We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Maranda Evans | Motivator & Multifaceted Entrepreneur

The most important decision I made that is the foundation of my success was to tell my complete story. When I first began in 2014, I wrote a book entitled Troubled. This book forced me to be completely vulnerable and share with the world my experiences with abuse, loss of loved ones, promiscuity, suicidal attempts, mental illness, and relationships that broke me down in every way. I made the decision to be honest and open about my life. Every day since then, I have used and shared my story to make a change in the lives of other women. I am known to be unfiltered and share intimate parts of my life. Everyone always asks me, “How did you get the courage to share your story and be so open about your life?” My answer is I didn’t get courage, I was given courage. I didn’t hesitate with this decision, I just did it. That one decision created the journey of my success. Read more>>

Bob Trevorrow | Studio Potter

Signing up for a recreational pottery class. I had been interested in ceramics for several years before I finally took a class in wheel thrown pottery. Taking time for yourself, especially time for personal enrichment, can easily seem like a luxury or an extravagance. I believe that Investing in your personal self, including enjoying recreational activities and exploring your creativity, is so necessary and can be very rewarding. Read more>>

LaKendria Ellis | Licensed Mental Health Professional, Owner/CEO of Ken Kounsels

Other than deciding to work for myself, the single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was the decision to “bet” on me. I made the decision to believe in myself and my abilities and not seek the validation of others. It is important as an entrepreneur, you believe in yourself. There will be times in which your vision is tested, but you have to believe enough in yourself to keep going even when it is. difficult. It is also important to both understand and know your value. You can not make the mistake of allowing others determine it for you. I decided to bet on me and so many doors opened. It was the best decision I made. Read more>>

Nikisha Reagan | Master Freight Broker

I made the decision to just continue to be me. I am a product of Houston, Tx born and raised here, there are a lot of us who had nothing growing up and life was really hard. My story is no better than the person reading it, so why should I pretend. From the start I decided I was going to be myself no matter how high God decided to take me. Being able to answer my phone when people call for information about my services is what I thrive off of. Knowing that I am still me and not what others want or think I should be is golden to me. I still live in the same home I had before the my finances changed. I still get my hair and nails done by the same females in the neighborhood I grew up in. I am very aware of how fraud the world has became. Being able to not have any concern about what others think or say has been my overall gift from God. Read more>>