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?
summer fun @kukenamcamp by @origamiaudiovisual
Maybe not the most important, but the most relevant is that perseverance pays off, it is without a doubt the road to achieve your goals. Just staying focus on what you want with patience and learning with every experience you can make it
Jean Claude Pauris Jr. | Owner and Director of Photography
The most important lesson I learned so far is that great work takes more that just raw talent, I takes a great idea, and great people that believe in your dreams as well as you do. I surrounded myself with people who I believe are the reason I continue on this journey. They inspire, support, and share this journey with me. So in that sense I could say that networking is key to moving forward, but it’s the real connections you make with a select few honest, positive and strong supporting friendships that keep you going. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for those individuals in my life today. I want to really say thank you to them, and they know who they are.
FEDERICO BIANCHI | VISUAL ARTIST
No one is going to do it for you.
Jorge Luis | Content Creator & Photographer
The most important lesson I’ve learned this far, would be to always believe in yourself, you have to stay optimistic and last but not least to speak up, please! if we never ask, the answer will always be NO.. asking doesn’t cost anything but can actually get you a lot.
Andrea Juliao | Dance Instructor
I have learned that no matter the little or the much we have, we must find happiness in what we do. Happiness is in little things (a hug, a dance, a book, a coffee) it is just that sometimes we are too busy to notice. Once you are happy you can easily achieve your goals and influence others to have a world with more love.
Marbelys Reinoso | Lash artist | fitness lovers | esthetician
As a business owner and fitness enthusiast, I have learned that living without purpose is simply existing. I wake up every day grateful for the opportunities I am given while continuing to work towards the goals I have set for myself both personally and professionally; and I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by amazing individuals that are constantly uplifting me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Live with gratitude, always.
Enmanuel Muller | Artist Manager and Outdoor Enthusiast
The most important thing I’ve learned throughout my journey is to have patience and find a balance. Having patience is important because in time your success will show and your rewards will come. With patience, you are able to truly observe the environment around you. With patience, you have time for yourself, and be assured of your decisions. Finding a balance in life is important because without balance there’s chaos. You need equality, with your time and energy. You need to find the proper balance for your life, know when something needs a little more and something else needs a little less. No matter what it is, find a balance.
Genesis G. | Braider | Model
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to dare to be bold. You can rock anything if you have the right attitude.
Vegan Cuban Cuisine | Vegan Tastes Better
The most important lesson we have learned so far is to not be afraid of not knowing everything but to be afraid of not wanting to learn more. When we started this business 9 months ago all days seemed to be filled with obstacles. However, as we focused on just creating delicious food everything around started to get into place. Our community has been so grateful for what we are bringing to them and so are we for all their love and support.
BUMPY103 | music artist | writer | producer | model | actor
The most important lesson I have learned to so far is to keep working and pushing forward to you goals no matter what.
Ksenia Bartie Sukhareva | beach volleyball and volleyball coach | personal trainer and professional athlete
The most important lesson for me is to dream big,follow your passion and never give up. Because you will regret things you didn’t do or at least didn’t tried to do.
Gnarly Brown | Songwriter | Audio Engineer | Amateur Philosopher | Black Ginger Dude
The most important lesson I’ve learned and am still learning on this journey called life is realizing how much I actually have control over. So far, just my mind, soul and body…….but sometimes my foot falls asleep.
Ali Jahanzeb aka M4RTI4N | Photographer & Fashion Consultant
Most important lesson I’ve learned is to stay positive and enjoy the journey. It’s easy to get caught up with what’s next, but enjoy what’s present. As for my car, it’s the smiles per miles mentality.
Just Allen | Singer | Songwriter
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to be patient and to have understanding. Everyone is not going to be a fan of yours and it’s always better to accept that early on then to be disappointed by a negative comment!
Sazon Gourmet Latino | Delivery Restaurant with all latin flavors
Doing things with sacrifice, effort and perseverance will make your dreams come true, and that’s the most important and learned thing to us… We wake up everyday believing that working hard is the biggest first step you should take. Things doesn’t come up from night to day. So, when you try hard and doesn’t give up easily, you would get what you want.
Esther Beniflah Melul | CEO, EB Public Relations Inc.
I believe that the best thing I’ve learned and that I practice is to act with love and passion plus enjoying every step and moment. If we do what we love, we feel good and every day is a good day to be grateful. Also, by doing that, we look at obstacles as lessons to grow and not as problems.
Claudia Pretelt | Passionate mom about organic / non-toxic beauty and essential oils
Gratitude, when you count your blessings, current problems and difficult situations are easier to overcome.
Philip Gregory Wynne | Cigar Maker and Voyager
To have an open mind and accept the differences that make us ultimately one.
Redzuan Razak | Realtor® & Advocate for Veterans
Everything is possible when you have the right mindset, and live each day with purpose as you never know what may come tomorrow.
Krystal Todd | Certified Public Account and Financial Educator
Adopting the concept of paying myself first. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but the lack of money can absolutely crush you and I’m sure everyone can feel me on that! I don’t pay my utilities, internet or even my rent before lining my own pockets. Now this is not advising you to go delinquent on your bills (please don’t), but more to urge you to get into the habit of saving money, and considering your savings as a bill that you MUST pay!! Once I really embodied this concept, I took full control of my financial health and reached a point that allows me to fund all the things that actually do make me happy. I now share what I’ve learned to help others do the same, which is my true passion.
