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?
Diamond Engagement rings by Solomon Brothers Jewelers
We find that the reason we continue to be so successful is that we make it our goal to connect with our customers on a personal level. Many of our customers start out with their first purchase as an engagement. Naturally, this is a very emotional and important purchase and event in life and we feel honored that they trust us to be a part of it so we take that honor very seriously. We will always offer our customers the best service, quality, and experience you can find in Atlanta.
Rayven Alexis | Mompreneur | College Student & Designer
Honestly, the most important lesson I have learned on this journey so far is to NEVER give up; NEVER stop. It might sound cliché but no matter how tired you are, how stressed you are, how broke you are, keep fighting and keep pushing because the vision you have for your life can be achieved. My fear of no acceptance of my brand has made me want to give up so many times, but I kept pushing. Another lesson I have learned on this journey so far is that, it is okay to fail. Failing just means that you tried. Trying is better than never giving it a go. I have failed in this business multiple times. Some times, I did not have what my customers needed. But, when I felt that my business was getting no where, I kept pushing. When I knew that I spent my last on my business, I kept pushing. Becoming a mom and trying to balance motherhood, college, and entrepreneurship has been strenuous but I constantly remind myself, I GOT THIS. Looking at how far I have come reminds me why I promised myself to never stop. One day you’ll look in the mirror and be extremely proud that you decided to keep going.
Labarron Coach K Kennedy | Personal Development Life Coach
I learned that life works for you, not against you.
tiny.cc/8n6u9y | youtube.com/channel/UCdaL…
Shantia Coleman | Founder & Creative Designer
The most important lesson I’ve learned on the journey so far is the importance of having a servant’s heart. I strive to provide excellent service and quality work to each of my clients. Regardless, if it’s a big or small project that I’m working on. Having the mindset of being a servant allows me to stay humble and grateful as God continues to grow my business.
Coleton Bryan | Illustrator and Animator
I’ve learned that everyone has the desire to belong to something. We are all constantly in pursuit of feeling loved and feeling important and I’ve seen that the most important gift you give someone is just that. Always seek out the people that feel less than and show them, through your gifts, that they are valued and seen!
Dr. Adriel D. Johnson, Jr. | Psychotherapist
The most important thing that I’ve learned in my journey so far is to simply accept wherever life leads me. Sometimes things don’t happen according to the way we’ve planned or how we expect. This often leads us to feel as if we’ve taken a wrong turn or failed. I try to remember, and encourage my clients to try flowing with the direction of life’s current instead of against it. When the resistance is reduced, it allows us to remain open to seeing how amazing we are, and other things we’ve overlooked that are better than we originally thought.
LaDrienna “MzEnvy” McMillian | Boutique Owner | Stylist | Pro MUA | Travel Agent
In life…things happen, people lie, people leave, and not everyone will support you but never allow anything to stop you! Never settle. Know your worth. Don’t allow yourself to get places in a box. Push forward no matter what because if not you…then who???
Chris | Atlanta’s best custom jeweler
The most important lesson I have learned is trust the process and be truthful to your work!
limited time customers can use code RYAN10 and get an extra 10% discount towards anything on the website!
Kiunna Lowe “Kikokitty_” | Fashion & Cosplay Model & also Photographer
The most important lesson I learned so far, will be to strive to be better than how I am now. It’s a lot doubts to be out here as a cosplayer & artist in other fields that I enjoy that’s other people are doing the same thing I do. You always haft to keep doing things to make sure you stand out or build your self up to brand yourself but still stay TRUE to what you do. I love modeling, cosplaying and also my photography work where I can show my talent in what I love. I learned to never doubt myself so much and have fun and create Art with my friends & people I work with. Moving to Atlanta has gave me so much opportunity and I want to keep striving more in my journey to keep going & be blessed whatever the limits are.
Shelby Harris | Exercise Physiologist & Fitness Professional
The most important lesson I have learned so far in terms of my field, being in health and wellness, is that positive steps in the right direction are the biggest part of creating change. No matter how big or small those changes are!
Jess Picado | Model and Social Media Content Creator
Even when you stand alone in a choice or decision, always trust your gut. If you are happy with your choices, that’s all that matters. We have to spend more time with ourselves than with anyone else, so liking yourself and your choices will affect the energy you carry and put out.
Shaded Profit | Hip Hop Artist
The most important lesson I’ve learned in this journey so far is that you have to be persistent. And when you fail, as I often do, it should be looked at as an opportunity to learn. Two years ago, it would have been crazy for me to imagine that I would have recorded an EP and released a music video. And while that may not get me a lot of traction career-wise, it took a lot of work and saving to even get to that point. So at the moment, I’m happy to have material out and I’m happy to have fans.
soundcloud.com/shadedprofit youtube.com/channel/UCLWWf6Wd9Suy6BqnCb5xGwQ @shadedprofit
Niesha Walker | Mom Blogger & Social Media Agency Owner
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that I have to move at a pace that is feasible for me. Being a single mother of three children I don’t have the freedom to move like someone with no children or someone with one child. Disclaimer: I do not put limitations on myself but I do know my limit and there is a difference. Having three children is a job in itself. I base my daily schedule around my children’s school schedules because that’s what works for me. I think social media has conditioned a lot of people to compare their success to what they see others post online without knowing them or their truth. It’s easy to get distracted by comparing your journey to theirs but you don’t know what it took for them to get there. I focus on creating the life that I want without beating myself up to get there. I set realistic goals and I hold myself accountable to those goals. Having faith that God will work it out is what keeps me grounded!
