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?
Sam Berg | Student of Yoga | Asana Teacher
We must believe in ourselves, we are much more than we give ourselves credit for.
Bellas Life | Health and Fitness Instagramer & YouTuber
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey is to stay true to myself and to do what makes me happy. It’s very easy to follow what the crowd is doing and forgetting who you are in the process. You never know what’s going to happen, so do whatever it is that makes you happy and run with it!
Mariana Ferreira | International Communication, Culinary Enthusiast and 24/7 Creative Mom
“It would be very unfair if I only describe one lesson. The truth is that every stage of my life has been a valuable lesson that God has used to shape who I am now. As I have to highlight the most important lesson I have received on this trip so far, it hast to be “The Art of Pause””. It seems to me that our society forces us to be in constant motion – as if we run out of time – but taking a break is also important and very, very necessary. I have a degree in Broadcast Journalist and International Communication, but my priority right now is to enjoy and cultivate a healthy family. I made a pause in my professional career and focus. As family, my husband and I have learned to enjoy silence (trust me, as parents of a toddler girl and expecting our second little princess – IT’S A MUST!), but not only silence is relevant to growth, the art of pause also is. Just as a tree “pauses” in Winter and bloom beautifully in Spring: “Everything has its time”. At the end of 2019 we understood as a family the valuable meaning of the SELAH or סֶלָה in Hebrew, which can be translated as “”stop and listen”” or also as “”pause and think about it””.
Every lesson is valuable to stop and listen to our surroundings. Our call in life can have a better definition when we stop and think. I know it sounds difficult but is not impossible. Our society works towards keeping us active and busy all the time but stopping mentally, physically and emotionally in order to refocus, is also productive. We just have to embrace this valuable life lesson. To make and take a break (work, family, friends, projects… everything) not only helps us to think about what has been done, but it also prepares us to breathe and continue the journey with greater strength and passion. Selah.”
DileXo | Dj and Music Producer, focused on electronic music
What I have learned over these 8 years is to have a lot of patience, I have learned to value every second that music gives me to be happy, I have learned to never stop dreaming and I have learned that sacrifices have value sooner or later.
Matthew Bernanke | Marine Scientist & Photographer
I think the most important lesson that I’ve learned in my journey is to not be afraid to ask. There are so many opportunities that would have passed me by and I would have missed out on had I not had the courage to put myself out there. For example, I got to work with the Harlem Globetrotters simply because I was brave enough to reach out! How cool is that?! The worst thing that someone can tell you is “no” and if you never ask, you’ll never know.
Cyber Bullies | Music Group & Radio Show
There are no roads to take for artists, you have to build a highway as you drive on it.
Michelle A. Cordero |aka: #YourFavoriteTrainer: Recovery Coach & Performance Therapist
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to trust the process: in training, in coming back from injury, in business, & in life. It can be easy to get caught up in the “lack of” as you are working hard day in and day out to accomplish your goals, but it’s when you take a moment to give yourself perspective and celebrate the small wins that you realize how far you’ve come and how important the journey itself is; that’s where you truly discover what you are capable of. It is when we are in the trenches, going through the process, the grind, & the uphill battles that we become resilient and learn the most valuable lessons that we will carry through to the other side and to the next challenge we face. The body achieves what the mind believes.
Ernesto Romero | DJ/Music Producer
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is to stay true to yourself and never give up. Never forget the obstacles and people that made you who you are. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
Luis Jairala | TV Host/Reporter | Network Manager
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to always believe in yourself. During your path you will face so many obstacles and people that will try to block you and make you doubt yourself. You always have to believe and trust your thinking and decisions. I still have many more goals I want to accomplish but everything I have been able to scratch off my bucket list has been done because I had faith in myself.
Jose Mago | Creative Director
The greatest lesson so far is to always trust my instinct and never lose the essence of who we are.
Melissa Saavedra | Blogger, A Very New YouTuber & Administrative Assistant
I love that question. The most important lesson I’ve learned is to enjoy the journey. Enjoy discovering new ways to find your joy and enjoy learning new skills. For instance, I bought a camera I didn’t know how to use, I started edited videos I had no ideas how to edit and I learned how to upload a youtube video using analytic tools. I didn’t know any of this 6 months ago. I loved reading articles, watching tutorials and taking courses on my new developing skills. Enjoy the journey, stress less and learn to love every aspect of this gift called life.
Juan Hernandez | Industrial Engineer and General Contractor
I have learned that the highs and lows throughout the journey to building a business are all part of the process of building character and grit. I’ve learned to embrace the journey’s rough times and the failures along the way as much as, or even more than, the successes. The most important lessons in business and life come from our shortcomings and the inevitable obstacles we face. The toughest climbs lead us to the best views, so I’ve learned to keep pushing towards my goals because it will all be worth it in the end.
Alejandra Martínez | Interior & Jewelry Designer | Vakhu District – Unique pieces that enhance your beauty and style
I’ve learned, that no matter what the results are, we must always be risk takers and lose our fear to all our actions that lead us to meet our objectives.
Pilar Meza | Furniture Designer
I learned during these years designing solid wood furniture, that we do not need to intervene a lot with the wood, when wood ages, it changes color, texture, and and becomes unique. It develops a beautiful texture with cracks and holes. The more natural imperfections the better.
Roger Arguello | Photographer
The most important lesson I have learned in my journey so far is to always provide value to the customer within your craft. In my case, with photography, an enjoyable experience, building relationships, and finding what’s important to them, are all part of the value I create for my clients. In return, my clients increase my value by referring me to their friends and family. In any industry, and more importantly with a small business, a referral is the ultimate compliment.
Juan F Ayora | Creative Director & Photographer
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to stay true to who I am and where I came from with regards to my photography. I grew up in the Ecuadorian Andes which are moody and brooding and my photography style has not strayed far from that that, as that’s what’s in my heart!
