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What’s the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned Along Your Journey?

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?

Carlos Anaya | Founder of Cafecito Espiritual

Anaya Media

I am what I need and what I need I am. 

Yashira Franco | Food Blogger & Cravings Explorer

This new journey started not long ago, born from the idea of having a place where I can share my love of cooking, what I like to eat, yummy recipes and ideas with my girls. Organically, it turned into a place where lots of people who loves food find somewhere to belong. This journey has awakened a creative side of me that I never knew before. For many, cooking can be a chore or a burden but if you look at it from the right side, it can be a place for ideas, where creativity can flourish. Throughout this journey I’ve learned that creativity belongs in the kitchen, and once you realized that it is impossible not want to cook.

Pinterest: @wholetogethernow

SobreMesa Wood | Creations: Wood Furniture | Harvested only from Ecologically Friendly Sources

How our love of eating together as a family embarked us in this new venture, hence the name “SobreMesa” . “The after-dinner activity period tends to be enjoyed with coffee, wine, and most importantly in conversation”. Also how diverse we are as a group, Designer from Belgium, Artist from Venezuela and us from Cuba – what a combo!



Tamaya Rodriguez | Fitness & Confidence Coach

The most important lesson I’ve learned this year is to never give up on yourself no matter what. We often (especially as women) let other people come first and forget about our own goals and dreams. Never stop working on yourself, it’s not about what you do but it’s about who you’re becoming along the way I believe in divine time, timing is perfect, there is no mistakes made by the universe whatever belongs to you will come to you when you are ready to receive it. And finally, you never know who you can inspire just by being yourself.

Catherine Fox Milian | Owner of The Beach Bride by Chic Parisien | Chic Parisien and The Find Bridal

I’ve been in this business my whole life, my parents started the store 50 years ago and I’ve been running it for the past 25, but you never stop learning. We’re always listening to what brides like and how they’re shopping – that’s how The Beach Bride was born. 

Laxsoft | Airsoft Content Creator

During my journey as an airsoft content creator, the most important thing I’ve learned is to be patient.

Richard DeJesus ( Richy Beats ) | Music Producer & Artist | Founder of Viices Miami

The most valuable lesson I’ve Learned is to follow your dreams. Do what you want as long as you are not hurting anyone or anything. I’ve seen way too many people waste their lives doing things that they don’t enjoy. Why do this to yourself? If you play by your own rules you define your own standards of success. It’s the countless hours spent on doing what you love. Rome was not built in a day and success does not come overnight.


Edward Capriles | Architech and Interior Design

I have learned that God’s time is perfect. Sometimes we want things to happen at our own pace … and we get frustrated if this doesn’t happen. You just have to wait a bit and everything will flow and better things happen as we wanted them. With time and maturity we have to learn to have the gift of “waiting” once you develop everything becomes easier.



Persistence is the key to succeed.


Mark Salner | Photographer & DJ

3 lessons: 1. If you want to stay in business, continue your education. Most industries change drastically within 5 years. 2. If you want your business to grow, automate & outsource as much as possible. 3. The quality product or service and pleasant customer experience will determine your future.


Daniela Escobar | Photographer & Graphic Designer “Photography is Art, balance and composition”

The most important lesson that I’ve learned in this year is that you never stop making mistakes. I used to think that it was bad, but really every mistake is a learning opportunity and thanks to these mistakes, I am who I am today and I‘ll continue be in the future. I hope to always make mistakes, learn from them and improve myself day by day and show myself that I can achieve my dreams.

Vanessa Liebl | Founder & CEO

You never truly know what you’re capable of until you’ve determined that giving up is not an option. Passion and perseverance are essential to every entrepreneur’s journey. If you’re going to make your dream a reality, and you’re prepared to push through the tough times, you have at least half the formula for success covered.

Luna V | everyday jewelry essentials designed locally for the modern woman

The most important lesson for me has been learning to trust my gut in all scenarios. I only design and put out pieces that I am genuinely in love with and my new line is made up of pieces that I constantly wear on an everyday basis. That’s what makes it so special and personal to me.


Marian López | Fashion stylist and designer

You need a strong concept if you want to start a business. To achieve the goals of that business all you need perseverance and work, and believe all the moment in the things that you are doing. 

Jacquie Porcaro | Equestrian Profesional Photographer

Although throughout my life I have always had an interest in photography, in the last four years I decided to pursuit it professionally. The most important thing that I have learned in this journey, is that you should always follow your dreams, be persistent, work hard and never ever give up. The satisfaction in my clients’ faces when they see the final product makes the endless hours and passion that I dedicate to my work so fulfilling.


Chelsea Manheimer | Founder & Site Creator of TheMiamiMoms

One lesson I’ve learned on this journey is that we are never done learning. If you expand your mind and become a student in your own life, there will be no limits or boundaries on what you can accomplish.

