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.

Manuela Vazquez: Obstetrician/Gynecologist & Brand founder

The intention was never to start my own business. As an obstetrician/gynecologist I couldn’t find quality products in the market that solved a specific problem that I was encountering on a daily basis with my patients, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and develop them myself. After three years of researching, designing, testing and even more testing, LaMaria was born. Read more>>

Kinsey Schofield: Founder of ToDiForDaily.com

In early 2020, I was up for a royal correspondent job in London. After the job opportunity was suspended due to the pandemic, I launched ToDiForDaily.com. To Di For Daily is a pop-culture take on the British Royal Family and a celebration of the life of Princess Diana. Since our July 2020 launch, we have been featured on BBC, Access Hollywood, Fox News National, Canada’s Breakfast Television, and Forbes. Read more>>

Noa Keimach: Artist, art educator and mommy!

I honestly wasn’t planning on starting a “business” it was more just a passion. I started customizing my kids jackets, adding their names and painting them and it went from there! Read more>>

Patrick Ward: Founder of NanoGlobals

When first entering the pandemic lockdown a year ago, 2 thoughts entered my mind. (1) I’m very lucky to still be employed and (2) what am I going to do with all this extra time on my hands. Needless to say, that’s where the genesis for my business originated and thus NanoGlobals was born. Read more>>

Briana Morris: CEO of B Mor Productions

Ownership. Autonomy. Liberation. As an artist, I realized at a very early age if I wanted to have a sustainable career as an actress, I had to build my own table brick by brick. For me, the best was to do that was by producing my own work and projects. So I started creating work that I wanted to see my friends and I cast in. Read more>>

Ava Walker: Founder/President

My thought process behind starting Arts film & Goods Pantry was simply to serve underprivileged youths throughout Los Angeles. As well as promote foster care awareness Read more>>

Tisha Janigian: President & Founder

 

I founded SHE IS HOPE LA to educate and empower single mothers starting over in the workplace and provide affordable, transitional housing and childcare based on what I went through in 2012 when I got divorced. It was so difficult to start over because I had no money, no assets and no credit as everything was under my ex-husband’s name, that I vowed to change that when I got back on my feet. Read more>>

Nithia and Tatiana: Podcast Hosts of Your Very Annoying Friends

Our business is our podcast, Your Very Annoying Friends. We are two best friends with very different lives and contrasting points of views. We live on two different continents; Tatiana lives in Indonesia with her husband Michael, and Nithia lives the single life in LA. Tatiana works as a freelance creative, and Nithia works as a full time fashion designer. Read more>>

Allen Colombo: Director

We were both freelancers working different segments of production. As a director/editor in the digital advertising space, I took on a larger job and needed a top flight producer. Sarah as a writer/producer in broadcast television was wrapping a project and deciding whether to stay on with the company or look for other opportunities. I asked her if she would be interested in coming on board to produce my project. Read more>>

Jeremy Camilloni: CEO & Founder

The initial vision for YimGroup was to become a hybrid between a digital asset management company and a virtual incubator for new technology and marketing startups. Ultimately, on paper, that is what we describe ourselves as but to simplify the core business even further, we’re a business that creates, operates, and invests in online businesses Read more>>

Cheryl J. Freund: Owner & Designer

What I love about jewelry is that it withstands the test of time. Each jewel is personal. It carries a story about success, family, love, and life. My need to express my individuality drove me to create Ceejayeff. I draw inspiration from my childhood, the places I have traveled, and the art and architecture I have seen. Read more>>

Susan McBeth: Founder and CEO, Adventures by the Book and NovelNetwork

I wanted to start my own business because I saw a void in the book signing market for authors. While the publishing industry has been changing dramatically over the last few decades, the model for book signing events has not. Rather than run-of-the-mill author talks, I envisioned a world where readers could drink wine with authors, or do chocolate and cheese tastings, or have a literary tea, or event travel with authors. Read more>>

Steph Adams: Best-selling Author, Art Director and Award-winning Digital Creator

I have worn many hats throughout my life from model, art director, publisher, influencer, designer, editor, author and writer. The main thing I wanted was to have my freedom, and move away from a 9-5 job, so my choices for work were always going to be to work for myself. I started a design studio first, then a magazine while I was working as a digital creator and producing books and interviewing celebrities. Read more>>

