We asked the community what factors they felt were responsible for their success and we’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Tanya McSween | Wedding Photographer

Hands down not giving up. My husband Harry and I started our photography business in 2010, right when the boom of wedding photography was getting big…great timing right? Well in 2011 our first child was born, then we had two more children, one in 2013, and one in 2015. There were so many times when I was ready to throw in the towel and be done with the photography business altogether. But the most important factor behind my success is that I never gave up. When I was up late nights editing, I never gave up. When the business slowed down because we had a newborn baby, I didn’t give up. When I was completely overwhelmed by motherhood and being a business owner, I didn’t throw in the towel. Even though I wanted to at times. When I failed at something I tried again until I succeeded. Our kids are 9, 7, and 5 now and I feel as though I am finally getting my head above water and catching my breath. Read more>>

Ebony Raye | Mixologist, Consultant & Entrepreneur

I think that the most important factor behind the success of my brand is that I have a genuine passion for people. I believe that I have a special ability to connect with people in an honest way, which is the driving force behind a successful business in hospitality. I pride myself on working closely with and developing a customized experience for each client. Read more>>

James Hooper | Musical Artist

I would say that the most important factor behind my success is my drive and dedication towards my music. Continuing to pursue my career despite the dozens of setbacks I have experienced has not only provided me with numerous opportunities, but it has helped me to better develop my talent and grow as an artist/entrepreneur. Keeping myself motivated can be pretty difficult, but finding motivation in each of my achievements, whether big or small, definitely plays a huge role in keeping me going. Read more>>

Raymonn Moore | Eventpreneur & Strategist

I believe our creativity is what sets us apart from the pack. It’s one thing to host an event in a beautiful $7000 facility, but how many can take an empty warehouse and make it look BETTER than the $7000 space and spend a fraction of the price? We do more with less and that is a skill in itself. Read more>>

Ashanti RaShae & Jasmine Olivia | Podcasters, Girl Guess What Podcast

Definitely consistency! Once you grow an audience people look forward to hearing a podcast every week, so making sure we have episodes weekly is very important. Read more>>

Gabriella Mooney | Executive Director, MASS Collective

Our community. Hands down the community of members, apprentices, instructors, artisans and supporters are the reason we exist and thrive. A strong community culture is something that has always driven the mission of our organization. Walking into a mostly white male dominated industry can be very intimidating. Our community has worked and will continue to work to reach all types of people. People who might have been told they weren’t welcome, or just felt unwelcome because there was no one that they related to in the space. It warms my heart to hear people say that they were recommended to MASS Collective because they heard we were such an inclusive and welcoming place. Our work in this area will never be done, but the strength of our community to continue to work hard and learn is our biggest factor for success. Read more>>

Dejon Brooks | Founder of Trend Watchers

That’s a tough question. I can take the easy route and list all of the generic answers such as consistency, good branding, etc., but the #1 thing that made the difference between failing or succeeding is storytelling. When starting Trend Watchers, I originally wanted to use investors’ money to take my idea to life. After realizing my only option was to go all-in myself, I had to become resourceful in every way possible. When it came to marketing Trend Watchers in the beginning, I couldn’t afford to spend $10,000/month on ads to drive traffic. I had to rely on organic methods which included posting to forums, cold emailing, and messaging potential customers over Instagram. Doing these tasks daily was fairly easy for me, but persuading people to give my software solution a shot was another story. I was on Indie Hackers mid-2020, and I saw a post about how one guy leveraged his startup’s story to gain traction with his software solution. Read more>>

Jhiya Penland | Photographer & Custom Shoe Designer

Trusting God and having faith!. Read more>>

Indra Sofian | Co-Founder at Sora Schools

Our non-traditional, virtual high school program is a defining feature of Sora, but the most important factor that has driven our growth in enrollments by families across the country is our persistent focus on listening to and implementing customer feedback. We have always sought feedback from our parents, students, and teachers in our community from day one until now. We were not perfect in the beginning. But we were transparent in our progress and plans with our community, and we always included them in the process. It’s led to incredible improvements in our school in short periods of time. But for our community, it instills trust in them that we will provide the best educational experience for our high school students. In education, trust is everything. Many organizations can say that they have the best product or the best offering, but if the customer experience doesn’t live up to that, then they’ll inevitably fail. Read more>>

