VoyageDenver – Denver The best of Miami, Everyday! Wed, 20 Jan 2021 18:33:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Denver’s Most Inspiring Stories Tue, 19 Jan 2021 04:00:33 +0000 The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the city’s incredibly […]

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The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Denver’s rising stars below.





Colorado Springs



Fort Collins



Westminster & Thornton

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The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative Tue, 07 Jul 2020 01:00:01 +0000 The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more. With the […]

The post The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more. With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.





Colorado Springs


Fort Collins




Westminster & Thornton

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VoyageDenver Podcast Episode 3: Meet Meg & Josiah Mothershed Wed, 06 May 2020 05:37:24 +0000 We’re pumped to introduce you to Meg & Josiah Mothershed of Mothershed Deisgn.  Check out our interview with Meg & Josiah below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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We’re pumped to introduce you to Meg & Josiah Mothershed of Mothershed Deisgn.  Check out our interview with Meg & Josiah below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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VoyageDenver Podcast Episode 2: Meet Rebecca Gassman of Wild and Free Fermented Tea in Fort Collins Wed, 06 May 2020 05:36:03 +0000 We’re excited to introduce you to Rebecca Gassman of Wild and Free Fermented Tea.  Check out our interview with Rebecca below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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We’re excited to introduce you to Rebecca Gassman of Wild and Free Fermented Tea.  Check out our interview with Rebecca below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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VoyageDenver Podcast Episode 1: Meet Erin Dvorak Wed, 06 May 2020 05:32:59 +0000 We’re thrilled to introduce you to Erin Dvorak.  Check out our interview with Erin below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.  

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We’re thrilled to introduce you to Erin Dvorak.  Check out our interview with Erin below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


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What’s the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned Along Your Journey? Sun, 01 Mar 2020 01:00:54 +0000 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, […]

The post What’s the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned Along Your Journey? appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

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?

Kristen Olson | Entrepreneur & Documentary Film Producer

I’ve learned so many important lessons so far. Here are two:

Follow Opportunity
The most important career advice I’ve taken is: follow opportunity and eventually the path will intersect passion. I was at a time in my life when I knew I wanted to work in film, but didn’t know how to get started. Eventually through the work I was doing in marketing, I met the right people to help me make a transition into film.

Be the Talent
One lesson I learned through producing major music festivals: it’s best to be the talent. We spend so much of our life gaining skills and practicing the requirements of our jobs. We should not only fulfill our job duties, but more importantly we should choose to gain skill sets which allow us to be viewed as, “talented.” We should make time to be creative, take lessons and perfect an art. Eventually, those skills may provide a more rewarding career path.


Lee Moroz | Colorado Tough

It truly is a journey and not a destination. Work hard, be consistent, be a good person, be a good listener, everything is a learning experience and most importantly enjoy the ride.



Zoe Hudson | Cosmetologist and Free Lance Photographer

The most important lesson I’ve learned in this life journey is to always do your absolute best and you will always end up in the places you were meant to be in.  Keep moving forward and don’t give up!


Charles Schoenherr  | Educator | Angler

Throughout my years as an educator, I have learned that patience is the best thing in stressful situations. Patience even bled its way into my life as fly fishing. Learning that the best way to handle any situation is calm actually gave me the opportunity to ask fo my wife’s hand in marriage. We had hiked into a familiar fishing spot, thinking that the trail was a large loop, turns out it wasn’t. What was supposed to be an afternoon of fishing, quickly turned dangerous. We were in a canyon that had zero cell service, and even less people. When it started to get dark, and my girlfriend (at the time, wife now) was panicked. We had almost no water left, no food left, and now it was getting cold. This particular area was known for its mountain lions and we even heard one scream. When all hope was thought lost, we found the top parking lot, found the road down to our car, and made it home safe. If it weren’t for the patience I learned that day, I wouldn’t have my Wife, or maybe even my life.


Be yourself. I think I am still learning this – daily. I see other artists who I admire and compare myself to them or try to emulate them, but it isn’t until you settle into and embrace being YOU that you find your own artistic voice, your unique drive and passion. I love sharing my art with others if it brings them joy, but ultimately I create because it is who I am.


Ursula Ibarra | Denver Native | Realtor | Momprenuer

Alicia Noelle Photograpghy

I started my journey in real estate nearly a year and a half ago. My background prior was in telecommunications/project management but I was craving more, I wanted purpose (and flexibility to be more present with my kids) real estate has given me that purpose with every client I meet! I love the interaction and getting to know each person/family background/goals to find the perfect home that fits their needs.

The most important thing I’ve learned thus far is to trust in my OWN process and continue to learn daily! I’ve endured highs and lows but thankfully I’ve been lucky enough to have great mentors and managing brokers who have guided me, answered and explained any and all questions that arise so I can apply them to my own business structure and be the best agent to my clients. Looking forward to a successful 2020!


Marina Ladonko | knitting handmade designer

My journey is challenging) I just moved to the USA half year ago and it was not an easy decision.

I feel like I started a new life and my major lesson is  Do what you can and just let things happen; believe in the best for you and it will come ..


Dawn Williams | Founder & Chief Experience Officer of

The most important lesson I have learned thus far is to follow your intuition, and live by The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:

“Be Impeccable With Your Word.

Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Don’t Make Assumptions.

Always Do Your Best.”

Links would be:

Joshua Zelcer | Colorado Real Estate Broker w Keller Williams Integrity

From my experience, my progress is a direct reflection on the work that I put in. There’s not a day that I don’t wake up and make calls at 8am. If I slack off and don’t get business it’s completely my fault. When I have a $10,000 month it’s because I worked hard and deserved it. The business I’m in is competitive and if I don’t follow up with a client or l make initial contact, someone else does; and I lose. I didn’t get into this business to be second best so everyday I work hard and spend time studying to become a better broker.


True West Hats | Hand-crafted Hat-makers making custom, one-of-a kind hats

Your business is only as good as your outlook on life.

Brian O’Connor | Founder of Terrace Creative | Visual Storyteller

It comes down to What You Do, when your head hits the pillow at night. You can talk about an idea, contemplate where to begin your journey, or you can wait for the ‘right’ moment in your life to start.

I learned very quickly that when you begin to make choices and habits around what makes you uncomfortable, doors to opportunities and relationships open up left and right. Facing the uncertainty that inevitably presents itself when taking risks, is what has allowed me to branch out and grasp what is important to me when it comes to business and relationships. Listening, conditioning a positive mindset daily, and being open-minded as the journey unfolds. Cheers to everyone out there getting after it.


Julie Kim | Foodie and Marketer at Thai Kun in Golden, CO

Everything in life you have control over. If you don’t like something do something to change it and if you can’t change it, then change the way you think about it. Mindset is everything.


Brian Grace | Head Brewer at Thirsty Monk Brewery

Photo credit: Aaron Sprengeler

The most important lesson I have learned so far is to keep looking to learn something. Meaning that if you stay stagnant or don’t learn from your mistakes and triumphs, then you cannot truly be successful or stay successful. There are always lessons to learn and if you aren’t paying attention, you are in danger of falling behind and becoming irrelevant.


Christina Cookson | Headshot and Portrait Photographer

My journey of working full-time as an attorney to building my own successful photography business has been incredibly rewarding and, at times, daunting.  Being an entrepreneur means being responsible for your own successes and failures, and realizing that you get back what you put in.  The key is to ride out the inevitable periods of disappointment and keep your vision and goals clear.  All good things will follow.

Christina Coblish DC | Boulder Chiropractor and Founder of Colorado Nourish Boxes

The most important lesson I’ve learned might sound strange but stick with me: You can find a neighbor no matter where you are or no matter how long you’ve been there. I’ve learned that people are kind and generous and it doesn’t matter if you have lived next door to them for 10 years or if you’re buying a jar of hot sauce from them at a farmers market. Generally speaking the people of Colorado, in particular, are wonderfully open and welcoming people.

I moved to Colorado just 2 years ago, and despite feeling like a stranger in a new state, I’ve been l welcomed in as I were family. Sometimes that’s with a large gesture, or sometimes with a simple smile with genuine eye contact which can speak more words between two strangers than most words could cover. I’ve started both a healthcare office as well as a subscription box company that connects colorado artisans and their products to more people. And the largest lesson I learned in these endeavors is that people are inherently good and willing to help a complete stranger, which is the best gift you can give to someone who needs it.

Kimberly Siegel | Vintage Curator & Boutique Owner

The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far is to not give up. Sounds a bit cliche, however, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across challenges I wasn’t sure I could handle. And because I truly love what I do, I pushed through those challenges. Sometimes with the answer and sometimes I winged it hoping I’d get it right. And even if I didn’t get it right the first time, I just kept going. And with that I kept growing little by little. Mistakes are okay, it’s how we learn. And it’s empowering to know now that no matter how many times we feel the wind knocked out of us, or feel frustrated or even feel like just can’t get it right…as long as we keep going, we keep growing.


Jenn & Amy S. | Queer Adventures

When you are the only one like you in the room, that is an opportunity to change hearts and minds. Be an example for those who come after you. Representation Matters.


Steph McCauley | Unbenched Creator

Everyone is looking to be apart of something bigger than themselves. Going through life alone makes it so much more difficult. When people have an outlet to be themselves and are surrounded by good people who want similar things, magic happens. I’ve watched person after person get out of their comfort zone and make huge strides into becoming who they want to be. We love playing games, trying new places around town, giving back, and listening to each other speak. Unbenched has allowed me to see how important it is to surround yourself with all kinds of people. It is so important to hear other people’s stories and learn from those around you. Life is a team sport, so have fun with it.

Devin Chapnick | Poka Lola Bar Lead

My entire professional career has been within the beverage and hospitality industry. Few attempts have ever been entertained by me, even when I felt the least satisfaction from a particular job. I believe that has to do with my absolute need to create and delight. Hospitality is a noble pursuit, what we provide people is valuable and adds to the net good in the world. It took some time for me to see why I felt so strongly for this industry, but when I reflected on what brought me joy, it became easier to deal with the day to day struggles. When your intentions are more defined, the unnecessary noise dampens.

Matt Joshua | Geometric Artist

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that it’s ok to be your own worst critic. I’ve found that if I create something that I personally love, there is a really good chance that it may speak to someone else as well.


Elise Roth | artist and educator

The most important lesson I’ve learned during my journey so far, is to just show up everyday and make something. Sometimes the results aren’t pretty, but I still work through the process and share what I come up with. This is my third year of being engaged in my own daily art challenge, and the structure has helped me focus and develop a clearer vision for the type of art and business that I want to create.

