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?
Alondra De La Rosa | Young aspiring plus size model | influencer
Becoming the person I am today has been a long and tough journey, but I have only came out stronger. I wouldn’t say I learned a lot of things but I have learned a lot about one thing which is confidents! Confidents never came naturally to me; I used to hate everything about me. When I was younger being plus size wasn’t “normal”, so I never felt comfortable in my skin. It wasn’t until I got into high school when I felt confident in myself; I realized that my curves were a blessing in disguise, people would literally pay money for something I have that came naturally. The most important thing I have learned through my journey is to accept myself and surround myself with people who accept me! Believe in yourself and abilities because you can do anything you put your mind too! Confidence it KEY!
Jameel Yousif| MBA” LoL Public figure or coach
The most important lesson I have learned so far in my journey is to always help others succeed in whatever it is they are trying to do and you will help yourself succeed. Being a self servant leader in my community or even to people I know personally is a standard that has been set morally within myself. This means, I will put others before myself and will see the fulfillment it actually brings others and myself in life.
Dominique Talley | marketing director of S.A.V.A.G.E.⚠️ Clothing brand
The most important lesson I have learned along my journey is do not be afraid to fail you have to Learn to turn your Ls into Lessons you can learn from any situation and have to remember this journey you are on don’t leave it in no one else hands it’s on you so keep grinding and striving to achieve everything you set out to do!
Erica Lucas | ‘Uplifted Lifestyle Blogger’
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far through my journey would be that perfection is impossible. We should always strive for excellence! And if we make mistakes along the way, try and try again!
Lauren Weigand | Health Coach and Financial Advisor
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is don’t be afraid to be authentically you. You can’t worry about what everyone else thinks. You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there if you want to see growth personally and as an entrepreneur. When you conform to this “idea” of what you think your audience wants to hear, your true voice starts to drown. Your audience already loves you for you and loves what you are offering or else they wouldn’t stick around.
Rocky Point Connect | Phoenix shuttle service specializing in transportation and vacations to Rocky Point, Mexico
We started this business as three friends who wanted to share our love of Rocky Point and make it more accessible to people in the Phoenix area.
I think the biggest lesson we’ve learned as partners is in the beginning it’s easy to only think about the positives and fun parts of starting a business. It’s even more important though to consider the less sexy aspects like operations, finances, division of responsibilities and time commitments, etc. The key to making it all work is honest, clear communication and a willingness to have the tough conversations alongside all of the fun stuff.
Lizzie Ens | Personal Trainer | Integrative Health Coach | Devoted Mother
The most important lesson I have learned is to connect and align yourself with people that have the same ethics and values as you do and want you to succeed as much as you yourself want to succeed. However, no one owes you anything. PERIOD! If you want something you have to put in the work and make it happen. A dream is only a dream without action.
I grew up Amish on a farm in Ohio with 18 siblings but left when I was 19 years old. Hard work has always been a part of my life but I have learned that I don’t have to do it all alone. No one ever does it without a team that supports them.
With becoming a recent mom I have learned that life is not all about work either (although being a mom you never get much downtime). I can be a tad of a workaholic. Having a child has brought me new perspectives on what is really important to me. I still strive to be successful in my profession and always will as I love working with my clients to change their lives and get healthier, however, having a family to care for has brought me more balance on the day to day grind. I am extremely grateful for the life I have been blessed with.
Ricardo “Suave” Avila | Certified Personal Trainer
Although patience is important, don’t wait for something to fall into your lap, hustle hustle hustle and make things happen. The longer you wait, the more you will be discouraged. If you don’t question why you’re doing what you do and think about quitting because it seems hard, then you’re not doing it right but be patient and let the hustle pay off. There is no such thing as luck, just people who hustle in silence and keep their moves to themselves.
Haley Stevens | All Things Glam
The most important lesson I have learned thus far is, acceptance. In my chair, for hair or makeup, clients usually start by pointing out what they wanted covered or what they wish their hair looked like etc. I have learned that it is then my job, aside to a achieve your glam needs but to be the one who reassures you that you are enough. To accept you exactly as you are and my goal is for you to leave feeling and looking that you can conquer anything!
