Every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome is an important part of our story. These difficulties make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but in our conversations with business owners, artists, creatives, academics, and others we have learned that the most common experience is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed. Our ability to to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so we are asking some of the city’s best and brightest: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Stephen Lohoefer | Pastor, The Grove Church
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey thus far has also been the most difficult to learn. That lesson is patience— patience that storms will pass; patience that good things will come. Over and over again, God has shown me that most of the time, the thing I want the most will come in time. I just have to learn to trust the process.
Dennis Johnson | Insurance specialist and Forex investor
Never avoid being uncomfortable. To deny uncomfortably is to deny growth.
Emily Le | Makeup Artist & Beauty Influencer
The most important lesson I’ve learned is self-love. Building yourself up, and embracing all that you are and accepting it. You learn new things about yourself as you reach deeper into your mind. Sometimes negative things are rooted deeply in us and we do not realize it, such as insecurities about our selves. Self-love has many benefits, & happiness is one of them.
Diego Merel | Traveler and Sales Rep
I’ve learned to find happiness within myself rather than finding happiness in other people. I started making healthier choices regarding my personal health and everything around me started to snowball from there.
Angie McComb | aka #Solargirltx with her SolarBulldog, Lola Lu
I have learned that staying authentic matters, that being your true self in any situation pays out tenfold and I’ve learned that everyone has a story. I have clients in multi-million dollar homes and I have clients with disconnect notices worrying about how to pay the electricity bill, but the relationships and the human element are the same. I have chosen a career path that’s designed to help people and that’s my reward at the end of every day.
Garrick Thomas | Singer | Actor | Model
The most important lesson I have learned on this journey is to never lose yourself and keep fighting because your time is near. We want to give up when things aren’t going our way and that’s when you have to push yourself harder to strive for your ultimate goal.
Tricia Ann Garcia | Interior Stylist & Home Stager
If you give 100 percent of your attention, energy, and time to a thing, you will get exactly that back.
King.Kidd | Artist & Entrepreneur
Slow and steady wins the race! Making sure to trust the process, never rush it.
Von Harris | Photographer & Cinematographer
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey was realizing that sometimes failure can be necessary and the best thing that can happen. Getting knocked down is sometimes necessary to make you get up and be the Stronger, Smarter & Better person you’re supposed to be! Always keep working on my craft and myself because if I can consistently make myself better then everything else I do will evolve as well!
Damian Roberts | Management of 2 Lit- Live Hungry Die Fat Clothing | Entrepreneur, and Physical Therapy
Keeping God first, Pay yourself first, Invest in other people, mindset is everything, dream big, having amazing mentors in your life, being willing to unlearn and reinvent yourself in moving forward towards your journey of success. When you are intentionally focused on your goals, you will be amazed on what you can accomplish. Every success book, entrepreneur, and major business owner out there will tell you the one principle that got them to their level of success. The principle is they chose themselves. You are in control of your life so take action in moving forward in your journey of success. I am honored to have an excellent team of entrepreneur brothers who are all liked minded individuals with work ethics that are unmatched. We are a team so this article is just as important for them. Never give up, follow your dreams, and do what the other 99% won’t.
Flavio Venancio | tattoo artist
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that, first of all, you have to do what you love otherwise it’s a waste of life. Second, no matter how good you are in your field, there is always something new to learn and improve. Learning is really a never-ending process and you have to keep that in mind to succeed.
Tattooing is my passion, is what I love to do, but I don’t take it for granted. For me, I want and I need to evolve every day and I do it with pleasure.
I’ve been tattooing for over 15 years and I’ve worked in different countries like Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Brazil. I love being around different cultures, different art and learning new techniques.
The more I learn, more I realize how much is there to learn.
The better you are in your art, the more people expect from you, it’s a challenge and I love it.
Joy Smallwood | Resin Artist
I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I’ve had to learn that art isn’t about perfection, it’s about creating something to share with others. I have been shocked by the enthusiasm around some of my pieces which I was not particularly fond of myself. I’ve learned that everybody has different tastes, you just need to find the right audience to share it with. Lastly, I’ve learned not to focus on making sales, instead I focus on building relationships with people!