Mike and Heather Yeager | Husband and Wife Upholstery Team

With each new project brings new experiences. Meaning, even if two projects are similar, they are still incredibly unique due to the fabric, the style of the furniture, and the desired end result.

Logan Aal | Realtor & Attorney

Soul-care is the most important thing you do; when your soul is unkept, when you are not spiritually “right”, everything else falls apart.

Kim Bauer |  Realtor in Colorado and Florida

My mantra is seize every opportunity. I thrive on new challenges. Life is to be lived, not sitting on the sidelines watching it go by. By letting yourself be uncomfortable, good things can happen. This photo is a prime example. I am a Realtor, not an actor, yet I was asked to audition for this national commercial, and I got it! I had to improve in front of casting directors and a production team. Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone! Without taking that risk personally, I never would have gotten that amazing experience, not to mention all of the other experiences that followed. Positivity breeds positivity, and it’s a lesson I practice myself and teach my children. I always welcome new opportunities – bring it on!


The most important lesson I’ve learned along this journey is the need to continue to grow as a person. I’ve always been an outdoorsy gal, and I started hiking in my late 40s to stay centered, present, and healthy as I was building an online vintage clothing and home décor business called Curious Moose Vintage. Life is filled with surprises, twists, and turns—not unlike the trails that wind through the ponderosa pines in the foothills near my little town of Berthoud. I’m out there exploring two to three times a week (weather permitting, of course!).

The business has me tied to the computer most days. Keeping up with the online shop and managing the social media channels can be a struggle at times. Technology changes faster than I sometimes like, so I often hike to keep my head clear and my mind open to new ideas. It’s always a challenge out there on the trails, but a hike never fails to give me a fresh perspective on life. I love learning about Indigenous art from around the world. I love sharing what I find with my online community friends. I’m always growing my knowledge.

Football Coach Lou Holtz once famously said, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” That quote has had a great influence on me through the whole course of my life. Personal growth is everything, so I look forward to reaching, learning, and growing always. Sometimes it’s on the trail. Sometimes it’s online. But there’s always something to be learned and something around the next corner.


BetaRay | Reggae/Rock Band

Don’t ever be so focused on your goal that you forget to have fun!!



Kym Terribile | Owner, Wax Crescent LLC

Kate Hunk

The most important lesson that I have learned on my journey so far is that I need to speak my truth.  Confrontation is incredibly difficult for me, and I often hold things back because I am afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or coming across as too demanding.  Running a small business has taught me that the best way to handle an uncomfortable situation is as soon as possible, and with complete honesty and integrity.  When confrontation is unavoidable, I always try to handle it with grace and understanding.

Vince Coleman | Bison Leatherworker and Mountain lifestyle Specialist

Don’t take any profession or hobby with too much seriousness. Enjoy the ride and have fun. Cherish the gifts you have been given, and inspire others to create and do the same.


Erika Donaghy | Painter and Ceramic Artist

I started my art business in September 2019, and the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to just do the thing. Whatever leap you are about to take, you will never be completely ready so just go for it, you can learn along the way.

Sara Wilhelm | Colorado Native | Mom & Realtor

Life is short. In December 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. I’ve always lived from a place of abundance rather than scarcity, but the past year has really made me realize how important every day is. It’s easy to get bogged down by the voices in your head and the pressures to compete, especially in the real estate world. I’m more focused on intention & making every day amazing. Don’t wait to do “that thing”. Do it today!  I’m also less focused on comparing myself to others and more focused on connecting and coming from a place of service. You never know what another person is going through. If I can help make one person’s day better in the smallest way then it’s a good day.

Warren Wood | Founder & CMO of Elevated Seltzer

Honestly, this whole company my brother and I built has been a giant lesson in of itself. Being the First Established Seltzery, we have had to react and change on the fly. In addition, we are able to pave our own path and experiment with unique ways to use and create our product. That comes with its trouble as well as some things are giant hits and some are busts. With that said, the most important thing I’ve learned is that it is important to maintain an equilibrium. What I mean is that when things are going amazing, you should respect and appreciate those moments. On the other hand, when things take a turn or go bad, you should react and improve those moments.

Jill Rossini | Founder FIXY Makeup

Patience. Ever since I started designing my product, every step along the way has taken much longer than I expected. I wanted a product that people would love so I had to put in the time to make it right.


Kate Whipple | Realtor | Broker Associate, CME, CNE, GRI

After selling real estate for over 16 years, this profession has taught me the importance of serving clients at the highest level helping to fulfill their dreams.   It is also a valuable platform to bring people together to give back to their community.  Donating your time whether it is volunteering, monetary or through a random act of kindness, utilizing my network to help others to thrive and grow is one of the most rewarding parts of this profession.

Larry Nix | Singer | Songwriter | Entertainer

Photo credit: Reilly Medema @reilly_m_photography

In my experience, connections are what matter most in life. If you haven’t reached your goals you think you deserve it’s likely you just haven’t made the right connection yet. Be patient, work hard, stay focused and the right people will find you. …and also, sound body, sound mind. Lots of exercise and water, with a healthy dose of a rock and roll lifestyle can help you live right and possibly forever. I’m also only 36 years old, so what the hell do I know.. Maybe ask these questions again when I’m 96.

Taylor Hassebroek | Photographer & Graphic Designer

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is to keep grinding even when you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t. There are days when every creator does not feel worthy, including me. Push yourself creatively, and do not get too comfortable with where you are. Then you’ll grow as a person, an artist and a business owner.

Trish Garber | Madre Coffee lover & enthusiast

The biggest lesson we’ve learned so far is to know who your ideal client is and who it isn’t. As the business has grown we had a hotel that was looking for 2oz bags that would be individually packaged and ground, to have in each of their hotel rooms. This is a cool hotel downtown and we would love to work with them. Though the numbers looked great, the labor and tedious nature of filling 150 small bags and grinding each couple weeks ultimately wasn’t the model we wanted to build. We love the large supply business, and we get to offer delicious Colorado roasted coffee to big groups of busy workers. Also learned you don’t have to take every meeting!

Bridget & Jim | Cofounders of Postcard Foods, I-70 Food Outpost

Whenever possible, put your phone away during dinnertime.  After a year of planning, we launched Postcard Foods this January and we are currently planning our wedding in October.  If we let it, every conversation between us could be about food costs, to-do lists, and expenses, but we are trying really hard to treat dinner as a moment to connect with one another.  We hope that our food helps provide that same moment for our guests. By offering travel inspired shareable meals to enjoy in the comfort of your home or home away from home, Postcard Foods encourages its customers to gather together and unplug, without the hassle of the grocery store or expense or resort food.


Jamie Fontana | artist works

If you want to be skilled at something you have to put in the work. Simple, but so true!


Party Liquor | Here for all of your beverage needs

Katie Fletcher Photography

Every event and client is different, so it’s important to be flexible with all of their requests to ensure they get exactly what they’d like.

Sandrine D’Andrea | Certified Herbalist

The most important lesson that I’ve learned in my journey so far is that “in order to evolve and reach happiness, we need each other.


Britt McGaughan | Candle Maker| Owner & Digital Project Manager | Integrated Producer

The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey so far is to stay true to my vision and brand. I started my company to create high-quality, sustainable, eco-friendly candles. It’s been easy to get lost in the beauty of other products and focus on the limitation of available 100% recycled materials, but I stay committed to my vision. I create because I love it and I’ve learned everyone’s vision is different and one is not better than another. When the path gets rough, I remind myself that there are people who pay money to just watch other people play video games and then I realize we all have something to offer. Colorado is full of amazing makers and I am proud to be a part of it.

Perlita Osuna | ER Nurse

The most important lesson I’ve learned would have to be is to take the risk. If I didn’t take the risk of leaving my small town in Arkansas and travel the country for 2 years, I would not as happy as I am now. It has led me to the most amazing friends, taught me so much about the world and more importantly, myself.


Logan Schenk | Commercial real estate broker & Food Fanatic

I’ve grown up in the generation of the social media takeover, from Instagram to Facebook to twitter and everything in between. These different social media platforms are a great outlet for expression, but at times comes criticism, a false perception of reality, and judgment. It can be hard not to reflect on others’ opinions and to compare yourself to others. But the further along I’ve come in this little journey called life, the more that I’ve realized that these perceptions don’t matter.

I am passionate about food, I spend just about every weekend trying a new restaurant(s). My personal Instagram and Snapchat used to revolve around all the different places I’d try, and everyone told me that I should just create a food Instagram- but the fear of the judgment held me back for so long. Finally, I put aside the worries and created a page dedicated to all of my eating, and I’m happy I did. I post what I want when I want- it’s not about the followers, the likes, or making myself out to be a certain way. Its just food, simple as that.

As cliche as it is, others’ opinions don’t really matter and it may have taken an Instagram page to realize this, as silly as it may sound. This isn’t all about social media, but rather what it taught me. It’s okay to be genuinely yourself all of the time. Judgment may happen, but who cares? As long as you’re doing what you enjoy, do it to the best of your ability and be proud of yourself!


Stacey Elizondo | Family and Lifestyle photographer

I have learned to be true to my passion and have confidence in my style and my business. It is easy in photography to allow the clients to control your sessions, your style, and even your pricing. However, over time I have learned my own style, how I want to interact with clients, and what capturing their memories is worth. I love seeing my client’s eyes light up from their images and knowing I was true to myself in every way in creating them brings me as much joy.

Chloe Conradi | Fiber Artist & Founder of Libertine Crochet

I’ve learned to trust my instincts. Too often I second guess myself about what “the market” would want, but success comes when I’m creating art that’s true to who I am and what I want to make. If I’m passionate about something, it’s probably the right path.


Sarah Collins | Lucky Locks Founder

Sierra Selene @sierra_selene_

The most important lesson I’ve learned on this business journey is to never underestimate the magic of what can happen when you pour yourself out to build something that brings you joy and is an expression of your truest self. Putting my love of photography, design, magic and humans together — I have created something that uses up every ounce of energy I have, but I end my day feeling full of love and gratitude. Full because I hear of my customers feeling lovely and noticed for months and months after receiving our services. Full because my Partners are being empowered to run their own successful businesses, are gaining confidence, providing for their families, and making quality connections with their communities. Full because these sparkles make others smile when they see them and make others fearlessly initiate a conversation with a stranger about their sparkles, then move on to something deeper. As humans, we crave connection with each other, and our little strands have forged so many connections. I couldn’t be happier that this path chose me and I said “yes.”

