Every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome is an important part of our story. These difficulties make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but in our conversations with business owners, artists, creatives, academics, and others we have learned that the most common experience is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed. Our ability to to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so we are asking some of the city’s best and brightest: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Maddy Havican | Fashion Stylist
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to truly be myself. The more I’ve embraced my true self creatively and personally the better relationships and art I’ve been able to have in my life! I am so thankful for my friends and colleagues that have encouraged me to do this and continue to everyday. If you surround yourself with people that uplift you I believe you can do anything.
Marilyn Sheets-Cryan | Registered Dietitian | Owner at Sheets Nutrition
Expectation is a sure set-up for disappointment and ultimately limits what is possible. Life unfolds so much smoother when we allow it to flow rather than try to control every step.
Ashley Milhizer | Naturopathic Medical Doctor
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned thus far in life is to stay flexible. Having dreams and goals is important, but don’t get too caught up in all the specific details. Life has a way of throwing you curve balls. The ability to adapt and change course will help keep you from giving up when things don’t go exactly as you planned.
Ashley Puente | Entrepreneur and High school student
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far is always go for every opportunity you see, rejection is part of life, but you’ll never know what you can do if you don’t go for it!
Roni Bravo | Registered Home Baker | Cookie Decorating Instructor & Crafter
Important things I have learned is to find your passion and do something that you really love to do. You can only get better at something if you practice, and most importantly, there are a lot of people who are in the same industry, often times working on the same type of projects. Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Everyone is at a different place in their journey. You have no idea how hard they have worked or what they have overcome to be where they are at in their craft. Be nice, Be fair, but don’t be taken advantage of.
Nitrah Neon | model | musician | entrepreneur
If you’re good at something never do it for free.
Brooke Carlton | REALTOR®️ and Founder of H-elping E-stablish R-oots
Preparation is everything. Be prepared for the opportunity you want, do the work and enjoy the learning process. Success and opportunities will come when you are prepared for them!
Veronika Lopez | Certified eyelash technician
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey to becoming an eyelash tech is that patience is important when it comes to working with one of the most delicate parts of the body. Patience and detail are important tasks to master a great set of lashes.
Sara Maria | self proclaimed empowertarian | advocate for Women’s Empowerment and Affordable Housing | passionate about people
The most important lesson I have learned so far on this journey is that mindset is everything. I started my entrepreneur journey in May 2018 and I had no idea how my thinking pattern would change. Going from a 9-5 to now being fully in control of my time meant that I had to change my practices. I am my business so everything starts with me. If I am not confident in myself it affects every area of my life. I learned to start my day with morning meditation and prayer and that affirmations were so important. I jumped head into my business but it wasn’t until I met my mentor and started mindset coaching that I began to really see the changes in my thinking, which lead to changed behavior patterns. I learned to heal from things in my past that were hindering me presently. It is a process but I am so glad to be able to discover what I am capable of now that I believe everything is possible!
Cavin and Claire Costello of The Ranch Mine | Architecture Firm
Have a long term goal and focus on incremental improvement towards it, enjoying the small victories along the way. I think people starting off often get discouraged that they aren’t where they want to be and either give up too soon or sacrifice that goal for short term success. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your incremental growth, and don’t sacrifice your long terms goals for short term successes.
Tammy Shiann Fritz | Dancer | Model & Actress
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to not compare your journey to others. We are all in different stages in our journey, and just because you feel a little behind in yours, does not mean you are failing. It’s good to be inspired by others, but it’s detrimental to your growth to compare. Try to stay focused on the things that kept you going for so long, and realize how much room for growth and opportunities that you have in front of you. Practice only comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday, and see how far you have come in only a short amount of time.
Jess Denman | Writer & Poet
The most important lesson I have learned on my journey so far is the importance of letting go. Letting go of having control over what others might think or say about my work. Letting go of perfectionism, when creating. But most importantly letting go of the fear that comes with the vulnerability of sharing such deeply personal work. I have written for over 20 years but until very recently I did not believe it was possible to share my work. However the desire to connect with others through writing, like so many authors I have loved, has been my biggest motivation. For someone else to say, “Me too”. Setting aside these deep rooted fears in order to embrace our true superpowers as human beings, authenticity and vulnerability.
Ramneek Mathur | Entrepreneur | Real Estate Broker & Certified Life Coach
I have come to say, ‘to experience is to live, to share the experience is to live well’. I was fortunate to experience, early in my life, the intrinsic value in helping others.