Caroline Simas | Licensed Artist/Creative Coach/Workshops

The most important factor behind the success of my brand Multiple Blessings is my perspective of success. I believe it’s more about impact and less about income. If I am using my God-given talents wisely, having fun doing what I love and feel passionate about, and know my art is making a positive impact on people and the world, then yes I feel extremely successful and grateful. Read more>>

Deanna Darcel | Mindset, Motivational, and Empowerment Coach

One word: Momentum. Momentum is the driving force that has enabled me to keep going. I’ve had 1000 leads, and not all of them have happened, but those 1000 leads gave me momentum. Holding on to momentum has helped me to put one foot in front of the next, it has helped me to keep going, it has helped me to keep the faith. Everyday I thank God for the momentum and it has enabled me to not stop. Whenever I’m feeling down, I hold on or think about momentum. It’s like putting gas in a car, the momentum is in me to keep striving to reach my goals. Read more>>

Hasan and Naaila Clay | Mental Health Counselor and Relationship Renovators

Being transparent and authentic has worked wonders for us. While we haven’t experienced every moment, family event or tragedy our clients and couples have, we’ve had our own hurts and healing in life. We’re human and have days in which we struggle to take our own advice. Being true to who we are as human beings, and not pretending we have great clinical recommendations and life-changing strategies because we’ve figured it all out is a lie! We pray and take deep breaths too. There are no miracle workers in this work, but miraculous things happen! It’s important for couples and folks to know we have bad days and human quirks too! As parents, our teens had smelly rooms and didn’t always comply. My husband didn’t like to go to the doctor and used to hide snacks in the closet. Read more>>

Dorian Harris | Creative/Entrepreneur

Making sure anything and everything I offer, has a positive impact of the lives of my supporters. If what you do as a business or brand only benefits you, then it’s not successful to me. Read more>>

Jonathon Penn | Creator and Business Man

The most important factor behind my success is service to others. When you genuinely and willingly serve others you will never lack. The old saying goes “give and you shall receive”. If that is true the more you give, whether with your time, resources, or money, you shall receive just as much or more. A true life lived is a life serving others. Read more>>

Bionca Reese | Professional Makeup Artist & Owner of Beauty-Flies Makeup (Vegan Cosmetic Makeup Line)

The most important factor behind my success and brand is my creativity. Anybody can call themselves a professional makeup artist. I have always been a creative minded person. I thank God for my creative tools and techniques because it has helped me to excel in my career as a professional makeup artist and a business owner (I also own a vegan cosmetic line as well). Read more>>

Fulani Jabri | Photographer & Multimedia Specialist

Id say the most important thing I’ve done for what I consider success is letting my art breath. By not putting a ton of financial pressure on my creative process im in a place where I can refuse work that will inevitably drain me for work that instead nurishes me. And looking back on my career later, I’ll find only what I’m proud of~. Read more>>

ALEXXUS CARR | Professional Dancer

The most important factor behind the success of my brand or just in the general industry I am in is perseverance. In order to stay working and active in the entertainment industry, specifically dance industry, you have to continuously prove yourself. You must continue to be the trend and “in style”. There are no limits to where you can go but nothing is ever guaranteed. Its like you can be on top one day, week, year, decade, and then all of a sudden be nothing, industry wise that is. The key to continuing the success is to never stop creating, working, learning, and know that there may be dry spells but if you continue and preserve you are always bound to bounce back. Read more>>

DJ Prince Akeem | DJ & Remixer

The most important factor behind my success and brand has always been putting the people first. When I’m playing an in person event or venue it is about giving the people a vibe, a great experience and to walk away leaving on a high. Since I made the move to virtual due to the pandemic, it has been about building a community which has grown into the Royal Family. Always knowing that it’s much bigger than me. I provide the soundtrack but the energy is just as important!. Read more>>

Chris Green | CMO / Co-Owner

The most important factor behind our success of our Legends brand is our patented technology called “Quantum Purity” and how it is a game changer in the industry. We spent almost 10 years developing the technology and once we finalized the design, we then got it patented to protect what we invented which is a finishing process that reduces the impurities in alcohol by at least 50% creating arguable the purest and smoothest line of spirits in the market. All Flavor…No Burn! As the CMO, beside producing world class spirits, I personally was tasked with marketing our brand to our customers which are the store and restaurant owners and consumer which was a challenge in 2020 as COVID-19 rapidly spread across Georgia forcing everyone to rethink their strategies. I launched an aggressive social media campaign and worked closely with many local radio personalities throughout COX media and Cumulus to have a voice that people could tune in and learn more about who Legends Distillery is and where they can buy it. Read more>>

