To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Lisa Calzavara | Contemporary Abstractionist Artist

Following a challenge through to the end has always been an important principle for me. Recently we’ve been presented with unique challenges in an extremely stressful time. Finding the strength to persevere is difficult but necessary in order to make progress. By working through the issues as we encounter them, we clarify our values and learn new ways to overcome adversity. This empowers us as individuals and as a community. Read more>>

Johnny Welsh | Author & Broker Associate with Real Estate of the Summit, Inc.

Sometimes I do not know whether giving up or staying the course is my best option as far as careers go. It is difficult to predict certain industries. Who predicted that a global pandemic would completely shut down non-essential businesses? Giving up and maintaining just enough to get by has always been the easy option. I have tried not to choose that as it offers the least amount of reward. By reward, I refer not only to financial gain but the feeling of satisfaction that comes with accomplishment. Many times that feeling could mean more than material riches. It cannot be taken away. I have had the most wonderful career as a bartender for decades. The situations and events that have unfolded over the years have given me endless content to write about. I chose some fun topics, embellished a bit, added a splash of wine, and turned them into books. They have gone on to win multiple awards in non-fiction and humor categories nationally and internationally as well as hitting number one in several categories. I am still writing books, but the pandemic has forced me to make a career change much sooner than I had anticipated. Read more>>

Christine Nguyen | Artist & Plant Enthusiast

I think I tend to be the type of person that just keeps on going! There are times I feel like it’s best to stop and don’t see it as giving up, but instead just taking a breather or taking a break. I realized sometimes it’s best to step back, reevaluate and then decide what to do next. For my art practice, I’ve always kept going even when I’ve been discouraged and not sure if I should focus on doing something else. I’ve always known since I was a child that I was a maker of things which mean I must not give up on it. Read more>>

Meg Antonczyk | Baker & Pastry Chef

We all have down days where we want to give up, where you ask yourself what you are doing and if it’s even worth it. For me, I feel I’ve come too far to give up. Call it determination, but I really think I’m just too stubborn to give up or move on from my business before I exhaust all possible options. I want to hit “rock bottom” so to speak before I give up. Covid really forced all of us to pivot our original business plans, to downsize, to try things we never would. I had to say no to my dream location with the uncertainties around covid. As much as I want to give up sometimes, I just know that I have a good product that people like and that makes people happy. I created a brand that people connect with. That’s what keeps me going. Read more>>

Madison Heard | Business Owner & Aspiring Entrepreneur

I think that for me, in my earlier life, giving up had always been the easiest option. I disliked being uncomfortable and for some time I fooled myself into thinking I was content that way. Eventually, I realized that the regret of never even trying was far worse than the feeling of discomfort or even the prospect of failing. I think I came to this realization when I chose to focus on forces outside of me. A bigger picture, if you will. Things like, relationships, people, making a difference… all of these things were bigger than myself. When I think of giving up, I think of all of the people that count on me. I think of all the people I have yet to meet that I would be giving up on. When it’s difficult to get out of bed in the morning, (almost impossible somedays) these bigger and greater things push me to keep going. Now, I feel more dread about not making the most out of my days, then I do to simply face my fears and keep moving forward. The hardest part is showing up. But, I believe when you show up for the people and the things you truly care about, it’s impossible to give up. Read more>>

Kody ‘BIG MO’ Mommaerts | The Youngest Ring Announcer in the World

I am entertainer! Entertainment has taken the form of hosting events, acting, voiceover work and most notably my growing brand in the world of Combat Sports, specifically MMA & Boxing. I am the youngest ring announcer in the world by an average of 30 years. The ‘BIG MO’ brand is built off of a love to entertain. I love creating an experience and an atmosphere for people. Smiles, cheers, laughs and an overall good time is what I strive to create for everyone in attendance. Read more>>