Ryan Jelken | Executive Chef and Sarah Rozema | Director of Marketing and Sales

The most important lesson we’ve learned as a growing local company has been how essential it is to stay connected in our community and to listen to our clients’ needs! We tailor our dishes regularly to meet individual needs – to compliment wine & beer pairings, vegan or gluten free foodies, or daring and creative dishes! We all have a different sense of taste – our goal is to design something tasty and artistic for each person that comes to us. Eat well, live well. – Sarah & Ryan


Natalie and Jill | The Stitch Sisters-Crochet Artists

We have learned to be patient and find continued inspiration from those around us. While we let our business grow slowly, we continue to work on things that excite us. Finding the balance between business growth and creativity has been our greatest lesson.

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What’s the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned Along Your Journey? Mon, 24 Feb 2020 01:00:51 +0000 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, […]

The post What’s the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned Along Your Journey? appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

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?

Christine Webster | Designer & Beekeeper

Befriend the process. Creating, learning, changing, growing, healing are all processes necessary to the human experience. Resisting process is exhausting and impossible. And while surrendering to process is uncomfortable, magic happens and truth rewards us when we do.


Valeria Serrano Vélez | Gallery Manager

I think one of our most important lessons we’ve learned in our journey so far is to not let our excitement get the best of us. We were so eager to open up Union Hall and have it get going that we started with tons of exhibitions and programming right off the bat, but didn’t realize we could potentially be overwhelming our audience by oversaturating them with content. We realized a few months ago that we were really doing too much and started full-speed too quickly, so now we are making some changes in our 2020 calendar that are much more balanced and in-line with the level of participation our audience is seeking. Ultimately, we were so excited for what we were doing and were so eager to share it with our audience, that we realized we really needed to take a step back and build our audience first before we presented such a plethora of programs and exhibitions to them. These new changes will allow us to meet our audience at a much more equal level than we were maybe doing before, and we’re happy to have learned this important lesson early on as we continue forward!

Cherish Flieder | Licensed Artist | Watercolor Illustrator + Product Designer

The most important lesson I have learned is also the lesson I need to remember daily. So, I wove it into my art company tagline – “Something to Cherish®, because life is a gift.”

Every moment is a gift. No one is promised tomorrow and yet most of us waste too many minutes of today worrying about it. This can lead to anxiety. We can’t change the past, but we spend too much time regretting it. This can lead to depression. We want things to be just perfect, so we embrace fear and delay it. This is the overwhelming reality of procrastination.

Instead, this is what we should do. First, smile. Take 3 deep breaths and be grateful for everything in your life at this moment. This includes the good, bad, and ugly, as they are the teachers life uses to make us who we are meant to become if we will only let them. Keep looking up, have faith, and reach for joy in every circumstance. Be quick to forgive, mend what you can, and let go of what you can’t change or fix. Never lose your ability to laugh at yourself at the end of the day. Spend more time with the beauty of nature and the mysteries of your Creator. Connect face-to-face and heart-to-heart with your people more than your technology. Listen closely and be kind to others as well as to yourself. Don’t wait to sing your song, dance your dance, give your gift, or paint your dream. Be the authentic, original and best version of you. Start right now. There’s no time in life for do-overs. The way you do it will be just right for right now, as long as you are willing to adjust along the way.

Right now we hold time in our hands. Right now we can use our hearts, minds, and hands to make a difference. Right now, this present moment, is where eternity past and eternity future intersect. This moment is completely yours. What will you choose to do with it?

Tiffany Tushar | Founder of Wag On Project & Stage 5 Clinger to Dogs

There are SO MANY! But I think the most important so far has been staying true to myself by remembering WHY I started this journey in the first place. So many people will offer their support and it can be overwhelming. The cause and WHO we give back to has been a constant in my decision making. Keeping this in mind, I’ve been able to weigh each suggestion and/or critique and decide ultimately if it benefits the cause and the brand.

Maz Mukayess | Wheelchair Expert  | Donut Slinger

As Humans we spend a lot of time passing judgement on others, fighting those that disagree with us and sometimes being hateful. The older I get the more I come to understand while that can be our Human nature, It is also Human to learn from and control those feelings. If we replace Judgement, impatience, and hatefulness with kindness and simply Love we will find that we all want the same thing each year on this trip around the sun. Being Human can mean all of these things (good and bad). It is how we teach ourselves to react as Humans that creates a more loving world. Go hug a stranger today and I promise it will make you both feel incredible! And Obviously EAT A DONUT!


Emily Fout | Gemologist & Jewelry Builder

Photo Credits: Emily Fout Model: Anna Brooks

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is “you will always be more successful if you except help from the people around you.”


Corinne Cullinan | Blogger & Content Creator

The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey thus far is to trust the timing of my life. To not compare my progress to anyone elses and ditch old expectations of where I thought I’d be by now in life. To put my complete focus on doing things I love, that make me feel in alignment, and in doing that create a life I love.

Kurt Rushin | Creator, AgentZero, Inc.

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” -Neil Gaiman

There is always inherent risk in anything worth doing, and starting my own business that allows people to use innovative technology to search for a home was the riskiest thing I have ever done. It’s also been the most rewarding. This has been the most important lesson in my journey so far. The idea that every single person you meet can be a potential life changer is a close second. (we are currently rebranding/redesigning – the new site will go live in March)

Liz Beson | Canvas + Denim Painter | Flower Crown Maker

At least on my artistic journey, I’ve learned to keep making and to make art for myself. Art really is some kind of therapy for me and allows me to express my feelings and emotions in a way that fully releases them. I had started a full fledged art business and was so focused on making art specifically to sell and for other people, that I stopped making anything for myself. As of this year, it’s been life changing to be back to making art for fun and because it’s what I want to make. Last year I experienced a sudden loss and grief in multiple areas of my life, and painting allowed me to share my experiences and relate to others in a way that words can’t always portray. When something tragic happens to you, it’s easy to feel so alone because you can’t even grasped what has happened. Sharing my art with others has allowed for the most random, bittersweet connections to form and I’ve really learned we’re never alone, ever.

Kirsten Miller | Colorado License Barber/Stylist & Personal Stylist

Every choice we make either enhances our spirit or hinders it, so in other words, staying TRUE to myself, TRUST that “gutt-instinct’ and don’t hesitate to act! Managing my energy & staying present, presence is power. Also, be grateful!


Carrie & Catherine | Cofounders of The Balanced Exchange

Through this journey, we are learning what it looks like to prioritize progress over perfection in everything from environmental goals to business development. Driving system change takes looking at the big picture and encouraging approachable small steps.

Monique Esparza | aerial instructor | dental hygienist | wife and cat mom

The most important lessons I’ve learning in my journey so far, is to be vulnerable, patient, trust more and love what you do.


Pete Pfankuch & Wendy Wagner | Innkeepers

Photo Credit: @everydaymountaingirl

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  You absolutely can not please everyone, so do your very best and know it’s them, not you.  This is such a rewarding career.  Smile everyday and have fun!

Natalia Sullivan | Owner of WyldeDreams and professional multi-tasker

The most important lesson I have learned so far is to carry patience and discipline in everything.  Starting a small business while balancing a full time job and having a life is really tricky. I have to juggle time and commitments and, sometimes that means making sacrifices. But, I can do it all if I keep working at it and stay kind with myself.  Making art can bring up a lot of self-doubt.  It is so easy to compare myself to other people. That is the nature of the world we live in today. When it comes down to it, though, I am so happy and grateful to get to share this passion with people. I have come to learn tp be patient with myself because the doubt is part of the process that pushes me to be more creative and playful in what I make. Watching people try on pieces that make them feel good about themselves brings me more joy than I can express.  I am right where I want to be!

A cappella Poet & Mindset Coach

Be as honest as you can, as soon as you can. It is important that your truth can be received, however, it is the most important that you express it.


Adriane Laws | jewelry designer | entrepreneur, and spiritual warrior

No matter what career path you are on, and especially if you are an entrepreneur, one of the most important things to remember is to be ALL IN. There will be setbacks, disappointments, and days when you just don’t feel like doing what needs to be done. But when you are committed to doing what it takes to move forward every day, you don’t let those bumps in the road change your trajectory. And just to clarify… it doesn’t mean you have to work ALL THE TIME. After all, one of the reasons we become entrepreneurs is so we can have some time freedom. Sometimes, the thing you need to do in the moment to keep going in your business is to take some time for yourself. Go to the gym, watch movies all day, get a pedicure, meet a friend for coffee, or sit by a babbling brook. Well-placed me time is actually an integral part of running a successful business. So, by all means, take breaks when you start feeling bogged down. The thing is though, when you’re all in, you know what you are doing is taking a break, not bowing out, because you have committed to keep going through the difficulties.

Mindy Jarrard | owner of Kady’s Kollars

To always believe in yourself and never give up!


Ashley Tauch | Marketing Director, STEADY CBD

I previously worked in the cannabis industry for some of the biggest brands in the country, and throughout my experience I have learned to embrace the “quality over quantity” mindset. I am very happy to work for a company that truly believes in the product they are putting out into the world, only using the highest-quality, premium ingredients and doing all the appropriate testing of our products. I can truly say I am proud of the products I am promoting on a daily basis.

Sanaz Ashrafian | dental hygienist

Don’t wait until tomorrow to chase after your dreams. I have always wanted to open an office where patients feel good about taking care of their oral health and I’m so happy I’m chasing my dreams.

 Noah Ungar, BSN, RN- Surgical Nurse and Real Estate Professional

Growth blooms from uncomfortable positions in unfamiliar situations”
As people we need to challenge ourselves. I have found through personal experience as an Operating Room Nurse, that we must insert ourselves in situations we are not accustomed to in order to blossom. Don’t be afraid to adjust your lifestyle to change, for it is necessary to become the best version of yourself. Always urge yourself to learn and explore as new adventures are lying ahead!

Instagram: NoahUngar_RE



Carly Wilde | Owner, Milk Glass Productions and Betsy Phillips | Owner, Wildish Production

There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs as they say. It truly takes 3-5 years of a lot of hard work, passion and dedication to make a business/vision/dream come true or even get close to where you want to be!  There are so many times you will doubt a decision or look back with regrets but realize they are all lessons to bring you to where you ultimately are supposed to be. As we enter year 3, we feel really fortunate to have made it to this point but are proud of ourselves.  We feel as if you work really hard, you can’t go backwards only forwards and eventually it will pay off!  Even if it simply is just the lessons you learned along the way.