Kelly Aguirre: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wife, & Mom

When I envisioned what I wanted my life to look like, it had a couple of key factors to it. These factors were that I wanted to be in a helping profession where my work would directly impact the quality of life of others and I wanted to have a family where I could be emotionally and physically present to raise my kids on my terms. So, after several different career journey’s in hospitality / restaurant management, administrative support, and also a brief stint in entertainment industry, Read more>>

Lisa Haisha: Life Coach, Author, Speaker

My thought process was to help people, especially inmates and orphans learn to love themselves and create positive change in their lives. I wanted to help people who wanted to serve others. Read more>>

Matthew James: Film & TV Music Composer

I’ve been a musician/writer/composer for my entire life, I finally made the leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles in 2017. A long year later (100 hour weeks), I started my own studio , 16 Cent Studios in Burbank, CA. Rewind to 2015. Like most working musicians, I held a day job. Read more>>

Lily Chen: Integrative Veterinarian

I wanted to reimagine pet care and veterinary medicine. After starting my career with 10+ years of traditional in-hospital veterinary medicine, I noticed pets and pet parents really needed more.  More of a holistic and personalized experience and a way to address the animal as a whole, rather than just the individual diseases or conditions. I envisioned a calming, open space to provide the best care for the pets and celebrate the special human-animal bond we have with our pets. Read more>>

Matt Edwards: Actor, Screenwriter & Podcaster

I launched my podcast and brand, My Heroic Life, during the pandemic, but the idea came to me a year earlier when I was battling severe depression and anxiety. When I had first moved to LA, I initially struggled to find my footing in the acting industry, and I quickly became discouraged. Read more>>

Michelle Epstein: Attorney

I wanted to provide business owners with accessible, efficient, and reliable services at competitive pricing, Read more>>

Kevin Kwan: Real Estate MatchMaker

After graduating high school I got a job at Bank of America as a teller for the summer. Before heading off to college I submitted my resignation and gave my two weeks, but my manager said that I could not quit. She said that if I quit her retention rating would go down and that would affect her bonus. Read more>>

Jake Fabricius: Portrait & Event Photographer

My career started after I moved to LA in 2011. Photography for me was just a hobby and it was my wife that encouraged me to pursue it for work. My thought process behind starting my own business was a lot like jumping in a fast flowing river and just being taken with the current. I didn’t really know what I was doing, business wise, so I took a deep dive into honing my skill and figuring out the rest as I came across job leads. Haven’t regretted my decision to make my hobby my job, it’s been a great experience. Read more>>

Lexy Dobbin: Director – Alexia Dobbin Enterprises

Alexia Dobbin Enterprises started because i wanted people to know that when they came to me for mentorship, talent representation, campaigns or artist development that it would be me doing the work for them, Using my own talent and skill to execute & develop their vision. Read more>>

Sergio Liden: author/publisher

I have been writing since the age of 15, 33 years now. Coming upon children’s books only after the birth of my daughter, it was a medium that both better helped me understand my role as a dad and the childhood I lacked. After the birth of my son, the inspiration to write more books hit me on a regular basis so that today I thus far have over 30 books. Read more>>

Elizabeth Baker: Photographer

When starting a business, you have to take a step back and analyze your best talents and skillsets. For me, it was intertwining social skills from hosting dinner parties with a creative eye behind the camera lens into a photography business to make every client captured look and feel beautiful. There’s nothing more rewarding than to have a dream job that allows you to consistently maintain innovation while also inspiring future views to see what you saw behind the lens that particular day or night. Read more>>

Sandra Price: Tattoo artist and studio owner

I open my studio out of sheer necessity. I was leaving the shop I had worked at for a few years due to conflicts and there really was no other shops in the area I really want to work at. My initial plan was just to open a small private studio but once I saw the space we are in now, I really want to share it and make it a safe open environment where artist could grow. Read more>>

Kate McNellis: Owner + Lead Designer

I had been working for a small business owner, pretty much running the business. I knew I had the desire to start my own business, but truthfully it was having a child and trying to balance paying for childcare and working a job that allowed me the time to also spend with a newborn. Read more>>

Marcello De Francisci: Composer & Recording Producer for Film, Television, Video Games, Trailers

I came to Los Angeles to pursue a career in musical composition for the film industry. I have a profound passion-love for this work and the idea of doing it full time would always exhilarate me. Prior to composing music full time I went into a business with the strict pursuit to make money in order to finance my career with all the necessary tools, resources necessary to educate myself moreover perfect my craft. It took a few years of daytime work duties and sleepless nights but the moment came to take a leap of faith and trust I could pull it off. I have not looked back yet… Read more>>

Tarit Tanjasiri: Owner, Baker, Cook.

