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What’s the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

All of us are where we are today partly because of our own efforts and partly because of the advice, guidance, influence and inspiration provided by others.  At Voyage we have the good fortune of connecting with so many of the city’s hidden gems – from entrepreneurs and creatives to athletes, researchers and more.  We asked them a simple, but important question: what is the best advice, personal or professional, that you’ve ever received?

Sarah Maddon – Certified Personal Trainer and owner of FitLab Personal Training

Never allow the pressure to exceed the pleasure. It’s a quote I try to remember, and apply, both professionally, and personally.

Alison Altrui — Owner of Christella Photography

Maternity Model: Samantha Mizioch

I think the best advice I’ve ever gotten pretty simple: do what you love. When you do what you love and love what you do, you’ll always be happy!


Silvana Braggio Photography – Wedding Photographer

Hard one, but the best advice I received was from a video I saw of Stan Lee – “If you have an idea that you genuinely think it is good, don’t let anyone take you of out it.  If there is something that you feel is good, something you want to do, something that means something to you,  try to do it. Because you can only do your best work if you’re doing what you want to do and if you’re doing it the way you think it should be done. And if you can take pride in that you’ve have done it. And don’t shirk. Whatever you do, give it your best shot.”

Ashley Worth – Hair Artist

The best professional advice I have received was from hair school and I have never forgotten it. It was to always under promise and over deliver. You never want to promise someone “Elsa” blonde is possible in one session if it may not happen. I am honest and give my clients the best hair possible, while maintaining their hair integrity. If by chance they lift to “Elsa” blonde in one session then you just over delivered and have a happy, forever client.

Hannah Allen – Photographer

The best professional and personal advice that I have received has definitely been to never accept no for an answer. When people say no to your ideas and dreams, listen to what they have said but do not let it crush you–find another way to get your ideas to the world.  ALL the successful people in this world have had people tell them no, but they never let that stop them.

David “Alan” Whitten and Gregory “Allen” Colson – owners/photographers/visual artists/listeners/funny guys

My photography mentor Cecil told me in 1975, “if you learn the basics, the origins, the beginnings of something, anything,  you will master and overcome anything! He was a smart man, no college degree, but knew how to capture light to film. Cecil was a retired Chicago Tribune photographer. In 1975 he had been retired for 10 yrs. By my estimates he started in the 1930’s-1940’s. These were simple times, but difficult as a photographer. You had to learn as he called it, ” The Dance”, or the Exposure Triangle. The three variables that determine the exposure of a photograph: aperture, shutter speed, and now ISO (back in the mid 70’s ISO was set by your film selection). Then combine other variables such as lens focal length, etc.,wow! As he said back then, garbage in, garbage on film! Every shot counts on film, no instant do overs! You had to make all of this light dance work to obtain a sharp, detailed image. This is the reason for my black and white image passion. Someone said: If you take a photo of people in color, you a took a photo of their clothes. When you take a photo of people in black and white you captured an image of their soul!   I value all of the mentors in my lifetime. They are brought in and out of your life for a reason. It is up to us to choose weather we notice this and use these skills in a way to create positive in your own world, so you can help create a positive, knowledgeable atmosphere for future generations in their world.   My father was a wise man beyond his time! I only had 18 years with him. He passed away just as I was at the end of my senior year in high school. But he passed on knowledge, wisdom, and survival skills. Below are some of his Dadism’s:  !. A wise man listens to many, a fool listens to one! 2. It doesn’t matter what job you perform in life for a career, learn all about it and be the best you can be. Doesn’t matter if you are a “manure” shoveler or an executive of a large major company. Just be the best you can be. 3. Your name is all that truly matters in life. Make it a good memory for the future! 4. Never burn a bridge behind you! Every relationship is important! 5. Always let the body of your work speak louder than the mouth on your body! 6. If you are in charge you turn the lights on in morning and shut them off at night! 7. Thank everyone you work with and works for you, even the janitor! 8. Toughness begins between the ears. Be a sponge not a head full of lead! 9. You will have to give away the fruit you have grown before you can sit down to eat and benefit from it yourself.  There are so many more, these are some I can remember.  Relationships and partnerships are important. Never burn one! You have to listen to your partners needs over time in order for them to grow with your services. If they don’t grow you won’t be successful, let alone grow your business. Provide a level of service that exceeds expectations! Provide value added service!   We recently had a new prospective partner call our offices at Certified Folder for a brochure distribution quote for service. The Vulture City Ghost Town outside of Wickenburg AZ just opened up from a period correct restoration and wanted to market and advertise to tourists coming to Arizona.  They had a very low start up budget to begin with, let alone a budget for new images. I went to the owner of Certified Folder, Pat Fearn, and mentioned to him Alan and Allen will shoot the images free of charge so our new prospect could have new images for Certified Folder to design their new brochure. The owner agreed this would be a good value added service for our new prospect. The owners at Vulture City Ghost Town, Rod Prat and Robin Moriarty were excited with their new images and the rack card Certified Folder designed for them to be distributed to visitors in Arizona. Team work and Partnership on display!  This is where mentors, life’s lessons, work experiences, being a good listener, and always doing what you say you are going to to do, when you said you are going to do it, are the keys to personal or career success. Partnerships have advantages! In this case, one of the many personal skills in my life enhanced and created a strong, new business relationship for now and moving forward. Not only for Certified Folder Display where my career in advertising will be until I retire, but for Alan and Allen Visuals moving forward for myself and my family! 

