There are so many factors that can play a role in determining our results, performance and ultimately our success, but some factors matter more than others. We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor driving their success.

Will Connolly | Outdoor Landscape/Wildlife Photographer

The most important factor behind the success of my brand/business is passion. To me, taking photos of sprawling wild landscapes, exotic wildlife or remote backcountry campsites isn’t a job, but a gift. Every time I wake up before the sun rises, strap up with a heavily loaded backpack and head off into the wilderness for a shoot, I think about how lucky I am to be alive. For me, success is about loving what you do and never giving up on your dreams. Because for every 10 failures, there is one small victory just beyond the horizon to keep you going on your path towards success. Read more>>

Bailee Ward | Colorado Adventure Elopement Photographer and Videographer

The most important factor behind the success of our elopement photography and videography business has been the time and effort we put into cultivating a friendship with our couples. One of the things that we have really strived to do is to make sure that all of our couples are not only taken care of but also seen and heard. We want every interaction we have with each of our couples to feel like they are chatting with an old friend. This type of friendship cultivation really helps on the day of their elopement because our couples usually feel very comfortable in front of our cameras and in turn, they get photos and video of their wedding day that truly feel like them. Read more>>

Robin Schneider | Art Gallery Owner and Professional Photographer

As the owner of Art 1eleven, I feel it has nothing to do with the business or more to do with who I am as a person. I was asked once how I would make a difference in the art community here in Colorado Springs, the answer is teach this city about the wonderful artist here through kindness. Show them the value of having a great piece of art hanging on their wall over a pallet or crate that says something like “Live, Love, Laugh” from a big box chain store. Read more>>

A-A-Ron | Music Producer and Artist

Patience and Consistency, these are the roots to what drives my success. Not only within my music and brand, but within my personal life as well. Understanding where I am in my mid 20’s, has granted me a great perspective. I have TIME and life to live still, and time is the greatest currency in our world. I know that consistency in our social world, always brings results. That comes with patience and time however. Pushing forward and not focusing on instant results has allowed me to grow so much more. Knowing that with consistency and patience the results of my work will be unfathomable in the future. Read more>>

FreeDuhGreens! LLC | Plant-Based Smoothie Bar/ Holistic Hub

While creating our brand, we wanted to focus on the importance of providing resources to communities that served more than just smoothies and fruit bowls. Aside from our brick and mortar shop, FreeDuhGreens! is a holistic hub for natural and local products, health and wellness support, nutritional education, and building a community that strives to simply be a healthier version of themselves. Read more>>

Virlena McUne | Salon Professional & Owner

Consistency. My approach to this endeavor was to come up with a strategy for top notch customer experience, and to make that something we strive for with each client in our salon. We are nothing if we can’t duplicate the experience each time the client visits. It also provides a standard and contributes to a perceived value. People feel good about spending their dollars locally, and we want to be a place that gives them something in return. We have had a 20-year run with this strategy, and that is what sets us apart from other salons in the area. Read more>>

Connie Shaw | Publisher

I only publish books that I think have something new to offer that would advance the common cause. I want the books to have the potential to change readers’ lives, or at least be useful to them, and for the production of them to be the best use of my time, energy, and money. I don’t compromise on quality and I maintain co-creative relationships with the authors in pursuit of it. Read more>>

Thomas Meracz | Musician, songwriter, engineer

people who succeed at what they set out to do. We live in a culture which idealizes immediate gratification, but I’ll quote a friend of mine who is a successful chef: “the best ingredient is time.” I am not the writer, producer or musician I was when I started out over 35 years ago. Read more>>

Crisosto Apache | Faculty Instructor and poet/writer

My success comes from my drive to not give up. I have always been very tenacious towards my accomplishments and education. Education is always the focus behind my success as well as building a network of writers and instructors. Defining the success of my brand is still something I am trying to define because success can be defined broadly. One aspect of my brand is to publish my work and I continue to pursue that goal. Publishing offers the opportunity for others to view samples of my work as well as engage with the work. My success is where I feel I need to be at the moment. Read more>>

Bill Miner | President & Owner

I don’t know that I can pinpoint just one factor that is the most important, but rather several that combine into one. And that is the people that I have surrounded myself with. From my business partners to every employee that works to me, I can’t begin to explain the value that they all have to me for various different reasons. Whether it’s the person packaging salami at our wholesale facility or the person cooking breakfast at our deli and retail store or the person working at a farmers market booth or a partner who has invested both time and money into fueling the company, they are all invaluable to me and the success of our company and our brand. Read more>>

Jadon Tanguma | Tattooist

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a successful business as far as worldly standards go. As far as myself, I believe that I have a successful business with a lot of potential. The most important factors behind that success are the heart of it all; people. At the end of the day, if my client walks away with a tattoo that they love, then great, but if they leave with a tattoo they love and they also feel valued and loved…that’s where the real win is at. Read more>>