Fernanda Garner | Healthcare Interior Designer and Watercolor artist

The most important lesson that I have learned in my journey is the fact of not taking anybody or anything for granted. Every person you meet or experience you encounter is just another piece of your own never ending beautiful puzzle “Called YOUR life, YOUR Story”. I love to express in my watercolors the fact that imperfection is what makes us beautiful and unique; instead of being ashamed of it, we should embrace it no matter what it is or what has been because those are the things that have shaped us into who we are.


Annie & Matt Afon | digital nomad couple

The most important lesson we’ve learned on this journey so far is the power of knowing your WHY. Knowing your WHY is way more important than knowing your how. If you have a dream, chase it. Don’t let it slip away because you’re unsure of how you’re going to pull it off. If you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. Only you have the power over your dreams. No one is going to dream them for you.


Michelle Taylor | Broker Associate at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty and Outdoor Enthusiast

Be authentic. A good real estate agent will take time getting to authentically know their client’s lifestyles by hearing about their goals, hobbies and jobs. Listening to clients talk about their life and their goals is key to helping them find a home best suitable to live the life they love. By learning this lesson, I’ve been given the gift of authentic friendship from nearly all my clients and I couldn’t be more grateful.


Dark Rose Club | not your usual barbershop

The most important lesson that I’ve learned in my journey so far, is to treat every client like they’re your first and last. Be thankful for their business. If it wasn’t for them you wouldn’t have a business. A lot of people in this industry forget that and focus more on being “rockstars” and impressing others in the industry. Clients always come first.

Alexis Drennan | Owner at Tulaire

There. are. so. many. But the major lesson that comes back time and time again is to RELAX. My journey with Tulaire has proved to be scary, exciting and stressful and has prompted more than one existential crisis, but you can’t live in panic or fear or anxiety. It doesn’t produce anything helpful. Relaxing and taking it one step at a time means you get done what you can in the amount of time you have.

Rev. Stephanie Price | Pastor at The Land

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is to let go; of my expectations, my fears, and my picture-perfect plans. I’ve learned that when I hold on too tight to how I think things should go, I miss all the amazing things that are actually happening.

Helena Hollis | Founder of CocoRidge Coconut Water

In 2018, while traveling in Bali, I was hospitalized for an unknown illness and spent three days in a coma—I awoke with a completely new perspective on life. After much reflection on the past six years of being in business, I realized I was allowing myself to let the stress and challenges of owning a business overwhelm me instead of facing them head on. I also learned that my business can only succeed as far as I am able to succeed with my own mindset. My business is a direct reflection of who I am as a person. If I’m unorganized, my business becomes chaotic; if I’m lazy or tired, my business will run inefficiently and therefore not be able to grow—eventually falling apart.

My suggestion for entrepreneurs: it all comes down to what you can handle. That is why I have since invested in my health and mental wellbeing, and it’s already paid off significantly. Success has nothing to do with making a ton of money or making it big right away but has everything to do with how you can be the best version of yourself. How is that done? By reading a business book each month, listening to a podcast during your travels, attending relevant networking events, expos, and retreats to continue to grow as a person. Growth is continuous and once you stop growing, your business can become stagnant and irrelevant.

Jwlç Mendoza | Artist & Muralist

Photo Credit: Berenice Aguirre @Veryberynice

The most important lesson I have learned during my journey as an artist is that if you don’t truly believe in yourself and don’t take risks in this life nothing will ever happen. Dreams will stay as only dreams and they will never come true. We got to learn that failing is not always bad, but most important we got to learn how to enjoy and trust the process.



Sara Rose Foreman, RDN | Athlete | Coach | Sports & Performance Dietitian

Recently I came across this quote, “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” I feel this captures one of the greatest lessons I have learned in this journey, in that when you feel like throwing in the towel, don’t.

Taking that leap into a small business owner and a private-practitioner has been one of my most significant accomplishments; it is rewarding yet, challenging, and exhausting at the same time.

Lessons I have learned so far on my journey are:

Don’t get lost in the things that are easy or that you tend to enjoy doing. Push your comfort zone and do the things you are most scared of or are avoiding.

Limit the outside noise and focus your time, attention, and effort on what you know is the best for you and your vision. If it’s not aligned with your goals, it is ok to say ‘no.’

Don’t give up. When you feel like giving up, don’t. Have faith in your abilities, the process, and know hard work, determination, passion will take you where you want to be.

Brent Jones | Artist and ABOC Optician

The most important lesson I’ve learned is it’s better to live life guided by a compass than a clock.


Noah Ungar, BSN, RN | Surgical Nurse and Real Estate Professional

“Growth blooms from uncomfortable positions in unfamiliar situations.”

As people we need to challenge ourselves. I have found through personal experience as an Operating Room Nurse, that we must insert ourselves in situations we are not accustomed to in order to blossom. Don’t be afraid to adjust your lifestyle to change, for it is necessary to become the best version of yourself. Always urge yourself to learn and explore as new adventures are lying ahead! agent/colorado/greenwoodvillage/52555-noah-ungar/Welcome

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Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:00:12 +0000 Throughout our journey with Voyage, the one thing we have learned over and over is that hidden within every challenge is a blessing or opportunity. It’s up to us to determine whether a challenge we face will be a step back or the catalyst for a step forward.s We had the honor of connecting with […]

The post Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

Throughout our journey with Voyage, the one thing we have learned over and over is that hidden within every challenge is a blessing or opportunity. It’s up to us to determine whether a challenge we face will be a step back or the catalyst for a step forward.s

We had the honor of connecting with some of the city’s brightest female leaders and role models and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

Below, you’ll find their advice and links and other info so you can learn more about them, their work and how to connect with them. We’ll be interviewing many of these amazing women in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Natalie Barnett | Motherhood & lifestyle blogger  | Part Time Florist

When I am faced with a challenge, whether it’s with my blog or other creative project, a social situation, or a long term goal I have, I find it rally helps for me to just physically step away from the project for a few minutes. If I have time to take a walk or just sit outside, I will squeeze that in. Even if just for a few moments. Then I come back to the challenge with fresh eyes and a better attitude in general.
Both my jobs require a creative eye and sometimes there are challenges that can be a bit stressful. If I’m at work struggling with a floral design or having issues creating content for a specific campaign, giving myself a few moments to just breathe and reevaluate the issue does wonders. You can’t force creativity, and sometimes you just get unto a rut of a funk where it seems impossible to move forward. Remember your “why” and remember that when it comes to any kid of creative work, your work is your own. Throw perfection out the window and HAVE FUN!
If you are facing a challenge right now, make a list, ask for help, keep a positive attitude, and remember that we are all going through something. Social media makes it seem like we all have our SH*% together, but no one does! You got this !

Demetria “Demi” Harvey | content creator and community builder

Never let fear of the future stop you from building relationships, chasing big ideas, and living a life that is true to you.

Pinterest: @demisassypants

Jillian Taylor | Travel Advisor

My mom always told me “this too shall pass.” You just have to take it one step at a time. A pint of ice cream when it’s all done doesn’t hurt either.


Molly Waters | Marine Scientist | Scuba Assistant Instructor | Occasional Professional Mermaid

I’ve often been confronted by challenges that feel insurmountable. When I come across this, I remind myself it’s just a feeling, not a reality. Reality is planning and executing, guess and check. I find that I have to come up with a general outline be it on paper, in my head or through research. You don’t have to take on a challenge all at once, and most times you don’t have to take it on by yourself!

A physical challenge I’ve had to overcome required fast planning and action. I had to hold my breath and swim down and back in a pool. It’s a requirement for professional mermaids and scuba professionals. I had to make a quick plan, how would I swim, hold my breath, use my hands, all of these things and more need to be taken into consideration when holding your breath and swimming. It gets easier as you practice, but the day I was required to do it, I hadn’t practiced for months. It took me two try’s to get down and back in the pool on one breath. My calf muscles burned, my brain screamed to expel carbon dioxide and I told them both to shut up and wait 30 more seconds.

I’ve had to overcome challenges with communication, teaching and learning. As a scuba instructor it’s not uncommon to meet nervous students. It’s important for me to understand where they’re coming from. I don’t know if they’ve had a bad water experience that they may not share with me. I share my feelings in hopes they’ll open up. It’s extremely important for me communicate safe dive practices in several different ways to allow for total understanding. Each student I meet is a challenge and a learning experience.

Finding a way to tackle your specific challenges requires time, patience and flexibility. If you can cultivate a network of helpful people, they can usually provide insight and alleviate pressure. If a network isn’t available to you, it’s important to make a plan that you can try to execute. Don’t forget, it’s ok to fail so we can learn, and try again. Challenges were made to teach us a lesson. I hope you’re paying attention and learning.


Sarah Krebs | Content Creator & Blogger

The best advice I can give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to ask for help and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. There is no “one size fits all” approach to the many challenges that we will face in our lifetime. You’re going to need a different approach whether it’s a challenge you’re facing in your career versus one that’s deeply personal, but one thing that holds true in both is the ability to know when to speak up and ask for help. No one is perfect and you can’t compare your step 3 to someone else’s step 33… so accepting where you are at and being okay with it is a great first step, seeking support and then connecting with others is going to help you get through whatever challenge you may be facing. You are not alone in your challenge!

Alina | Holistic Health Coach

We all face difficulties that we think we cannot overcome, but we are all capable of things that we never thought we could be. My advice would be to persevere, manifest the positive results that will occur once you overcome the insurmountable. Use your power and determine that you want the end goal more than anything else!


Megan Elizabeth | Hiker and Occupational Therapist

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Can you solve your problem one step at a time, things will seem a lot less daunting that way.


Sara Murphy & Jennie Teeters | Craft cookie couriers

When approaching a task that feels insurmountable, take the end goal and break it down into smaller goals. Take it one task at a time, one step at a time and one minute at a time. Never be afraid to ask for help and lean on your support system. The people around you are almost always will to lend a helping hand, give advice and help you reach your goals!

Courtney Y. Jones | MMFT (Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy)
Relationship Coach & Speaker

First, remember your wins, and know you have everything you need within you to get through this situation. Now it’s about pulling it out of you and moving with inspired action. I would encourage the person to trust their self. Let’s first deal with the fear. Time spent centering yourself and your mind is doing the work to calm the emotion. Visualize the outcome you desire, and when you have worked through the fear listen within for the next step. Everything starts in the mind with a thought, meditate on seeing the other side of the obstacle and once you do the mental work, the body will follow. Life will find a way to get you to the desired end, just begin in the mind and listen within.