For most of us entrepreneurs, starting a business is like needing to go to the bathroom. I can’t just not do it. There is a compelling reason in our minds that it is better to go ahead to do it than just not do it at all. In other words, it is more painful to not start the business than the risk of starting one. There is an underlying reason we feel that we can do something better than what others have done before you come along. Read more>>

Dr. “Bill” Strange: Record store and Record label owner

Simple. When I started Dr Strange Records Records in 1988 I was waiting tables at a local bar n grill and going to Community College. I was already buying records (punk) and figured, “why not get a few and sell to my freinds at fair prices”. Those records later turned into buying t-shirts and patches and stickers and more and more each month. Read more>>

Kamilah Ferrari: CEO, Entrepreneur

I have always been big on supporting the businesses that create the products I use. I’m such a creature of habit, and when I love certain products, I‘m a loyal and faithful customer. Read more>>

Joe Grah: Musician, producer, Sixtyfouronthefloor Records

To ultimate goal at all times is to create and cohabitate efficiently and productively. After experiencing varying degrees of success through cooperation, and a lack thereof, one tends to look inward as much as outward for reasonable solutions and alternative operation methods. Much like moving from a band member to a solo artist, independence can be highly rewarding. Read more>>

Jennifer Noonan: Owner, A Token Of

I have always wanted to have my own business. When I was young, I never heard the word entrepreneur, I didn’t even know that was a thing! So instead, I went down the traditional path of college then working in Corporate America. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child that I started my own business ( a maternity line, of course:) After that, there was no going back. I just loved the excitement, creativity and fulfillment I get from owning my own business. Read more>>

Victor Migalchan: Director / Producer, US-China-EU BD Specialist

First comes the thought then comes the action. I had my ideas and goals, therefore I started my business, in order to bring them to reality. Initially my business was created in order to serve the community. I believe it is important to have a thought about how can one be useful and helpful to another, only with a pure heart and intentions you can create real value which later will transform into business and also gain respect and appreciation. Read more>>

Kat Jones: Founder, Motiv PR

If you would have asked my even 4 years ago if I would ever run my own business, I would have likely said “oh no, that’s too risky!” I had been the in-house PR rep at companies for years and the idea of branching out and launching my own business from scratch without a security net terrified me. But in early 2018, something shifted in my mind. Read more>>

Ariana Clermont: LA’s Plant Lady

At a young age, I always knew I wanted to start a business of my own. Watching my parents build their own business from the ground up, definitely planted that seed. They owned a vending machine business in Arizona, which my sister and I were very much involved with the day to day. During the summers, I remember riding along with my mom on her route filling up all 50 machines at their 25 locations. I saw hard work first hand. Read more>>

Arah Wainwright: Creative Director & Founder

Fleur de Lis Luxury Braiding Company began as a means to provide a living for my daughter and started and it became not only my revolution as a single mother rising from the ashes of the economic whip lash of the pandemic; but a revolution for the cultural arts and history of the natural hair and braiding industry at large. Read more>>

Amelia Castellanos: Founder + President | The GM Agency

To be completely honest, as a young professional I never saw myself having my own business. Growing up I always knew I wanted a career, not a job, but when I looked into the future, even during my college days, I always pictured myself sitting in a corner office, dictating to an assistant and enjoying the comforts of corporate life. Read more>>

Diana A: Lady D

As an artist at a very young age, I always knew that I wanted to work with art because it came natural to me and I enjoyed it very much. I did not even realize where art can take me and it eventually grew into a business naturally, no prior strategic planing, just simply improving my talent and following what made my soul happy, and with time and patients it grew into a six figure business. Read more>>

Taylor Harris: Real Estate Agent

When I decided to become a real estate agent, my main focus was on how I could be of service to people. When I worked in other career fields, I was not able to use my talents to serve those who I felt needed them the most. With my own real estate business, I was able to implement procedures that best benefit those that I am working with. Read more>>