How to Be Successful - Focus on Your Own $hit / by Alison Capra

Alison Capra, Ship on Site Surf City

Alison Capra, Ship on Site Surf City

In February of this year, Nick and I purchased our 7th business, SHIP ON SITE Surf City. A printing, and shipping business designed to serve the needs of the small business owners in our community. For those of you who know me, you know I ran a studio in Kansas City for years offering large format printing and photo gifts. The owners trusted me with this business and I had a blast seeing their vision come to fruition.

Nick and I decided to remodel the store and give it a brand new vibe. With the evolution of e-commerce and the mobile workforce, we desired to create an evolved co-work space for entrepreneurs to stop in for a coffee, a desk, and wifi it they don’t have an office space of their own. We remodeled the store in just a weekend with the hard work of our amazing team, and I couldn’t be more proud of the results.

It’s taken me a very long time to truly grasp the amount of work it takes to see your vision through. At almost 35 years old, I am starting to understand what it takes to create the life you want. People often ask me HOW TO “START”…


I spent the first half of my life serving under the vision of others. I made myself indispensable. How does one do that?

I’m so glad you asked:

1. Creating value by offering diligence, positivity and support

Photo Gifts

Photo Gifts

First things first, my grandma taught me this one… Learn how to do EVERY SINGLE job at your place of business. If you have a singular role, offer support to all of your co-workers and any employees working underneath or alongside you. If you understand how to do every job at your company… YOU WILL BE INDISPENSABLE.

2. Plan to have a better attitude than anyone.

Attitude is literally everything. Your ability to solve problems and provide a positive attitude under pressure will promote you faster than you’d ever expect. If you are CONSTANTLY the weirdo running around like the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man… you will be the first to go.

3. Set yourself apart by arriving early and staying late when you can.


4. Learn and research things that will be valuable to your team. 

Developing yourself is not limited to college. Further your education online and never stop learning.

5. Set a standard to look your best.

Nobody likes a rats nest. Keep it together :)


6. Honor the vision, mission, and culture of the people you work for.

Remember that if you work for someone else, you are supporting THEIR vision. If that’s not what you want to do, then you should work someplace else. Your #1 goal is should not be to “show off” how great YOU are and make yourself look good. Your goal should be to make your company look great!  You want to do something GREAT? Earn it. You want to be your own boss!? Learn from Good AND Bad bosses.

Geyna Franklin, Hostess with the Mostest

Geyna Franklin, Hostess with the Mostest

7. When in doubt.... stay quiet and look for the right answer.

Don’t pretend like you know things that you don’t know. You’ll look like an ass when people ask you for help.

8. Do not fall into the childish games of gossip, trash talk, or taking offenses.

If you need to discuss something take it straight to the source. Don’t be the chaos creator! Be the solution finder! Learn to remove yourself from conversations that are unproductive. If you try to run a place of business based off of YOUR feelings or EMOTIONAL duress, you will make it extremely difficult for others to want to be around you, much less work with you.

9. Be teachable - Be willing 

i REFUSE to believe that I don’t have LOTS to learn. When a leader, superior, or client explains something to me, I LISTEN. i might not ALWAYS agree with their “WAY” But I am 100% committed to being OPEN to being TAUGHT something new, or gaining some insight and perspective.

10. Develop a REAL skillset.

Arts and crafts can only get you so far. How can you develop yourself further in your career path of choice? Bring your best to the table everyday. Work Harder.