The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Lauren Spearman | Yoga Instructor & Entrepreneur

Yoga has been my passion for a long time. I always knew I loved it but I never thought I’d start my own yoga business. When I graduated college my first job was teaching yoga at a holistic clinic where I taught yoga to women going though infertility. I absolutely loved working in this field especially right after college, but I still wasn’t happy! I soon realized it was because this was not MY niche. My favorite type of yoga was when I blasted R&B music in my room and flowed the flows that came from within and I wanted to share this with others! This led to me starting R&B Yoga and I soon realized that A LOT of people were open to trying yoga to their favorite R&B and Soul songs! It brought together a community of like minded people in wellness and I felt more fulfillment from my passion than I even dreamed of. Read more>>

Eva Julfayan | Fashion Designer/ Owner CEO Seedbloom Wellness

My thought process came to me naturally, as I was planning on turning my passion project into a business. It was years of studying, researching, taking aromatherapy and formulating courses, when I realized this can be more than my own personal journey and natural wellness lifestyle. I had many ideas about sharing my knowledge and formulations that I had created for myself, to family and friends. The ailment blends and skincare that I created for myself soon became favorites amongst my friends and family. The great feedback and outcome of my products encouraged me to put pen to paper and start thinking about a business name. Then I began to think about how I will create the brand esthetics, labels and packaging, all during the process of creating, formulating my natural wellness and skincare brand seedbloom. Read more>>

Shaina Curtis | Owner of Shaina Curtis Yoga & Wellness

I kind of always knew I wanted to run my own business. When I was a young dancer I thought I was going to own a dance studio. Then, after spending half my life in the restaurant industry I had big dreams to open a late night lounge with live entertainment. Finally, I got into yoga. It was life changing for me and I eventually left the restaurant business became a yoga teacher and then a manager of a yoga studio in Studio City. I guess, I got to a point where I was running the business but I didn’t have the creative power and freedom I desired. I had the management experience from a busy restaurant in NY and a busy yoga studio in LA so I figured why not take everything I’ve learned along the way and build on it? It’s crazy I spent like six to eight months researching and trying to buy this yoga studio and then in late 2019, I had a gut feeling that it wasn’t the opportunity I was yearning for. A few months later I watched the 2020 Pandemic devastate every single yoga studio I had been working for. So I did the only thing I could do, hit the ground running with my own online stuff. Read more>>

Arroya Karian | Wellness & Fitness Coach

I feel I could have a fairly long winded answer for this one, so I’ll do my best to keep it concise. I have always been passionate about helping others. As I got older, I realized the vast amount of knowledge I have when it comes to the physical body and fitness (through years being a dancer and athlete), as well as the deep connection I have to building mental resilience and encouraging self-love (thanks to my own struggles with my mental health). My own experience as an artist, athlete, and human who struggles – led me to conceptualize Mindful Meetups. It’s a way for me to give back to others and hopefully inspire people to prioritize their own health and wellness. Mindful Meetups is a product of quarantine 2020; however, the concept began nearly a decade ago. Growing up active and eventually achieving a BFA in Music Theater had me convinced that regular activity was just a typical part of life. It didn’t take long, after graduating college, to realize maintaining physical activity and maintaining a healthy habits would be a lifelong commitment. How do you stay active and take care of yourself when life’s obstacles persistently get in the way? You find ways to move “mindfully”. Read more>>

Hunter Phoenix | Actress, Writer, Content Creator

I’m really a serial entrepreneur; I’ve started several business in the course of my life including having my own skincare line a number of years ago. This one however is closer to my heart than anything else has been. I’ve run away from acting a couple of times, but keep coming back to the craft and the business of show business – both fascinate me! In the last couple of years, and still fairly new to LA, I have talked to a lot of people about the business here. Although I never feel like I know enough, I came to realize just how much knowledge I possess about the industry and the craft. This is in part due to the years that I have spent in the entertainment industry, but also the number of cities and countries I have lived and worked in, which has given me a very broad and unique perspective. When everything shutdown for Covid I just knew this was the time create an incredible resource for new actors, and something that would continue to grow for years. That’s when MyActorGuide.com was born. Read more>>

Vivian Fierce | Event Producer and Social Media & Brand Influencer Marketer

I never knew I‘d start a business, but it came naturally as I grew in the entertainment industry. I was very blessed and fortunate to work for some notable companies that gave me a space to listen, watch, and network. I made sure I learned something valuable in every company and created relationships. I’m a connector, love marketing, and always had a passion for curating events. As I was going in and out of the corporate world, I started getting burned out from climbing the ladder. I’ve worked on some great events like EDC, Coachella, and smaller events all around LA. It was then that I realized I could have my own events and clients. I started creating a media kit with all my expertise and started down the list on building a clientele. Then I implemented a package to tap into the social media world by helping with content curation, digital strategy, and cross-promotions with brands and influencers. Through my experience, I started an agency that focused on Influencer Marketing, Social Media Management, and Event Production for Brands. Read more>>

