We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Annelies Vlasblom | Owner & Creative Director Zeppa

To start collaborating and hiring people. I worked alone for 10 years, which fitted my life at that time perfectly. I had small children, so I could be flexible when they were ill or days off from school. At a certain time I got bored with doing the same work over and over again. I went back to University to study art history, but in the end found out graphic design was my really field, It was my company that needed a change. I started with hiring an intern and slowly grew to a company with 4-5 employees. At the moment (also die to COVID) I mainly work with freelancers, it gives a lot of flexibility and a chance to look for the right person with the specific job. Read more>>

Grant Wiseman | Videographer

Without a doubt it was making the decision to invest in myself. This is a bit of a loaded answer because I mean focusing on mental/physical health as well as the investment in learning the skills for the trade. I remember it was scary at the time spending money outside of my means on courses but I knew they were essential. Fortunately there are so many great places to learn at this time. The other part was putting in the work. I can remember watching hundreds of videos on youtube of people doing real estate video so I could get new ideas, pick out things I did and didn’t like, and experiment with those until I could start coming up with ideas on my own. It takes alot of mental work too. For one thing if you don’t believe you can accomplish whatever it is you want, it isn’t going to happen. More broadly though, focusing on being the best version of myself extends into the business and wherever it goes. Read more>>

Stephanie Powell | Branding, Business and Mindset Coach

Committing to doing the mindset work and getting to a place where I KNOW I can trust myself. No one knows what’s best for your business or your people better than you do. Any time I am questioning a decision or strategy or whatever, I ask myself, “If I absolutely trusted myself here, and I KNEW I was good enough, how would I show up/what would I do?” And then, I do exactly that. Mindset work is so much more than “woo woo” and, honestly, it’s probably 99% of success. So do the work and never stop. Read more>>

Levi Bradford | Music Educator, Publisher and Recordist

Getting out of my own way! We as creatives and entrepreneurs find many reasons to block our output, stunt our growth, and minimize our impact – even if our mission and purpose behind our existence begs for the opposite. I heard once that your business can’t be great unless it’s great without you. I also heard the voice of Zig Ziglar, saying “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Read more>>

Kat French | Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Once I decided to lean into my own artistic aesthetic I discovered an incredible freedom in my design process. It took awhile to get the point where I wasn’t looking around me to see what other successful people in my industry were doing. When I was trying to create pieces based on what other artists were making I felt stuck and incompetent. It was frustrating and unfruitful. When I finally began to create what initially came to mind I found that my style began to take shape on its own. Over the years I have seen my work grow and morph alongside my own personal experiences and I think that giving myself the liberty to do that has been paramount to any successes I’ve been able to enjoy in this business. Read more>>