We asked some of the city’s hidden gems to tell us about what they feel is the most important factor behind their success.

Daniela Santiago | Actor & Theatre Artist

Constant growth and curiosity in your field and beyond. Not only watching the latest big film, but learning more about the filmmaking process and WHY the film was successful. Not only going to see your friend’s plays, but reading as many scripts as you can. There is this imaginary bar of knowledge or success that we have been taught, that does not exist in reality. You don’t need to just get that degree and THEN you’ll have all the tools to become successful. Every inspiring artist I admire are constantly learning and growing in their art form. Film and theatre are collaborative art forms, so learning about your peers’ skills and processes is imperative to becoming a better artist. Not only for becoming empathetic to those around you, but understanding how their work directly or indirectly affects your work— especially when it indirectly affects your work. Read more>>

Shannon Belletti | Award-Winning Photographer

I’ve been fortunate to succeed the highly competitive photography industry, while I’ve seen a number of my friends and colleagues struggle and move on to other opportunities. I credit a lot of my success not only as a photographer but as a business owner to a few key things: a keen interest in continuing to improve my skills as a photographer, a willingness to learn and manage the business aspects such as accounting, marketing, networking, etc, the flexibility to adapt with changing trends and economic climates, and knowing when to ask for help. Read more>>

Karen Whitehead | Therapist & Coach

Do you ever feel like success is a moving target? As I have built both my therapy practice and coaching business, the line keeps moving to what’s next. Aligning my goals and values has been a huge focus that keeps me moving forward and affords me the flexibility to shift and pivot as the definition of success changes. Consistently evaluating whether my decisions reflect my core values is how I know what feels most successful to me. Am I being true to what matters? Being genuine and authentic? When I’m out of alignment that way it feels like I’m spinning my wheels or not making progress. First it was figuring out what was next in my life as an impending empty nester, then finishing another degree, getting licensed, opening a private practice and now adding business and life coaching to my offerings. Some see these milestones and making money as success. Read more>>

Siwoo Lee | Creative Director & Photographer

Fully letting go of things that keep me from growing/ being happy. Read more>>

Eley | Lead Photographer & Owner

Setting goals. Regardless of how unrealistic they may have felt or seemed. Setting the goal of what my dreams are allowed me to figure out ways and be guided by the universe to exactly that. Persistence and perseverance. both are very important in having a freelance business. You cannot allow yourself to fall shy of a challenge. Financial Tracking. If doing it yourself or hiring someone to support your early business finances i have found this to be an extremely important habit to stick to. This allowed me to see growth, track income, and understand how to live within my means. Read more>>

Teal Korby | Visual Artist

There are two habits that help me succeed and they’re quite contradicting to one another: planning and breaking the plan. There’s a delicate balance to tread among the two. You have to plan things out in order to break the plan. Planning and breaking the plan help me succeed because I always have a vision in mind, but I allow for curiosity and trial and error to figure out how to get to that vision in mind. It’s a bit like a maze, but there are several ways to get to the end and it’s alright to break the plan to find another way. Read more>>

Michelle Lenis | Fashion & Print Model

Be responsible, consistent and do your best. Read more>>

Toron Roberts | DJ & Business Owner

In business it is important to develop habits that help you succeed. Of course different habits work for different businesses and business strategies but there are some positive habits that could be considered universal. There are several habits that I have developed that work for me including: consistency, positive thinking/attitude, being solution oriented, developing relationships with others within your industry, timeliness and the ability to pivot depending on circumstances. 1. Consistency – Being dependable is priceless. Your clients need to be assured that you will deliver as promised. 2. Positive Thinking – Your attitude determines your altitude. A positive approach and open minded approach always helps when faced with hurdles. 3. Being solution oriented – Being solution oriented goes in tandem with positive thinking. Read more>>

Shay The CEO George | Founder, CEO & Franchisor

I’m a perfectionist and strive to be the best at everything I do, in my business and personal life. Read more>>

Max B | Founder & Owner

Working for yourself and starting your own brand requires faith and great discipline. There will be challenging days and having discipline to do what you need to do no matter what, will help you along your path to success! I am a strong believer in self-development and remaining a student. I’m always seeking ways to grow and reinvent my business, offering elite services to always exceed my clients’ expectations. Read more>>