Dr. Brian P. Ramos (Ram) | Former Yale Neuroscientist | Author | Yoga Master & Stress Specialist | Creator of DNA Hacker Secrets Mastermind and The Art of Stress-Free Living Retreats

The most important lesson I have learned so far, is that anyone can become a sage or master of life and learn to live free of the obstacles that limit their expression and brilliance. I was like anyone else who struggled with mental and physical health issues, uncertainty of what to do with my life, making many personal and financial mistakes, etc. I was thrust into the adult world as a child still after my father passed away when I was just 21 and about to begin my PhD in Neuroscience at Yale Medical School. I remember getting sick for two months my first year in New Haven CT in a new culture with a different climate. I think back about those times and realize how I was struggling with depression for possibly 10+ years. However, I never lost my focus, my drive, and my passion. After nearly two decades of research, study, and direct practice, I have discovered that beliefs keep you trapped and stagnating. Have a clear vision of the outcome you want for yourself, develop a plan, take massive action to get the results you want and abolish the conditioning and beliefs that keep you thinking less and limiting your innate potential. Anything is possible for one who is focused, knows what he or she wants, and will stop at nothing to get there. We live in a different era know loaded with specialized learning options (teacher, coaches, entrepreneurs, etc.). Find a master of whatever you would like to learn about or improve upon, and expedite your learning by condensing a master’s decades of experience into a fraction of the time. I never settle for less than direct experience, and thus, pursued Absolute Truth with passion, detachment, and feverish zeal, settling for nothing less than the mountain’s peak. I currently teach others how to live stress- and disease- free, reconnect with nature and live in harmony with It, master yoga, and Self-Realize. Rediscovering the traits you possessed as a child is key to reclaiming your True Self. Whatever circumstance, experience, trauma, etc that has been put in the way of the Real You must be processed and sublimated with skill and know-how to unleash the power within you. Why settle for being like the other pieces of coal when you could be a diamond, resplendent, beautiful, and pure. Hari Om Tat Sat!

Cydney | model and former athlete

Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone discourage you. I had so many people try to discourage me from following what my heart wanted. I am the type of person who who listen to others opinion but at the end of the day I do what I think is right. I am happy I followed my dreams of moving to Miami and pursuing modeling full time.


Faheem Mujahid | Integrative Health & Life Coach | Meditation Teacher

Your life’s purpose is NOT a fixed point. During the journey of your life, your purpose will evolve as you evolve. Make sure to leave room for the natural fluidity of life.

ViGi | visual artist

Life is amazing.


Legendary Tay | Artist

The most important lesson I have learned in my journey so far is that if you do not have love and passion for what you are doing it will not be as successful as it can truly be. When one is fully invested in their work it no longer feels as such and that is when the magic happens !

Jonathan Munoz | Film Composer & Solo Guitarist

I’ve learned that it’s all about mindset. I’ve had my fair share of struggles in life, but one thing I came to understand through experience is that the mind with no distractions and one goal is powerful. I am fortunate enough to have such a strong passion for what I do. My mind only knows one way and that is to create music and inspire people note by note.


Xiao Ming Lu “Sifu Lu” | Wing Chun Grandmaster

Dennis Hoffmann (left) and Grandmaster Xiao Ming Lu (right) – MING WU Academy

From Sifu Lu: For the last 30 years I have been practicing Wing Chun, BaJi Quan, Xin Yi Quan and Tongbei Quan on 7 days per week. The most important lesson that practicing Chinese Martial Arts taught me, is to be patient. You have to accept and appreciate sweat and pain, to grow stronger. Every punch you take, every pain you feel because of your intense training, makes you stronger and better. There are no shortcuts when you want to become the best. Practice harder than anyone else, leave your comfort zone, take punches, learn from your mistakes and improve every day.


Erick Gavin | Product Designer and Creative Coder

Don’t wait for the right thing to come along. Keep working on the things that matter to you (even if they are small) and have enough awareness to know when to pivot to better opportunities when they come along because if you are consistent they will find you.


Kevin Seage and Ryan Zig | Co-founders of Spilled Milk

After a full year of creating and establishing Spilled Milk, we’ve learned to stick with it- we decide on what we want to create and find a way to do it, while staying true to our creative vision and process. For us, that means creating ideas and filtering them through our experiences growing up in the Miami you don’t see advertised. Oh, and don’t take criticisms too harshly!

Kendall | bridal stylist

As a bridal stylist, I play a big role in uplifting women during one of the most important experiences in their lives. I’ve learned that everything you say or do for someone becomes a part of them, and a part of you. Once you focus on spreading only love and positivity in the world, you will surely receive only the same in return.


Francisco Sanchez | CEO and Founder of Biscayners

A successful product cannot be built overnight. You have to constantly be improving them, and you have to listen to what your customers have to say. Its a learning experience, but you have to celebrate the small victories, take advantage of the right resources and platforms, and surround yourself with the right team, so people can fall in love with your brand and products. 

Jenly Crespo | Dancer | Actress | Model

Shot and styled by: Michael Alvarez Makeup by: Yana Rizhkova

The most important lesson I have learned is to remain persistent! Persistence is key in almost every aspect of life. To remain persistent means to continue to push against the negativity, against the losses, and against doubt. I was rejected from my dance team 3 times before finally being accepted. That dance team went on to give me some of the greatest opportunities I could have ever received. Stay motivated. Stay persistent. Most importantly, stay passionate.


María Paula Mantilla | dietetics And nutrition FIU student and Viva+ Vital CEO

Life has taught me that despite the good or bad things, I must do my best to overcome each test, this is what builds me as a persevering person capable of fulfilling all the goals that I set and overcome them with great joy. I’m a true believer of making the most of our lives every single day and I believe this is our only life. Hence, we should enjoy it as much as possible. We are here in this planet to find happiness and the only way to reach it is to get it ourselves.

Osose Ojomon | Recording Artist & Photographer

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far, is that nothing comes easy, you must work hard, BUT SMART to steadily grow in the area of which you want to be best at. Patience is key, and also the desire of wanting to be successful gotta be in you.

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