Every overnight success we’ve seen has been years in the making. And those overnight successes are rarely because of an amazing idea or a stroke of luck. We asked some of our favorite folks from the community about what characteristics are at the heart of their success story?

Aaron Null | Graphic Designer / Owner of Vervor Design & Shop

I think the most important factor behind success is doing what you truly love, connecting with people through that, and then just doing excellent work! Read more>>

Stefanie Bales: Fine Artist, Muralist, Gallery Owner, Educator

Besides the unwavering support of both my parents and my husband in pursuing a career in the arts, I believe a lot of my success lies in my approach to building my brand and career. I knew from the get-go that I didn’t want to live out the starving artist stereotype and that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to “make it” as an artist- both commercially or financially. I built my career slowly, over many years, rather than just moving to NYC or LA and going all in off the bat. After college I worked an an art deco company for a year before returning to grad school and then beginning my decade long professorship at a local Multimedia Design College. While teaching, I worked to build both my portfolio, my network, and my brand image locally, landing me my first opportunity for gallery representation back on 2014. Read more>>

Victor Olavarria | Drum Instructor

Aside from the general things like being respectful, organized, available, and invested in my student’s progress, the most important factor behind my success has been my willingness to adapt. Years ago, when I was still living in the Seattle area, online instruction was becoming more and more of a thing. It was getting to the point where you couldn’t ignore it, and by not embracing it I had a feeling that I was going to be left behind. I wouldn’t say that I’m great with technology but I really felt that I’d be endangering my business if I didn’t figure something out. The decision to move to San Diego made it very real, because unless I had a legit form of online instruction in place, I’d be losing all of my Seattle students in a move to a different state where I had no students and would have to start over. Read more>>

Clare Adams  Child of God, Wife, Mother & Business Entrepreneur

There’s no doubt that someone would use a plethora of descriptors to reason success in business. Some may say creativeness, hard work, vision, planning, financial soundness, commitment or even luck. Of course, these are all wonderful qualities and talents and hold true in any equation of success. However, for myself, I would use other far less popular words to describe the factors that relate to the overall success of Hawthorn Tree and in my own life. This would be faith, collaboration and resilience. The combination of having faith in your purpose, working with others who share that goal and more than anything, being adapt and able to switch it up at any given moment is what I have found is the foundation for my success and those around me. Read more>>

Kris Finch | Fine Art Classes

Customer service is number one. If my students don’t feel they are progressing I have failed them. I think it’s very important to understand our relationship. I like to be friendly but first they are a student paying for a service. Read more>>

Lauren Tamm | Founder of The Military Wife and Mom

Authenticity is, by far, the most important factor to success of The Military Wife and Mom. I don’t have fancy letters behind my name or a degree in anything related to my brand topic. But I do share honest, vulnerable stories and useful advice based on my own experience, and it’s made all the difference. Read more>>

Susan Fernandez | Holistic Health Practitioner

If I had to pin point the most important factor in my success, it would be integrity. For me, success means how well a person does after having a session and watching them getting better and better. This is success, this is the joy of healing, for both of us. Success then is more than how much money I make or how many clients I have or how solidly I’m booked, though, I do work in part to provide the security of having needs and wants met. Beyond that there are many many important components that makeup the synergy of success that comprises integrity. They are: – having and keeping high standards – producing results – being thorough and detailed – giving what’s foremost to each person – making each session unique, never cookie cutter, one size fits all, that doesn’t go far – using imagination – deep caring and love. Read more>>

Todd Bradley | Fine Art Photographer

Maybe I have deep-rooted parental issues, or maybe it’s just my August birthday Leo nature of needing to be praised. But I’m always striving for more. More shows, more articles, more sales, and with it, more praise! Once I figure out what I want to say with my work, I drive in headfirst and the whole project will consume me then I leave the work and come up for air and revisit it with fresh eyes a few days to weeks later. It’s difficult to do at first but you need to clear your mind. After I edit down the project I’ll present it to Snowcreek collaborative, a group of photographer friends I trust, and let them give me feedback. I usually take their advice but sometimes I don’t, but they are without a doubt one of the most important factors in my process. They are the gatekeepers in a way. They keep me focused on my goal, they point out things I may have missed or may not have seen. Read more>>

Michele Zousmer | Photographer

Being a photographer has opened up so many worlds to me. I have been changed by all the people I have met along this journey and all that I have witnessed. My heart and my mind has been opened by these people letting me into their worlds. I see beauty and strength along with vulnerability and spirit , going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly about others. Our differences on the outside do not reflect that inside we are all the same. I hope to respectfully create connections and conversations about diversity and global issues. I have traveled to over 74 countries. I seem to gravitate to women and children’s issues. I believe it is my personal responsibility to bring awareness of things I feel are unjust. Read more>>

Renee Tay | Vintage Toy Sculptor

The hunt of finding once loved and now abandoned vintage toys to recreate into something that will be adored and loved again. By finding quirky toys and figurines, it makes my assemblage sculptures even more unusual. I have searched an old dump on Jamaica Bay in NYC and found doll heads and toys from around the 1940’s. The hunt keeps me entertained and delights my collectors by the finds I come across. Read more>>