One of the most important lessons we learned is that our lives and our businesses will teach us along the way.  We don’t need to know everything on day one because the challenges we face on day will likely be ones we are already equipped to handle.  As we overcome challenges we get better and better and as the challenges increase in difficult so too does our ability to tackle them.

We asked members of the community that we admire to share important lessons their business or career has taught them and have shared some of those responses below.

Shadrach Stephens | Founder of

As a business leader and an engineer I’d say that the most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is the power of collaboration and the impact it has on the development of the professionals around the world. Collaboration is the new technology and in order for professionals to thrive in the 21st century, we all must engage. All of the most successful projects that I have been apart of have been the result of collaboration from diverse teams. Sure, it takes time for the team to understand and respect each other’s professional backgrounds and experiences, but the results are magical once that team starts to trust each other and collaborate more. Read more>>

Valerie Sweeten | Founder/Editor, Hot in Houston Now

I think this is an excellent question simply because it applies to virtually any industry, and my answer is that you have to be able to evolve as a business. If 2020 hasn’t been the most prominent example of how important this is, I don’t know what is. My career began as a freelance writer, which has allowed me to work in a variety of mediums. It also provided various work situations that were contract, onsite, telecommuting, one-time jobs, and some that pushed my boundaries and taught me innovative skills that I use today. Read more>>

Jakayla Monay | Concert and Portrait Photographer

KNOW YOUR VALUE!!! There are people out there who will try to devalue your work and pay you what they think you are worth. I am not paying thousands of dollars for equipment and studying my craft for 6+ hours a day for you to offer me $50 for a 9-hour event, and not even that. It happened to me. Crazy enough I took it because I didn’t know my value. As a photographer, I do understand that certain events I will do for free for experience and out of love. But if you are offering to pay me, please ask what my fee is and not offer me what you think I should get paid. Read more>>

Emma Maldonado | Master Lash Artist, Business Owner, Entrepreneur

Patience. The most important lesson my business has taught me is patience. I started my business with a lot of adversities, no rich parents, no rich husband, no handouts, and no investors. My true narrative has always been really just pure patience and hard work. I am naturally a goal driven oriented person and always strive to think long term when I am working on something. Whether it be a business problem I have to solve, my client relationships, a work project or my business as a whole- my legacy that I leave behind is always the end game. Read more>>