We’ve been fortunate to connect with so many brilliant, thoughtful entrepreneurs and creatives and we regularly ask them about the most important lessons they’ve learned over the course of their careers. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Camrynn Clark | Filmmaker & Photographer

I think that the most important lesson that my business has taught me is to start with what I have, where I am. Often people are so caught up in the idea that they need something that they don’t have to get started. They need the best pair of running shoes on the market to begin running. They need the most expensive paintbrushes to begin painting. When you realize that you can start with what you have, right where you are is where you begin to succeed. I started my business on one of the cheapest DSLRs (cameras) on the market that had already gone through two owners before me. Read more>>

Ally Robertson | Salon & Spa Manager

The most important lesson that I have learned this far in my professional life is such an easy topic for me to discuss. Clear agreements are by far the biggest asset any person could have in any business for any field. Whether you’re typing out the roles of one of the positions within the company, asking tasks to be completed, or working with a vendor this can make your professional and personal life go from hard too easy. Read more>>

Brezi Swann | Birth Photographer & Videographer

With no formal training in my field, I believe I went the long way around, and have plenty of lessons to choose from. The most important ones I’ve learned since starting in 2014, is to stay grounded and to never stop learning. The lessons come daily, from balancing family and work and other relationships in my life, to making sure my portfolio stays fresh and my clients feel cared for. However, keeping my mind focused on who I am and how I can move forward not only in my career and business but as a person and a parent in the healthiest way possible, has been the biggest lesson for me to learn. Read more>>

Katie Damon | Photographer of both Horses and the Air Force

My experience as both a photographer for the Air Force and as a business owner has taught me SO much over the years, and I’d say the most important lesson I’ve learned from my journey is the ability to have an equal amount of humility and confidence. I was a sweet kid growing up, but I was very shy and VERY introverted. If you had told me back then that one day I would be directing a room full of military generals for a group photo, or posing an Olympic dressage rider and her incredible stallion, I would have gone pale in the face and called you a liar. Read more>>

Diana Merrin-Goetz | Your Castle Real Estate | Broker Associate

My people are the source behind my business and personal success. Without authentic real human connection, we struggle as businesses to stay afloat. My best business driver is word-of-mouth and referrals–seemingly old school but they work! Nurturing those relationships through touches and regular communication/phone calls/in-person meetings are really important when cultivating a sphere of influence list of supporters. COVID has made this more difficult, but it’s also forced us to just get more creative. Read more>>

Melissa Leach | Co-Owner/Artistic Director of The Three Leaches

When Amber Irish, my Co-owner/Production Manager, and I decided to open a theater company eleven years ago, the first question we asked ourselves was, “How will we be different? What is going to set us apart from all the other small theater companies?” We knew that our passion for the arts was tied to bringing quality, exciting, and impactful theater to the masses. We often talked about how theater had become the rich man’s hobby. We know that putting on a show costs money, but we were amazed at how ticket prices in the area kept going up. When the cheapest tickets are hitting $20 (again, this was about eleven years ago- we know inflation/cost of living changes things), the arts are no longer for everyone. Read more>>

Bruce and Beth Telford | Chief Nut and Bottle Washer and Executive Nut of Sweet Almande, LLC

There are many people who produce the type of product we have, however our love of cooking and willingness to try different flavors has led Sweet Almande to be unique in the industry. We both enjoy cooking so developing new recipes for our product, as well as how to use our unique flavors it in other recipes has been part of our focus. We also enjoy interacting with our customers at farmer’s markets, craft shows, trade shows, etc. is always a joy, so it is really the best of both worlds. Read more>>

Samantha Conrad | Graphic Designer, Social Media Writer, Yoga Instructor + Full-Spectrum Doula

I can confidently say that the success of my business ventures has little to do with the raw talent I embody, and much to do with the confidence and self-love that I have worked hard to build throughout my career. I first became intrigued by Graphic Design in high school, and when I realized I had an eye for design and an infatuation with typography, I just started “doing.” Drawings for fellow entrepreneurs, album covers for boy bands, taking someone’s art and making it digital; anything and everything I could get my hands on. Read more>>