We asked some brilliant folks from the community to tell us about the most important lesson their business or career has taught them. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Tahlia Charleson | Pilates & Movement Rehabilitation Instructor, Studio Owner

Given the current global pandemic, even more specifically, New Zealand’s national political party change, and lastly regionally where I live, where we have experienced an unprecedented surplus supply of commercial lease availability in downtown Tauranga New Zealand, my lesson… is to not allow ANY of that to be an excuse as to why my business wont succeed. I recently asked a local business owner in the city in which my new studio has established itself “how have you kept busy, survived, and even grown with our downtown community closing its doors around you?”. His reply “I have never let what has happened in downtown Tauranga, be a reason why my business will fail”. This profound moment was my greatest learning and it has become my mantra. You have to stay innovative. If you are passionate about an idea, chances are, it’s a great one and others will be excited with you. I quieten out all external noise that may be a distraction or an easy excuse as to why a certain month might be quieter than others (oh it’s school break, it’s been so cold, a lot of people are away for holidays). Read more>>

Marlayna Bollinger | Founder & Executive Director for the Skinny Gene Project

Being grounded in our ‘Why’ has been the root of our success. Our ‘why’ allows us to share the heart behind our brand, the reason we still rise every morning, ready to fight. Our ‘why’ is both the guiding light towards our vision and the anchor for our mission. As they say, “Life is what happens when you’re planning.” The pandemic has proven that even the most well-thought-out plan is no match for the unpredictability of life. When chaos occurs, self-doubt and disorientation also ensue. I’ve found the only way for me to move past surviving towards thriving is to remain grounded in my ‘WHY.’ I’ve been fortunate to know my ‘why’ since 2001, even though I was unable to articulate it at the time. I still remember the moment I felt it, the moment it charted a different course for my life. I was standing in my sister’s living room, and I saw an unfamiliar look appear on my father’s face. It wasn’t just sadness or despair. I was watching the strongest man I know contemplating our latest defeat. He was mourning the fact that another family member died because of inadequate access to quality health care. Read more>>

Bethany Peterson | Owner/ Lash Artist

To be prepared for everything yet have no expectations. This past year has been one for the books that no one saw coming. It’s not something I could have planned for but being prepared for the unknown with a goal but not setting unrealistic expectations for myself helped me keep my head above water. It’s easy to be defeated by the things we can’t control but if we choose to see past that you can move through it all and come out on top. Read more>>

Dr. Mariela Shibley | Clinical Psychologist and owner of Shibley Psychology

One of the most important lessons I have learned throughout my career – in terms of managing a private practice – is to maintain a low overhead. I started by subleasing an office, to then sharing an office, to eventually renting my own. Not having to worry at the end of the month about whether I had earned enough to cover my basic expenses was a huge peace of mind. I think it’s important to prioritize what is essential to running a practice and to expand and improve as your practice grows. We all had to start somewhere! No one will think less of you if you’re running a new business out of a shared office space. Read more>>

Armida Mendez | Interior Designer

You have to always believe in yourself and never let others change your views and values. Opinions and constructive criticism are always welcome, but they don’t have to define your future and your plans. At the end of the day, it is your creation and no one knows better what’s best then yourself. Read more>>

Morghan Medlock | Athletic Performance & Entertainment Private Chef

The most important lesson I have learned in business as I am growing in my career, is the importance of self-care. As a private chef, I can not function as efficiently as I’d like to if my life outside the kitchen is not in order. Working out, “me time” days, detaching from social media, eating nourishing foods, & ingesting high quality brain food daily are the keys to me being able to deliver top tier culinary experiences to clients. Read more>>

Fairplay | Tiffany Gregory(Lead Vocals), Wil Lopez(Guitar), Jules Whelpton(Bass), Marc Polit(Drums)

The idea of execution. Imagine how much of the technology we use daily would have not existed, had the idea never been executed. Imagine how many songs would have never been written for believing it wasn’t good enough. Imagine all the movies that never would have existed out of fear of being laughed at. Fear of rejection, failure and utter humiliation is often what holds back brilliant ideas. But once the voices in our heads are silenced and we act on our ideas, our visions, it has the power to change the world. It may not succeed right off the bat. And it may fail the first time. But giving up after a few setbacks does nothing. Learn from it. Execute. And grow. Read more>>

Ann Jimin Woo | Visual Designer

The most important lesson I have learned was to have an open mind and to be ready to learn something new everyday. There are so many different ideas, information, and tools that people share through different types of mediums. By consuming media consciously and having conversations with different people, it allows me to learned about different fields and skills that I can apply to my creative practice. Read more>>