Kate Hooray Osmond | Visual Artist

I learn more from my failures than my successes. Maybe a particular color or element in my painting isn’t right. Or perhaps I have a misstep or lose an opportunity. Each time something doesn’t work out as I hope, I’m challenged to use my creativity and drive to find a new path forward. Often, my next steps are more vibrant and satisfying, and provide opportunities for exploration than if things has turned out the way I had planned. Read more>>

Marisa Corcoran | Copy and Business Mentor, Creator of The Copy Chat

During the 5th season of The Copy Chat (which recently aired this February) we experienced a handful of past guests sharing about the summit, even though they weren’t featured this season. I realized that this is because I’ve built the brand on connection first. Connection over automation, funnels, paid ads — all of the “stuff” you’re told to focus on. When I reach out asking guests to be on the summit, I take time to understand why they’d be an excellent fit. I share what I love about their brand down to quoting them. I don’t rely on any general “I love your work” type of reach outs. I get specific and make sure that connection and depth are baked into every layer of the business. It’s not only helped The Copy Chat become one of the most popular summits out there, but it’s also helped us raise over $40K for charity (and counting!). We’ve put community and connection at the center of everything. Read more>>

Okoye Phelps | Author

Having the ability to recognize personal life experiences as the key to creativity. Everyone’s walk through life is different, and we are taught to aspire to be our own individual selves, but some of the best creative projects are transformed from an artists’ ability to present relatable experiences in an entertaining way. Through my early years of writing, I found myself constantly looking for a main subject matter, hence why my first book was more of a compilation rather than a set theme. But after being presented with my own real life obstacles, as well as attempting to help other through their own, I realized experiences may be different but it’s natural for people to find relatable aspects within others. This allowed me to dig deeper into my own life and influenced a more developed and centralized style that could be both entertaining and connect with the audience. Read more>>

Patrick Avard | Music Producer and Entrepreneur

Building and managing relationships is the most important factor behind the success of my music production company New Level Music and my newest endeavor, Level 77 Entertainment (a music catalog). I’m in constant communication with our clients, my employees, my producers and our contractors. I want to always be cultivating those relationships. I want clients to know that whenever you work with our company, you will be taken care of and the job will be done. I want them to feel a personal connection to us. We, as a company, will always stand behind them, and in turn, they will stand behind us. Read more>>

Donterio Smith | Brand Founder

We all measure success in many different ways based on our own worldly view. As far as the success of my brand, the purpose of the brand is much larger than me. I want my brand to help evolve how people within society perceive and understand their own mental health. Mental health affects us all. We have to be intentional about our mental health from day-to-day and feed our minds with things that are conducive. If we’re not intentional, it could lead into poor habits. Read more>>

Jennifer Chiu | Food Influencer

I love what I do and the one thing that my page has taught me is to help others and always stay positive. When I first started my page, I created my personal slogan and it was “don’t chew food later, chew food now” since my IG handle is @chewfoodnow. Looking back, what made me thought of that slogan was if I wanted to do something, I would have to do it right now instead of later. I love supporting local businesses and it makes me happy that people can know about the restaurant by just looking at my posts. The Atlanta foodie community is very big and we always love supporting each other while supporting the local businesses. Read more>>

Joy Lawson | Personal Stylist & Podcast Host

The most important factor behind my success and brand is simply giving back. That is why community service and involvement are not only important within my life but in the business. Fashion in the community is what we are known for, and I am happy to provide that platform. Over the years’ our fashion mentoring, skating events, fundraisers, and donation drives have reached over 5,000 individuals. Each event speaks to the bigger purpose that we have at TJOS, to connect with the community. In return, clients can see that TJOS was not created just to make money but with a purpose in giving through fashion. Every time we host one of our community events, our customer list and collaborations grow. The money will come as long as we are walking in our purpose. God blessed me with the gift to touch and educate through fashion and history. That is something that I don’t take for granted. Read more>>

Raven Woodruff | RavenLani Tarot | Tarot Reader & Spiritual Life Coach

I don’t have one specific factor, I have a few. They are faith, consistency, and my energy. In order to thrive in this business, I had to have faith in myself. This isn’t a common lane that people strive to grow in so I had to believe in myself when others would turn their noses up at me or when they would look at me funny because I’m turning a hobby into a business. I had to be consistent with my craft because I knew I wasn’t going to be discovered overnight. I had to teach people to not be fearful of what I do. Trust me, it would be easier to market a beauty brand–everyone will try new lotion, lipstick, or skincare at least once. My business is similar to an acquired taste, you have to be brave to try it and once you commit to trying it you’re still worried that you won’t like it, but you’ll keep coming back because it was surprisingly good. Lastly, my energy is a HUGE factor because I am a healer and if my energy is “off” or seems forced, people will notice that and they won’t be drawn to me. Read more>>

