We asked folks to tell us about the most important decisions they’ve made along their journey and have shared some of the highlights below.

J. L. Barnes | Artist & Owner, DragonCrest Studios

This may seem counter-intuitive, but not limiting myself to any single genre or “popular” theme has been incredibly rewarding. I get to draw what I like—which ranges from adorable animals in dapper clothes to terrifying nightmare monsters—and, as a result, my art’s gotten a wide range of fans. When someone comes up to me at a convention, it doesn’t matter what their favorite genre is; I’ve got something that will catch their eye. You can never tell what someone’s going to click with, but if you do what you love, the passion really comes out in the piece. One of my favorite encounters was with a six or seven year old girl—I think her parents saw my gentlemen animals and thought she’d like a dapper otter or sloth. She starts looking through my portfolio with 120 different prints, very solemnly looking at each piece before flipping the page, and pretty soon she’s out of the cartoon animals and “cute” sections and looking at the dragons. She flips to this dragon that’s all skeletal, glowing from the inside with necromantic power, and taps it. Read more>>

Rachael SaBell | Brand Photographer

I decided to show up for myself, everyday. Even when I don’t feel like it you have to continually be your biggest fan. Believing in myself creates my success and vision for my future. Read more>>

Molly Stillman | Content Creator & Podcaster

Learning when to say yes and when to say no. I am a (recovering) people pleaser, I’m an enneagram 2 wing 3, and my love language is Words of Affirmation… so, by nature, I gravitate towards saying Yes to things… often when I don’t *want* to say Yes. To which I’d end up overextending myself and then I’d experience burnout and it all became a vicious cycle. In the last few years, I’ve had to really, intentionally practice saying NO to things that weren’t the right fit, weren’t going to move the needle in my business, or just weren’t things I could really give me all to. It’s been so hard and I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I’ve never regretted saying NO to something I knew I needed to say no to. Read more>>

Bud Michael | A decision for a lifetime

I attended a small high school in a small farming town in Central California. For most of the kids with who I grew up, their life’s ambition was to attend a local college, return to the town and live happily ever after. I was very active in high school and graduated at the top of my class. It was a small school. When I was a senior in high school, the college counselor at my school suggested I not bother applying to major universities; instead, her guidance was to attend a local junior college and see where it takes me. That moment was when I made a life choice to follow my own direction. This decision was the most important decision I have made and has guided my choices in all aspects of my life from that moment on. Read more>>