While it’s inspiring to read high level summaries of success stories, we think it’s just as important to learn about what drove the success and made it possible. We’ve asked some of the brightest folks we know to open up about what they believe was the most important factor behind their success.

Othon Zapata | Founder and Director @ Oveja Negra Agency

I think there are several factors behind success in any project or company; and in any of its conceptions, the core point is to be clear that not everyone perceives success in the same way! There are those who measure it with economic income, others with spiritual growth, others do it by inertia! But there are some points or “facilitating” factors of success. First of all is to set goals, concrete goals that have meaning for you. Search for ways to achieve them, surround yourself with the right people is important … and above all, do not stop before the stumbles, which in the end are only teachings and learning of the purest you can have. Be original and be irreverent.. In the end, success, from my point of view, starts where I decide… and it comes in waves, it is not a permanent state. That must never be forgotten! Read more>>

Cassie Tingley | Professional Cake Designer

What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand? I believe the factor that makes my brand successful is the reason behind why I do what I do. Learning how to design cakes is difficult in a range of ways but with buttercream? Oh my goodness. It was practice, practice, practice on repeat for a year before I’d even take on a paying client. For my son, I’d do anything for. Work any amount of hours. Practice until I got it right. I am a one woman show at the moment and you really need to have a good reason “why” sometimes. My husband is truly my biggest cheerleader and partner. Without his constant love and support, the amount of work and time would have felt so unbearable. He makes me feel like I can literally do anything. Read more>>

Krista Miller | Physician Assistant & Photographer

I read something recently: “Embarrassment is the cost of entry. If you aren’t willing to look like a foolish beginner, you’ll never become a graceful master.” Dang. That hits home for me, as I’m sure it does for any business owner who put themselves out there, or any person who tries something new for the first time. Success for me is an evasive, ever-evolving, amorphous goal that is constantly changing its parameters. When I first started a photography “business,” I was 19 or 20 years old, finishing my degree in biology, and doing it “just for fun.” I thought, “I want to shoot weddings! That’s how I’ll know I’ve made it.” Read more>>

Ellis MADDALENA | Tournament Organizer and Store Owner

The most important factor behind my success and the success of Rocky Mountain Collectibles is giving back. We love to give back to all of our players and customers; whether with that being exceptional prizing for our tournaments, or using our tournaments to raise money for Mental Health and Autism, through “The Aoki Foundation” Read more>>

ANITA KUDASIK | Hotelier and Entrepreneur

Although there have been hundreds of crucial factors contributing to the successful rebranding / renovation of our motor lodge, I feel that the most profound element has been our ability to remain flexible. Over the past three years, our willingness to adjust original ideas for more functional approaches to problems has truly been phenomenal. From the moment I was presented the opportunity to purchase the dilapidated motel, I knew it would be an unconventional experience. My first year as a business owner was spent commuting 6 hours to and from Denver to finish my senior year at MSU. Renovating 20+ rooms that were originally built in the 1950’s – 1960’s was a whirlpool of compromises. Read more>>

Nirvana Shawty | Artist

The most important factor behind the success and brand of not only me but my fellow creatives, is simply never forgetting the reason why we continue to do what we do, for years we always had the same motive for creating music and never once did we want to do it for anything other than fulfilling our dream. Read more>>

Graig Kreindler | Artist

When it comes down to the success of my brand–the kind of artwork that I do–I think the most important factor is passion. I’m incredibly lucky in that I very much enjoy what I do for a living, and if I won the lottery tomorrow and didn’t have to work another day in my life, I’d still be painting baseball players. To me, I think there’s some sort of tangible (and sometimes intangible) thing that goes into a job you’re doing if you’re passionate about it in some way. And I think that’s something that becomes apparent and attractive to others. Read more>>

Willis Wood | Partner – RiNo Sign Works

At RiNo Sign Works, we feel that signage is an extension of your brand’s image and attitude. We design, fabricate, and install signage that other companies find too complicated or that require a lot research and development. The most important factor behind why RiNo Sign Works is successful is we enjoy working on the difficult projects and make sure the end result goes beyond our customers expectations. Over the last 8 years in business, we have developed a reputation as the go to sign company for any high end or complicated signage project. Read more>>

Joanna Azua | Licensed Massage Therapist & Certified Stretch Therapist

An important factor behind my success is keeping it simple by remaining true to myself. My life experiences have guided me along the way and have helped me to always just be me, whole-heartedly. It has led me to create an environment of care to all those that come into my life. Having a foundation of people that encourage my passion to want to support my community in their wellness journey makes it easy to be true to myself in a world of constant change. Growth and success relies on staying grounded and confident in my abilities to do what I know and know what I do. Simple and true, is my success. Read more>>