Keywa Henderson Thomas | Tea Maker & Natural Health Enthusiast

The most important factor behind my success and the success of Key’s Teas is that Key’s Teas is an extension of me – my deepest passions, my commitment to and belief in natural health and wellness, my heart to positively impact the lives of others, and my overall desire to encourage people to become more aware of and take an active role in their health and the health of their families. Key’s Teas began as my response to my then one-year-old daughter getting sick in daycare – and eight years later continues to be what we use in our home and happy to continue offering to others of all ages locally and nationwide. So, the see success of a product I make lovingly by hand that’s so near and dear to me means a great deal! Also, to see success in such a personal product that is safe for little ones, expecting mothers, seniors and many taking various medications is an important factor – as being inclusive and serving a broad population for preventive health and natural intervention means a great deal. These would be my primary most important factors behind the success of Key’s Teas. Read more>>

Terrica Strozier | Designer + Brand/Customer Experience Strategist

The most important factor behind the success of my brand has been the facilitation of connection. That connection has looked different along my business journey, but just like the core of my brand my focus is always on the people. That base connection is rooted strongly in authenticity and empathy and I have applied that not only to my clients, my audience but also my community as well. That connection has allowed me to garner amazing friendships, partnerships, and overall relationships. This comes simply from supporting, educating, and empowering those around me from a honest place and not just to an avenue to make the next dollar. This has been the catalyst for my success and growth in my brand, it can be uncomfortable and scary connecting with others but the best growth comes from such interactions. Read more>>

Dion Reid | Photographer/Founder of DionKx & Host of ‘Dion’s RoundTable Podcast’

I would say the most important factor behind my success is the support of my close friends and family to pursue something in the art world that makes me feel more creative and fulfilled. Also the doubters who would tell me i would never accomplish my goals in photography were a factor in pushing me to prove them wrong. Read more>>

Nitro Billy Goat | Rapper / Content Creator

Being true to myself. I love how I can be myself and also bring what’s unique to me to the table. I rather people know what’s real because it’ll hit harder when you can relate. If I were to portray myself as something I’m not, I would have to be ready for whatever that were to come with it. My upbringing plays a role as well. growing up I went through enough struggling to ultimately want better for my family and myself. Read more>>

Lily Masoumy | Health & Wellness Coach

Hands down: persistence – that’s why I chose the name Persist Fitness for my health & wellness coaching business! I wanted to constantly remind myself and my clients that you can overcome any obstacle or achieve any goal, but only if you refuse to give up. It’s great to see when this resonates with someone and they embrace a “durable mentality” for the first time, because they start to feel empowered to take control of not just their health, but many other aspects of their life. Read more>>

Renya Curtis | Hair Stylist

I would have to say that the most important factor behind my success is my customer service! It is very important to make sure each and every client are satisfied. Not only are you making sure that they are satisfied, you need to to make sure your clients feel welcomed, they need to feel comfortable in your space. Read more>>

Bryant Murray | Owner of VALiiD Threads

The most important factor behind the success I’ve had is the support and belief my family, friends, and customers have given me. Your brand is nothing without people behind you and support your vision. So I thank God and I thank everyone that has purchased or shared anything with my brand. Read more>>

Destinee Floyd | Business Owner and Entrepreneur

Success to me isn’t about how much money I have in the bank. Yes, we all like to see money in our bank accounts but my success isn’t defined by money. Success is defined to me as how I stand behind my brand and making sure my brand is credible. I started my business a year ago in the midst of a global pandemic and i have learned so much! I’ve experienced good and bad and I’m still learning but I’m enjoying every minute of it! When you provide a service or a good to people you’re not going to please everyone and that’s just because different people have different preferences but you can provide great customer service and that’s what makes your brand credible and brings success. Read more>>

Karen Davis | Photographer

I honestly feel that networking has lead to my success. You have to be able to branch out, and then use that as your platform to connect with the people around you. Read more>>

Soul Korean Comedian | Bridge to Cultures

ME..without the decision making and work that I invest in my Brand and vision, none of my accomplishments and goals get Met. Read more>>