Danielle Gutek LeDuc | Hair Artist
Most important lesson in journey so far is;
“”To not be afraid to be yourself. Wake up, show up, take the risks, and be the best version of yourself that you can be and to be nice to yourself, give yourself a chance to shine””
Life is so short. We are only given one chance. I’ve always believed in cherishing every precious minute we are given. However it’s taken me a while to learn how to really , like tuely, live those words on a daily basis. Fear of judgement can be paralyzing for your mind, body and soul. And only you have the power to live your life the way you’re meant to. Noone is going to do it for you. Be a kind human being and be open to the unlimited possibilities out there. You may have to create your own opportunities every now and again and that is okay. Trust in the season of life you are in at its current state. Be around only those who uplift you. Its okay if that takes a while. And always live with grace. Xoxo
Samantha Rodney | Chef & Culinary Enthusiast
Trust God in everything, put some hustle behind that faith and appreciate the journey He takes you on.
ItsTheKidHollywoodj | Rapper | Songwriter
Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that’s enough… You’ve got to get behind that feeling & be unwavering to reap the benefits of what your gut is leading you to.
Vaughn Robinson | Fitness professional
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to strive for the things you want without being afraid of failure. This falls directly in the category of taking a leap of faith. We always have that dream job or dream situation we want to be in but are often times afraid to go after it due to fear of failure or rejection. This scenario hits home for me in a special place, I’m currently working my dream job doing what I love! I can’t always say it’s been that way, as a matter of fact it wasn’t until a few months ago in June of this year I was able to reach the peak of my career and attain my dream job. After 7 years in the fitness industry spending a stint of time at every major big box gym in the state of Georgia and running my own business I had come to the realization that I needed to do more and find a way to reach as many lives as possible. Helping people safely reach their fitness goals is a driving passion that I was blessed with. So I not only needed to find a new place to work but a place I could call a second home. As I continued to search for a way to do this at the highest level I came across a few job opportunities that I felt would suffice at least for a while. With my previous job tenure ending I was on the clock to find a new place of business to call home. With a few job offers lined up I thought I was ready to accept a position that best suited my needs. But as I was getting ready to formally accept I got an email from Burn Boot camp Roswell about a job opening as their head trainer. At first thought I told myself it was too late to start the hiring process due to the current job offers I had only being on the table for so long. As I looked into the franchise and met with the owner Roswell’s own Ronda Harvey I knew I had to take a leap of faith. There was something different about this opportunity it just felt like the perfect fit,great location,great ownership and a large enough outreach for me to fill my need to affect as many lives as possible for the better! I was told the hiring process would take at least a month which means I would technically be unemployed for a few weeks. It was in those moments I learned I had to strive for the thing that I really wanted without the fear of failure holding me back. And I would say that decision paid off as I am now leading an outstanding goal driven community as the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp Roswell. I strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to strive for greatness and reach their peak and not be help back by fear of failure!
Aleksandra Shalimova | ballet dancer | coach & traveler
The most important thing now for me on my trips is to check luggage tags on my suitcases.
Because once at a Vienna airport, employees forgot to stick tags on a suitcase and he did not fly away with me to Barcelona.
And only in Barcelona did I realize that I didn’t even have a number of my suitcase. Therefore, no one could tell where my suitcase was located at all, and I could not file a statement about the lost suitcase without this number.
Therefore, all my vacation I thought only that I would never see my things, my shoes and my favorite Prada bag, which was in the suitcase.
Of course, thanks to this, I had a great shopping in Barcelona. Because for a week in Spain I only had the clothes in which I flew in and I went shopping.
But this story ended absolutely perfectly, because when I returned to Vienna, I managed to find my suitcase there.
But after this story, I still always check the tags on the suitcase and don’t take a lot of clothes with me, but buy it on the spot, sometimes with a new suitcase.
Sheavel Lemuelle | Youtube Vlogger (fashion, fitness and lifestyle)
The most important thing that I have learned is to be true to yourself. I have had moments when people didn’t believe in me. Like either want me to change my personality or the way I look. I have changed people and it didn’t work, plus I was not feeling it. I have commit to never forgetting who I am. Everything is better just being myself and loving who I am.