Ronell Miller | Small World Social Media Co-Founder

When my partner and I first started this business we thought of everyone using social media platforms to communicate. We figured with both of our skill sets we could help businesses, influencers, and other organizations grow their message by using these mediums. Social Media isn’t going anywhere everyone is on their phones 24/7. It’s important that brands use this to their advantage. Read more>>

Raphaelle Dufosset Ruau | Co-owner of a Mom’s Small Business, Petit Parisien, and Colorist

After moving from France and taking care of our Children, my partner Barbara and me got our work permit right before the pandemic…worst time ever to hope to get a job!! After a few months looking for our regular jobs (I’m a Colorist for Feature Film, and she’s a social worker), we decided to create our owns jobs, starting a cute little French boutique to bring our favorites brands for kids and grown ups to our neighbors! It was all about sharing, bringing a peace of our Country we were missing and keep us busy!…super busy!!! That’s how was born Petit Parisien. Read more>>

Rachael Pontillo | Holistic Skincare Author, Educator, Formulator, and Consultant

I am someone who is multi-passionate, who really does best when I have the freedom to explore different interests, and innovate on my own terms, within my own guidelines and deadlines. I never found fulfillment in the various jobs I’d held in Corporate America before I had children. My husband and I had always agreed that I would go back to work when our children were in school, but I knew that I wanted to be a present parent like my own working mom was, and that hiring outside childcare was not something we were comfortable with. All the existing job opportunities that were available to me at the time were either not consistent enough work, required hours that were not flexible enough for what I needed, or would have required me to compromise my values or goals.. That just wouldn’t work for me. So I decided to start my blog, which was about holistic skincare–a topic that not many people were writing about at the time–and see where that went. Read more>>

Natasha Figueroa | Mom, Chef & Owner of NuYo Bodega

COVID. I kid you not! It’s January which makes 10 months since I’ve been laid off. I got on a flight to NY to spend some time with myself and reacquaint with my roots. I asked myself, “how can I control my situation from the inside out?” I had gone to dinner with a good friend and he asked when I’d be returning to work. I didn’t have a clue. In that moment, I was given the idea to open up a Cloud Kitchen. I did my research and sought perspectives which reaffirmed how lucrative a business it could be. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner and I love to cook. Read more>>

Vivian Lamolli | Actor & Wellness/Lifestyle Coach

As a creative with a core message in healing and inspiring others, I realized that being multi-faceted in the entertainment industry along with educating others in the health & wellness world go hand in hand. Things may not always be certain in our world, but one major thing we can take control of is a holistic and wholesome approach to life. I decided to launch my Arbonne business because it occurred to me that I was ready to take control of more than just my acting career. Arbonne is a B-Corporation Brand that believes in giving everyone the tools to flourish from the inside out with 100% certified vegan products that are completely consumable. From skincare, to nutrition, haircare, makeup and most importantly the education to thrive with a clean and healthy lifestyle, I realized that beginning my own business and launching into something so positive for our world today was and will forever be a no-brainer. Love being my own all-around boss woman. Read more>>

Carla Coffing | Space Holder, Yoga Sharer and Student, Photographer, Mother

Motherhood buckled my knees and stretched me in all directions. I had never experienced depression before becoming a mother. The moment I looked my daughter in the eyes I met the height of my strength and love, and the depth of my insecurity and fear. I am so grateful for that expansive and humbling experience now – for waking me up and alerting me to my path. The Moon Sanctuary was born from that place, and from the deep ache to hold space for the vastness of the human experience. Read more>>

Matt Gucci | Photographer, Drone Pilot & Adventurer

When I first started my business almost 8 years ago, I started out with small events off of Craigslist; birthday parties, baptisms or portrait work mostly. It was hard work but it gave me so much valuable experience to build to where I am today. Working for small gigs like that gave me more freedom to creatively work with new clients while still learning business techniques and pursuing my passion for photography. Read more>>