Ian “KWAME” Asibey | Musician | Drummer
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is patience and preparation . I’ve been playing drums for over 13 years now and joining Artemis funk (a 7 piece band from Arlington, TX) was has been a great learning experience. I’ve become a better listener and someone who is a lot more organized in terms of planning. Scheduling rehearsals and gigs with 6 other people be complicated; working with personal and work schedules, etc. I realized like everything that’s with having its patience and understanding that helps things move forward. When I first saw the band together they already had a drummer, but I knew these were the people I wanted to work with. The opportunity came for me to fill in for the drummer, and I was prepared for it; practicing and going to jam sessions as much as I could. Long story short a month later I was asked to be the permanent drummer. Playing with them ever since has been fantastic, but patience and preparation is a must. With 7 different opinions on almost everything we discuss, we have to be able to listen to one another and have enough patience and empathy to understand where the person is coming from. No matter what it is if we’re patience and prepared to tackle the situation, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.
Autumn Taylor | Product Developer and Owner of BERE Lingerie
During journey thus far , my most important lesson is to take everything day by day. I always had the tendency to rush into things I wanted most and ended up failing due to my impatience , but now as I go day by day I can now say I am where I need to be at the right time and will get to where I need exactly when I am supposed to. I no longer rush things that are set to come later or stress things out of my control.
Tasha Olorunnisomo | Love coach and Motivational Speaker
The most important lesson I have learned so far in my journey is never let fear stop you from accomplishing your goals in life. Life will have many challenges but you will overcome all of them if you do not quit. Do not allow anyone to stop you from accomplishing your lifelong dream, you are worth it.
Brooks Wallace | Student | Athlete | Entrepreneur
Comparison can kill a calling. Comparing yourself to another person does nothing but delay your own growth. If your time is spent focused on what someone else is doing, you’re wasting time that is be better spent prioritizing what you could be doing. What you focus on most is what you’ll bring to fruition. There is a distinct difference between learning from other’s experiences and comparing your success to other’s. You cannot compare your process season to someone else’s winning season. Don’t cripple your creativity with comparison.
Annaly Mawire | Worship Leader
The secret to a victorious life is praise. Life brings hardships and battles. We bring our own defeat when we focus on our circumstances. Praise and worship does the opposite. It keeps you focused on God. Who He is. What He has done and what He will do. It is the language of faith. Praise speaks life to a lifeless situation. It speaks power to a powerless, beat down attitude. Praise takes the supernatural victory and materializes it. This lifestyle of praise in the middle of storms is the secret to our victory. Proclaiming the power and faithfulness of God, that He is working on our behalf through His Word, becoming so convinced of it, brings peace through the chaos and hardships. It is the greatest weapon we have against the trials of life. God moves where His Spirit dwells. His Spirit dwells where He is praised.
Kate Lyubarsky | Entrepreneur and Owner of The Dapper Dog Shop
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is that you have to hustle. To start a business you need to be passionate and ready to put in the time. It can be long days and late nights, but if you love it then it’s totally worth it. The more effort you put into it, the more you will learn and grow, and the more rewarding it will be when you succeed. Work hard, be patient and tell yourself you can do this.
John Clark | Serial Entrepreneur
Over the past 15 years as an entrepreneur, the most important lesson I have learned is you can’t get anywhere far without great people. A great team working together as a collective to achieve a common goal will allow a company to grow faster, offer better products, yield better returns, and more importantly ensure the best customer experience.
DJ Ward | Fashion & Fitness Influencer
I’ve learned a lot about my journey so far. An important lesson I’ll always keep with me is someone is always watching, so the content, vibes and advice you put out are very meaningful. Whether it is a younger kid looking to follow my footsteps or a peer seeking inspiration for his or hers next outfit or workout. So always be a positive contribution!
Julian Palafox | Barber | Owner of Revolt Barbershop
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned along this journey is to run towards every challenge that scares me. If everything I wanted came easy I wouldn’t appreciate it. Also, to always remain true to myself and ALWAYS give the glory to God for the things I do accomplish. I’d also like to thank my loyal clientele for always supporting me, and most of all my staff because without them I wouldn’t be here.
Kambri Whitney | Owner of Bring Me Bronze- Mobile Spray Tans and Teeth Whitening
Mindset is everything- when you are intentionally focused on the things you want, it’s amazing what you can accomplish. You are able to achieve more than you could imagine, all by adjusting your mindset and focusing. Choosing to be happy and choosing to be successful comes down to active persuit in every decision. On the flip side, if you choose to be angry and offended, you are focusing on the negative and will just draw more of that energy and regress further from your goals and wishes. Your reality is truly shaped by your mind and the energy that you put towards your thoughts each day. I find this very empowering to know I can control my future by refocusing my mindset and thoughts. It really is that easy, test it out!
