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?
Machel Hunt | Relationship Counsellor | Psychosexual Therapist, and Trainer
The most important and most valuable lesson I’ve learnt on my journey so far is to embrace change and enjoy every single moment of life. Even when you don’t feel like things are going right, lean into the experience and you will grow through it.
Teresa Perkins | Financial Educator & Credit Strategist
The lesson that we teach the most here at Visionary Finance & Co. is that you always have the means toobtaining a clean slate and starting over to accomplish financial freedom. Working in this business has given us the privilege of assisting individuals that come from many different backgrounds; when it comes to credit distortion it does not matter one’s age, ethnicity, financial status, education or religion preference; there is but one commonality that links us together when dealing with finances or need I say “lack thereof”finances, that commonality is that we all feel helpless and discouraged. Hidden and shamed from the world we adopt actions of ignoring phone calls from unknown callers, or even discontinue communication with close family and friends, hoping that they too do not figure out our dilemma and disgraceful predicament. There is a feeling of embarrassment because my clients fear how others will judge them and no one wants to talk about the hidden elephant in the room (poor choices, irresponsible purchases, life changing events). In reality, that’s exactly what we need to be doing…TALKING ABOUT IT! Truth is there are several available resources that can be secured and acquired. There are laws in place that can help protect consumers from credit scams, predatory lending, erroneous collections, and illegal collection tactics.
My organization helps educate those who don’t know that there are options available, that they too have legal rights after a disastrous divorce or messy bankruptcy! There is even life while dealing with the anxiety of overbearing student loan payments. YOU CAN START OVER and start fresh!
LaKeisha R. Randall, Esq.| Managing Partner of The Randall Firm & CEO of Atlanta Life Coaching & Consulting
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned so far is to honor your internal compass—Know your why and run after your passions zealously but do not compromise your personal integrity.
I’ve walked away from otherwise positive experiences due to ethical misalignments.
Richi Harris | Curator | Songwriter & Soon to be A&R
The most important thing I learned during my journey is that you’re taking a risk whether you’re playing it safe or going all in. Genuineness and integrity is my vibe and developing true relationships is very important.To understand that life is going to come with it’s ups and downs, but remaining resilient has been a key… Perhaps, I haven’t learned the most important thing during my journey since it’s so early on. I’m looking forward to ascertaining more and more knowledge that the music industry has to offer as it continues to grow.
Rochelle Soyoola of Marriage For Millennials
For entrepreneurs, you are literally telling people “trust me to the point that you will exchange your dollars with me”. That can cause imposter syndrome. Do I belong here? Am I worthy of teaching or charging this? Important things that have helped me learn to be professionally assertive. Don’t be afraid to send that email, reach out for that collaboration or demand that you be paid appropriately for that sponsorship. I would also say stay consistent, study your craft so you know what you’re talking about and don’t doubt what you know. You’ll never be perfect, but you will learn everything else along the way.
Sabrina Robinson | Software Developer & Fitness Enthusiast
Throughout my journey to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle the most important lesson I’ve learned is that weight loss is a process. It takes a lot of time and several different steps to work towards almost any goal and weight loss is not excluded. I had to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I had to accept that failure was a part of the process and that I was going to make mistakes. I also had to trust the process enough to continue being consistent even after those mistakes were made. I consider this to be the most valuable lesson because i can take this “trust the process” mentality and apply it to achieving any goal. I am thankful for this process and the positive lifestyle changes it has instilled in me. While reaching the destination is a great feeling, it’s the journey along the way that teaches us the most.
ROBANNE SCHULMAN | Private Wardrobe Stylist | Brand Ambassador | Tv Trend Expert for Fox5 Atlanta
The harder you work, the luckier you get! I was told this by my father when I first started Plaid Monkey, Inc. 19 years ago!
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.