Jesus & Adriana | FOUNDERS OF CARAXVANA COFFEE SHOP

Our daughters are the main idea behind these ventures (Jesse started 2 , and partnered in 2 more). It started with our first baby who is now the oldest of 3 girls. Jesse opened his first business in 2013 (shout out to NOHO TIRES & WHEELS). Fast Forward 8 years later we now have 3 girls Scarlett, Camille, and Amelia and 2 small businesses that we manage (NOHO TIRES & WHEELS , CARAXVANA). Now more than ever it’s important for them to understand the value of hard work. That there will be challenges when making their dreams a reality. These ventures were created will not only provide for them, but to teach them that dedication and hard work pays off. Read more>>

Shawn Dunn | Small Business Owner

There are many reasons we had for starting our business and the two major motivating factors for us were a belief in a product that could benefit the world and the opportunity for ourselves to create something that provides financial security and work independence. Foraging for wild plants and fungi was a major hobby of mine (Shawn). Eventually I began making my own folk remedies from herbs and mushrooms collected from the local environment. I felt the benefits and knew this was something I wanted to share with the world. So I teamed up with my brother Justin and we set out to create something that could bring the benefits of mushrooms to the world in a fun, delicious, and impactful way. Read more>>

Katie Rosario | Cake Decorator & Business Coach

I pursued a career as a pastry chef for over eight years; baking and cake decorating came naturally, but I always knew deep down that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business. I’ve always believed cake creates memories and fills people with love and joy. If you think about it, we have a cake for every significant milestone and celebration in our lives. While you might not remember the cake itself, you will remember baking with your grandma, decorating with your kids, or celebrating a milestone event with close friends and family. That’s why I started my business, XOKatieRosario.com to teach home bakers to gain confidence in the kitchen and share that same joy with their family and friends. Read more>>

Marni Hale | Business Strategist (Sales & Marketing)

With over 20 years of experience working for corporations I wanted to put all my energy towards something that I am 100% in control of. I love being part of an executive team and seeing the impact made over time but I also get bored easily. With consulting I’ve found that I can make a big impact by offering my skills to multiple companies at once while keeping my creative vibrations high. Read more>>

LESLIE “Big Lez” SEGAR | MULTI-MEDIA TALENT/PRODUCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

If I am going to work hard, stress myself out, do something I truly love everyday and utilize the gifts God gave me..it was a no brainer. My company Bodiography = body (fitness) + ography (dance) encompasses all that I am with wings to fly, create and share. Read more>>

Stephanie Dreyer | Plant-based Meal Planning Expert & Founder of Batch Cooking Club

I had my online community for 7 years before I started my business. I was working in the industry doing similar work to my business and was unexpectedly laid off and thought, “It’s now or never!” I had a seed of an idea in the back of my mind for 2 years but didn’t have a specific product or business model in mind. I knew I wanted to serve people with something that made their lives better. Before my full time gig, I had previously been doing a version of my business on the side for a limited amount of time and saw the impact it made in their lives. I wanted to figure a way to scale that result. I immediately went into “Let’s do this!” mode when my 9-5 ended. Read more>>

Nicole Winter | Hollywood Actress, Founder of Strala Skincare

As the founder of STRALA SKINCARE, all my life I had a strong interest in beauty and health, particularly as years go by. Being an actress in Hollywood for many years, I learned the great importance to look your best. I followed the advice to eat healthy exercise and drink lots of water, but, it comes a time when it’s simply just not enough. Great skin is essential when you appear on television and step in front of the cameras. All my years of trying most of the best skincare products on the market but I was never satisfied with the results. I had doubt and misbelieve, I was questioning the relevance of skin care products. Was it really worth spending hard earned dollars on it, when nothing really worked? I went on a mission to find the very best ingredients available today and had numerous meetings with top scientists and chemists. In my younger years I attended medical school in Sweden, studying chemistry and biology, I decided to use my acquired knowledge to research the skincare industries best and latest technology and create a skin care cream that really works and with fast results that shows a visible difference in a week. Just the way I want it to be. Six years later, Stråla One was born. Read more>>

Richard Findlay | Owner of Apex Assassins Motorcycle Track Days

I never thought when I started the idea of my business that it would have turned into what it has become. I work as a project manager for an engineering firm, I work late hours in a very stressful environment 5 days a week and often 6 or 7 days a week, My business was a departure from the stress at my day to day career to do something I love. Read more>>

Simon Mashian | Entrepreneur and Sauce Master

My wife and I were making a sauce for a salad – healthier, no BS ingredients – this sauce ended up going with everything! She told me to bottle it up – and like a good husband, I listened. Read more>>

