Hardwork? Luck? Good habits? What would you say is behind your success? We’ve shared some thoughtful responses below.

Lizzie Jones | Fashion Designer & Costumer

I owe a lot of my success to being bold and staying true to my style and ideals about fashion. I love bright, sparkly pieces that mix kids wear elements with lady’s sportswear. That certainly isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it’s this fun, funky elegance that lets my work really stand out. It took me a while to feel comfortable designing looks without holding back but once I began doing that, all the pieces fell together. My best work comes from designs I create without thinking “who is this for?” and simply make what I would like to wear but can’t find on any shelves! Read more>>

Stephanie Brown | CEO, Ox & Pine Leather Goods Co

It’s hard to say there’s exactly one thing that has brought success and growth! There are many things that have contributed to the success and growth of Ox & Pine. The first thing is the support of my great husband and the patience of our four children as we’ve navigated life and business. Then, there’s my amazing team who work hard and come together to support one another. We really pride ourselves in all the little details of carefully selected premium leather and other goods, incredible attention to detail in our craftsmanship, and the best customer service you’ll ever experience. We look to create lasting connections through meaningful gifts that will be remembered and treasured forever. Read more>>

Laurie Finkinebiner | High School Senior Photographer

The most important factor behind the success of my business is building a Model & Representative team with each incoming class. The team I build each year represents my brand, and they are ultimately my sales team. I am able to showcase my brand through styled shoots I do with them throughout the year. As an incentive, they get even more images for their senior year, while creating new friendships with other team members. Not to mention….its just fun!! What senior wouldn’t want to be a part of this fun experience? Read more>>

Steve Berens | Co-Founder & CEO of Clear Comfort

Technologies help make our lives safer, easier and more enjoyable, and pool and spa water care is no exception to that. We used to consider red eyes, irritated skin and toxic chemical handling as the price you had to pay to own a pool. But with Clear Comfort, homeowners don’t have to sacrifice their time or health to enjoy their pool or spa. Our brand is focused on helping homeowners experience the healthiest, freshest-feeling and easiest pool water with the least amount of chlorine possible. We make it possible to achieve drinking-water chemical levels in your pool. Our company motto is “Swim Happy™” and it’s what drives us every day. Read more>>

Shelby Alexis | Wedding Photographer

My hearts desire is to spread kindness and to glorify Christ in all things. Kindness is something you can give that doesn’t cost you a thing and I believe it can truly change the world. My hope is that my clients walk away feeling loved, heard and cherished. I believe the most rewarding part of being a photographer is the relationships I’m able to form with my clients. By the time your canvases or wedding albums have been delivered, my desire is for us to feel like long time friends, and completely comfortable with each other! My business is purpose based, and I think it is so valuable to capture more than just photos of my clients, but to truly connect with them on a personal level. Read more>>

Michelle Norwood | Founder and Creative Director

On Building A Wedding Brand and Business: Invest In Your Relationships In the beginning, it felt like I just needed to get my name out there. Because I had been in the corporate world, exposed to marketing budgets and strategy decks, I felt like that’s what I was supposed to do. I spent the first two years building my business and getting my name out through advertising and marketing (and continues to do so). But it wasn’t until I really started networking and meeting the right people that my brand started to take off. Big Game Changers for my Business: Putting My Name On the Door There are pros and cons to using your name as your business name. But for Me, a name change was key. One of the biggest defining moments for me was when I changed the name of my business to my name. All of a sudden, everything about my business was personal and I felt connected to the work and my clients in a totally new way. Read more>>

Katherine Wiley | Architectural Designer & Watercolor Illustrator

The number one factor behind my success has been learning to take care of myself. I’ve read business advice that said “hard work, stick to your goals, and write things down.” It’s good advice but it didn’t resonate with me. I wanted a business but I didn’t know why it was so hard for me. It was in my mid-twenties when I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety, after my diagnosis the reasons for my lack of success became clear to me. With the encouragement of my boyfriend, now husband, I finally got help and I learned that my depression, came from burnout and I was not taking care of myself. We talk a lot about self care as a society but I had to learn for myself what self-care meant to me. When you fly the flight attendant tells you in case of an emergency and drop in pressure to place your oxygen mask on first before assisting the person next to you. Read more>>

Yale Bernadotte | Owner, Photographer, DJ/MC, Wedding Coordinator, and at many weddings, even part-time babysitter

Dempag is based on exceptional customer service. While there are many great companies that can provide you with wonderful photos or a DJ that does a good job, Dempag goes so far beyond the “basics”. Quite literally, we’ve got your back. Weddings are such complex events and it requires a team who can truly run your day and make it happen just as you want it to. Taking great photos is seriously one of the easiest parts of a wedding. When a couple becomes part of the Dempag family, they have a team of people who will make sure things go smoothly from start to finish and THAT is what has kept us growing each and every year. Read more>>

