It’s something that makes people laugh yet is patently true. For years I was a chronic nail biter – something many men and women might confess to being, but I hold the unique distinction of being the only chronic nail biter to also be one of the founders of the world’s #1 professional nail care company, OPI Products, Inc.

Nail biting is a nervous habit that followed me around for years, from classrooms and exams to boardrooms and meetings. My public relations manager Harris Shepard was the first to truly call me out on it, pointedly observing that the creative director of a burgeoning nail brand should be a walking advertisement for the colors I spent hours perfecting. So I tackled overcoming my undesired habit like I tackled everything else in my life – with intention and purpose.

There isn’t a secret to success (unless you count hard work as a secret). However, there are a few things I’ve noted in my 35+ years in business that have helped to pave the way.

Listening to your instincts is key. I am a woman who is willing to take risks and make decisions. Not everyone will agree with you all the time, but if you feel strongly about something, you should trust yourself above all.

Be a leader and not a follower. This being said, your success is not all about you. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people who share your vision is so important. When you’re able to collaborate with someone who brings something new to the table and complements your talents, you’ll find you’re free to concentrate on your own strengths.

There are only 24 hours in a day, and you can’t necessarily do it all. You have to be willing to give some things up to be successful, but you can prioritize the things that matter most – for me, family and OPI – and in doing so, you’ll not only find success but happiness too.