Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Shima Razipour | Realtor & Social Media Marketing Director

Ironically, my dog inspired me! Crazy, I know. Upon graduating from college, I was interning at a prestigious Real Estate magazine from 9-5. Each morning when I’d leave my new pup, I would feel sad. I’d see him looking out the door as I drove away from the driveway. His puppy eyes tore me apart! So, I decided I want a career that allowed me to create my own schedule and have the freedom to spend more time with him. Read more>>

Arielle Daxon | Tea Creator, Book Curator & Florist

Quite simply, I realized nothing else made me happy. I was so tired of all the jobs I had putting me in a box- telling me who I should and shouldn’t be. I felt constantly fractured and longed for something that would allow me the freedom I needed to be happy with my life. Read more>>

Annie Niou Vonheim | Holistic Nutritionist

Smart Pressed Juice solves the problem of busy people and unhealthy eating. Whether it’s cravings, bloatings or digestion, we created the perfect system to get you right back on track. Every one of us is too busy to eat right every single day. In this fantastic movement of self-care, we are finally becoming more aware of what we need to survive, flourish and thrive. And the very first step of self-care should be focusing on what nourishes our bodies. Our customers are frequently overwhelmed with all the health choices that exist on the market. Read more>>

Delanie Fischer | Creative Consultant, Podcaster & CEO

I was very determined to leave my corporate day job to work for myself, so I decided to turn my strange hobby that I had had for a few years, called Dicks by Delanie, into a “real” business. If it didn’t fail, I figured it’d be a great way to transition into entrepreneurship even if it’s not something I stuck with forever. I was able to leave my day job within one year of launching Dicks by Delanie to do it full time. Read more>>

Michael Riady | Indonesian Coffee Entrepreneur

I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and its kinda in our blood. Before even starting my own business, I had a lot of experiences just by listening and watching my family business. And we had many businesses so I was able to learn so much. I would learn about strategies, business models, execution tactics, problem solving and enlarge my vision. When I came out of college, I worked as a real estate professional first for about 13 years. I was offered many investment opportunities during those period but I declined so my first business was not until 2017. Read more>>

Marissa Martorana | Owner

A few years into my career as a Registered Dietitian (RD) I was approached by a few individuals to do one on one nutrition counseling sessions to help them address various nutrition related concerns. This was outside of my normal every day job as a renal dietitian, and a consultant at a head start program, where time was limited once you factored in all of the day to day company expectations. It was evident from those few meetings with my “side clients”, that there was an opportunity people were seeking for RD services. It became clear that there was also an opportunity for me to be able to help people in a deeper, more meaningful way by going into private practice. Read more>>

Alex Stickland | Chef & Business Owner

Creative control, as amazing as it has been to work with and for inspiring and talented individuals I’ve always craved and known that to be truly happy and content in my work, that working for myself would be the only way, this is reflected in the launch of my new venture, 20twenty kitchen, which is a food delivery service offering “lunch boxes’ changing daily with 20% of the profits going to charity. Read more>>

Beven Sangi | Licensed Esthetician

My original thought process in starting my business involved providing beauty services that makes women feel more relaxed, more confident and beautiful! Read more>>

Jonathan Winbush | Motion Graphics & Immersive Artist

I’ve worked at a ton of studios over my career from large movie studios to smaller boutiques and no matter where I was at there was limited room for growth. I’ve enjoyed more of the places I’ve worked at but as an artist, I always strive to grow as far as I can so working for myself allows me to keep pushing my limits and allows me unlimited growth. Plus a major part of working at studios includes long hours which was taking away from me being able to watch my kids grow up since I wasn’t home a lot. Read more>>

Tino Perez | IT Specialist

I always had the idea, to get ahead by myself without depending on anyone, and I always wanted to have the opportunity to work in what I loved the most, if you work for someone else, you help them fulfill their dreams, if you work for yourself, you can get to fulfill yours. Read more>>