From that moment forward, I promised myself I would find a way to make a living out of this experience. With this commitment, coupled with various succeeding life experiences sourcing from around the world, I came to discover a stark and potent fact about reality; everything affects everything.
This reality set the stage for who I had to become to have any chance at helping people the way I envisioned.
To be successful, I needed more experiences.
I had to fail and fail quickly.
I needed to understand the nuances and the valuable dynamics within the professional and the personal ecosystem to properly advocate for my clients.
I had to become more. And this thought process is what inspires my work to this very day.
Every day I strive to help my clients create, develop and pursue their professional and personal goals and vision and because of this my business model has become very simple:
The more I understand, the more I can help.
Over 15 years in the making, my work has enabled me to assist my clients in every facet of their lives, as needed and act as an advisor to their businesses.
With a unique and globally sourced blend of experience in entrepreneurship, investments, real estate and personal development – my passion has become my life’s work.
If I could leave you with any ‘one thing’ I’ve learned; I suppose it would be the following:
If you take a moment to think about it, you may come to realize how much of our lives play out nowhere else but in our heads.
It can become hard to remember what we have shared with the outside world and what we’ve yet to articulate.
We can find ourselves in a conflated mental state of insecurity, mental fog and anxiety.
The greatest antidote I have come to find is what I refer to as ‘intent based living’. Which in fact, is a simplified idea in the realm of ‘mindfulness’.
Practicing ‘intent’ based living is not natural – it connotes a ‘vulnerability’ that many of us often try to avoid. But the more you push yourself in this regard, the more confidence you will find.
It fosters a humility that counters the vulnerability.
The good news is, our vulnerabilities can often be reframed as strengths.
The bad news is, we tend to discover this far too late.
Our only true vulnerability in life is time – use it with intent. I promise you – you’ll change your world.
Jessica Lugo | AZ Insurance Broker & Model
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that all great things take time, so don’t rush! It’s important not to get discouraged when obstacles arise or your patience is tested. Taking baby steps is better than not moving forward at all. If you aren’t where you want to be at this moment, keep working and trying until you get there. I believe every Winner started as a Dreamer who decided to Never Give Up.
Sascha Schlossberg | Mom | Co-Founder of Holistic Made
The most important thing we’ve learned in our journey so far is that nothing is constant and that very few things go as planned. What keeps me sane is finding the lesson in the mishaps and allowing challenges to provide answers for how we guide our business and overall vision. We also look at things in a broad manner, where possible. For example, early on, we had some crazy client challenges. We used those to put specific guidelines in place for how we run our business, so we really use hard moments to build ourselves up instead of going nuts or getting frustrated. We also theme each business quarter. Q2 was all about scaling, systems, and growing our team. Q3 is about growing our client roster. We’re doing podcasts, publicity, and events to get ourselves out there. We maintain vision for long term, intermediate, and short term, and that allows us to roll with the punches and have fun while we do it.
Jose Cordova | Nail Artist
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that it is important to keep working towards improving your craft. There will always be something new or trending and once you settle and think that there is nothing else to learn you will get stuck. There is always room for growth, not to be better than others but to be better than you were yesterday.
Miranda Rose | Medical Esthetician | Laser Tech | Future RN
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is patience. It truly is a virtue. My associate RN has taken me 3+ years to finish. Between nursing school wait lists and the amount of prerequisites/ co-requisites, the process has taken a long time. I know it all works out in the end, but it’s all about being patient. Because in the end, my future patients are the ones that reap the benefits of all of my hard work.
Rebecca Wierman | Corporate Hippie and Cannabis Advocate
The most important thing I have learned in my journey so far is to never allow or search for comfort. It takes being uncomfortable to help you realize what you need to achieve success. As long as it doesn’t put you in any emotional, physical, or spiritual danger– take a risk! In order to grow you must avoid complacency.
Josh C Vella, MD | Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon
The most important lesson I’ve learned is not to get stuck on “How” everything is going to happen. As I continue to focus on the big picture and long term goals, everything I need to make this a success keeps showing up. It’s just not how I imagined it happening. The less I am fixed on how success will happen the more I can enjoy the process of getting my practice to be the way I envision. Appreciation for all that is working in this process is much more valuable than ruminating about all that is not.
Mazeratie Sweet | Blogger & Marketing Strategist
Nothing is impossible. Be creative in your approach to roadblocks. Seeing something from a different angle may surprise you.