One of the most important lessons we learned is that our lives and our businesses will teach us along the way.  We don’t need to know everything on day one because the challenges we face on day will likely be ones we are already equipped to handle.  As we overcome challenges we get better and better and as the challenges increase in difficulty so too does our ability to tackle them.

We asked members of the community that we admire to share important lessons their business or career has taught them and have shared some of those responses below.

Suzarah Dorleus | Photographer

The most important lesson that I’ve learned after opening up my photography business is the fact that I need to be my best salesman. The product I’m selling is my photography. If I don’t put enough effort into marketing my brand, I’ll often face what I like to call “dry spouts.” Another important lesson that I’ve learned from opening up my photography business is that telling yourself that you learned time management skills from college and actually managing your time are two vastly different things. You have to have the discipline and balance it takes to ensure that you’re on top of your tasks and also take time to rest to avoid burnout. Read more>>

D’Arcy Toffolo | Marketing Executive & Marathon Swimmer

I’ve learned this lesson “the hard way” in some cases, but it is this: to be truly fulfilled in a career, your values must align with the company’s values. When a company’s values don’t support yours in some way – whether it’s upholding respect, collaboration, integrity, honesty in the work place – you lose in the end. Happiness in my career has meant finding a culture that fosters trust, confidence, acceptance. Companies that also motivate you to think bigger, push boundaries, and be afraid to fail are truly the innovators out there. Read more>>

Stephanie Mara Fox | Somatic Nutritional Counselor

Do the things that scare you. Having your own business constantly shines a mirror back at yourself around all the things you’re also personally working through and healing from. Every time a fear has come up in my business, I sit with it for a period of time, knowing that at some point I have to do the thing I’m scared of doing. What I have witnessed over and over again, is that when I have done the thing that I was scared of the fear is gone. Embracing fear as a part of the experience of building a business has been crucial to continue to grow in my work and within myself. By accepting that fear is going to be a part of this journey, you get to put the power back in you that you’re making all the business decisions and not your fear. Read more>>

Maureen Patterson | Owner Of Stitch Boutique Denver

The most important lesson Stitch has taught me is that hard work and dedication will take you a long way. Persistence is a key factor in building a business. You need to believe in yourself and you want to be in your career. Dream big and don’t stop pushing towards the goal in where you want to be!!. Read more>>

Lane Anne Geurkink | Abstract & Textile Artist

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to worry less about whether people will or won’t like my artwork. In the past, the quality of my work has suffered when I am in a rush to finish something or I am motivated by what others may think. It is good to have a few trusted peers and mentors to give feedback and critique, but outside of that I’ve learned I need to trust my gut when creating. Read more>>

Rebeca Flott | Studio Owner Painting with a Twist Aurora & Founder of Rebeca Flott Arts

The most important lesson at this last year challenges was to be ready for quick changes, and never be afraid to be innovative! everything we face is a little less scary than it seems. The word pivot has never been more real to me than in this seasons. Adapting and learning to lean into the changes that life brings has been my biggest asset. Read more>>