Randy Benitez | Freelance Songwriter & Producer

I was in the best music class during my senior year of high school in 2010, surrounded by some really cool people. I made awesome like-minded friends. I was messing around with a tablature software at the time (which I still use), and wrote songs that i wanted to play live eventually but didn’t have anyone to play with, or to give them to. I was just churning out songs influenced by bands i was listening to, and showing them to friends or pitching them out to friends to see who would want them. I started writing songs for myself and for free. Those meetings really turned into me joining the bands out of wanting to play music with my friends and make new friends, wether i wrote it or not. Creating a name for myself as a songwriter came as I kept going. I’d promote song ideas on facebook and whatnot, just to show what i could do and bring more work eventually. 2 years into playing more shows with the same friends from HS, eventually left, and started a new band with a more modern metal-core sound at the time in 2012. Made new friends (who im still close with) and kept the chains moving. Read more>>

Bootsy Holler | Artist, Photographer & Dog Trainer

I’ve been running my own business or freelancing since I was in college. I just couldn’t imagine trying to climb the corporate ladder. I knew I was an artist at heart, and working in an office would killed my spirit. I was always thinking about how I could be an entrepreneur, make my own hours, and do what I loved. I really never took any other route. My thought process was hustle and make it happen. I was young, had energy, and worked all the time freelancing to build my name, while running another small business that paid the bills. Read more>>

Francisco Reyes, Jr. | A.K.A. Never Made

My thought process was that there was never a thought process behind starting my business! It started off with me just making art, posting it online, and enjoying the growth. It wasn’t until a few years later that opportunities like commissions and freelance work started to present themselves. I then realized that I could monetize this work for myself. I started developing a personal brand and aesthetic. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it happened very organically, I never set out to make this project into a business but I am so grateful that my work has reached a large audience. Read more>>

Luka Weinberger | Tattoo Artist & Muralist

When I changed career paths, it was with the intention of utilizing my talents and passions in a way that impacts others on a personal and societal level. No matter what you do, there is always a way you can make positive impact. It was difficult to halt a career that was starting to finally gain traction, but I knew that if I continued in that direction, I would look back in ten years and regret that I didn’t go with my gut, which was to become a tattoo artist and muralist to serve communities, as well as people who looked to tattoos as a way to cultivate a new love for themselves and their bodies. Read more>>

Rose Bishay | Founder of These Hands Lotion

I chose the name These Hands Lotion because it has always struck me how important our hands are. I used to look at my grandmas hands, she had immigrated from Europe and had so many different jobs. I used to think of all the things they had done caring for children, cooking and working at various different jobs. There is such beauty in the seemingly small but life changing tasks we do with our hands everyday. Each one of us has such a different story and I want to recognize how many amazing things each person does with their hands. They deliver babies, they rescue people, they nurture loved ones with food, they lend a helping hand, they say hello, they make big business deals, preform lifesaving surgeries, sign treaties and laws into action and most importantly they love. Hands are the cornerstone of our world, responsible for our evolution and ultimately one of the most important things for us to take care of. Our lotion formula was created while I was personally struggling with dry hands and eczema. Read more>>

Ramona Streit | President- Owner

After 25 years in the Aerospace industry I quit and started a home care business. My brother became ill with abdomen cancer. My nephews’ came to me as I am the “go to” person in the family complaining of his home care. Upon review I realized he was not receiving the quality care he deserved. Fast forward 6 months, he passed away. I couldn’t let go that he was not treated with dignity at this stage of his life. After analyzing the aging population, diseases, and home care. I quickly realized the Baby Boomers were aging rapidly, 10,000 seniors per day turning 65. This could become a viable business that is recession proof. In the evenings I researched any company, industry, and doctor that touched a senior. After several months I quit the aerospace job and began this company in a spare bedroom of my home. I developed a marketing strategy, implemented an integrated scheduling system, created recruitment test, ads, and documents for hiring. I also created a in take document to better understand the client’s diagnosis and needs for caregiver matching. Read more>>

Rebecca Louise | Fitness & Mindset Entrepreneur

To be honest it was not about starting a business at the beginning and really is not the focus now. When I started to create content it was all about providing workout videos that other people enjoyed and could follow along with. I found something that I absolutely loved, kept doing it, sharing with the world and created a structure that would enable me to grow the brand. Read more>>

Elaine Eisenbeisz | Owner and Principal Statistician of Omega Statistics. Expert Speaker on All Things Data.