Anahys Ramos | lifestyle blogger | fashion designer and content creator and chef
I am an immigrant Venezuelan and starting from scratch is not easy but if you have a dream it can be achieved with perseverance and dedication. In two years here in the USA I have achieved many things like graduating from two Careers, taking out my own clothing brand since the faShion is my passion and from there I decided to create content because I like to share my outfits, recommend products. There are no limits we must work every day to continue advanced and visualize it. An important lesson is that we should not give up, a thousand times I thought about throwing in the towel but then I think that all the nice things I have achieved and that motivated me. It is never too late to do what you like.
Adi Adinayev | Owner and content creator at ADINAYEV
Never give up. The start is always hard and most of the time not rewarding at all.
Creating creative content (photography, videography, graphic design, etc) is very hard these days due to Instagram and a few other social media channels that makes everyone feel like they are influencers and creative people, which hurts the people that actually doing this work for a living.
The key is to not get frustrated – which will lead you out of your way and vision – but to keep hanging on, swallow your pride, work hard and sweat for every new client you get.
Never forget your value and believe in yourself.
Veronica Mauri | Holistic Chef
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to Believe in Yourself and Trust your Instincts.
We all have infinite potential to achieve any goal we may dream.
My life has changed so much over the years and when I look back I am amazed at all the challenges I have overcome.
I grew up in a very small country in South America. I was raised in a city with only 10,000 people, and didn’t have any plans to move to the US.
And here I am, living in one of the biggest countries in the world for almost 20 years now. I have adjusted my career may times, created my own company and had the opportunity to meet amazing people along this journey.
I had my ups and downs, like we all do, but like my mother use to say, “”Persevera y Vencerás”” if you stay positive and persevere you will conquer your dreams.
And keep dreaming.. you never know what the universe has in store for you!!!
Juan Allen | Owner
Is all about the team. Not about getting just people on board, but the right people in board. Learning is a constant loop.
Cher Katheryn | Beauty Influencer
Important lesson that I’ve learned through my journey is to really feel enough for myself. That I am talented enough, smart enough, hungry enough, humble enough, and worthy enough for this Dream to become my reality.
Laura Robayna | Real Estate Agent & Creator HoraMiami Blog
To no longer look for external guidance or third party’s approval. Knowledge and awareness are already deep within each of us.
Santi | Host at StayPlus
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the last 2.5 years in the hospitality and property rental management business is to be dependable at all times for my guests and clients, no matter what they need we provide it to them in the most welcoming and efficient way possible.
Bianca Coletti | Fashion Designer | women’s contemporary | specialize in swimwear
One of the most important lessons I have learned is to be kind and respectful.
With kindness + respect I have a team of seamstress and running factory for over 20 years. This helps support my community and honor the craftsmanship of sewing as every piece is still hand- cut.
We have also been able to establish trusting + loyal relationships w our clients and boutique’s, photographers and models. I feel super fortunate to have this company that allows me to be creative!
Being kind and having respect has certainly played a big part.
Valentina Londono | Travel and Outdoors Content Creator
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to be very sensitive to what is happening around me, to be a very trusted person with my audience, and handle my blog as my second full-time job.
Melissa P. Fernandez C.I.D. | Interior Stylist and Decorator
There have been so many lessons on self confidence, and not giving up, but by far, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that talent and desire alone will not make a successful business. In order to really do well year after year, and be able to grow and scale, you need to have a set of systems and procedures in place and a way of repeating that process over and over again. Predictability in the ins and outs of your everyday operations makes things transparent for your Clients, which instills confidence, but also keeps expectations clear and you as a business owner knowing what comes next. As a Creative, the “running a business” part is definitely the least exciting, and what has always required the most effort, but I know now that it is essential to my long term prosperity.
Arian Callejo | entrepreneur and Giltydream (GD Entertainment Experiences INC) | Courageous and dreamer | Event Experiences Developer
Time is the most precious thing we all possess, do not waste it. Let’s spend our time creating unforgettable moments that will last forever” In my company our passion, talent and commitment are shown in every detail of what we do. We connect with our clientele at an emotional level that allow us to create the most indelible memories.
Miroslava Lerman | Designer and creative director
I think the biggest lesson so far is accepting that things might have not worked out the way you plan, but how they were meant to work out.
Jose Mertz | Artist / Creative Director
I have a quite a bit of important lessons I have learned along the way. Here is one.
“Treasure the moment. When creating, be invested in the entire process not only the final result.”
Vanessa A. Castaneda| Freelance Photographer and Marketing/Advertising Professional
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my photography journey is that you should never doubt yourself when it comes to your creative content. There is always room for growth along the way.
My love for photography started back in 2008, and as the years went by, it kept growing. In 2012, I decided to start doing freelance photography. At the beginning of my photography journey, people would see my images and tell me that I have an eye for photography. However, I doubted myself by thinking my photographs weren’t good enough and comparing them to very talented photographers in the photography community. I later realized that we all have a different perspective on the way we edit an image and the way we tell the story behind the image. That is when I learned to stop doubting myself when it came to my photography and focus on the growth.
Traveling adventures, photoshoots, marketing products and candid moments of my family and friends that I’ve captured on my camera within the years have helped me create more content to practice on my skills and build a portfolio. As I look back at the photographs I’ve taken throughout the years, I can see the growth I have made from past to present.
In 2020, I plan to focus and give more time to my photography, do as many photoshoots as I can and hopefully upgrade my camera.
Thanks to social media platforms, I can showcase my latest photography and network with other local photographers.
Daniel Riveros, Professional Engineer | Building Systems Engineer
There’s no such thing as a “small project”, even a “tiny fish” can take you to a “big shark.”