Jennifer Mackenchery | Special Education Teacher | Food Blogger

Whenever I am facing a challenge that I feel is insurmountable, the important thing for me is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing at the moment, without feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. When you’re constantly in your own head, worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to face your challenge, fear and anxiety can take over. Thoughts like, “What if I fail?” or “What if it takes me forever to get past this?” can run on a constant loop through your head, and will only make the challenge you’re facing feel more overwhelming. Instead, live in the moment. Ask yourself, “Can I do anything to improve my situation right now?” and if the answer is yes, do that thing! Setting small, reasonable goals for yourself will make the larger challenge feel more manageable. Once you begin experiencing success with your smaller, short-term goals, you’ll be able to be more present in the moment, without constantly worrying about the challenges ahead of you. You need to be able to enjoy the little things in life, even when you’re facing a challenge, and mindfulness is the key to doing just that. And….when all else fails, eat some chocolate. Chocolate fixes everything.


G | Corporate Master Teacher Trainer for Rush Cycle | Home Studio Rush Cycle Highlands & Highlands Ranch in Denver | AKT Instructor at AKT Cherry Creek Denver

Conflict Creates You. When your back’s against the wall you are given a rare opportunity to meet who you are and decide who you are going to become. Facing an insurmountable challenge is a blessing. It is the most precious gift. There is no other moment in life that can equal the powerful energy that fear mixed with excitement and a lot of fight can give you. When I was a singer/dancer/actor in NYC I had many of these moments where I felt as though all my plans were laughable as I stared at an ever growing line of 300 girls all taller and more talented than me. When I damaged my vocal chords and had to completely change my career I couldn’t imagine that there was anything left for me. When I left my second career because I felt as though I could become more in a much riskier situation I felt like I had made the biggest mistake of my life everyday. What kept me going was this idea that the conflict was the catalyst to the next big glorious moment. I credit 1st Phorm Business Entrepreneur and MFCEO Project Host and creator Andy Frisella who changed my perspective on the impossible.

In that moment when the thought of taking another step seems impossible – instead of focusing on how difficult everything is focus on how great you are becoming. Conflict Creates You.


Stephanie Castellanos | Student & Photographer

Think about all the things you already been through that you thought you couldn’t handle and then you did it! It’s a part of life going through these obstacles just push through them and try your hardest it’s never going to be easy getting to where you want to be. 

Breanne Elle | Blogger | Designer | Baker | Founder of LiveYBS

My best advice for anyone facing challenges is to go at them head on and don’t be afraid of the challenge! We as people are taught to get down or even feel overwhelmed when things don’t go our way but the truth is our egos are the challenges we face in our journeys. If you can avoid allowing your ego to consume you, then you’ll see that it was never something insurmountable in the beginning.


Ashlyn Ortiz | Model with SWMT Agency

Challenges are only a test of your mind and heart. When you set your mind and your heart to achieve your aspirations, any challenge can be overcome. You may face many challenges while you chase your dreams, but the hardships along the journey make the destination even more worthwhile.


Ashley OWinter | Jacket & Event Designer

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton

To all my fellow warriors out there, remember your story only gets better the more shit you go through. When it all feels like too much, get outside – alone – without devices – and just be! We’re always fostering connections with others but the most important connection is with oneself. When we’re tapped into our needs, desires, and creativity any challenge can be overcome. 


Stephanie Wilson | children’s book author

Keep pushing through! It’s not always easy and there’s no guarantee you won’t fall, but we learn more from our failures than our successes. It’s all worth it in the end!

Erinn Peet Lukes | songwriter | singer | activist

My best advice is act. Don’t let the mountain keep you from climbing- everyday we have limited time, so dedicate small amounts of time each day to your goal. I see so many people get bogged down with the challenges that lie in the reality of achieving their dreams or the reality of a hard situation. But it can’t all be done at once- chip away at your dreams and challenges, manage your time, and prioritize what activities, people and ideas are important to you! 

Shelby Jonse | caterer

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is: to keep pushing forward. We may not always succeed in the way we planned but honestly I would rather try and fail then never try at all. I have learned more from my mistakes and missteps than I ever did playing it safe and that is true for life and business.

Sara Sisty, LCSW, RYT | Psychotherapist and Yoga Instructor

The best advice I can give to someone facing an insurmountable challenge, first and foremost is to pause, and breathe! Get yourself grounded in the present moment! Root yourself down into the support of the earth (literally sit down), and just be present with what is showing up for you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Mindful connection between your body and mind can be accomplished through meditation, and breathing exercises. Once your mind is clear, you will have a better ability to focus on your most important challenges.

Additionally, remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We all struggle at some point or another, and it’s so important to know that no matter what you are dealing with, others are likely facing something similar. It’s okay to ask for support when you need it. Connection is key!

Amber VanDenBerg | Real Estate Broker Owner | Fix and Flip expert | Entrepreneur and Mother

I’ve always looked at challenges in my life as huge opportunities of GROWTH! I believe it’s all about your mindset and you welcome what you constantly think about so watch yourself. Your mind is a magnet. If you think of blessings, you attract blessings, if you think of problems you attract problems. Always cultivate positive thoughts and always remain optimistic. We get what we think always! One thing I have realized is that everything always ends up working out. Sometimes it’s even better than you can imagine. Remember this when you feel like you’re being challenged the most.  Have faith and believe in where your journey is taking you and see the bigger picture!

Priscila Goldenberg | Personal shopper for baby essentials

Never give up, the solution may not come to you immediately but, with time, you will find the answer. Don’t be afraid of trying something out of your comfort zone.


Staci Gardner | Florist at Stems by Staci

When a challenge feels overwhelming I always split the task into daily achievable goals. No matter how small they might seem, those daily goals add up and make it easier to see the end result without feeling discouraged. I like to write them on a big chalkboard in my kitchen so they are visible throughout the day as a reminder that I’m making progress even when I feel like I’m not!!


Kristi Trujillo | Yoga Instructor

When things feel like you can’t take it any more or you can’t even begin to think how you’re going to make it out, just know this moment, what you’re feeling and experiencing is temporary and trust that it will pass. I know it’s hard to believe that when you’re in the thick of it, but lean into that feeling of discomfort. Feel the pain, the hurt, anything else that is going on and acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can with what you have. I use my breath to come back to myself by placing one hand on my heart and the other on my belly. I tell myself that I am safe and that what’s going on right now won’t be forever.


Alexandria Thibodeaux | Relationship Coach for Highly Sensitive People

Ask yourself these questions:

Is the outcome of the challenge in alignment with your core values and the lifestyle you truly want to live?
Is your desire to journey through and complete this challenge in honor of your own desires and personal, self-fulfillment OR in honor of the fulfillment and desires of others?
Is your desire to journey through and complete this challenge rooted in societal expectations and norms as opposed to your own personal guidelines that reflect how you want to cultivate your own reality?
Are the requirements throughout the journey to achieve this challenge infringing on your mental health and well-being, causing you chronic anxiety and/or depression?
Are you looking at this challenge through a polarized view? A polarized view is a very limited, non-expansive view. Here’s some examples:
“The outcome of this challenge either HAS to be executed this SPECIFIC way – in this order, in this time frame, with these guidelines, etc., or not at all.”
“If I don’t do this, it WILL mean THIS and ONLY this.” OR “If I do complete this challenge, it WILL mean THIS, and ONLY this.”
Will the outcome of the challenge protect your peace OR does it neglect your peace, hindering your joy, growth, and fulfillment?
In the amazing words of Brené Brown, are you choosing courage over comfort? Or comfort over courage?
Do these things:
Accept what’s true to be true in any given moment – it takes the pressure off of HAVING to feel a certain way about setbacks or confusion.
Write every day about the challenges you’re facing to gain a better intrinsic understanding of what you’re feeling in those confident & tough moments. This will allow you to emotionally & visually reflect & analyze your feelings, thoughts, and emotions throughout the process of completing this challenge. 

Heidi McNulty | Photographer | Graphic Designer

My main motivation for overcoming challenges is my dog. I would do anything for her. When I’m down and she jumps on my lap and licks my face, it somehow reminds me that life isn’t so hard after all.

Tara Stravinsky | Founder & President

My advice would be to change your perception of the challenge.  Often times, the biggest barrier to success is ourselves. If we think it’s insurmountable, then it is.  If you think you can’t overcome the challenge, then you can’t.  But if you shift your perception to thinking that you can overcome the challenge, then you can. You have the ability to conquer any challenge you want.  You just need to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that believe in you. 

Charis Lee | Esthetician

The best advice I have for someone facing a challenge that is insurmountable would be to completely throw out the idea that anything is truly insurmountable! Yes, it may feel like something you can not manage or overcome but you can. You keep your eyes on what you want your future life to look like and you wake up each day knowing your “why”. Why are you doing what it is your doing and is it assisting you in getting closer to reaching your dream life that you deserve? If not let it go and if so push through and get it done by any means necessary. Life is tough and it is not fair but the only option you have is to play the cards you’ve been dealt in the best way you can. Work on yourself each day and aim to do something today that makes you better than what you were yesterday!


Jaclyn Thompson | Permanent Makeup Technician and Lash Artist

Don’t be afraid to start. One small step or small change can lead to big results over time. Keep pushing yourself and stay focused even when it’s uncomfortable. Understand that you will stumble, the path to success is paved with mistakes and disappointment. Successful individuals had failures first, but they didn’t give up. Find the lessons and you will learn so much about yourself and others. Always try and enjoy the journey. You already know deep down that you can do it, believe yourself and go for it!


Ashley Joy Lamar | Pilates Studio Owner & Instructor

The best advice I have for anyone facing a challenge that feels insurmountable is to face it head on! I have personally been blessed to experience this feeling and got to climb a really big mountain that felt insurmountable to climb. I am beyond thankful for where I am today and I’m on the other side of the beautiful big mountain! I hope to inspire anyone, to own who you are, be true to oneself, face your biggest mountains head on and live a beautiful life!


Diana Crandall | Writer and Photographer

When I’m facing something that feels impossible, I identify the parts of it I can control, and the parts I can’t — and then make peace with the latter. My Dad died when I was 15 and dealt with substance abuse disorders throughout his life. For years I felt guilty that I hadn’t been a better daughter, someone worth living for — and moving forward in life without a father seemed incomprehensible to me. But over time, I realized there is no way we can control the behavior of other people, and it isn’t my fault that he died. What I can control is how I process his legacy, my loss, and the gifts he left me — namely, a love for nature. As an adult, I’ve written about and photographed the natural world for publications around the world, and moved across the country to Colorado because my love for the outdoors runs so deep. I took control of parts of my pain and am writing my own story. But there are parts of that pain out of my hands — which means a lot of letting go, therapy, and incredible friends and family.