I wanted the flexibility of my own business. I was in a not so good marriage, could see it was going no where fast, and had two tweens to support. So I designed my website (which was still fairly easy to do in 2006), and built some websites for a few other people and wrote articles for the local paper to earn some money to finance a small amount of Google ads. My desire was to be self-sufficient, not having to depend on others to live and raise my children. So, I guess you can say it wasn’t so much my desire to own my own business, but to be able to make a reasonable amount of money while being there for my family. Read more>>

Kierra Khan | Entrepreneur

For many years, I knew I wanted to start a company dedicated to empowering women. The pandemic has been a transformative time for many of us. It left me longing for a since of community. I noticed there was a crucial piece missing in the educational space. There are so many incredible guru’s and instructors but no one talks about the inner work it takes to be successful. Read more>>

Chloé Levray | Vitality Coach and Business Owner

I worked for a corporate health and fitness company for five years. I loved it for many reasons and I think that it served its purpose in my life. As I have grown and evolved throughout the years, especially these last couple of years, I realized that being creative and building something from scratch was something that I wanted to explore. I went to school for Sports Medicine so using the left side of my brain has been my thing. However, my parents are musicians and I am half French so I grew up around creativity, different genres of music and different cultures. I realized that I am more of a free spirit and creative than I made myself out to be; that right side of my brain was being used, but it has been screaming to be utilized more. My goal has always been to educate as many people as I can to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life that they can. No matter their age, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background or anything else in between. We all deserve to truly live. I wanted to bring the two halves of myself together, both music and health. Read more>>

Rebecca Knox | Actress and Filmmaker

My father is a self-made man who emigrated from Germany at 18 years old. He arrived at Ellis Island with 20 marks in his pocket and his dreams of running his own business and driving a Mercedes Benz. After over 50 years hard work, he has accomplished just that and so much more. Being courageous is in my DNA. I admire the likes of Alicia Vikander (Vikarious Productions) and Margo Robbie (LuckyChap Entertainment) as just two examples of actresses who have started their own production companies. I am following in my fathers footsteps, and all the women in entertainment who have gone against the grain to begin their own. I am thrilled to launch Jet Boy Productions. Read more>>

Kyle Young | Realtor & ADU Consultant

To me, starting my own business meant freedom. Freedom to succeed limited only by my own time, energy, and discipline. Freedom to pursue opportunities that I was interested in and constantly grow. In real estate there are so many different avenues for business opportunity and they come and go as the market changes. Having the flexibility to try to stay in tune with the market and capitalize on opportunities as they come along keeps things exciting! It’s a continual learning and adaptation process to stay ahead of the game. I wouldn’t be able to do the wide variety of things I do working for someone else. Read more>>

Cindy G. Gellersen | Owner and Designer of AyelierCG

I wanted to be a role model for my kids. I have already started a company with the help of there dad. But is was time to restart and truly be on my own. Having my company is amazing 🙂 I love to be my own boss. Read more>>

Meredith Piccin | Owner and Designer, Honey Rose & K Jewelry

I discovered my love for creating jewelry while playing with my Grandmother Honey Rosenkranz’s vintage pieces. I began to see that breathing new life into old pieces was a better way for the environment and the fashion industry. When friends and family began requesting pieces of their own, I knew that I could bring Honey Rose & K to life. In 2009, the eco-friendly line Honey Rose & K was born. Today, you see many eco-friendly and sustainable lines. We take pride in being one of the first! Each piece of Honey Rose & K is created with vintage treasures combined with modern elements and design. Jewelry for the modern bohemian with an edgy twist. Honey Rose & K has been featured in the pages of Oprah Magazine, Elle, InStyle, People and on The Voice Wardrobe, The Bachelor and Gabrielle Union to name a few. Read more>>

Tricia Brooks | Health and Wellness Coach, Online Global Health Business Owner

I have always had an extraordinary passion for health and wellbeing. Many people for years would come to me for advice on their health and it has always been one of my favorite things to do. From a young age my mother was facinated by the human body, nutrition and wellbeing. with her guidance and knowledge there were always aspects of health linked to everything we did in the household and from there I began my own facsination with energy, food, wellbeing and helping others feel the absolute best that they could possibly feel. Read more>>

Jenny Huber | Owner and Founder

I’ve always been an avid match maker, whether it was friendships or romantic relationships. From an early age, I had a knack for connecting people, “you should meet so and so, you will love them”. Finding the perfect client/household staff fit or finding the perfect vendors for a home improvement project is just as crucial and nuanced. There is a very delicate balance and harmony required when letting someone into your home on a regular basis and I understand that more than most having worked directly for private high-profile families myself. For a successful match, there has to be a chemistry there for both parties. Really listening to what a client needs and fulfilling that need to exact specifications makes me feel like I’ve done my job at the highest level. I love what I do and I have built a team of highly skilled employees around me who have the same mindset. Our unique ability to innately understand the inner workings of private homes, quickly assess a specific household’s needs and implement highly effective methods, protocols and procedures to ensure the seamless running and management of luxury homes and really gives us the greatest joy. Read more>>