Sasha Wright, Owner – AZ Pro Photobooth

The best advice I’ve received for my business is to love my product so much myself that I know others will love it too. I absolutely love our photo booth! I think it’s the coolest thing ever to capture candid memories at parties or special events and instantly have it to keep. We have so many photo booth photos on our fridge from family events and I’m so proud to love what we’ve created. I have photo booth strips from years before I started this business that I cherish. It’s so rewarding to make those special memories now for other people with a modern, updated version!

Shruti Chowdhury RN, BSN- Aesthetic Nurse Injector

Also the best business advice I ever received was: No one successful ever said “I worked too hard to get here.”


Tymes Marsh owner and operator of (WesCoastVintage)

When you come from the projects you don’t receive much advice growing up so I try to live by my own life experiences. If I could give your followers some of my personal advice I’ve learned through out my life I would tell them to follow their heart and always stay true no matter the situation. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs and in the end some people choose not to stick around but I am still here making my own way through the bad, the good and the ugly. One day I plan to make a serious impact and change in the place I call home. One of my favorite Quotes is by 2Pac – Picture Me Rollin’  “One life to live, it’s so hard to be positive When niggas shooting at your crib.”

Blake Williams | Professional Photographer

Photo by: @malenfantcolton

Taking pictures for many years I’ve come a crossed some awesome constructive criticism and advice handed to me but to be completely honest if I were to say the best advice I’ve gotten thus far would have to be just to keep doing what I’m doing as long as it’s what I love to do. Because when you’re doing what you love it’s not work!


Brandi Datcher-Chief Errand Officer of She’s Got It Errand & Concierge

My mother and father would always say, you reap what you sow. The seeds that you sow can be reaped for generations, therefore sow generously. This is definitely advice I have used personally and in every aspect of business.               
Facebook: She’s Got It Errand & Concierge

Tipsy Oak – Original Handcrafted Furniture & Decor by Vinnie + Jess works for us

As for the best advice.. I think the one thing that i’ve not only learned throughout experience, but also heard through many sources would be learning to become comfortable with uncomfortable situations. This applies to both personal and professional. Being uncomfortable typically means we’re experiencing something new and moving forward. This is the best way to learn and grow as a person or with our business.   

Phillip-Robert Holmes: Fashion Stylist/ Consultant & Content Creator

Lerman Montoya

Success is not a destination, it’s a process.  Always trust your gut; it’s where pure creativity and instincts lie.

Clayymatic – Lyrical architect

Best advice that I was given? It’s hard to say what the best advice was. But one of the dopest things I’ve heard was, slow to speak and quick to listen. There is a learning process no matter the environment. In a conversation; instead of having an argument or confrontation, truly analyze what is being said. Because although the person may be off maybe there is some truth about what is said. With Truth comes opportunity to advance if the perspective is taken as a learning experience. Because if there totally wrong you have learned still in a manner of, “this person is completely off”.   Also one thing I tell myself is patience. There’s no reason to get upset when you can control the outcome (in many cases); we are not responsible for others actions but for what we do in that instance.. be blameless.

Jade Yeban – Blogger at Jade of Trades

The best professional advice I’ve ever received is to make yourself uncomfortable often. You don’t grow in your comfort zone, so constantly try new things, meet new people and explore new places. Being uncomfortable is part of personal growth!

Braxton Hooks – Videographer

“The best advice you’ve received.” I would have to say “Life isn’t a race, you finish at your own pace you don’t have to go at someone else’s.” Or something like that!

Spencer Golish – Karaoke King and Pizza Peddler

The best advice I’ve received.  Stay humble, your ego is not your amigo.

Maestro Cal Kellogg leads the West Valley Symphony

My conducting teacher, Frano Ferrara, always said, Believe every piece you perform is the greatest ever written or don’t conduct it. There are no second-rate works in the repertoire.


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