The post Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

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#LadyBoss: redefining what a boss looks like Thu, 19 Sep 2019 01:00:54 +0000 Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the […]

The post #LadyBoss: redefining what a boss looks like appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the true diversity of leadership in America?

Women and other under-represented groups are already leading many great companies, organizations, & academic institutions; others are authoring best-sellers, building engaged audiences, leading movements and more.

We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes.

Heather Garbo | Writer | Localist & Creator of Denver Dweller Blog

When I face an overwhelming challenge, I find two things really help. They may seem opposite at first, but they are very much complementary. The first is to get your body moving. We feel mentally strong when we feel physically strong. And when I’m slacking on physical activity, my energy level for work is down too. But, go to a yoga class or the gym or hop on your bike, and you’ll feel like you can take on the world. Second, look to your intuition. I’ve always been able to find greater perspective by getting quiet and still and shutting down outside distractions. I know many people who meditate to achieve this but for me, it’s always meant journaling. If I can shut the outside world out and dedicate some time to writing, I never fail to write my way to some clarity, whether that’s the starting point for a new project, a solution to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, or just identifying the first step in the right direction. I think we all have the answers inside us if we just get quiet enough to listen.

Jenn Edgar | Health Coach & Body Confidence Model

It’s easy to become overwhelmed and consumed by the challenges that we face throughout our lives. When I find myself facing a challenge, I try to stop and look at is as an opportunity–what can I learn from this? How will I be stronger from it? How will I become a better person from it? I am a strong believer that the universe only gives us what we can handle at the right time in our lives. It’s easy to say this, but I do believe it. Once I can start to see the opportunity within the challenge, it shifts my focus to the positive, and  I see it as a positive challenge that I can overcome and grow from. It doesn’t happen instantly, or overnight…sometimes it takes a few days or longer. When we choose to see the positive in these moments, our perspective shifts, and we see that we can indeed surmount the challenges that come our way.


Juliana Broste | Travel Video Journalist at TravelingJules Productions

Juliana Broste, Photo Credit: Josh Barrett

Go for it!  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.  Don’t get comfortable, take chances.  Step outside of your comfort zone, you’ll find big rewards.

One of my best and worst qualities is persistence.  Focus on what you want, and take steps in that direction.  Don’t quit until you get it.  Every inch is forward progress.  Eventually, you will gain momentum and before you know it, you’ll be at your destination.  And once you get there, take a moment to take it all in.  Congratulate yourself for making it happen.  You got this!

Rebecca Goode | boutique owner & mother

Honestly, my best advice and what has worked for me is to relax, stay grounded and take it one day at a time. I love to make lists and seeing the steps written out in front of me and out of my head always help me feel calmer & focused. Also, meditation has gotten me through some major hard times. Taking time to calm the mind, and be positive is so important. I really believe in the power of the law of attraction & keeping a strong, positive outlook! Never say I can’t. What do they say?? ‘fake it til you make it’!

Monika Oginski Blanchard | Creator  of FABOO

Stay positive and feed yourself with good thoughts ;go into peaceful nature which is very soothing.

Visualize and TRUST in the  Best outcome for yourself !

Crystal Chavez | Salon owner |  master stylist, & national color educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems

My advice is remember why you choose to take this challenge on.  Look to your mentors for confidence building.  And surround yourself with positive people who have similar dreams and goals.  Don’t ever give up!  Reaching the summit is the most rewarding experience in life!!

Codie Collins | Photographer

When I face a challenge that seems insurmountable, I take a deep breath and remember it’s only unachievable if I let it be. You don’t start a marathon and fly to the finish line. I start breaking down the challenge and attack it one step at a time. Some steps are harder than others, but before you know it, you’ve crossed your finish line. You are the only one that limits your potential!


Erza Bloom | Creative Entrepreneur | Business Owner

The late Maya Angelou once said “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” The greatest power we posses is the belief within ourselves. At times obstacles may seem far to great to overcome however, we possess the power within to motivate ourselves in pushing forward knowing whatever challenge we face will be met with a heart full of resolve.

Be confident in your approach, face the challenge with an adaptable mind, and understand no matter the outcome – are you satisfied with the effort you put forth?


Liv Walker | Business Student & Model

Speaking from the experiences I had as model, living in NYC, and traveling abroad for work, I had to develop a specific skill set to deal with challenges I had little to no control over. From fashion weeks to extended stays in major markets, I was tasked with putting myself in front of clients. Especially during casting for fashion week shows, the grind of running around a city, walking for casting directors, and waiting to hear if I’d been rejected or hired was especially daunting. Sometimes such a downer and other times exhilarating, the emotional load was difficult to deal with. I’m lucky to have had an amazing support system in my mom and dad, who gave me some amazing thoughts to use when facing a challenge or problem: deconstructing, problem solving, and compartmentalizing are my best friends when it comes to facing a doubt or challenge. I have the tendency to let worries oppress me by making the problem seem really big and oppressive. By acknowledging my thinking is distorted, understanding the problem, coming up with a short-term solution, and compartmentalizing parts I can’t control, I’ve learned to have faith a solution will tease itself out. Finally, after all the mental gymnastics, if the problem still seems insurmountable, use common sense and move on. As a model, whose livelihood was dependent on other people’s decisions, I got to the point that I wanted control over my future. That’s when I realized it was time for me to try something different. I’m really enjoying my freshman year at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.


Kendell Green | Actress and Social Curator

The best advice I can give to someone who feels they are stuck in a challenging part of life is to always remember that things will get better. In the moment, this feels nearly impossible, so do write it on a sticky note and slap that onto your bathroom mirror, your dashboard, wherever you’ll see it and at the very least get the subconscious reminder.

Also, don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or advice if you need it. I can promise that you are never alone. Even when you feel like no one is there for you or that no one can relate to what you are going through, there is always someone. Counseling helped me get through some of the hardest times I have experienced when I genuinely felt that there was no one in my life I could turn to. There is absolutely no shame in seeking out a counselor or therapist when you feel that you have no one to turn to. In fact, it might be one of the best decisions you make.

Above all else, take time to love yourself. If it’s as little as grabbing your favorite pastry and enjoying each bite, or taking yourself for a full-on spa day. Self-love is SO important and so underrated. You might be surprised at how much brain space you can free up with self-love. Brain space that can then be used to logically and sanely be used to tackle any challenge life might throw at you.


Jenny Seidel | Custom and Bespoke Jewelry Designer

I think the best way to tackle a huge challenge it is to subdivide. Break it down into smaller chunks, more manageable goals that build all the pieces of the puzzle.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the bigger picture and you can’t do everything all at once- you have to break it down and once you keep working at these smaller goals, those smaller goals add up to your bigger goal and before you know you’re on your way towards conquering it.  And it’s also helpful to remember that nothing great happens overnight, working towards big goals takes time, months, even years, so be gentle with yourself and stay steady in working towards those smaller achievements along your journey.



Lucy A. Sroka | Self-Taught Tattoo Artist

Basic but severely overlooked is the role that self-care plays in challenging situations we face.
Make sure all of your basic needs are met-
Ask yourself, “Am I tired? Hungry? Dehydrated?”
Take a nap, eat something, drink some water.
Everything feels a bit more overwhelming on four hours of sleep and an empty stomach.
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, break it down into steps- what is the first step towards your goal or the first step towards solving the situation? Broken down into steps, everything feels a little easier.
And finally- ask for help if you need it. There is no shame in reaching out. The more you reach out, the more you will realize what an amazing community is behind you.


Kim Ribbens | Calligrapher + Signage Artist

When I have faced challenges in my life that overwhelm me, it has always helped to break things down into manageable categories.

Either mentally or on paper, I work backwards from finish to start.
‘What are the end results I want? What specific things will need to happen to achieve those results? What smaller goals will I need to reach to get those things?’ And so on, until I have a few items I can work on immediately.
Having just a few tasks to achieve on a checklist makes it feel much easier to get started on something that might otherwise seem “too big. 

Julia Remnant | Owner of Peony Bakery

I think I would tell them that “You can do anything you set your mind to”. This phrase says a lot. For one, it has an element of setting your mind to do something. You have to have the ability to see the bigger picture and not lose sight of it. Secondly, it has an element of doing something- you actually have to take action! You can’t just sit around and wait for your challenges to miraculously resolve themselves. It’s all about finding a way to break down the challenge into easy-to-manage chunks, and tackle each of those one at a time. Both of those combined, not losing sight of the goal and breaking down into manageable tasks, will help you overcome the challenge bit by bit. And lastly, I would say “I believe in you”. Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement and support.

Kristen Harris | Graphic Designer & Artist

For big challenges and problems, I always try to break it down into smaller goals. Taking things one day at a time, or one check mark at a time is a way to see your progress. You know you’re working towards the overall goal without feeling overwhelmed by the big picture. Making these smaller goals for yourself can also be a way to celebrate the journey towards your goal and/or challenge! Be excited and proud about what you are accomplishing, and the bigger pieces will fall into place. 

Meghan Yager | food writer & photographer

When it comes to facing insurmountable challenges, sometimes all you need is a change of perspective. To me, these types of challenges can seem like a giant wall that you can’t scale. The climb is too steep, the rock is too smooth, you can’t find a place to grip. But you CAN start carving out your own steps. Every challenge we face can be broken down into steps that bring us closer to getting past it. Every time you experience a win or take a step, even if it’s seemingly small, CELEBRATE IT. The less you think about how overwhelming everything is, the more you’ll see just how far you’ve come and how capable you truly are. It’s what gives me a boost in my step when I feel completely stuck! If you’re having trouble making that shift in your brain, sit down and write out your top 10 successes in life. There were challenges facing you then, weren’t there? You overcame them, didn’t you? See? You’re more powerful than you think.


Kim Zimmerman (she/her) | Floral Designer & Urban Flower Farmer

As a former therapist I’ve witnessed many people facing challenges that feel completely overwhelming. What has helped me the most and what I tried to help others do is break this giant challenge down into the smallest steps possible – steps that feel almost silly because they’re so small. And then commit to completing these tiny steps, one by one, bit by bit and at your own pace. Maybe you start with just getting out of bed after the first snooze button instead of the third. Maybe it means you spend exactly 5 minutes allowing yourself to worry about the job, the relationship, the whatever-it-is. If you break it apart into the tiniest bits and commit to digesting those, eventually you’ll find yourself on the other side of this mountain. It certainly may not be easy, but worthwhile challenges never are.


