Getting to do what you love? Providing for your loved ones? What does success mean to you? Below you’ll find perspectives from some of the city’s best and brightest.

Soo Lee | Hairstylist & Makeup Artist

I determine my success with one question and it is, “How happy am I?” If I am happy, then I am fulfilled. Work, itself, can be very overwhelming and stressful and I believe that if you love what you do, then the rest is manageable. One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Harvey and he says, “Your gift is the thing you do the absolute BEST with the LEAST amount of effort.” it’s helped me stick with my career through the ups and downs because I knew I had a gift. That gift has satisfied many people, including me. I do believe I am very successful because I am very happy. Read more>>

Lawrence-Vonzail Odom | Event designer/Creative director

Success should be measured on an individual scale. Your success is predicated on your level of desired goals and aspiration. How do you find success? You discover it from within and it starts with knowing your purpose! How do you cultivate purpose? You maximize every moment, every opportunity day by day. Success is an inner fulfillment of ones hopes dreams and desires. Read more>>

Nicholas Arzie | Photographer

I’ve always said, “ If you wake up everyday and do what you love, then you are successful. “ To me, success isn’t always money. I love taking pictures; I wake up everyday and get my hands on a camera. Therefore i consider myself successful. I’m going to take pictures whether i get paid or not. Read more>>

Christian Gatlin | CEO, CG Group Consulting, LLC

The definition of success changes during different seasons of my life. In some seasons I’ve found that my success was based on a monetary goal, while in other seasons my success was based on my level of discipline for personal goals. Although “success” is innately rooted in subjectivity, the one thing that doesn’t change for me is impact. I believe we were all placed on this Earth to edify one another (Proverbs 27:17), and that has been my main measure of success professionally and personally. I’ve always been passionate about mentoring people and giving advice and decided to start my business with that as the foundation. My entrepreneurial journey, though still new, has been successful thus far because of the individuals I’ve been honored to advise, and the positive impact I’ve made helping small/emerging brands. If my professional or personal legacy leaves behind a story of positive impact and inspiration, then I’ve truly reached the pinnacle of success. Read more>>

Hadrat Faatimah | Fashion Designer/Image Consultant

Wow, that’s a good one! How do I define success?? I define success by how proud I am when I look at myself in the mirror and self-reflect. I definitely feel that if you’re not satisfied with the person you see in the mirror you haven’t made it to the satisfactory level of success for yourself. And that goes for every part of your life mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, and financially. Read more>>

Brittany Smith | CEO + Entrepreneur- Teaescence

Success looks different for everyone and is subjective, for sure. I’d define success by what’s learned and applied along the journey of the marathon, not by what’s accomplished once one has reached the destination of the sprint at hand. I believe that having faith, dreams, hopes, and ideas without doing the actual work and being a gatekeeper to resources is dead. Aspiring is great, but action begets true success. What we learn and can apply continuously throughout our journey provides the tools for and opportunity to succeed again with what we take with us from where we have come and what we can leave behind or pass on to others in order to get to where we are going. Read more>>