Phoebe O’Connor | Leasing Agent and Sports Psych Graduate Student
The most important thing I have learned thus far is to put your absolute heart into everything and have 0 regrets about it. Too many times we bombard ourself with “what if’s” and doubt ourselves and our decisions because of what everyone else is doing. I try to fully embody myself as a go getter without any limits. Love hard, work hard, and pray hard, you will see results and don’t worry about the outcome.
Jessica Navarrete | fashion blogger and life enthusiast
If I’ve learned anything throughout my journey, it’s that it’s truly not about the destination, it’s about the ride. Sometimes we’re so focused on getting to our goals and racing to the finish line, we forget to just enjoy where we are now. It’s so important to enjoy where you are now.
Crystal Salvador | Balayage & Color Correction Specialist
Growing up I was always passionate about the beauty industry, giving credit to my mother who was also a cosmetologist and beauty guru in my eyes, but I must also say my fire started when I was a teenager battling with low self-esteem. Pampering myself through my hairstyles gave me confidence and felt it was a calling to do the same for others feeling the same way. I still remember picking up my first pair of shears at the age of 12 and giving a layered haircut to someone, it just came so naturally, of course, I loved it! Regis was where I was able to get my feet wet, starting as a front desk receptionist, while I attended evening classes for cosmetology, as a front desk this meant many responsibilities which included washing towels, cleaning, inventory, and helping stylists with much more. I was determined to learn and I carried a small notepad with me everywhere because I was hungry for knowledge, I absorbed everything my sponge feeling brain would allow! Not caring what it took but knowing I would get there some day. After graduation I was able to move on to the floor as a stylist, lucky to say the salon manager mentored me and took me under her wing, allowing me to grow more with my skills. A couple months later I was offered an opportunity I did not want to pass up although I had been already on the floor as a stylist but I wanted to learn more so I began assisting in uptown. I spoke with the salon owner there which also became my mentor and I told her how I wanted to try and see if I could become a commission-based stylist, she gave me encouraging words and told me that I was an amazing stylist to go for it. I then gathered my small clientele and moved closer to home Garland at the time. Now this is where I learned that you have to grow thick skin, how to build and keep a good clientele and how important good communication skills is. It was a true struggle having to balance being a mother and trying to grow as an entrepreneur, but glad to say it was all worth it. Now I have my own suite and my journey like many others has not been easy but rewarding to say the least. In this process I have learned from every single person I have met, and had the privilege to serve, allowing me to also help empower women. No appointment goes without moments of tears and great laughs. I love that my clients find trust in me for support, encouragement or just someone to vent with, which led to me also aiming for my Family counseling degree. I have felt every laugh and tear my clients share, giving me the greatest lesson of all through this voyage. Sometimes I can’t help but to feel tired and a willingness to give up but then remember why I started this. I’ve had the privilege to serve clients with final wishes by getting their hair done by me and those that I have taught me that I have purpose in this industry and there is a reason why this fire was planted in me. One of the main reasons I became a stylist is to help others find their inner beauty as I have with myself. I love learning to evolve with the many change’s the hair industry brings, it allows me to learn new techniques and to always satisfy my clients needs. All that I have learned has taken me to where I stand now and passionately loving what I do.
CJ Cannon | Iconic Snow
Business won’t boom with a minimum wage work ethic.
Stacy Hall | Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger
I hate the saying “be yourself because everyone else is taken” because I feel that it’s so overdone but it’s also incredibly true. The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to be yourself. In life, and especially in the Instagram world, it’s ridiculously easy to compare yourself to others. It’s very easy to think “I’ll never be as pretty as her, as skinny as her, have as amazing photos as her..” and the list goes on and on. I’ve learned from my own personal experience that you can’t do anything but be yourself and embrace it. Maybe you want to share a picture that isn’t absolutely perfect – do it!! Get real on your stories and say what you feel or think (within reason). I don’t think you’ll ever regret being true to yourself!
Heather Rose | Airbrush Artist
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to never forget how it feels to be on the other side of the airbrush gun. In 3 years I’ve done around 4K tans, it’s easy to get into my mode and just get it done! Remembering how vulnerable you feel getting undressed in front of a stranger and how whether a client is tanning for a wedding, trip or event, the result will either make or break the experience. I often tell my employees during training that every tan is a wedding tan, meaning every airbrush deserves the detail and attention of an important event, no matter what the client is tanning for.
Roofing Ranger | Your Roofer on Call
It’s to be grateful to all the people you meet in your life. Good or Bad, they all teach you important lessons in your life. The more you meet the more experience you get!
DJ MarkCutz | Professional On-Air DJ
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far during my 10 year journey as a DJ, is to always stay true to who YOU are. You are unique and carry a style that no one has; once you learn that, nothing can stop you.