We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Lora Cheadle | Life Choreographer, Author, Fully Recovered Attorney & Burlesque Dancer

My success is due to the fact that I did not listen to others about what “could not” be done. I was not afraid to experiment and try something new that had never been done before, and because of that, I have achieved a level of success that is extremely fulfilling. As an attorney I was very used to following the rules and coloring within the lines. Although that brought me a lot of success in the legal realm, it didn’t bring me a lot of satisfaction. I knew that I didn’t want to practice law any more, but I wasn’t really sure what it was that I did want to do, I spent a lot of time experimenting, following my passions, and getting to know myself on a deep and introspective level. That was when I realized that my biggest frustration was the bullying and abuses of power that I had witnessed or experienced in my life. Read more>>

Brennah Rosenthal | Producer & Content Strategist

The best decision I made for my business was to become part of a shared workspace with 5 other creatives (2 photographers, 2 DP’s and one creative director.) Even in a time where most people are working from home all of these people work as my team, sounding board and main network for all of the work I do and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Read more>>

Cathie Christmas | Board Certified Behavior Therapist

The single most important decision I made that contributed to our success in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Therapy was to create a culture amongst our team that values treating everyone with respect, dignity, and empathy. Our young clients, their parents and our employees all deserve this consideration. Growing up with a younger sibling with significant needs has taught me to take others’ perspectives and abilities into account. My sister continues to show me that we need to focus on the good things in life and overcome our differences and difficulties. This has driven me my whole life. I watched my mother fight for services for my sister and advocate for her education relentlessly. Through this experience, I learned that parents and families often have to fight much harder to support their children than most people realize. Read more>>

Amy K Wright | Portrait, Event and Personal Brand Photographer & Greeting Cards Creator

As with any journey, there is always a mix of ups and downs. When I was preparing to launch my business, I took an on-line business school, called B-School, from Marie Forleo. (www.marieforleo.com) This course spoke to many of the practical items of choosing to be an entrepreneur, like “How to Know What Business to Start”, or understanding and applying “Profit Clarity”, or how important it is to have multiple streams of revenue.  One of the most poignant lessons was based on one of Marie’s most famous quotes,  “Everything is Figureoutable”. There have been times over the last 4 years, when I had $10 to my name, or encountered an issue with printing my cards, or felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of debt I took on to make this dream happen, and I would be ready to give up, and then I would remember….”Everything is Figureoutable”. Making the decision to believe that I can figure things out, do it afraid and trust the process has been the most important decision to contribute to my success. Read more>>

Miné Esen | Entrepreneur, Product Manager & Jewelry Wholesaler

Asserting control of my business and making my business work for me have been the greatest contributions to my business’ achievements. When my husband and I began our jewelry business, Anatolia Arts, we pursued every business opportunity that came our way. We spent two years attending every trade show and tabling event that we could access, and our sales grew rapidly. That growth came at a significant cost to us both physically and mentally. Hauling and setting up a professional jewelry display takes a lot of work. The more shows that we attended, the more our bodies would break down. Worse still, we felt that we needed to attend every event in order to attain our desired long-term growth aspirations. Our business was slowly consuming us, and our Work-Life Balance was becoming greatly imbalanced. We turned our attention to striking a better balance between the needs of our business and the needs of ourselves. Read more>>