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.

Taylor May | Multi-Instrumentalist, Musical Instructor, Entrepreneur, & Inventor

There’s something that connects all of us, call it what you want. But when you see it, like really see it for the first time, it’s impossible to ignore. I had been teaching myself numerous musical instruments since I was 2 but it never occurred to me until a little over a year ago that I could teach others. I had a couple guitars, a mandolin, a ukulele, a couple banjos, and an old thrift store organ so I just went for it. When I got my first student, we both were just sitting there for a hot minute until I realized that I was the one leading this rodeo. Diving full force into dreams and ideas is fun, especially when you get to the inevitable question of “what am I doing?” Jeff Bezos once said, “Even the best innovators always look a little clueless at the beginning because to get a great return you have to be doing something most people aren’t.” Of course, he was talking about innovation. But that’s what I was doing – I didn’t have a music education degree, let alone a music degree, let alone ANY degree. I had to come up with my own strategies of teaching someone an instrument, and I quickly found out the best way for me was to see the connection. Read more>>

Rumer Richardson | Owner & Instructor BEYOND Studios Dallas

Drive and Community. For myself personally I am a very driven and passionate person. Growing up I never through about my career in terms of places I wanted to work but rather the roles I wanted to have. I have always felt the drive to achieve the most in whatever position I am in, be it internships, retail jobs or starting out as a Pilates instructor. I not only have wanted to make the best of my role and my job but wanted to push the business in a positive direction. I knew pretty early on teaching Pilates that I wanted a space of my own eventually. A place with a strong community and passion for Pilates and fitness all around! That is why Community is the biggest factor for BEYOND. Community the perfect mix of clients, instructors and surrounding partners with our studio to create a space that feels safe and empowering for EVERYONE. BEYOND is a judgement free zone where everyone is able to find a challenge, no matter their fitness level. This past year has brought us together in a way I never could’ve crafted on my own. Read more>>

Vaden and Rachel Lewis | Owners of The Loop

When we decided to open The Loop, we had a lot of people make suggestions of adding a stage, making it open for events, adding a coffee shop, those kind of things. We always maintained that we wanted to focus on one thing and do it exceptionally well. In this case it was providing a well engineered, clean, secure, rehearsal studio in a comfortable and supportive environment. Staying focused on the overall goal was definitely one of the most important factors if not the most important. Read more>>

Angie Dumas | Culinary Writer & Lifestyle Influencer

The most important Factor behind my success is I pray about everything. I was taught that if we acknowledge God in all things everything would happen according to His plan. Read more>>

Irene Kwong | CEO/Designer

The most important factor behind our brand success has been our consistent and unwavering dedication to our customers. Our desire to always go a step beyond whether it is in product quality/value or communication (customer service, engagement, transparency, request for feedback) has been important in earning both the trust and loyalty of our customers. As a business, we understand that we wouldn’t be where we are now without our customers. We treat them as we would family – with respect, kindness, and love. By being open about our operations in the company (including any setbacks or challenges that may affect them), providing consistent and true-to-brand product releases, and engaging our customers on our social media channels, we want to ensure our customers feel happy, safe, and seen. Read more>>

Lyndsy Foshion | Hairstylist Specializing in Blondes

I really believe that my amazing guests are the reason for my success. Seeing the smile on their faces when I turn them around in the chair, really fuels me to be the best I can be. Their constant support and love picks me up, and I hope to be a light in their life. I only get a couple of hours with them every couple of months, but I hope that through hair I can make their life a little brighter. I am a firm believer that when you look good, you feel good. Read more>>

Michelle Lynne | President, ML Interiors Group and Founder, Designed for the Creative Mind

An unwavering belief in myself and my team, envisioning my goals, and being grateful for meeting them – as if they had already happened. A wildly supportive husband and not being afraid of other’s opinions of me. Read more>>

Lindsey Hutson | Creator of The Gourmet Gilmore

At nearly 2,000 Instagram followers and growing, I have to credit a good portion of the success of The Gourmet Gilmore to the niche fans of the original Gilmore Girls series. There is so much space on the Internet for all kinds of blogs, social media accounts, etc., but because of that it can be incredibly hard to gain any traction. Choosing to start a project based on a show that means so much to so many people helped narrow my focus and basically created a perfect roadmap for my project that other superfans are excited to see unfold. Any time you can have a piece of a beloved fictional world brought to life, it is super special and I think that is something a lot people are interested in following. I am so thankful for all of the encouragement I’ve received since starting this project. Read more>>

D. Jackson | A Son, Friend, Family Member, Lover, Creative, and Project Engineer

I like to say that people are the most important factor in all of this. The people who constantly share, give feedback and simply have the conversation. I say that because my goal has never been to be successful with my brand, but instead to have something meaningful and useful to say. My brand inadvertently became my brand because of my peers and those who’ve spread the word along the way, so I guess you can say the people are my brand and not me personally. When I think of ‘Don’t Cheat Yourself’ I think of the community in which I serve and how we are all connected in some way or another. You are the brand, so thank you. Read more>>

