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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?

Alina Escarpanter – Founder of Marlie’s Dog Walking and Pet Services

Throughout my journey this year I would say the biggest lesson I have learned and the best advice I can give is to stand firm in the unexpected. To have faith that when all seems to be crashing down, what is actually happening is the path is being cleared for you to move forward; towards a better life; to help you seek out what is truly meant for you. With my path being cleared, I decided to take a different approach to the typical 9-5 life. I had been so structured to that life that it was literally sucking the life out of me. I realized that starting a dog walking business was perfect for me. Without hesitation I started the business and it has become my best adventure yet!


Allan Vargas | Managing Director at 4DV Marketing Agency

Be honest, don’t lie and be a good man.


Karen Huggins | Fashion & Travel Blogger

The most important lesson I have learned in my journey as an entrepreneurs is that failure is a natural stepping stone to success. Failure used to terrify me and think about things so many times that I didn’t end up acting. They key to starting a business is to have passion, act and get stronger when we fall; only in this way we succeed.


Elizabeth “Liz” Ortiz | Hair Artist

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far about my journey is acceptance. In a world where likes, comment and shares determine someone’s self-worth it is important to accept yourself for who you are. No matter where you are on your journey. Once you begin to accept and love yourself for who you truly are, Life will begin to shine in a different light because you’ve found it at the end of your own tunnel.


Matteson Koche | Third-generation Miamian |  Urban Planner | Bagel truck owner

Do what you want, not what everyone else wants.




The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey is to have a definite purpose. There will be many setbacks, challenges and mistakes along the way but having a purpose will keep you on track or push you back in the right direction if you get lost.  From being shy and isolated to having people reach out to me for motivation and tips. It doesn’t matter how, when and where. What matters is why. Anything is possible when you know your purpose.



KJ Design Collective | Full service interior design firm specializing in Residential design

The most important lesson we have learned is that time is the most valuable asset you can offer, both professionally and personally. With our clients, we want to ensure we are making the best use of their time. Our clients time is extremely important as it allows us to define expectations, goals and ultimately provide us with the ability to create an unforgettable design experience for them. We strive to provide the best customer service, and we want our clients to walk into a space that they truly love.


Maria Marquez | Full time engineer | mom of two and now handbag maker

This journey has taught me a lot, from learning to say “no”, to shedding away fears of rejection. But definitely the biggest lesson so far has been to trust my gut and stop making decisions based on what other people like or think. At the beginning it was very hard since everything was so new and I doubted myself every step of the way, but little by little I’ve been learning to feel comfortable and confident about my own decisions.


Phil Kelly | Father | Officer | Photographer

What I’ve learned on my journey thus far is not to be motivated by money, Do what you love… Love what you do and God will provided the rest.


Elizabeth | working mom & blogger

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is actually one I’ve learned just this past week, you need to work hard every single day to achieve success in all aspects of your life. Whether it be at your job, your home, your relationships, you need to work hard because nothing in this life comes easy.

Ana King | Maternity & Newborn Photographer in South Florida

All my clients are women, most of them are expecting mothers. I would say the most important lesson, probably, is the strength that they taught me, while going thru all the changes to their body and their lives. Main focus of my business is to empower women, show them how beautiful they are, especially during the wonderful journey of being pregnant. Also the absolute favorite part of my job is getting to meet my clients babies when they coming in for newborn session. That incredible bond and love between them is so amazing!

Haute Floss | Flossin.Affordable.Style

The most important lesson Haute Floss has learned so far is to continue to engage with our followers and customers. We love being able to provide high quality skim wear and apparel at affordable prices for our customers, customer service is our number one priority .


To be very patient and to listen carefully to each customer, as I am painting their loved ones.


Jeannelle Urrutia | Owner & Creative Director

Aside from Jay Creative I also co-own a Marketing Agency, Admark, Inc. of which I’m the art director/CEO (hence where my creativity comes from) and I’ve been able to apply my knowledge from that into Jay Creative. But every business has its own challenges and if you aren’t able to adjust and learn from the journey you will never be able to grow. So to answer your question, things learned: – Don’t let failure prevent you from continuing to push forward. – Step out of your comfort zone. You’ll soon notice it really wasn’t that hard to do. – Support others in their endeavors and businesses like they support you. – Don’t be content. Always think of what’s next and how it can be done better and different. 


Throughout my career as a macro photographer I have learned many things, including how beautiful all living things are but in particular all those that I show in my photos that are so small in sight, this critters contribute so much to our ecosystem that’s why they are so amazing.


María Silvina | avid crochet knitting, artist | owner of Tejiendo Ilusiones

The most important lesson in my journey has been that once you’ve set a goal for yourself, you need to take the first step and keep going. Keep working hard and consistently, with discipline. Trust your capabilities and don’t let a failure knock you down. Keep getting up and taking that first step over again as many times as necessary.


Robin Weiss | Creative Director & Entrepenuer

Stay true to yourself – be open & receptive to change – remain calm & go with the flow.


Lena Monique | Photographer | Content Creator | Boutique Owner

The most important lesson I’ve learned this far is To embrace the process. The highs the lows ALL of it! Everything along this journey has taught me a life a lesson. By appreciating even the bumps on the road I have less time to be bitter when things don’t go my way.


Maribel Moreno and Gabriela Mekler | Co-Founders of mumi

The most important lesson we’ve learned so far, is to be flexible. Things not always go as planned, and it is important to be able to roll with the puches. Nothing can prepare you for the unexpected, and if you are flexible, and easy going you will find a way to resolve and move forward. As full time moms, we also wear many hats. We have a lot of responsibility, and have had to really push ourselves out of our comfort zone many times. working through our fears has brought us the deepest learning and satisfaction. 

Anna Kizner | owner of Anyalux , a boutique fashion consulting firm concentrating on image consulting / personal shopping / gifting concierge

The most important lesson I learned in my journey thus far is that following your passion and being honest with yourself and clients is what makes the business grow. Having a 15+ year career in luxury fashion in NYC and starting fresh when moving to Florida was not easy. But growing a business is just like having a baby everyday is a new adventure full of progress and growth. I am fortunate to have built a strong network of people that support my passion and blessed to have clients that help me grow.

Adela Nelson | Intuitive Reader | Life Coach & Healer

The most important thing I’ve learned on my journey thus far is to give myself time; time to learn, time to forgive, time to feel, time to heal, time to grow, time to live.


Mariangela Papoudi & Alexandra Michalopoulou | Interior Designer and Founders at home decor shop

It’s not easy growing a new business and at the beginning is a lonely process with so many unknown factors. You need to acquire all sort of new skill sets, but the most important is to always follow your own passion! One of the things thehomemind has done is to teach us to appreciate the imperfections of handcrafted pieces and value bespoke accessories, so you can create a home full of character.


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.



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

Model: @natiz94 Photographer @st.cloud_studios

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to dare to be bold. You can rock anything if you have the right attitude.


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