We asked some of the brightest folks in the community to open up to us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Preston Roeschlein | Producer

People over profits. 1000%. I’ve fortunately never have to learn this lesson the hard way, but I’ve seen plenty of people in the production industry finding themselves losing clients or colleagues because they tried to squeeze every last penny out of the people they work for, or the people who work for them. My thought has always been to take care of the people who take care of me. No piece of work is created alone. From the production assistants, to directors, to the client, every role is important, and above all, they are people filling those roles, not line items on a budget. Taking care of the people in my life who take care of me has allowed me to build a collective of crew members and clients who are incredibly hardworking, talented, inspiring, and I can always count on to deliver their best to the project. Read more>>

Shantell Ogden | Artist, Songwriter, & Music Supervisor

There are a couple of key lessons that come to mind as a songwriter. First, when you are writing songs, you are working on knowing yourself in a way. To write, you have to understand how you feel and what you think in order to share a story or an emotion. How can you write a song about dealing with a breakup, for example, if you’ve never been through it? You could guess at the emotion, but not really share a personal point of view. I believe writers are reflectors of the human experience, and what makes writers unique is our view of the world. Another big lesson I’ve learned is accepting rejection. It happens daily. One of my friends says jokingly, “I work in the music industry, I eat rejection for breakfast.” It’s one of the ironies of the business, you have to develop thick skin to survive the rejection, but you have to keep a soft heart to write songs that truly move people. It’s a tricky journey to try to balance both. Read more>>

Brooke Allison Wandling | Mind Shift Coach and Achievement Strategiest, MNLP, MTT, MHt, MSC

As a coach, consultant, and mind rewiring expert, I learn lessons often! That is part of owning a business and growing a business that is directly related to helping others. The most important lesson would have to be to trust myself more. I really wouldn’t change my journey as it was my unique journey I needed to go on to get to where I am today however, if I could add anything to my journey it would be TRUST. Trusting myself in my decisions. Trusting myself with my desires. Trusting myself that I can still hit my goal even though it’s the 25th and I’m nowhere close. (this has happened time and time again!) At each moment in business, you have to remember that you are incredibly amazing. You have to remember your bigger mission. You have to remember you are really good at what you do and really own all of that. It’s not about what you’re going through in the current moment, it’s all about where you are going!. Read more>>

Minjoo Kim | Lighting Designer (For Live Performance)

I’ve learned the big lesson that theater is not a solo work and collaborative work with other designers from my design experience in theater. The theater is made up of “PEOPLE” and everything is about “COLLABORATION” with many others. I was always lucky as I’ve met good people. I appreciate the opportunities that I have had with a lot of experienced artists, directors, and artists. It gives me a good lesson during this pandemic. Everyone is experiencing a tough time and doesn’t know how to get through this. When you keep in mind that the world is collaborating it will give you the power to be a thoughtful person. Whenever I saw the news that people are having a party or gathering without wearing a mask, it reminds me of theater. If you believe that we coexist in this world you can’t do that. When you think of your neighborhood considerably, you can’t do that. I realize what I learned from my experience working in the theater is a real life lesson. Read more>>