Elizabeth Fisher | Florist

I would sum up Lizzie Bee’s success in one word: Support. The support of my family and friends, the stellar work of my team, the encouragement from continuing education and conferences that I’ve attended…all of these people and opportunities have allowed me and the shop to flourish and grow. I know that Lizzie Bee’s has only taken on such a beautiful form because I’ve allowed it to grow beyond just me, and to instill the same passion I have for luxury floral design and southern hospitality in others. Having a support base also allows me to push myself. Lizzie Bee’s has grown because we’ve gone the extra mile for clients, which means we work hard—but I’ve been able to work so hard and build such quality professional relationships because I have people behind me cheering me on. Read more>>

Lindsay Gordon | Hairstylist & Suite Owner

I pride myself in customer service! I think it is so important to make each person feel heard and special from the second they walk in the salon. I believe people not only come here to look a certain way, but they get the look plus feel a certain way as well! Beautiful hair is contagious! When you look good, you feel good and exude positive energy all around! It’s a vibe. Read more>>

Brittani Wilkins | Digital Marketing Professional & Small Business Owner

The most important factor that contributes to my success is the passion that I have for all things marketing, digital, design and production. I simply do what I love for a living. That alone has led me to be a part of some wonderful projects and collaborate with some amazing people along the way. I absolutely love the creative and analytical side of everything related to what I do and that alone inspires me to want to continue building knowledge and try new and exciting things. I recently launched my own women’s apparel company (AMETHYST – in 2019 and it’s been a joy to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Navigating a new business in the height of the pandemic came with a few challenges but I think my drive to work hard, overcome hardships and strive to be better than average/good pushes me to be successful. I also have a really great support team of family, friends and colleagues. I’m constantly surrounded by knowledgeable people who bring value to my decisions as a marketing professional and business owner. Read more>>

Jeremy Brandt | Entrepreneur, Lender, Real Estate Investor, and Supporter of Small Business.

With multiple companies and the success of a brand always comes back to the people involved. A brand is really just the impression and feeling others have of it. By having the best people in the world behind our brands and running offices across the country, it ensures the integrity, trust, quality, and positive feelings people have when they see our advertising or branding. At, we’ve worked with millions of home sellers across the country and partnered with some of the most recognized real estate companies in the country. We are obsessive about protecting our brand and always doing the right thing with clients, partners, and consumers. Read more>>

Zyde’Ceaux Joe’s Cajun Products | Seasoning Company and Food Enthusiast

Zyde’ceaux Joe’s Cajun Products has succeeded through adaptability. Zyde’ceaux Joe’s, like all small businesses, had an interesting 2020. We had to adapt to the changes in our current world, just like every business with a growing customer base and products that are sold regionally in stores and to the world’s marketplace online. We planned to introduce our Gourmet Fish Fry to more than 30,000 potential customers in a Catfish Festival in Belzoni, Mississippi, but adapted our scope once the event was canceled this past April. By May, we introduced our new colorful label for our 16 ounce multi-purpose Gourmet Fish Fry. These changes during the Spring only continued during a busy summer for our brand. In June we were scheduled to attend the Zeta Phi Beta Boule in our nation’s capital, where more than three hundred thousand people gather over a fortnight. We were scheduled to attend this event as vendors and open ourselves up to a brand new region and customer base of consumers of fresh and saltwater fish, blue crab, and other seafood in surrounding markets. Read more>>

Steve Gielda | Managing Partner/Head of Sales and Marketing

The most important factor behind my business is to ensure that my customers achieve greater business outcomes as a result of my company support. Ignite Selling is a small company compared to others in the industry. However, the impact we have proven to have on sales results has enabled us to sustain business relationships for many years. Our belief is the profits and revenues of our company are merely an economic output of helping our customers succeed. Read more>>

Erin Lea | Innovator & Formulator

There are several factors that contribute to the success of Olive Tree. In my observation, the skincare industry lacks clean, natural product lines that are American made, handcrafted, and affordably priced. The average consumer can scarcely afford the natural cosmetic brands sold in department stores and by multi-level marketing companies. And oftentimes, more affordable national brands contain few high-quality ingredients and often contain potentially harmful chemicals. My goal in creating the Olive Tree Body Care line has been to address these issues. Every Olive Tree product is handcrafted in Crowley, Texas using safe, natural ingredients derived from plants and minerals. And I never use parabens, aluminum, sulfates, silicones, or phthalates. I always strive to keep costs low; I am driven less by profit than I am by a desire to deliver a product that will improve the quality of life for my customers. And I am happy to take special product formulation requests from customers. Read more>>

Kicks4Kicks Charity | Joseph Rodarte, Michael Reed, Misela Hrgota, Ma’Kayla Tillman, and Jessica Campbell

I believe that our most important factor behind our success is simply that we believe in treating people like people. That is who we are. We connect with the people we give to and those that support us. With this, we are able to grow our support system and meet the needs of those less fortunate. People get excited to support a cause that they see is of a genuine nature. Let’s bring back empathy, let’s pave road together; so that we can give others the comfort and confidence to walk alongside one another. Read more>>

