I started my own business, I got to create my own business culture. I don’t have competition, I have colleagues. I don’t have micro-management, I have a team. Once we change the focus from only one person getting a promotion to helping everyone succeed, life is fulfilling and enjoyable. Read more>>

Sherye Bradley | Freelancer & Artist

One piece of conventional advice that I disagree with is the quote “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” I don’t agree with this quote because every day I get up and go out with my camera I get a different result. There’s beauty in the discipline of consistency. In photography I can go out every day and still find something new. Or maybe I post on Instagram consistently, every post will get a different result. Some posts I might get a lot of likes, others won’t, some days someone will be inspired to go explore, other days I may be offered the chance to have a billboard. The same way an athlete finally sees a result when they show up to the gym over and over so does an artist. So, I don’t believe insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result because I have done the same thing over and over and gotten different results. Read more>>

Miranda Williams | Business Owner

It’s not conventional but I’ve noticed people have been trying to make it that way. That everyone needs to start a business. Not everyone has the mindset or the patience to create one and successful run it. There’s so many time I have gotten frustrated over the littlest things when it came to my business. So if you don’t have the mindset of this is what I want then you’ll just be wasting resources. Don’t let no one force you into a business. Read more>>