David Grizzle | Visual Artist

Probably my work ethic and my drive. I paint a lot. I try and get in 8 hours of painting / Working a day. And I often work on weekends. You have to put in the work. And I love the work so it doesn’t feel like work to me. It feels like vacation. I also am constantly trying to come up with new ways to put my self out there and find new revenue streams. All the while balancing a healthy home life with my wife and kids! Read more>>

Ismael Quintanilla III | Music Photojournalist

The most important factor behind success is the aspiration to create genuine connections with clients and their interests. If the brand becomes the principal focus, what’s best for the client might be overlooked. A brand is nothing without a client to sell it to. However, when the client becomes the number one priority, the brand becomes tailored to their interests. Brands evolve over time, but genuine connections will exceed the product regardless of the market. Read more>>

Chad Michael | Brand and Product Designer

I believe what has made the studio gain such recognition and stable growth over the last 6 years is the passion and conceptual thinking behind each project. From strategy, naming, design, print production, to photography – everything has to resonate in the eyes and the gut. This is a small design studio, with plans to always keep it that way, as I’ve found the best work comes when you are just as excited about the project and the story you’re telling as the client. Within each new brand I designed, whether that be for spirit, cannabis, perfume, etc., I approach every detail with a strong reasoning. I ask myself “Why is this correct?” and “How does this add to the story we are telling?” New clients who come to me tell me that they see the thoughtfulness within the work. Read more>>

Kiesha Baker | Midwife

I often say to new and aspiring birth workers that you just have to be kind, work hard, and be a little bit normal. Often in a female led industry you can face a cut throat competition that invites jealousy and backstabbing. Unfortunately birth work is no different, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I feel caring for people first and being kind to others around you will build the network you need to support a business that needs little paid advertisement. Showing up, being kind, and working hard will take you the farthest. Read more>>

Andrea Luongo | Registered Dietitian & Business owner

The most important factor behind the success of my practice is without a doubt my patients. One of the major benefits of private practice is that a majority of the time patients seek us out to make changes so they come to their initial assessment motivated and ready to go! Read more>>


One of the most important factors behind my success and the success of my brand is due in part because it began as a mere passion project. Although FIXE has grown into a full-fledged business, the passion remains the soul of who I am and what I create. I am my brand and believe it is an extension of me. I don’t take myself too seriously, but in the same token I am very serious! Make sense? Anyway, I think I have found success in building FIXE design house because I took a chance on ME as did others! Read more>>

Larry Stanley | Christian Husband & Indie Filmmaker

God! If you want the short answer. Carly (my wife) and I made the decision to put God first in ever aspect of our lives, and God has showed us how good and always faithful God truly is. I believe with all my heart if you give it to God, spend time with God and work on your relationship with God everything else will fall in place. One of my favorite quotes is from Matthew Mcconaughey “First off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand,” I snuck this quote into the end credits of my new movie “The University of Las Colinas” (now available on Amazon). After God, I would say having a supportive wife is second. Read more>>

Emily Mayne | Artist and Owner of Emily Mayne Studio: Custom Hand-Painted Wedding Invitations & Live Wedding Painter

I believe the most important factor behind the success of my business is staying true to myself, rather than trying to focus too much on keeping up with current trends. I create hand-painted wedding invitations, where the focal point of my invitations is the artwork itself. After running my business for several years and working with hundreds of clients, I know that what sets me apart from other brands is my specific artistic style and aesthetic. Staying confident with that in mind, rather than compromising just to appease, not only keeps my body of work consistent, but also allows for the right client to gravitate towards my brand. Read more>>

Barb Granados | Owner, Lattes On Location, LLC and LOL Franchising, LLC, Espresso and Specialty Beverage Catering

Our Brand and the business, and our product is complex and tasteful! It appeals to several different client bases: professional, corporate, organizational, and private social events. The advantage has been a variety of events to serve, and problems to solve, including the advantage of diverse time frames for service. For instance, right now, as the community is struggling with a new work life because of COVID, we have found ourselves sought after as morale boosters. Since our operation is easily booked and the variety of beverages we offer create a coffee break that appeals to everybody, it is a special treat. The brand represents the anticipation of the beverage, which is a plus, but more, it is the connection opportunity created in the moment. The experience, plus the caffeine and flavor. Read more>>

Shannon Thornton | Licensed Professional Counselor and ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider

The most important factor behind the success of my brand has been my desire to help people with something I have survived myself. I believe all pain has the potential to aid in other’s suffering, and opening a private practice was my way to manifest that belief with the hopes of making someone else’s journey lighter than my own. Read more>>

Blake Kimzey | Founder, WritingWorkshops.com

At WritingWorkshops.com, we are successful because of the talented teaching artists who offer their time, talent, and expertise to the 3,000+ writers who have taken our classes in the last three years. Our instructors are New Yorker contributors, NYT bestsellers, National Book Award nominees, and more. We’re lucky to attract the most motivated emerging writers to our workshops, writers who have the work ethic and determination to improve their craft and face the blank page every day. Our students are successful because they are dedicated to getting better and our staff care just as much about our student’s success as their own. In this way, we’re able to offer high-quality creative writing classes in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and screenwriting. Read more>>