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?

Yaro Severn | Family Photographer

The most important factor behind my success, besides beautiful photos, is the fact that I give my clients all of the full size digital files with every session. I started with a more standard photography business model of giving a certain number of prints and charging for extras, but these days clients really want their digital files so that they can pick their favorites to print, save, and share on social media. Read more>>

Lety Carrancio | Salon owner and stylist

Humility! To me it is extremely important to remain humble and remember my roots and where I came from! Read more>>

Libby Edwards | Fashion Photographer

The most important factor to me when it comes to my photography is creating meaningful connections with the people that I work with, I don’t believe that success is something that one person can achieve by themselves. I feel most successful when I have created professional and personal relationships with models, makeup artists, hair stylists, etc., to the point that I can begin to work with them on a regular basis. Having a fun atmosphere during a photo shoot only happens when you’ve really gotten to know the people you are working with, and you know that everyone is working toward the same goal; creating beautiful images and having a good time.Read more>>

mcKensey McGill | Loan Officer

Instead of focusing on traditional sales methods like cold-calling and door-knocking, I focus on education. I teach people how to buy and finance a home. The mortgage process, while hugely impactful in our lives, is not something that we learn about in traditional educational settings. For that reason, I use my platform to teach the basics. I believe this truly helps my brand. When I work with borrowers, there are no silly questions because this process is seriously a foreign language! Read more>>

Lara Worm | Bivouac Adventure Guide

The most important factor behind ‘my success’ is having the confidence in myself to never give up. Business – and life – is so hard, and if you do not have the fortitude to take hits, learn lessons, ride the ups and downs and keep going, it’s almost insurmountable. The most important factor behind the success of the brand is understanding our target market/consumer, and creating a product that speaks to them. We make a product that we love and believe in – Bivouac is all about healthy outdoor adventurers that love to have a good time – so the product and the brand that we’ve created is everything we want in a craft beverage. #embraceyouradventure Read more>>

Sierra Rainge-Jones | CEO Live Limitless Media Group

As a Faith-Based entrepreneur the fuel and most profound contributing success factor in my business is my unrelenting commitment to my vision coupled with my ability to adjust when necessary placing more value in the outcome rather than the method. This allows me to practice my faith in action. My personal philosophy is to navigate towards the vision while mastering the moments of pivots. As a business owner and a brand so many external factors can influence how you do business. Industries change often so you must practice resiliency and be innovative. Read more>>

Laura Peck | Music Producer, DJ, and event curator

I feel the most important factor behind my success as an artist and curator has been authenticity and adhering to my own morals and values. I honor my own taste in music and play from my heart, even if it’s a style of music that isn’t typical for the San Diego house and techno community. I am not compatible with all bookings and that’s totally okay. However by not being afraid to be yourself you attract others to work with and connect with who are on the same wavelength, which to me is by far the most important thing. Read more>>

Jill Durby | Owner

It is our mott0: “People first.” When I first became a business owner, my husband and I set out to create a work environment that honored, supported, and valued each team member. At that time in our careers, we had worked in a variety of settings, and we had been managed by a variety of bosses. We had learned a lot of lessons, good and bad, about how to manage a team. We vowed to create the type of environment that we would want to work in. Read more>>

William Edwin Willis | Fine Art Photography

There are so many different elements that have to come together to have and maintain a successful business. For me, the answer is in two parts. One, it is critical to have a solid, no frills, creative workflow: from where and when to shoot to printing and packaging my photography – not to mention all the important decisions in between – a smooth and unencumbered workflow offers the best opportunity for consistently good photography. Two, it is even more critical, perhaps, to have a solid business foundation. I can’t emphasize this enough. I could give a million examples of why this is true, but I’ll just say this: a photographer who does not have a solid business approach that enables him to operate within his means and be profitable will fail inside the first year. Read more>>

Jose Jaimes | Executive Director Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts

When we first started the Academy as a non-profit, our mission statement and vision were key in laying out the work that would come before us. That was 2014, fast forward to today, we are known in our Cultural Arts Community as an academy that values “Respect and Discipline” as keys to the outreach and representation that we do in our community. The most important factor behind the success of our brand is consistency. Read more>>

Tenley Starr Fabian | RN, BSN, Starr MedSpa Owner

Teamwork and trust. The two most powerful factors for success in my company and brand. A strong team that works together and one that you can trust builds the foundation of success. Read more>>

Mariah Johnson | Licensed Esthetician

The most important factor behind my success as an Esthetician is definitely believing in my vision and bringing it to life. In order to to be successful you must first believe in yourself with everything you have and carry yourself with confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself first, then who will? My number one attribute is having confidence in who I am, what I do, and what I have to offer. I am a very spiritual, positive, caring, and nurturing person so this definitely comes into play as being an Esthetician. Read more>>

Katell Schmitz | Branding Director + Designer

In order to talk about success and where we are with our brand today, we have to start with defining what success is. And that’s the thing with success, defining it should be a personal conclusion. Our definition of success should be different from others’, even the people we look up to. In retrospect, it was fortunate that I got to grasp this concept quickly in my entrepreneurial journey. It led me to decide what I wanted success for myself to look like. It did not look like ‘making six figures in six months’ – as everyone claimed to be doing. For me success had everything to do with longevity and with impact. Read more>>