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.

Stevie Sparks | Musician

The most important factor in my current success is undoubtedly the support of my family and friends. Not only do they come to my shows, share my work online, and in some cases help out financially; but they also believe in my ability and skills, and since graduating from college and returning to Austin I’ve built a wonderful group of people who will advocate for my musicianship and continue to push me forward in my career. As an aspiring creative, I was often told about the power of networking—which, to my introverted self, sounded completely exhausting. But I’ve realized that the true nature of networking isn’t just a constant grind of promoting yourself, your work, and “getting in good” with the right people. The most important part, to me, has been developing new friendships. Read more>>

Joette White | President of Park Cities Pet Sitter Inc.

I believe a big part of my success has been the way I treat my employees. They are vital to my business and I believe in putting them first. Each person brings their own uniqueness to the job and I try to meet them where they are. My goal is to build them up and set them on a path to be successful. We all have life going on in the background and understanding that and being sensitive to their personal needs is important. As a result many have been with me 5-20 years. If you take really good care of your people they will take really good care of your clients. Read more>>

Ashlyn Shadden | Small Business Owner & Creative

Hands down the driving factor behind Panache (our storefront) is teamwork. Other than the hard work on & off “the clock”, we have continued to see success with our small business because we are a mother/daughter duo that actually works. We have our own areas of expertise, but we work together really well. It takes both of us, it truly does. Mom & I are very much yin & yang. I am the online face (instagram, instagram stories, facebook, website, etc…) & she is the storefront face (one-on-one, hugs, welcoming, etc…). Initially I thought we would each appeal to our own age groups (which was true at first), but as we continue to grow, we notice a crossover. For example: younger shoppers come into the store on their way to the wineries & they fall in love with how kind & welcoming mom is. They become loyal customers because of her kindness. Read more>>

Blake Mendenhall | Momentum Fitness Personal Trainer

The most important factor behind my success is my client’s success. I have learned from the other trainers around me and from experience that if you buckle down and devote yourself to helping your clients succeed, it will set you up for success in the long run. Take care of your clients and they will take care of you. Another very important factor is practice what you preach. I can’t teach you how to live a healthy lifestyle if I am not living the lifestyle I’m trying to teach. When a client is struggling on a lift, I can relate to that because I’ve been there. If they are struggling with food temptations, I can relate to that because I’ve been there. When you can relate to all of your client’s successes AND failures, big AND small, it’s very easy to help celebrate these wins and work through most of the losses because you’ve been there done that and your clients can tell it’s authentic. Read more>>

Rita Giles | Owner & Operator

I believe the most important factor behind the success I have gained, has been superb customer service. I personally believe it is absolutely crucial to the success and longevity of a business, especially an up-and-coming business. Between the facts that I am a natural caregiver & I strongly believe great customer service (or even mediocre customer service) is nonexistent overall, I take great pleasure in providing something to my customers that they never would have guessed or expected. I have received many compliments that have included phrases like “… And she was so professional!“ A persons first thought may be, why would that be worth mentioning within a review or comment. The answer to that is extremely simple… Because great customer service is a rarity. Read more>>