We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

 Nik Sallie | Attorney, Business Coach, Speaker, Self Care Advocate

I’ll give you two. First, Fake it ’til you make it. I define this as overcompensating with ego in order to distract from a perceived inadequacy. I can’t fake it- either I have expertise in something or I don’t. Either I achieved the goal or I’m on my way to it. Pretending otherwise feels disingenuous and inauthentic to me because it feels like living a lie. I don’t manufacture confidence, I embody it. Now, I do believe in faith + works, meaning being clear on what you want and aligning your actions to it. Taking inspired action is a great way to build momentum toward completing a goal. Second, perfectionism as a general career concept. Perfection is fear disguised as due diligence and thoughtfulness. It’s a really dangerous and covert roadblock to transformational growth because we spin our wheels agonizing over getting everything “right” which is an ambiguous, subjective viewpoint. I prefer progress over perfection. Read more>>

Julia Nelson | Shakespeare Scholar, Artistic Director, Freelance Artist

I was told over and over again not to start my own company. The well-meaning people who gave me this advice were well into their careers and they had come to the conclusion that it was just not worth it — too much effort for too little reward. Well, as you can see, I politely ignored them and did my own thing, and I would never look back. Bare Bones Shakespeare has been the best thing I ever did. The main difference between me and the people dissuading me was that Bare Bones Shakespeare has never purchased our own venue. We are artistic nomads, and we go where there is work. We also adopt a minimialist style so that we can stay within our budget. While we have occasionally accepted private donations when offered, we have never applied for grants, because we didn’t need to. Our touring performances pay for most of our expenses. Read more>>

Ericka Estrella Chick | Photographer

This is an excellent question, and so important nowadays, I will say “Think Positive”. In the age of “positivism” “create the life you’ve imagine” upon others, which are Great, Yes! but kind of lacking in the sense that it doesn’t allow for one to truly live consciously, and rather creates an stagnant environment of more and more thought instead of empowering action. Read more>>

Liliana Arzate | Teacher and World Traveler

Some people often say you can achieve anything you put your mind and hard work to. I agree to a certain extent. It takes action, intelligence, perseverance, discipline, and getting out of your comfort zone to accomplish great things in life. However, some people are born more privileged than others and have access to more opportunities. This realization prevented me from comparing myself to others.. I always compete with myself and worry about my own progress. Everybody has their own story and their path to success is different than mine. After all , success looks different for everyone. I consider myself very fortunate indeed to have found a purpose and follow my passion. My ultimate goal has always been realistic and obtainable commensurate with my intelectual and physical abilities. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned during the pandemic is how vulnerable we are. Things don’t always go as planned no matter how hard you work. And it’s perfectly fine. At the end, sometimes we don’t get what we want; we get what we need. Read more>>

Jeremy Williams | Business Owner

One piece of conventional advice that I disagree with is when people say to do what makes you happy. The saying “do what makes you happy” comes with so many caveats that there has to be a better way to actually achieve happiness, joy, or satisfaction. For example people will say do what makes you happy as long as you’re not hurting anyone or do what makes you happy as long as you’re not infringing on another person’s rights or well being, etc. I always say, don’t do what makes you happy, do what’s right, and happiness will be a byproduct. Think about how you feel after doing the right thing versus doing what you thought would make you happy. You feel really good and have a clear conscience. When you think about it, doing drugs makes people happy, or getting revenge makes people happy and neither of those are good things. I definitely would like to see the extremely common piece of conventional advice “do what makes you happy” go away. Read more>>

Vertis Cole Jr. | Senior Pastor/Philanthropist

To limit who you use as a sounding board. People are like colours, until you mix them you will only create the mediocre. Read more>>

Courtney Benson | Realtor | Negotiation Expert | Recognized as a Top 500 Agent in DFW

The real estate centered cult movie phenomenon, Glengarry Glen Ross, made famous the phrase, “ABC…Always Be Closing”. This has become a favorite mantra in my profession and while I appreciate the sentiment, I can tell when someone is trying to “Close” me and I will instantly run the other way! Even if their product is great and they are knowledgable, I can’t connect. Instead of trying to force a close or focus on the sale, I take a much more personal approach to my business. I strongly believe when you do the right thing and you treat people the right way, the connection, not the close, happens organically and it happens over time. I never connected with a hard sales approach and I know when a person is full of BS and just trying to make a sale. It took some time, but I found being my quirky, compassionate, up front and honest self has brought my company a referral driven base of clients that connect to me and everyone in my company because our philosophy is simple… No BS and our new take on that old mantra is, “ABC…Always Be Connecting”. Read more>>

Bharghav Sai | Software Engineer/Photographer

Social media definitions of ART! There is this conventional belief that the content you post on social media platforms, especially on Instagram, has to be consistent. The mood board, the editing style etc. have to be same throughout your posts to engage your audience better. I’ve always believed in diversity, the more diverse your portfolio, the better. Although I agree that social media has become a major part of the business growth, you have to give clients what they want, but as an Artist, it is all the more important that these “guidelines” do not impact your flow. Just create what your mind/heart want, it can be anything. Don’t let some person on social media/the likes/followers count define your work. Read more>>