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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?

 Claude Lorempo | Eventswish

Sage Justice Photography

Entrepreneurship is like a freeway without a speed limit.  Once you make a decision to get on that road, you can only move forward.  Doing otherwise gets you ran over.  You will pass some people who started before you, others will pass you in the process. There will be hills, bad and good weather.  Whatever happens, keep moving. 

Daniel Delgado | Co-producer of Riff City Comedy

The most important lesson I’ve learned is the importance of surrounding yourself with a team of people who will challenge and push you to become a better person. 

Dan Sullivan | Naturopathic Medical Student | Health Coach | Real Estate Investor

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far came from my late mentor Shawn – which is to start with the end in mind.  In order to get somewhere in life, you first need to decide where you want to go. This may seem overly simplistic, but I’m constantly surprised by people’s lack of goals and direction.  If I asked you what your most important goals are right now, could you tell me? If not, one exercise that can help is to imagine your own funeral at the end of your life. What do you want people to say about you after you’re gone?  What stories about you do you want to have told? This can be difficult, but it can also be extremely powerful and can provide clarity on what is most important in life. You can achieve anything you want in life with persistence, a good attitude, and enough time – as long as you know what “it” is!


Naomi Moore | fashion & beauty enthusiast

The most important lesson that I’ve learned in my journey thus far is to cut all ties with anything toxic in my life. You can’t yield a fresh field of fruits if there’s a rotten one contaminating them all.


Doula Heather Taylor | Birth doula | Childbirth Educator and Lactation Educator

My journey has taught me that birth workers are changing the world. By supporting, loving, and educating new parents, we are empowering them to give their babies the best start in life that works for them. And when you get the best possible start in life, you are set up for the best possible life to follow.

Andre Acevedo | Fit Lifestyle Coach & Entrepreneur

Don’t cut corners, be patient and attention to detail! It’s so hard not to want things instantly especially nowadays, but everything meaningful takes time. Whether it be business, health or in every single relationship, the process is where the gold lies so embrace the grind.

Facebook: Andre Acevedo

Deloris Cameron

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far in my journey is there is never too much glitter.


Luis Prado | Community Event Organizer | Bboy | Brand Owner

The most important lesson that I’ve learned in my constantly evolving journey comes in two parts: Do everything with the right intentions and you’ll receive the right results but also trust the power of patience. When stepping into a new experience or opportunity, it is important to know why you’re doing it. Ask yourself what you want to get out of it, and why. Asking myself those questions has allowed me to explore the depths of the spiritual side of my journey. Especially because no journey is easy. Patience pays off especially in a world where instant results are so eagerly sought after. Be patient, be true your cause and enjoy the journey.


Jenny Mann | Photographer

Every time I step out my front door or invite someone into my home or studio…  I am changed.   I have grown to love the idea of never knowing who you will meet that day and what they could bring into your life.   How someone could change your life or you change theirs, its exciting. It could be something so simple as kindness or a smile.   I choose to walk into my next photo shoot, the grocery store, the DMV, life in general, with an open mind, open heart and a smile…. that combo can create so many opportunities for growth & gratitude! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have moments where I throw a tantrum “ugh, I don’t feeeeeel like going!!” And….Every. Single. Time….I feel silly, because, that very feeling is pushed aside by the experience, person, story, environment I end up greeting. It never fails. I usually laugh at myself for acting so begrudgingly right before… because I know… I know better! So, be kind, be grateful, and be open to possibilities that you don’t even know could be right in front of you!


Sarah Binsfield | Stewardship | Events Coordinator and SeneGence Distributor

When I think about the most important lesson I have learned in my journey, it would be that not all paths are linear and sometimes the best ones are completely uncharted. Two weeks before graduating college, I realized I no longer wanted to pursue my degree in Kinesiology. Over the next few years, I worked as a photographer, personal assistant, and editor (just to name a few). Within each new position I excelled and felt accomplished, but when thinking of my career overall, I felt as though I was floundering. Then one day I saw it — my dream job. It was in a place I loved, working for people I loved, and required every single skill I had developed over those “floundering” years.  I finally realized my very non-linear path had brought me exactly where I was meant to be and shaped me into who I was supposed to be. All those detours and turns that I thought were mistakes and failures actually helped me chart a whole new map. I now use my experience to remind myself and others that we can do the hard things, the scary things, and that we can embrace the unknown. Your journey doesn’t have to be linear; it doesn’t even require a map. Take opportunities as they come, learn in the moment, love what you do, and trust the map will chart itself.


Phillip VanderMeulen | Residential Maintenance Engineer and Entrepreneur

First, you are your own competition. That person you see standing in the front of the mirror, that’s who you worry about. You have no competition other than to do what you do better than you did it yesterday.  Two, be consistent……only consistency leads to greatness.  Three, Learn and live by a code…..follow that code and one will have no regrets.  Four, The world be damned… respectful and follow your code; but don’t let anyone stand in your path or distract you.   And finally, if you’re not where you want to be….re-evaluate, work harder, work longer, commit to win; there are no excuses, no one else to blame, and no handouts…..only you.   That’s what I have learned at 40 years on this planet and still have to remind myself of it daily.

Rachel Fischer | Kilowatt Brewing

The most important lesson we have learned so far is to never forget the help you have received along the way.  We are eternally grateful to our family, friends, and supporters who have been there for us and never hesitate to lend a helping hand.

Keith Langhorn | owner of Man Friday Pet Care

What have I learned? Don’t take yourself too damn seriously!


Hannah McDermott | Designer + Creative Director of Santos Swim

The most important lesson that I’ve learned so far is to be open to feedback and changes, even if it means letting go of an idea that you really loved at first. In the end, it makes your products and business stronger by being more fluid and growing with your customers. Some of my favorite designs are the results of customer feedback! 

Jesse Zmuda | Floral Designer & Vintage Collector

The most important thing I have learned on my journey over the years is not to settle. Even if it takes more time than expected, keep going and eventually you’ll end up where you were meant to be.  

Elizabeth Knoll | Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my fitness journey so far is to have patience.  Patience with myself and with clients.  I think one of the biggest challenges most people (myself included) have when it comes to health and fitness is managing often unrealistic expectations.  We all want progress and we want it now.  Unfortunately the road to health and fitness can and often feel like two steps forward, one step back. Whether that step back is work commitments or family responsibilities taking you off track, a lack of consistency and/or dedication, or injury or sickness, we all experience setbacks. Regardless of where we start our journey, set backs can and most likely will happen at some point.  Having patience with yourself and the process is the key to making long term progress. Stick with it and remember to give yourself a little grace.


Bianca Puentes | Strong and majestic Mother | Grandmother




Brandon League

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that “I must always be and do”.


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