We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

Shaye Meissen | Licensed Professional Counselor

“Just be happy.” While it sounds nice in sayings or on a notecard, I have found that striving for happiness can be really problematic. All emotions, including happiness, are fleeting, which means they come and go. If the only goal in life is to be happy, then anytime another more difficult emotion comes along we feel like we must be doing something wrong. Read more>>

Sergei Vassiliev | Musician & Entrepreneur

I want to debunk the myth that music is not a career. There is a myth of the homeless musician, the conventional thinking that unless you win American Idol, secure that college professorship or orchestra job, you will never make money or have a career as a musician. This has not been my experience. Being a serious student of music will teach you some of the most important skills for success in the real world. Most people I know who work hard at it and stick with it, are able to make a decent living as a musician. Read more>>

Hayley Kirkman | Artist, Designer & Nonprofit Co-Founder

Growing up, I was advised not to pursue higher education or career in the arts, lest I become a “starving artist”. I have never once agreed with that trope. I have found my degree in graphic design and natural creativity to be a huge asset to every job I’ve ever had, and to the two nonprofits that I’ve co-founded. I have yet to come across a shortage of work in the creative arts — in fact, I can barely keep up! Artists and creatives are valuable to society that can absolutely demand competitive pay scales and support systems for starting/growing their businesses. Read more>>

Chianne Coffman | Owner, Chy Creative

I felt so defeated when I was replaced with an email, “It’s just business.” After putting hours of creative work into this project, with several rounds of edits, I was feeling close to a final decision. Then I was slapped with an email that they were going forward with another graphic designer. The email was short and sweet, but begged for a phone call which they did not answer. Poof, our relationship suddenly dissolved. Read more>>