We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor behind their success. For us, success is about accomplishing your mission. For some, that mission might be changing discriminatory practices within their industry and for others it might be building a sustainable, profitable business to support their family. Regardless of your mission, we want to equip you with wisdom and knowledge from the community in the hopes of increasing the likelihood that you are successful in your mission.

Kellie Bernardi | Personal Trainer + Health Coach

The most important factor behind my success would easily come down to relationships. I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today without the personal and professional connections that I have. If you are new to being a business owner or looking for advice, mine would be to connect and engage with as many people as you can! You never know who they know, what they have learned or what they could teach you. Read more>>

Licca Kirk | Watercolor Illustrator and Paper Artist

While I believe I’m far from where I want to be or need to be, I do feel that the successes I have had aren’t attributed to any single factor, but a blending of multiple things working together. A little bit of grit to keep me from staying down, consistency to build onto, personality to be down to earth and bring a human element to those interested in my work, and ultimately, to keep creating unique products or unique artworks with purpose and intent. It’s still a big work in progress, but we’re getting there, and building onto it everyday as best as we can! Read more>>

Anisha Cooper | Queer Affirming Trauma Specialist

The most successful part of my business is not being afraid to stay in my lane. I provide trauma recovery services for minoritized ppl, especially the black community. I am an inclusive black, queer clinician. In boldly claiming this specialty, I’m able to attract the clients I’m seeking. I’m also able to build a network with other clinicians when I refer clients who aren’t seeking these specialized interventions. Read more>>

Jim Kalina | Hair Stylist & Artistic Creator

For me, I believe it’s authenticity, as well as my work ethic. I’m real, I’m me. I’ve always tried to live that way, even if it means receiving some negative feedback. I’m not afraid to be my own person and create things that inspire emotional reactions. I’m a bit wild and outspoken at times, but ultimately the hard work I put in to better my skill as a stylist is what helps keep me going. Read more>>

Sukie Jefferson | CEO & Artisan Candlemaker

Those who have followed my journey and have become dedicated, loyal shoppers year after year remind me that my product is great. It would be challenging to succeed with a mediocre product. What you provide to customers has to be great. Over the years, tweaking my formula and playing with the ingredients has made what I have come to believe to be a memorable candle. My brand, product and business is lightyears ahead of where it was just last year. Read more>>

Sharon & Sherica Falcher & Maynard | Sharon Falcher and Sherica Maynard | Interior Design by S&S – Decorating Den Interiors

Great question, we used our story to propel our brand which lead us to growing success. First and foremost we give all credit to our success to God, we are so grateful for his guidance through this process. [Sherica] So when I moved back to Atlanta form NY to partner with my mom I never wanted to brand us as “The Mother-Daughter” team I felt like it devalued us and made us seem kind of Mom-and-Pop. And to be clear there’s nothing wrong with a Mom-and-Pop business but In an industry like Interior Design most firms have a solo designer or a whole team and we were neither. Read more>>

Heather Stevens | Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photographer

Joy! My success continues because I bring joy to what I do and I seek to bring out the joy in families as I document how amazing they are. In my family we talk about how joy doesn’t mean that all moments are happy, but rather a deeper appreciation and decision. I don’t know if Webster agrees exactly but that’s what it means to me, I am not looking to capture perfect families but rather realness and love. I love the photos that are found in between more posed shot of a child snuggling up with their parent or a sweet look between partners. Read more>>

Tyrik Wynn | Anchor/Reporter

Keeping God 1st My Parents My Fans/Supporters. Read more>>

Marsenia Mathis | Entrepreneur & Scientist

Success can be achieved when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do, even if that doesn’t lead to big results. If you’ve done your best, you should feel proud of your efforts. Like many, I grew up equating money, climbing the corporate ladder, and power with success, and for a short time, that framed my definition. But as I’ve matured and experienced life, that has changed. You see, success is a very personal thing for me. Read more>>

Kysha Lockett | Founder/CEO

The most important factor behind Rhonda’s Heart Motherless Daughters is making sure its a supportive environment for all the motherless daughters. Women who mothers are deceased, incarcerated or abandoned suffer in silence a lot so it’s important to provide them with support. Read more>>

Brandie Bishop | Birth and Postpartum Doula

In order to begin heading toward success in business I had to learn the art of separating the Job (of being a Doula), from the work of entrepreneurship. While my overwhelming passion for birth and the preservation of black and brown lives pushes me to be the best Doula I can, that passion alone can’t make my business successful. I remind myself daily that Brandie the entrepreneur has to make work for Brandie the doula to do. This is the structure that helps me stay consistent with growth strategies, focused when advertising and organized when keeping appropriate records. Read more>>

Rosalyn Joyner | Photographer

I think the most important factor behind my success and my brand is being and remaining humble and my hard work. Read more>>