Most people say they want success, but when you ask them what success means you get wildly different responses.  We recently asked some of the best and brightest in our community to tell us about how they define success and have shared their responses below.

Cassandra Altrich | Model, Photographer & Student

My honest thought process was, if I’m going to be doing it I might as well go all the way and give it my everything. I even decided very recently to start a photography business. If I fail, that means I tried. I love the quote “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Roy T. Bennet. I have a huge comfort zone, so I know, when I’m scared to do something, it’s time to do it. Even if it isn’t a good time, I’ll get completely engrossed. Read more>>

Niki Jorgensen | Event Expert & Catering Specialist

The key factor behind my brand and success is in creating and developing meaningful relationships with fellow vendors, industry professionals and clients. Over the years I have prided myself on delivery of an incredible product of outstanding service level, attention to detail and responsiveness. By creating this reputation, I have been able to create and maintain fruitful relationships for my business. I truly believe the best marketing a small business can conduct is word of mouth and reputation in your industry. Read more>>

Geri Hormel | Founder

One of the most critical ingredients for success in any business is having a strong team of people who are thoroughly passionate about your mission and what you stand for. I have been so lucky to have a team with an immense love for the dogs and for the rescue world as a whole. They are constantly working to find ways that we can better ourselves, as well as make a bigger impact. Read more>>

Cavin Costello | Architect

Focus. From early on we had a vision of what we wanted to be doing 5-10 years down the road and have tried to make the best decisions at each step of the way to achieve those goals, knowing that it would take small, incremental steps forward to achieve them. When you start a business you want to do everything and you want to do it now, and I think that eagerness can you too thin and lead in a direction you don’t want to go. In our industry, projects take a very long time, often years, so opportunity cost can be really high. Being focused on the future while working smart in the present has helped us immensely. Read more>>

Nicholas Cappele | Alchemist & H2e Aromatherapy Products Creator

My success as an Alchemist has come from listening to clients needs and doing the research on the plants that could help the individual along with coming from the heart and following my intuition when developing formulas. Read more>>

Shana O’Mara | Owner & Founder

I left corporate America in 2014 and was in network marketing. It wasn’t a great fit for me but I knew I didn’t want to return to an office. A little over a year later, a good friend (and my now business partner) suggested I look into travel after I found her a great deal on a flight. I’ve always loved helping friends find deals and the idea stuck! I started to look into ideas, and on January 1, 2016, I launched The Pixie Planner with a Facebook page and website. When I first launched, we had little more than word of mouth to get started. That word of mouth (and 4 years worth of 5 star reviews) has lead to a brand that people love and trust. Our guests become our friends and our social media followers are like family. We are proud to say that we continue to grow holistically- with our guests being our biggest driver. We are on track for our second million dollar year- all from word of mouth! Read more>>

Joe Forte | Co-owner & Business Development Manager

I would say one of the most important factors behind my success is first finding individuals that have what I want, taking them out to lunch (and picking up the bill!) and developing long lasting relationships where those individuals mentor me. There have been countless times in my career where I have done this and many of those individuals are still in my life today! Many people want to recreate the wheel or try to find the next big idea. If you have the big idea, great! But many of the largest and most successful companies didn’t start a new product or service from scratch, they just made it better! Steve Jobs didn’t create the first mobile phone, he just made it better. Elon Musk didn’t create the first electric car, he just made it better. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t make the first social network, he just made it better. Read more>>

Shaun Michael McNamara | Owner & Artistic Director

The cast and crew that I work with are top notch. We work as a troupe, a circus freak like atmosphere where the weirdos show up and they love to put on a show. This family of misfit toys is exactly what keeps the lights on at APP. But they’re not the only ones. We have been around for ten years. But it wasn’t always sold out shows. There was a time when we would “paper” the audience, meaning we would just give tickets away. We would have nights that there were 2 paying customers but we would be performing to 50. In a 200 seat theater it felt like death. Sometimes we had more people on stage than we did in the audience. It took a lot of hard work and sweat and saying yes to things we that were off brand, like kids shows, just to see if we could strike lightning in a bottle. Read more>>