Every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome is an important part of our story. These difficulties make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but in our conversations with business owners, artists, creatives, academics, and others we have learned that the most common experience is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed. Our ability to to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so we are asking some of the city’s best and brightest: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Nadine Bone | Actress | Model | Brand Ambassador
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far is the lesson of not giving up. Harnessing that stay in power to live my dreams requires patience, faith, and relentless desire to succeed. I’ve learned that no matter how much you want it; there is always a season and time for everything. The nature of this business for me is being as specific as possible. My understanding that my enoughness is brilliant and every time I get to shine my faith will allow me to overcome.
I never take any of my opportunities for granted. I remain humble and hungry! When faced with the challenges of achieving my goals, I prefer to choose the fruit from the lower branches of the tree. That can be the attainable goal of winning for me. Also, Implementing my `wolf pack theory` of building relationships, winning trust, and gleaning from the overflow of knowledge places my position to thrust forward.
My mother would always say, “”You are my oak tree. Your branches are strong enough to endure the storm.”” That has always stayed with me throughout my journey! And will always guide me to my ‘True North’.”
Dj Silver Knight | The Party Fanatic
So far I’ve learned to chase what makes me happy. Money can be made wherever doing whatever. I’ll much rather make money doing what makes me happy. Also never stop wanting to learn. Once you stop learning, life is over!
Maria Herrera | Insurance Specialist
Be happy with yourself, with what you do, and enjoy every moment of it.
Matthew Jones | force j upcoming rapper
My journey has been very very rough and still is but I learned so far that it is most important to stay focused on what you are trying to pursue and don’t let your mind get side tracked by negative obstacles that will slow you down in your destiny keep your friend and associate groups small stay humble no matter what you go through because God is always going to be there for as long as you are putting a big effort in your work , remember your future your dream is in your hands and you have the strategy and tools to make it all the way to the top and don’t do it just for fame do it for the love and the desire you have for making music God bless.
EMACulate Vernacular | Artist
If you want it, go get it, stop hesitating. Now is the time and it’s never too late to pursue your dream.
Lucie Djomeni | model | motivator and entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur and a young person trying to gain “success”, one thing I have learned throughout my journey is that uplifting someone goes a LONG way, and that true success is not achieved by trampling over someone else. We’re blessed with social media today because it has given us such a wide & accessible platform, but that same blessing can easily be a curse, if not used properly. My mission with my social handles is to empower every women/young lady to see their beauty, their imperfections, and to love themselves confidently. Someone’s life can be forever changed based off of what you said or you wrote. By uplifting others, I am also uplifting myself, we all need it.
The Melanin Family | YOUTUBERS & BRAND AMBASSADORS
The most important lesson we learned is stay consistent don’t take any days off and keep promoting yourself rather you have 1 person who supports or 1000 people who support.
Convict Julie | Singer | songwriter | Engineer & Producer
Love yourself. Success is nothing without happiness and inner peace. Love yourself enough to be patient with your process and to still be kind to yourself when you are not where you want to be. Love yourself so that you can love others well. There is endless freedom in that. Fear, judgment, and anger are decimated in the presence of self-love. It rewires your mind so that you can meet the world with discernment and empathy. Self-love has allowed me to see the opportunity in failure to reach greatness and to understand my value. I wanted musical success at fourteen, but I wasn’t fully aware of my value at fourteen. At twenty, I realize had I made it then, I would not have been grounded or known myself enough to stand for what I believe in. When you love yourself, pleasing the world and everyone in it naturally sheds off of your priority list because self-love realigns your priorities from selfish to selfless. It’s far more than body positivity. Self-love is about character and being able to embrace your perceived negative attributes with the same love you would meet your positive attributes with. It is aware and balanced. You don’t have to know everything right now. It’s okay to mess up. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Take life one day at a time. Scars give the world an authentic, intimate glimpse of who you are and what you have overcome. Love your story and every scar that comes with it. Love yourself.
Alexys Pelissier ( Nu Look by Lex) | Makeup Artist
The most important thing I’ve learned in my journey this far is life isn’t about balance, it’s about prioritizing everything that will influence growth in that segment. For me that meant, taking time out to get to know myself and my aesthetic in the beauty industry to develop my craft. While learning and implementing self love and self care, I was able to build a beauty business that strives help others women acknowledge their value and unleash their self love.
Ann | Wardrobe Stylist | Photographer + Model Mother Agent
The most important lesson that I’ve learned in my journey so far is that consistency is key- dedication will take you further than anything else And maintaining a healthy sisterhood is super important and imperative to your growth!
Kelli Erin | Entrepreneur
Never give up on your dreams!!! One person story may not be yours but God has your story already mapped out you just have to be patient enough for the journey!!
Roleeshea Sharae | Model & Entrepreneur
The most important that I have learned so far in my journey is PATIENCE , DEDICATION & CONSISTENCY. When I first started going after my dream of being a model I didn’t get noticed right away and at one point I thought I’d never make it … At times I wanted to give up , but then I told myself “ you either go after what you want , or you settle for what you don’t want just because it’s the easier choice “ . I choose to WIN. I won’t stop working until I’m up NEXT. Until I’m posing in the top magazines , commercials and most definitely runway!
Jennifer Graham | Lifestyle Blogger | Eclectic Lover | Specialty Photographer
You can’t or shouldn’t stifle your creative side. Let it out. I tried not to do that for so long because I didn’t think people would like what I had to say or show. In my teens, I dressed outside the norm – before it was a thing. Think Pretty in Pink. I dress very minimalist now but my hair color changes regularly depending on how I feel. I live for quotes and they were literally bursting to be free so I got my first tattoo at 40 and now I have 20 or more. Quotes from Alice in Wonderland, Queen Elizabeth the first, an old movie marquee for the Raven, and more. I struggled to not let creativity out due to the fear others wouldn’t like it or be judgmental. Showing it to the world can be very hard since it can be so inner and private, but what you envision in your head may be very appealing to others. You’ll find there are people who will like, even love your work. Could be 10 or thousands, only takes a few to encourage you to create more. I screwed up the courage to put my cemetery images online, participated in Facebook groups specializing in this art, sold prints, and had my work displayed in restaurants and cafes. Never would’ve happened if I hadn’t allowed one photograph to escape and find its place online. I’m putting my writing into the world now and we’ll see how it goes, but I know I’ll have no regrets about letting it out. Show people what you can do and makes you unique. The joy of allowing your creativity to go free is worth it.
Jada Morgan | Singer | Songwriter & Youtuber
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is that dedication is the biggest asset to talent . without dedication to your craft , your talent becomes less evident .
FLYFE_Trav | Brand creator
The most important lesson learned on this 9 year journey is consistency. Regardless of how you feeling, you gotta stay consistent and put in work even when you don’t feel like it.
Pinky Lee| Cosplayer & Makeup Artist
The most important thing I’ve learned in my journey so far is that not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. You can’t constantly please everyone and it’s more important to follow your instincts and heart than to cater to what you think people will want from you.
Brent “13” Middleton | Producer | Artist | Bowyer | Dad
If you ain’t breakin em, you ain’t makin em.” Basically means as we learn, we make mistakes. We learn from those mistakes and keep pushing forward.
Melanie Torteli | Master Microblading & Master Permanent Makeup Artist
One of the most gratifying parts of my journey has been to push past fears. Face your ego head-on, and don’t be afraid of failure. On the other side of that failure is always a valuable lesson which will help propel you to where you need to be.