When I first met Madison Hartley, she was living in a small apartment right of the parkway in Bend. I called her to do an interview about her business, A Native Bloom, because to me -- her flower arrangements looked unique. She was shy about doing the interview in her apartment. I told her most every entrepreneur I've interviewed started their dream in their spare bedroom or living room.
Now, every couple of months, Madison flies to China to teach at a flower school. From the outside looking in, it appears success came easily to her. She's booked out for weddings through 2016 and has a following of over 10K people on Instagram; Flower School Bejing discovered her there. When I asked Madison about the secret to her success, she took a long pause and said, "There's a lot of big things happening, but it's still the small moments of dedication and interest that make the difference." I thought that was real and relatable. We've been conditioned to gauge a person's success on their following on social media. I just did it without thinking. True success is achieving the goals we've set out for ourselves and that takes tons of tiny victories. There's no easy path, persistence is the only way.