Sabino Sotelo | Cigar Roller at Cigar Butler

Service. Several cigar rollers now serve the DFW area. We have been serving the DFW area for over 20 years now and the word of mouth by our customers keep us going. We provide a quality product at a fair price, but our service is what keeps our customers calling back. “My friend just loves how you entertained their guests” is what we hear most. “Your cigar knowledge and interaction with guests” is second on the list. Read more>>

Stephon Latham | Photographer | Creative Director | Poet | Servant

Relationships! Throughout the course of my career, I was able to build rapport with people and nurture many professional relationships across many industries. Those relationships afforded me so many opportunities during the journey. I’m in the people’s business and people like authenticity. Being respectful and sharing good energy with people will take you a long way. Read more>>

Meagan Funk | Producer & Talent Manager

Authenticity. I am no salesperson. If I don’t believe in something, I can’t expect anyone else to believe in it. For me, something that goes hand-in-hand with authenticity is attention to detail. Read more>>

Brad Bevill | Dog Behaviorist & Owner/Founder of Bevill Dog Behavior & Bevill Dog Rescue

The most important factors behind my success are my work ethic, optimism, and the 44 years I’ve been applying both to my life. I believe I can do whatever I put my mind to. Now, I am a rational guy. I don’t “put my mind” to playing in the NBA. I’m terrible at basketball and 44 years old. But when I decide there’s something I want to and can do, I simply don’t stop until I do it. Another huge part of Bevill Dog Behavior’s success is my 18 years in corporate America – where I learned about business, branding, marketing, advertising, building teams, leadership, finance, service development, client relations, etc. Without the knowledge and experience I gathered over those 18 years, I have no idea where BDB would be. Nothing frustrates me more than hearing, “Wow! Your business really took off fast!” Or when people insinuate that someone’s success is simply “right place at the right time” or “it’s all who you know”. I worked hard for 25 years developing the skills that I’m using today that make BDB successful. As far as the success of the brand. Read more>>

Jen Malloy | Jen Malloy | Owner of Craft & Communicate, a Senior Living Marketing Firm

It’s nearly impossible to say just one factor is behind the success of my business, or any business. It’s taken us five years to build what we have today; five years of dedication, of extreme focus, of understanding our why, of believing in our value, and of not giving up. All of those factors contribute to building a successful brand or business. If I was to single out one thing though, for me, it would be this wisdom from Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. When I left corporate America and created Craft & Communicate in 2016 with my husband Rich, it was Jim Rohn who I read every single morning. I knew the five people I was currently spending my most time with, aside from Rich, did not share my values. I knew that I would need to completely separate myself from my current job before I’d be able to move forward. So that’s what I did. Five years later, this company that my husband and I built is the success that it is due in part to being very selective about those five people. Read more>>

Merrie Spaeth | Founder and President of Spaeth Communications, Inc. | Visionary, Mentor and Teacher

My company, Spaeth Communications, Inc. (Spaeth), was founded upon what turned out to be a revolutionary insight that has significant implications for individuals and companies. Most people approach communication with the mindset, “What do I want to say? What does the other person/audience need to know?” When we ask, how much does the listener remember, a lot or a little? Everyone knows the answer is just a little. I developed a strategic model, the Influence ModelTM, and a methodology to influence what the listener hears, believes and remembers. Additionally, I pioneered the concept that every employee and customer can be an ambassador. Once people are introduced to this insight and its ramifications, they have a powerful technique at their disposal. Plus, making communication strategic, effective and, yes, fun improves every encounter. Read more>>

Flip Howard | Principal

That’s easy – it’s all about the people on the team, It sounds cliche, but attracting, empowering, and retaining the best people trumps everything else. I’d rather have ten great people than 30 pretty good ones. I truly believe that if my current business disappeared tomorrow, but you gave me my top handful of people, we could go into any line of business and find a way to be successful. Read more>>

Kyara Murry

Important factors behind my success are faith and integrity. I have found that being grounded in my faith and committing to transparency has created a trusting space between my clients and my business. Additionally, I have found that to succeed in business, you have to be a woman or man of your word. Integrity is essential to businesses that depend on referrals, and endorsements. The goal is to sustain your clientele, therefore retaining your customer base is essential. Legally Black LLC.’s mission is to serve as the number one legal directory for primarily Black business owners, law firms, companies, startups, joint ventures and partnerships who are seeking to create win-win situations through creative technology driven (social media support) campaigns for lead generation (gaining more clients) & service/product conversion (gaining more sales). With regard to Legally Black LLC, retention and trust are essential to running a successful directory. Read more>>

Courtney Kearney, CPSM | Founder and Owner

Each and every CKearney Consulting (CKC) team member is behind our success, without them the company would not exist as it does today. Every person plays a vital role in providing the best quality service to our clients while making the firm run smoothly and efficiently. The support we provide one another is what fuels our success. Early on in our company history, we read Simon Sinek’s book Find Your Why ( and identified CKC’s purpose is to provide our clients the ability to have the work lifestyle they desire. A work life free from the stress of a dysfunctional or underutilized CRM system, one that allows our clients the freedom to enjoy the success when client relationship management (CRM) is done right. Similarly, CKC also exists to provide our team members the ability to live their desired lifestyle. Read more>>