WxldLotus | Rav Drummer | Model | Jewelry Maker | Content Creator
I grew up with Marine parents, so I’ve always have traveled and met people from various backgrounds from all over the world. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of communication and understanding one other. We are all connected through this divine web of love. We all breathe the same air, have the same planet we call home. Once you can understand another’s culture, and respect a group of individuals way of life, you get rid of the fear of the unknown. You start to understand that we are all important, we all matter, we all need each other. There is a balance in life and its truly beautiful once you start to view the world with loving, caring, and compassionate eyes. So, start with viewing yourself in that same light, and you’ll start to see it in others. That’s why my motto is “Love Is Key”. It is the force that will open the door to understanding, but it is your will that keeps you moving.
Alexis Santos | Construction company owner | real estate investor
The most important lesson I have learned in my life journey is to always try to do the right thing. If you do what you know is right and you are always a good person you might not win short-term all the time and financial gains might not be there all the time but ultimately you will be blessed in many ways that you cannot imagine.
Andy C Avellan | Designer at ANDYCMADE Shop & Artist
Everyone says to believe in yourself, but they don’t really tell you how. I’ve learned that the only way to make this happen is to be consistent and have a lot of patience until you make yourself proud. This is by far the only way I have seen it possible to truly believe in yourself without it being a superficial pep talk. I won’t lie to you because in the beginning it’s going to hurt — a lot. You are going to SUCK. BAD. But the more you keep working through the sucky, the more you begin to learn about your way of doing things and begin to grow in ways you could have never imagined. It could take months or years, but one day, you will be working on something, putting the final touches on your work and think, “Wow, I’m proud.”
Adriana Weng | New Levels. New Devils (NL.ND)
The most important lesson we learned is actually the basis of our brand. With major success come major obstacles. It’s about being aware of where you are and where you are going. And not letting these obstacles and mostly people prevent you from achieving your full potential.
Alan Gabay | Real Estate Broker
I have always found that being honest and truthful to myself and my family, friends and clients has allowed me to grow personally and professionally throughout my life. I have a sincere commitment to always do my best, learn something new everyday and share that knowledge with others. And most important of all, I have learned that you have to smile, laugh and enjoy life everyday. Never stop having fun.
EPIC the Band | Christian Pop Group
We’re constantly called to greatness. Not just around us, but also within us. That through thick and thin, staying rooted in real love is a driving force in building our craft, in coming together to do what we love.
Grace Chepenik | Artist (Painter & Glassblower)
I feel the most important lesson I have learned so far is to follow my intuition. Whenever I have listened to my gut instincts it has paid off- and hurt me when I did not. Ultimately- we know what is best and right for us and it is so important to be true to that and the feelings you get. My gut instinct told me I needed to live in Miami the moment I visited. I was in Wynwood with my dad and knew it was the best place for my art to grow and flourish. I was inspired by every corner and wanted to dive into the art scene here immediately. I could not stop smiling when I experienced Wynwood for first time. The color, light and diversity I experience in Miami has and will forever influence my work. The city has given me incredible opportunities, such as live painting for SpeakFridays or displaying my art at a bar during Art Basel. Miami has led me to people along my journey that I know were meant to be in my life- and so I am forever grateful I acted on my intuition of choosing to live here.
Will Noftsinger | Yacht Broker and Superyacht Broker, Denison Yachting
Be Relentless”. That is the most important lesson I have learned so far in business and in life without question. There is never a reason to slack off or surrender and chalk something up to a simple loss. Stick with what ever “it” may be that you are doing and be tenacious, be resilient, be resourceful and give it your all. And then, when you’re ready to call it quits and be resilient by trying 5 more times. Above all else, be relentless and be sure to couple that with a good dose of humility. Most everything worth doing in business and in life involves effort and it involves way more effort than we anticipate going in. No one is going to argue that I am stubborn and tend to take the difficult roads in life as some sort of personal challenge. So, when some one says I can’t or don’t, I am likely going to do just about everything I can to do it… Likely twice. It’s how I got in to college despite dyslexia and a host of other learning disabilities, how I started in this business and how I finally got my would be wife and at the time of meeting my flight attendant, to go out on the first date with me… After 2 months of asking her constantly mind you. Trust me, I get down, I get upset and I definitely get angry, but I never give up. Failure is 100 percent an option and it happens all the time to me… But, giving up… well that part isn’t an option for me and it truly is a choice. We choose to give up and take the easy road. Don’t. Be relentless and try, try again I think that’s far and beyond the biggest lesson for me so far.
Estelle Cazoulat | Student in Economics
I would say that the city gathers a lot a different treasures : the calm with waves song on the beach, kindness with people you don’t even know who come to you and talk about everything (it’s like you know them, even for a long time but you just met them a few minutes ago), all these restaurants with world cuisines, being independent is really important or you can miss things (dare to go by yourself, anyway you can meet people everywhere), the world is small because I met one of my best friends from France 3 times in Miami since she worked for Disney world in Orlando so finally I would say that “the world is home”. Also, we don’t realize things as long as we don’t see them (for example I remember when I went to Nassau, people told us to go one way, I decided to take an other way and I saw the poorness, later I followed the instructions and I saw where they wanted us to go and it was wonderful but shallow in a certain way… An other thing, I was pleasantly surprised by Los Angeles and its beautiful hills. I decided to not take ubers and walk a lot and was not at all disappointed. About Miami, you always have something to do, you have festivals, events, concerts or parties. The city is amazing for that. It is not just about its districts, its about its constant evolution (walls in Wynwood change, some shops open, a lot of artists come, etc). It is a city of 1001 possibilities.
Jorge Charun | Bachateando Miami Dance Festival
To remain resilient through adversity. One of the most challenging situations we had to deal with were hotel cancellations. Two years in a row, our contracted hotel cancelled on us and we were left scrambling to find a new venue. With thousands of attendees ready to come dance and party at the festival, we were responsible for finding a new home. Staying resilient and focused allowed us to pull through this challenge and host a stellar event every time – and kept it growing!!