CalLynn Lynell | Lifestyle Blogger & founder of “The Living Black Girl”
Whether it’s been about navigating through my professional life as a creative, managing my body image and weight loss, or discovering what it truly means to be healthy and whole, I’ve learned that is always okay to start again. Life happens, things change, and sometimes you may lose focus; but that just means that you should readjust and remind yourself of why you started in the first place! You’ve only ever failed if you’ve chosen to give up; and although tomorrow is not promised, you should move throughout life as if it is.
Owillz | Afrobeat | Afropop Artist
The most important lesson in the industry is that no artist can go far without the support of others. Lifting others always results in uplifting your own personal brand.
Kellie Morgan, Aliah Jaundoo, and Maikanh do Vilory for Civilly Righteous Clothing
There is always more to learn. Never stop seeking more information. The more you know, the more effectively you can run your business.
Benjii B | Artist | Musician | Songwriter | Entrepreneur
NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE”, stay blessed and focused.
Stephanie Nadi Olson | CEO, Founder of We Are Rosie
Being underestimated is a superpower! As a daughter of a refugee I know what it feels like to be overlooked and marginalized, which is why I took a leap of faith and founded We Are Rosie, a digital marketing firm that links companies to high quality marketing talent. I fuse my life experience with understanding that amazing “talent” can often be overlooked, and my mission is to bring a people-first approach to doing business.
Jay III | YouTuber | Videographer, & Entertainer
I’ve learned Everyday that you spend following a dream, Is another day closer to your destiny. Every opportunity you get, learn your craft, figure out different ways of delivery and business is a constant up and down. Never get discouraged, and never allow anyone else to tell YOU what’s for YOU. The hardest part is starting your journey, so once you start, you’re already a step closer to your dreams and aspirations that people who haven’t started are.
Jeffery Bowden (Aka ) JeffB/Jedii | Music & Film Producer | Singer | Songwriter | Artist | Musician
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey is that I can not be afraid to fail. I’ve tried numerous things in my lifetime and not all of them have been successful but that did not stop me from persevering. I started out with zero talent and big ambitions now fast forward I’ve accomplished numerous things such as being signed to major record deals and publishing deals to traveling the world performing for thousands of people. Never let anyone define your success. My spirituality keeps me grounded and knowing that no being in this world is perfect it reminds me that we all have some work to do. Whatever you’re doing don’t give up keep doing it!
L. Terrel | Recording Artist/Actor
The most important lesson that I have learned in this journey is to never give up on your dreams even if people don’t see your vision. I believe you have to press through any adversity that may come your way. I am originally from a small town called Franklin Virginia but in February 2019 I moved to Atlanta to chase my dream. In a short period of time my Fan base has increased and I am blessed to announce that I will be in my first feature film called Happy Thanksgiving, Set to premiere November 2019. Even though I know I have a long way to go to reach the level of success that I know I am capable of; I am blessed to have achieved so much in such a small time frame.
Unghetto Mathieu | Artist & Entertainer
So far, one of the most important things i learned is the value of silence. Time after time, i had doubts in my mind on whether I’d achieve a goal, whether it was becoming a famous YouTuber or Putting out a song that would bring me recognition. And when being watched by others, we as humans naturally feel like we need to get it done TODAY or Asap, which can make you feel like you’re going slow or it wont happen if it doesn’t happen automatically. But if you keep goals to yourself & just work toward them, it eliminates most of the pressure that comes from people betting on things you said you were gonna do. As soon as i stopped SAYING what I’m GOING to do, I lost the desire for instant gratification & progressed on my own pace, leading me to start DOING what I’m GOING to do.
Melanie Spry | Professional Makeup Artist & HR Professional
There are many lessons learned during my makeup journey however, the one that’s most true; near and dear to my heart is “”Be yourself””, BeYOUtiful. Simple as that! In this world and industry we incline to find ourselves following trends, likes, reputation, credibility, and more but I’ve learned to set my own standards. I follow the pulsation of my own drum. I’ve learned my timing isn’t everyone else timing, my journey isn’t everyone else journey. My story is Melanie’s and it’s written perfectly for me. Success for me is outlined for ME. I am blessed with amazing talent, and passion to enrich lives through beauty inside & out. I’m an ordinary person, created with an extraordinary purpose while making a difference around the world one face at a time. With that amount of extraordinary greatness, I work and push a little harder to excel in my greatness. Since learning that, I do not measure myself alongside status quo.
I love being asked to share my story because it come with a lot of sweat, tears, and perseverance. I’m often called ambitious because I don’t stop. Once my heart and mind are in connection, I execute!
Kim Carnes | Dancer & Photographer
I’ve learned so much on my journey so far. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that taking chances is everything. The only way to create real art is to let yourself explore all of the possibilities. It is easy to get in our heads and be too scared to do something “crazy” or “weird”. I personally think that my best shots and other photographer’s best shots are those where we just go for it!
S’bortè | Rapper/Songwriter
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far is the longer one waits to find and do something they love the more unsatisfying life will become, whether or not they learn to cope with/ignore it.