There are so many factors that can play a role in determining our results, performance and ultimately our success, but some factors matter more than others. We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor driving their success.

Roni Lee | Guitarist/Writer/Vocalist

First of all, success is measured in many ways. It could come in the form of standing on a huge stage with large crowds or getting a large royalty check, (doesn’t suck) but honestly, those things go by fairly quickly and there’s always a huge scramble to keep them coming in if that’s your goal. I have found actually more satisfaction in gaining the respect of my peers, looking forward to new projects, working with other musicians and artists that add to the experience. Primarily, bringing people into the music with me or into the event or the experience and not so much lording over them to show off my abilities but to share with them, even for a short time, the feeling of the music. When someone comes up to me after A show or after hearing the music or engaging in whatever form they have chosen, and they’ve shared that it has lifted them up for a time , given them joy or gotten them through something difficult, I can honestly say that feels very successful to me. Read more>>

Ben Pryce | Owner | Vamonos Vans

Customer Service, and by extension, word-of-mouth marketing for sure! Both branches of the business (campervan rentals and custom conversions) service really emotional purchasing decisions for our clients. A vacation needs to be relaxing+recharging, and a custom campervan purchase is close to buying a custom home, so we need to make sure that we are really providing top-notch service for our clients to make sure their experience lives up the expectation. If we nail it, undoubtedly the clients are going to talk about their experiences, share photos, invite friends to do the same, and word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful sales tool an entrepreneur has. Read more>>

Amani Jones | Candel Maker & Nanny

What has made me the most successful in my business, are the relationships I’ve made in the short amount of time I’ve been open. These relationships have stemmed from friendships, word of mouth, etc. And from there I’ve been able to meet some amazing people. Building personal relationships is of the utmost importance for me. I want to reach people beyond business. It’s such a crazy time we’re living in right now! Sometimes people just need a listening ear, and a great smelling candle to relieve stress, help them relax, and even ease some sorrow. Read more>>

Caylee McFarland | Photographer & Baker

While I still have a long way to go on my path to success, what has gotten me to where I am today is just going for it, taking risks, and staying humble. When you start a new business venture, you have to let go of your ego and your fears and do what makes you happy. There is nothing scarier than taking your passions and showcasing them to the world. In order to overcome that fear and be successful, I needed to take that leap of faith. I needed to book that first shoot, sell that first cookie, and take that risk. From there the gigs kept coming and people started ordering more baked goods from me. It all started from taking that very first step into something so new and exciting. That being said, it is also so important to stay humble if you want to be successful. Allowing myself to be open to feedback, failures, and mistakes has only made my business ventures stronger. If I let my ego get in the way, then that wouldn’t be the case. Read more>>

Loren Cobbs | Culture Curator and Business Strategist

The most important factor behind the success of SD Melanin is always being service minded. The people who show up to our events or engage with us online aren’t just our customers, they’re valued members of our community, they’re family. And what do you do when you value someone or something? You treat them well, you treat them like they are important to you, and you put thought and effort into everything you do for them, because they matter. Read more>>

Matt Rasku | Actor & Filmmaker

LEARNING! I’m constantly looking at how I can improve upon the things I do, and the more I can learn, the better the product I can deliver. I’m an actor and filmmaker, but on the side I also film self-tape auditions for other actors. The cool thing to me is how each branch of my business influences the other in some capacity, and helps keep me learning whether I know it’s happening or not. As an actor I invested, and still invest, a lot of time and money in acting classes. A huge reason I’m in two feature films and have footage on my reel is because I was in acting class. Going to an acting class brought me in front of a lot of amazing people that then later thought of me for projects that they were involved in. I’m not saying that if you join an acting class then you’re going to book a feature, but I’m saying that my intention was to improve upon what I was doing as an actor and learn as much as I could, and through that opportunities presented themselves that I was fortunate enough to receive. Read more>>

Jean Di Carlo-Wagner | Yoga Therapist Specialing in Cancer Care

Success is an inside job. Bringing my authentic self to my work is key to my feeling successful. If I am able to support someone is learning a new skill, I feel successful! Modeling authenticity means being imperfectly human. I feel successful when students ask me questions because then I know I am approachable. I’m trying to think about the qualities that are important to me that demostrate I am authentic. I aspire to be kind, honest, communicative, gentle, humorous, compassionate and loving. In yoga, we practice some principles that help us develop authenticity, such as, Satya: Truth. It is a continual process of growth to be a human being. Read more>>