Adriane Thompson | Parenting Blogger
So far on my journey of growing a blog and working with parents, I have learned that creating a strong connection is what matters. As I gain knowledge to figure out how to help my kids grow into thriving adults, I have found that connecting with them to build a strong foundation is the answer. Then, to convey this same message to other parents, connection and trust also need to be at the core of everything I do.
Dr. Benjamin Benulis | Autoimmune Recovery Specialist
Most important lesson learned is “Only by being different can you make a difference.”
Melody Beebe | owner of True 2 You Boutique & traveler
I believe that the most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey of life is to always stay optimistic no matter what happens. There’s people who come and go in your life and although sometimes it may be sad to see them go, you meet new ones along the way. And through the bad times there’s always good. There’s always a reason to keep going, to smile, and to live. So live the best life you can and give it all you’ve got!
Haley Myers | Graduate Student Speech-Language Pathology Clinician Northern Arizona University Class of 2020
In my journey to becoming a licensed speech-language pathologist, I have learned that you must trust in the process. When expectations are not immediately met, our mind can fill with negativity and self-doubt. In order to stay focused and dedicated in completing a clinical masters degree, I set short-term goals for myself. I am able to remain patient and have faith in knowing that everything is unfolding the way it should.
“”What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting.”” -Mandy Hale
Ivan Almonte | Gym Owner and Fitness Coach
The most important lesson in my journey so far has been that no matter what challenges I may face keeping a positive attitude will always pull me out of any negative situation successfully.
My positive attitude has helped me keep pushing past the obstacles I have encountered. I’m so thankful to be where I am and already love what is to come.
Trinity Dosemagen | Creator of Wild by Nature & Phoenix Plant Swap Organizer
The most important lesson I have learned in my journey thus far is, the value of community. A business without community is like a body without a soul. For me, success is about making connections and improving the way someone feels. I strive to create spaces where people feel safe enough to put themselves out there, make a new friend and learn something new.
Emily Henderson | Photographer & Barista
The most important lesson I have learned from life so far is to live everyday to the fullest and to never sweat the small stuff. I have also learned to treat everyone with kindness no matter what is going on in your life or theirs. Life has taught me that I want to be a barista so I am working on starting a coffee and pastry truck where I want a portion of the proceeds to go to a nonprofit. Because I like giving back and making a difference for others. Most of all I have learned to make time for friends and Family because you never where life will take you. So always try to be the best you can be and alway be kind no matter what.
Katherine Henry| Geographer, Adventurer & Masters Student
The most important lesson I have learned so far in my journey in life is that everything turns out okay in the end. Sometimes we become so focused on what we think we want or need that we forget to be happy with how everything turns out in the end. I have come to realize, despite all the twists and turns, that things always end up okay. I think the most important lesson is that, no matter what, in the end, you’ll find happiness whether it is what you saw for yourself or how life just turned out. Embrace the journey and everything that comes with it because you may not see it now, but there is something great out there for you. If you asked me five years ago what I saw in my future, I never would have seen who I am now. That is why the unknown is the beauty of the journey, so go out there and face it fearlessly and enjoy it because it will pass by you before you know it.
Joey Luna | Artists/Performing Arts
I’ve learned several but the main Two would be To never give up. No matter how many down falls may come, no matter how many don’t believe in you just simply don’t give up and keep going because you Belice in yourself. The second is to enjoy every moment along the way because we will not live them ever again. Big steps, small steps, all steps forward. They all count.
Sammi Conner | Traveler | Graduate Student | Human Resources Coordinator
The most important lesson I have learned thus far is this: Invest in yourself. Self care is so important for mental and physical health and affects many aspects of your life. I try to focus on doing the things that make me happy day to day. This helps me manage stress and anxiety and makes it easier to live in the moment. When you make yourself a priority, everything else will start to fall into place.