Paola Baldion | Actress, Writer & Producer

As an actress I’ve had to wait for roles to be booked and scripts to be written. After many years I decided that I wanted to take control of my career and artistic process, that it was time for me to tell my own stories and create my own characters. So after writing and producing my first documentary I Am Migration, along with my husband Jamie Toll, we started our of own art and film production company called Dos Almas Films. Read more>>

Tamara Powell | Travel & Lifestyle Manager

After recording and writing music professionally for years, I moved into Business Management. I eventually began to manage at least 16 entities at once. At that point, I realized that there was absolutely no reason that I shouldn’t have a company of my own. Read more>>

Gina Smith | Entertainment Consultant & Marketing Guru

Actually, starting my own business was a happy accident – I had just finished a 6-month consulting gig on a convention event and I was pounding the pavement in search of my next full time job. Nothing was really leaping out at me and a friend suggested becoming a freelancer. Back in 1999, the internet was brand spanking new and we used dialup for our connection to the World Wide Web. But the idea of being my own boss and being able to choose my projects really won me over. Read more>>

Georgina Tolentino | Actress & Wellness Entrepreneur

I took a candle making class in Charleston during a wedding and took it on as a hobby. But making these candles started when I couldn’t find the right candle for my friends for Christmas. After giving them out as gifts and saw how happy they made people. The designs I chose made people smile and to me the gift of lighting up someone’s day is a purpose of mine. Then it grew into people buying them and then being placed as wholesale orders in stores. I named “Le Divina” after my mother, her name meaning “the divine.” I wanted to create a wellness retail line that inspired people to practice mindfulness and manifestation. I’ve always loved crystals, meditation, and candles. Read more>>

Rhasaan Sherrill | Owner

I actually stumbled upon my business idea while in school. I was pursuing a Masters in Dance at California State University, Northridge (C.S.U.N) and had to designate a thesis topic while in my research methods class. Being an avid follower and participant of hip-hop dance, I noticed there was a lack for formal training in this area. Other genres of dance such as ballet, jazz, and modern had a plethora of technical training resources in the form of instruction and curriculum, but this was not true for hip-hop dance. I thought it would be a great ideal to offer such curriculum to students, especially those that resembled the originators of this sub-culuture called hip-hop. Read more>>

Brandi Lynn | Publicist

It all started at my first job after college, at ABC 24 News Station. I met so many celebrities that I told myself that I wanted to work behind the scenes with them and bring them more exposure as their Publicist. Most celebrities live in big cities therefore, I moved to Los Angeles, California. My first client was Naja Hall; Founder of Blended & Black. She believed in me and gave me my first shot at booking her for interviews and much more. The rest is the beginning of Brandi Lynn Public Relation’s history. Read more>>

E’Ian West | Media Production Company Owner

I would say I decided to start my own business partly out of the pursuit of my passion, but also the opportunity to be totally creative and not held back. I believe when you wake up and do something you enjoy, it removes some of the monotony of daily life. On top of that, I get to work with people I enjoy being around. I also thought about how it would allow me to delve deeper directly into my interest, which is the entertainment industry. In a way, I was deciding to become an expert through firsthand experience, time, and commitment. Even with all of that said, It was still a big decision but one I was comfortable with and happy I made. Read more>>

Abe Santos | Sifu & Teacher of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do

Since 1983, I have been a friend and student of Sifu Taky Kimura, Bruce Lee’s most senior student in Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do and best friend. Sifu Taky was Bruce Lee’s first assistant instructor and the one who Bruce Lee left to run the school when he moved to California. During this time, Sifu Taky and I became more than just teacher and student but also became the best of friends. He is my mentor and a second father to me. We were able to talk about anything and everything regarding Bruce Lee, martial arts, his childhood, our families, and life. But Sifu Taky was in his 90’s and faced the same challenges as anyone his age would with regard to his memory. Read more>>