Laura Orozco of Laura Orozco Photography | Life Photographer

Dig deep! At many times in my career I felt like I was facing insurmountable challenges. Like when I was a 22-year-old pharmaceutical rep trying to tell well-seasoned doctors how and when to prescribe medicine. Or when I was a young defense attorney representing doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice lawsuits, arguing cases against attorneys with 20 years of experience. I felt so small and unworthy, no matter how much I prepared!  I had a giant case of imposter syndrome.  Now I am approaching 40, and I realize that, when you put things in perspective, nothing worth doing is insurmountable. Sometimes it takes prioritization. Sometimes it takes a great big deep breath. Sometimes it takes reaching out to a mentor or a trusted advisor or best friend. Sometimes, and most often for me, it means first reaching out to God to pray for strength guidance to get me through the task at hand, whether personal or professional.  Find your light and chase it to the end of the tunnel.  You can do it!

Rachel Heckel | Fitness Instructor

Life throws us a lot of curve balls, but none that we can’t handle. The more difficult the challenge, the more we grow. When we are put in situations that seem unattainable, it’s important to know that it’s okay to fail. It’s also a great opportunity to prove to ourselves that we are strong, we are worthy, and we are capable. The best way to face these challenges is head on. Ignore the doubts and second thoughts and allow yourself to be great.



Jailyn Jenkins | Educator | Advocate, & Lover of Life

The best advice I could give to someone facing an insurmountable challenge is to remember the 3 B’s: Build, Breathe, and Balance. In life, challenges are inevitable, and some seem impossible to conquer; however, in implementing the 3 B’s, it makes the journey to victory more do-able. From what I have learned in 24 years of life and 5 years in education, the secret to success is lies in building genuine relationships with a plethora of people, making time each day to breathe/unwind, and maintaining a healthy balance between stress and drive/optimism. Challenges exist to spark growth, so when we face them, we must lean on the fact that “this too, shall pass” and continue to FIGHT for victory, and ultimately…a better you! Don’t give up! There’s a reason behind everything…trust the process!

Elle Dice | Entrepreneur | Health Coach & Traveler

Your mindset is everything! If you are doubting yourself and your capabilities to do something in life right now, you are NEVER going to get where you want to be in the future. Start believing in yourself and start taking chances, regardless if nobody else believes in you-because you know what? There’s only one person you have to go to sleep with every night and that’s YOU. Are you happy with your life? Or do you want something more? What dreams do you have? I have had to shift my thinking from “there’s no way I can do that” to “I am going to make this happen no matter what.”… 9 months later here I am, traveling the world and working from my dream destinations because I took a leap of faith and bet on myself so that I could start living the life of my dreams. Start believing in yourself girl, I know you can do this too.


Heather Taft | Fashion Stylist

Throughout life, we will always come across something that seems too great to overcome. How do we get through these obstacles? I’d have to say the simple words, this too shall pass. All we can do is give it our best genuine shot and as long as we do that, how can one be unsatisfied with themselves? If it goes in your favor, it’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment and your so proud; if it does not work out…guess what, this too shall pass. Something else is waiting for you in your path. You have to trust your journey, even if it doesn’t make sense at the moment.


Chelsea Brinkley | Travel Planner & Blogger

First, just breathe. It’s easy to get anxious and overwhelmed when something seems impossible but remember that you really can do anything. Don’t doubt yourself. Next, do a “brain dump” where you list out absolutely everything on your mind that would need to happen for this challenge to be conquered. Then, order that list from the first thing that needs to be accomplished to the very last. And finally, take it one baby step at a time working your way through that list.

Lisa Ochoa | lash artist | business owner, and mom

Everyone faces something that they think in that moment is insurmountable in life.  I would say when I encounter a situation like this I look at everything I have faced and overcome already. When I look at what I have accomplished it’s usually more than I ever thought I could have and that I’m stronger than I ever knew I could be.  It’s not always easy and I’ve had to work hard to be where I am, but we as women are strong and if we work hard we can overcome any obstacle.


Miss Jae | Social Media Influencer & Confidence Coach

Everyone finds a challenge that seems to be too hard to overcome. I have felt like that way too often. “You were put in this life, because you were strong enough to live it.” I think about that quote when things start to get tough. I know that times are gonna get tough but I know that I have been able to get through every challenge and I can get through any challenge that comes my way. I smile every day and I stay really positive throughout my days. Wallowing and being upset about the challenges that come my way isn’t going to help me overcome the challenge. I step up and think of plans I can take to overcome that challenge. When one plan doesn’t work, I don’t give up, I take a step back and follow a new plan.

Kriss Delacerda | Nutrition and Fitness Coach

We always have the opportunity to surprise ourselves, and there is no better feeling in the world. If we can understand that it all starts with having pure belief in our abilities, there is no feat we can’t achieve. My best advice is to start with small steps, don’t look up the mountain, look one, two steps in front of you. Write down your goal. Make it specific and make sure you give yourself a realistic time frame – and then write down actions you will take, step by step. Focus on that, and keep going. Before you know it, you’ll be able to look down from the top and appreciate all the hard work you’ve put into reaching your goals. The time will pass anyway, why not show yourself what you’re made of.


Danielle Webster, AKA the Electric Lady | Photographer & DJ

The feeling of a challenge that seems insurmountable is only a feeling. We let fear, or money, or ego get in the way. If there’s something you really want in your life you can make it happen. Asking for help is also a big lesson in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help once you figure out what you want. 

Jesi Josten | Creator & Owner

I have SO been there with insurmountable challenges! I feel like the best advice anyone ever gave me is to take one tiny step at a time. There is always somewhere you can start – make a list and just concentrate on one step at a time. Then take a breather and look at what the next logical step is. I think looking at the whole picture can often be the most overwhelming part, but if you look at each step, and cross them off as you go, you’ll move forward no matter what!


Kiera Queen | Chief Clinical Lead Orthodontic Assistant and Scentsy Consultant

I would tell them that the situation might feel hard right now and that it may feel like the end of the world but that I promise a year from now they will be able to sit back and laugh at the situation. They will look back and feel proud of themselves for being strong and chugging through. All projects and life lessons take time and effort, nothing comes easy. Blare some music, sing really loud, and force a smile on your face to remember what you are working towards. Always keep your head up and mind focused on the end goal.


Regina Foster | enthusiast Food Photographer and Traveler

One of my favorite quotes that I’ve ever heard about challenging yourself is “Just Do It”. I mean, it might not that easy but when facing with some challenging situations in your life which are getting you out of your comfort zone it is always a big step forward. Sometimes we fail, but we’ll never know until we try. So, don’t be scared ever and go for it!


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Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds Tue, 10 Sep 2019 01:00:36 +0000 Throughout our journey with Voyage, the one thing we have learned over and over is that hidden within every challenge is a blessing or opportunity. It’s up to us to determine whether a challenge we face will be a step back or the catalyst for a step forward. We had the honor of connecting with […]

The post Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

Throughout our journey with Voyage, the one thing we have learned over and over is that hidden within every challenge is a blessing or opportunity. It’s up to us to determine whether a challenge we face will be a step back or the catalyst for a step forward.

We had the honor of connecting with some of the city’s brightest female leaders and role models and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

Below, you’ll find their advice and links and other info so you can learn more about them, their work and how to connect with them. We’ll be interviewing many of these amazing women in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Illustrator and Letterpress Printer

Joslyn Griffin

To break the challenge down into smaller chunks and make it more approachable! I’d start by setting goals to accomplish the first 10% of the project, and then the next 10% and so on. Start small and never be too afraid to ask for help or outsource when needed. 

Dani Lashay (Barclaes) | Personal Stylist | Creative Director | Photographer

Model: Jasmine Walls

Believe in yourself and fear nothing.


Nik Scott | Brand Expert | Speaker | Influencer

In life, challenges–even those that seem insurmountable–are a part of the journey.  If you are facing a challenge that you feel is insurmountable, the first thing you should do is believe in yourself.  Too many times we limit our capabilities to challenges we’ve already overcome and this can leave us in a stagnant place with no growth.  You are far more capable of pushing through what you think you can do. If you push through challenges in your life, you’ll begin to understand that what seemed insurmountable in the beginning was merely a stepping stone in your journey.

Paloma Cotton | Motherhood and Lifestyle Blogger

There are 3 main things I would tell someone who is facing a challenge that seems impossible to overcome. First, break it up into smaller goals and have a clear plan. You need to really understand what it is you are trying to accomplish and create small goals so the big goal is less intimidating and more manageable. Second, seek help if needed. I’m all about community so seek a community that understands you and can help you reach that next level. Third, take action. Whether you are afraid or you feel like you don’t know what you are doing, just do something, anything that will get you one step closer.


Censie Sawyer | Content Creator & Mom

Life brings crazy challenges and when you find yourself in those challenges that might feel too hard to face it is important to remember your value and worth in this space.  It has taken me 36 trips around the sun to really find that focus that I need to stand strong, make choices and move forward through a challenge that I have struggled with for too long.  Taking one day at a time (or minute for that matter) can help us all find that right path to overcoming a challenge that might seem impossible.  Finding a great support system is key as well, while we all want to think we can accomplish every thing on our own, that just isn’t true in all cases.  Lean in, love more, and embrace those hard moments because that is what makes you grow!

Renu Anshie Dhar  | Personal Chef | Culinary Instructor & Food Blogger

One breath at a time, one step in front of the other, just one more breath. And do it all over again.  Small steps, when taken consistently make big changes. When you feel surrounded by what may seem like darkness, close your eyes and focus on the light within you. It may be dim and  it may flicker. But hold on to it and take that one more breath. Break down your challenge into small challenges and focus on each one separately.


Taylor Rains | Fashion and Beauty Influencer

What a question. “How to face something that is insurmountable.” A few things come to mind when I read this. The first of which being, how many times have I looked at my mountain of a challenge and said to myself, “this is impossible. I don’t think I can do this.” Even in the midst of extreme opposition, I just kept making the next right decision and taking imperfect steps in the direction I felt I was supposed to go. Hours, days, months or even years later, I made it to the top of that mountain I never thought I’d summit, looked back at how far I had come, and realized the journey made me so much stronger.

The process of what I was sure would break me, built me.

