Deciding to work for yourself is often cited as the best decision folks in our community have made. Hearing the same response over and over led us to ask them about the next best decision folks have made and we’ve shared their responses with you below.

Nancy Hays | Dance/Fitness Instructor, Entertainer & Business Owner

The most important decision I ever made was to marry my husband, Sean. Marrying Sean gave me the security of knowing that not only had I married a man who would be a wonderful, faithful husband and fantastic father, but also someone that would talk to me about other things besides my performing career and business pursuits. The right life partner also gave me the the freedom personally and emotionally to take other risks with my career. Sean had a steady job throughout the years that provided income to pay our mortgage and bills, as well as good health insurance for our four kids and also for me. That security was a constant in my life. So if I had an up year or a down year professionally, I knew our family would still be alright. I think having that balance, was critical and allowed me to take risks I wouldn’t have otherwise. Read more>>

Kara Mack | Performing Artist & Renaissance Black Woman

Understanding that all of the tools that I sought after in others, I already had within myself. Instead of being stressed thinking that I am not enough, I already know I am enough; when I seek the help, I know it’s only to add to what’s already there. Read more>>

Shelley Kamack | Beauty Brand Founder & Boutique Owner

I made the decision to do my homework and literally study successful businesses within my niche. I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Duplication of a successful process goes a long way. Read more>>

Ashley Nicole | Director & Filmmaker

I think what contributed to my success was my desire to do something for myself, I was nineteen years old at the time when I started making short films and I just felt like it was the right time to do something for myself, something that makes me happy and not bored with my time. Read more>>

Dr. Jasmine Reed | Clinical Psychologist

Investing in myself has been the most crucial decision that contributed to my success. In the past, I found myself creating for others with minimal reward. The improvement that I had to do for myself has made it easy to learn to love, listen, and build. I can genuinely say that investing in myself has made me understand the true meaning of happiness regardless of the difficulties that may arise. Read more>>

Samantha Iwamoto

Deciding to join forces with my mother was the most important, but obvious decision that led to our success. I am a speech-language pathologist, and my mother is a former preschool teacher/special education teacher with over 30 years of experience. Together, our whole is so much greater than the sum of our parts. Having my mother as a business partner is an honor I don’t take for granted. Read more>>

Shana Yao | Conscious Business Strategist

The single most important decision for me, even before deciding to work for myself, was that I was put on this earth for a reason. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I had a successful career as a retail and shopping center Marketing Director, directing the marketing for high end shopping centers in Los Angeles, and Rodeo Drive. I loved what I did – being able to use my creativity and vision to plan and implement large scale events like the Official Tree Lighting of Downtown LA, working with many nonprofits and contributing over $50,000 to spcaLA, and especially working with thousands of international, national, and small local retail stores to help them increase sales. Work came easily to me, and I loved every minute of it. Until 2009 when the economy crashed, and that ended my 25 year successful corporate career. Read more>>