Friend, life is full of seemingly insurmountable challenges, but you don’t have to do it alone. The passage that keeps me moving forward is this, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG


Katie Hiatt | Founder & Managing Editor of the South Denver Moms Network

The best advice I have for someone facing a challenge that feels completely overwhelming and insurmountable is knowing that everything you’re faced with and each time you’re uncomfortable, you’re growing (which is a wonderful thing). This was advice I once received and still live by today.

If you’re not uncomfortable on a regular basis, you either aren’t challenged or are not challenging yourself enough and to evolve and improve, you have to push or be pushed to those uncomfortable limits. Otherwise, how do you expect to become any better in various aspects of your life?

Work the problem and get it done. You’ll appreciate the challenge and what you learn along the way once you can reflect. Promise!


Karlyn Dillemuth | Boutique Owner and Dog Mom

I’ve never met a problem I couldn’t solve with a glass of wine, puppy cuddles, and retail therapy.


Brittini Cooper | Fashion Blogger & Director of Events

I would give the same advice my mother gave me when I was 24 and didn’t have a plan for my life. She said, “get a ladder”. Need to change a light bulb? Get a ladder. Need to clean the gutters? Get a ladder.  It’s very simple. If you want to get some place high, the ladder is the way to get there. If you want to move up in life, goals are the way to get there. The first step to building ladder goals is getting a piece of paper, and drawing your ladder. At the top of the ladder is where your goal lives. How are you going to get there? Small goals is the answer. Start jotting down the necessary steps to climb your own ladder of success. You will feel little victories every time you hit a goal! Want to be more awesome? Tell yourself you’re awesome! You can do anything you put your mind to. (It’s true)  If you don’t write your goals down, it’s simply a wish. Now go out and crush you goals!

Jenny Finke | Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach and Blogger at Good For You Gluten Free

I was dealt a health challenge in life that could only be fixed by changing my diet. I felt sorry for myself and hated that my fate found me having to give up some of my favorite foods. However, today I see my challenge in a new light. Yes, I am constantly challenged when I eat out, travel, grocery shop, etc., but I’ve been given the tools in life to cope with and overcome these challenges. In fact, I have come to see my challenge as a blessing. What once seemed impossible is exactly what gave me the best chance at living a healthy, disease-free life.

When someone feels like a challenge they’re facing is insurmountable, I remind them that they have been given a set of tools in life to help them cope with and/or overcome their unique challenge and come out better for it in the end. For me, what I once thought were challenges in my life I now see as stepping stones to the next, more beautiful chapter in my life. Our challenges, when we look back at them, don’t always seem so challenging in hindsight.

Christine Bollow | Marketing & Events Coordinator at BookBar & “Bookstagrammer” @readingismagical

Marie Forleo has a saying “Everything is Figureoutable”, which has always resonated with me. I also find that to-do lists, wine, meditation, and breaking down big tasks into smaller tasks have all helped me out whenever I’ve faced challenges personally and professionally.



Christina Ann | WAX’D Studio owner

You will find your strength in my most challenging times in your life. Stay focused and keep climbing.

Leona Harper  | Vocalist | Hedge witch | Poet

To overcome is to understand, I found running away from my challenges have always brought me back to them. Face them, understand them, learn them, grow from them, defeat them. Your internal self will thank you. I was tired of running so I went Into battle . I have better peace of mind these days . The universe will always challenge you to strengthen body mind and soul . Don’t ever give up on self!  * Shine*

Chelsey Murphy | Rise Images and I specialize in family, engagement and wedding photography

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re facing a struggle. If you pause and give yourself a moment to choose your mindset, you’ll realize that you can find a way. Take things one day at a time in order to stay focused. If you’re a creative person, STAY creative and use that skill to find a creative solution to a challenge.


Hannah Leathers | Artist & Middle School/High School Visual Arts Teacher

Everyone has different challenges, especially when thinking about (white/straight/able-bodied, etc) privilege. But here’s a reflection of my own healing and a thought to consider.

When trauma took away a piece of my identity, or certain pieces of myself, the earlier and more deeply I committed to bolster my sense of self (especially the parts that had been challenged by myself or others), the more potential I feel I had for healing.


Renae Dambly | Professional Parkour Athlete & Personal Trainer

Michael Harding

I like to break challenges down into smaller goals that are easier to reach. Some may be easier than others, and it is important to remember that progress can come from even the little achievements. Everything will add up and that challenge won’t seem so impossible anymore.

Micaela Iron Shell-Dominguez | Human rights advocate | community organizer | Founder of The Womxn Circle of Denver | model and actress

The advice I would give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is, to follow and listen to your intuition which is your sixth sense located in your gut, your intuition connects your mind, body, and spirit. Your intuition will never fail you, a lesson you’ll learn as you trust it more and more. So stop second-guessing yourself and listening to what others tell you to do or be, and instead, turn inward. Your inner wisdom is providing guidance; you just have to listen.


DeAnna ‘mzDeeVa’ Shields | Author | Podcast Founder & Host of ‘askDeeVa’

My tip to share for those who are facing any life challenges that one may feel is insurmountable, is to always reach out for help. Seek a counselor or trusted friend to share your challenge with right away. Be mindful to take time for self with quiet time and meditation; by doing so, your body and mind will be prepared for any possible changes you may have to make in order to get a distance away from a negative environment, or demand change from anyone with negative behaviors in your daily environment.

Isabel Cobian | Nurse Assistant

The best advice I could give is to stay true to yourself and never give up ! Whatever the odds may be or tribulations in your way continue to push forward because the reward will be worth it in the end. You may not succeed the first time around and let’s be honest most of us don’t, however the lessons we learn from our mistakes make us a better person with more experience and deeper perspectives. Keep in mind you’re not alone, it’s okay to not feel like you have everything under control, that’s life after all. All you can do is remember that challenges is what makes life great and a way to grow. Have faith in the process and keep a positive mind. Remember this is temporarily and it will pass, usually ending up better than you could have imagined.


wenjia zhang | international student from China | student from University of Denver

The advice is keep confidence for yourself! There is old saying in China: there are no such setbacks that we cannot overcome! All the things can follow the time solve it! Sometimes I will facing some challenges that feel is insurmountable, I will stand on my balcony, looking at night view of this city, encouraging myself actively face to the challenge, a new day is a new start! If you just put the challenge there, it will never solve it!

wechat number: wen2064608456

Erica Hanlon | Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor

When it comes to challenges vs. people, I’ll always bet on people. If you’re staring down a big, impossible-feeling challenge, you’re probably on the cusp of a breakthrough.  Get ready to get uncomfortable. REALLY uncomfortable. Fail a lot. Ask for help. This is where you get to learn what’s possible. And you get learn what you’re made of.

Christine Dart | Marketing consultant & designer

At some point during my twenties I began shifting my perspective on challenges. Rather than focusing on the difficulty and struggle, I started looking at challenges as lessons to be learned and portals for growth. Challenges help us grow and change for the better – if we let them. If we focus on the negative and feel like we are victims, it’s really difficult to find a silver lining and to learn from the situation. However, if we can look for the lesson within the challenge, we can rise up stronger, wiser, and more confident than ever on the other side. We become new versions of ourselves. Think about how uncomfortable our body feels when we do exercise that is more strenuous than our norm… but afterwards, we feel AMAZING. We usually feel so good because we are proud of ourselves for pushing through. We learn how much stronger we actually are than we thought. If we continue to push ourselves outside of these comfort zones, we become even stronger. I don’t think that life is meant be easy, but I do think it is meant to be sweet. Lessons are sometimes the sweetest gifts of all.

Christina Kachanovsky | Content Writer For Small Businesses

For anyone who is struggling, don’t give up. Reach out to people. Reach out to your community! Reach out through your local church, social media, or mentor. You are not alone! People are here to help you through the challenges you face.

Elise Itano, MD | Interventional Sports and Spine Physician

Break the task up into to smaller more manageable bites. Set small, challenging but attainable goals for yourself everyday and celebrate the small victories along the way. Don’t forget to take time for yourself — support your body and brain with sleep, exercise and a healthy diet to give yourself the best chance of success. Lastly— believe in yourself and your abilities. You got this!


 Jen DeVore  | Author | Speaker & CEO of Boss Women Rock

When facing a challenge you feel is insurmountable, it’s important to focus on gratitude. Being grateful for what you do have will reprogram your mind and spirit. Start each day with a focus on your blessings and you’ll start to see doors open, challenges defeated, and new paths to success formed.


 Ruby Wayward | Lightworker & Jewelry Designer

When facing an insurmountable challenge, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) there is no shame or weakness in asking for help. “Asking for help” comes in many styles, from delegating in the work space to calling on an Ancestor or Archangel for assistance & guidance.
I also find comfort in the phrase, “Obstacles are detours to where we need to be.” If something truly isn’t working in your favor, it’s because there is another door of opportunity meant for you. You’re never truly defeated!


Melissa Taylor | Children’s Book Expert & Writer

One that is very relevant to me as I’ve spent the last seven years facing serious health challenges that debilitated both me and my two daughters. Many days, I thought we would never get better. I got through it by 1) getting an amazing therapist 2) feeling all my feelings — despair and joy and everything in between 3) deepening my faith, and 4) starting every day as a new day where I am open to all possibilities and am present to all the moments.


Emily A Jones | former fitness competitor, 2017 bikini champion

 I think I played just about every tragic scenario in my head before coming up with an answer that despite situation or circumstance could be beneficial for anyone no matter what they’re experiencing. Whether its a unexpected breakup, a devastating diagnosis, a tragic loss of a loved one, a miscarriage, overcoming addiction, whatever –this is what I would say to you/them:

We have no control over what kind of cards life deals us, we can only control how we choose to play it. My best advice is to take things one day at a time, one step at a time. What could you do today that would help you have a better tomorrow? Stay in the present moment.
Next, trust yourself and your journey. Don’t compare yourself or your journey to anyone else. Be patient with your healing and intentional with your thoughts and actions. Make conscious choices to put you where you need or want to be in your life.
I also hope that you end up seeing for yourself that experiencing adversity or hardship is one of the greatest gifts disguised as demise. Those experiences shape so much of who we are as individuals and how we view the outside world depending on how we allow it to impact us.
And as we all should know, whatever perception we choose to view the world is the exact one that will be reflected back. I hope you don’t ever allow these raw experiences to harden you, define you, or shut you off.

In those trying moments, I hope you choose to honor your highest self and meet him/her with love and compassion.


Brittany Fleming | social media strategist and visibility coach

Everything is working together for your good and you are being presented with this challenge for a reason. Always keep the faith!

The post Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds appeared first on VoyageDenver - Denver.

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