Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Nicolette Sikelianos: Business owner & Personal Trainer

I have always been a go- getter but there came a time where I found myself wondering why I was always working so hard for other people. I started my own business because I knew that I could help to spread my passion for fitness with all of the knowledge that I had obtained in the dance industry, fitness business and more. I knew that if I took a chance on myself I may struggle at first but the reward would be well worth it. Read more>>

Alex Dunn: Outer Heaven Creations Co-Founder

When Moses and myself decided to finally start Outer Heaven Creations it was out of a desire to not conform to the typical work life. We had both taken creative paths in life but had ended up in jobs that weren’t allowing us to express that creativity. Read more>>

Eli Mazahreh: Hummus Expert

I wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, families, gatherings and just the feel of being together. I started Maza Hummus with these pillars in mind. Family, Kindness and Health. In Family we find comfort, in kindness we find joy and in health we find the passion to do what we love most. Read more>>

Lauren Camp: Publicist & Artist Management

In 2017, I started my independent PR company On Record. I previously had around half a dozen jobs and internships under my belt and I initially wanted to be a sports journalist writing for the LA Times. I started off on one career path and have found myself on a very different one. Read more>>

Alowbelow (Lee Zhan Yung): Music Producer

I recently started a creative solutions/branding consultation company in my hometown of Kuala Lumpur because I want to change the narrative of the city that I grew up in with all the new perspectives i’ve gained living in LA for the past 4 years, and from my travels since leaving home to attend Berklee College of Music in 2017.  Read more>>

Deanna Ductoc Co-Owner: Co owner of Los Angelitos Bakery

My father, Angel Ductoc Sr., opened Los Angelitos Bakery with my grandfather, Angel Joaquín Ductoc in 1992. He has gone into detail with myself about what his thought process was behind starting his own business. In Cuba my grandfather owned many small shops around the neighborhood, so his business mindset was taught to my father from an early age. Read more>>

Christine “Ammo” O’Day: Personal Trainer & Esoteric Life Coach

The idea to combine fitness and nutrition with spiritual practices and magic came about from being frustrated as a personal trainer. I started realizing that I wanted to incorporate other modalities to help my clients. At some point I noticed that if I just worked on the physical body and ignored my other practices, I felt out of balance. The same thing happened when I did my magical work but ignored my body. I figured if combining both worked well for me, it might work for others as well. Read more>>

Andrea Flint: Owner of Kandiyamzz Catering & One Love Rx

I never imagined that I would be a business owner. After college, I always thought that my future would prevail in social work. Somehow a future in social work changed to being a teacher. I loved being a teacher and being able to make a difference but did not enjoy the rules, financial unstableness, and favoritism that comes with many jobs. I was bored of waking up and doing the same thing over and over. Read more>>

Daneya Mayid: Professional Martial Artist/Head Instructor Mayid Martial Arts

Opening up Mayid Martial Arts has been a life long dream of mine. In my thirty plus years as a martial artist, I always visualized the day I could open my own facility. I put a lot of time and effort into finding the right location. Thankfully I found my way to Northridge where I could not be happier. I am looking forward to showing the community the benefits our gym will provide. Read more>>

Chelsea Khakshouri: Coffee & Matcha Shop Owner

When asked what made me decide to open a coffee and matcha shop, I often jokingly respond “stupidity”. What I really mean by this is that I put aside notions about what I should be doing and, perhaps for the first time in my life, allowed for a diversion from the path I had set myself on. In a very unlike me move, I didn’t overthink it – it was a decision made though a combination of gut instinct, passion, and unsatisfied creative drive. Read more>>

Olivia Bareham: Death Midwife, founder of Sacred Crossings

Helping to prepare my mother’s body after she died was such a powerful, transformative experience for me, I wanted to create a way for people to care for their own dead rather than give it up to a funeral home. Read more>>

Christine Popaj: Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

I’ve always wanted to be my own boss- instill my own values into the workplace, set my own schedule, and so on. More importantly, I’ve always wanted a career that focuses on helping others. Once I started taking classes during undergrad, I realized I wanted to combine the two and build my own private practice as a therapist and I haven’t looked back since! Read more>>

Mahogany Clark: Author, soldier, and Owner Operator

My thought process behind starting my own business was building generational wealth. I wanted to start something from nothing and build it so that I can provide from myself my future child, family, and even their own future family. I was extremely excited and I could wait to put everything in motion. One thing about me is when I put my mind to something I always see it through. Most importantly I made sure it was a business that I would be passionate about doing. Read more>>

Mario & Cecilia Prins: Prins Wellness, Co-owners

First and foremost, we wanted ownership. We wanted to own our own business and pivot away from relying on corporations and other people to provide income for our family. We are entrepreneurial at heart, but when the pandemic hit, and business began to shut down, we very quickly realized how essential our new business idea was. Read more>>

Diana & Tania Lazo: Women’s Clothing Boutique

Lazo Chic is an online women’s clothing boutique founded by Diana & Tania Lazo. Two sisters with a vision to create a brand that incorporates both of their roots. Being born and raised in Los Angeles with Guatemalan parents, we wanted to make sure to mesh both cultures together. Our online store carries a variety of women’s fashion, accessories, and unique products handmade in Guatemala. Read more>>

Jarell Lavender: Photographer & Owner of NaturesNaturalBlend apparel

Freedom: Freedom was my main thought in the process. Freedom from monotonous work life strain and working 9 to 5 is not for me. In my mind I couldn’t wrap my head around doing the same work, the same way for the next 30+ years. I want to support myself while focusing on my passion. There’s a saying that states “ make money doing what you love and you will never work a day in your life” Read more>>

Nicola McGillicuddy: Business Owner

My husband and I have been business owners for over 17 years now. And we are starting our 3rd business! Before we began our first entrepreneurial effort, we knew nothing about business. We were both working in the Arts. I was an actor, waiting on tables to pay the rent while I auditioned. And my musician husband Dan, was working as a freelance producer. Read more>>

Madi Wolf: Artist

i embarked upon an unknown territory at a young age. It was a burning knowledge inside of my soul that i had to manifest and so i did. Read more>>

Brett Truett: Television Post Production Artist and Rock and Roll Dad

We wanted to find a way to integrate our creative work into our family time so we decided to make our family a band so we could spend time with our son and create together. The whole thing just snowballed from there. Read more>>

Alison Hurst: Founder and Executive Director, Safe Place for Youth

Tha J-Squad: Music Producers

We come from a family of Entrepreneurs. So it’s in the blood just like music. The need to be Financially Independent & control our destiny was definitely the drive to become business owners. Read more>>

Tyler Jones: Hip hop artist, Music Producer, Filmmaker, Actor, Photographer & Host

The thought process behind starting my own business was to have total control and creativity of whatever I wanted to do. Read more>>

Geno Pacino: Artist

I don’t want to just be a person who works until retirement age. I want to create something where I can both utilize my talents and give back to the world. We are capable of greater than we even imagine for ourselves Read more>>

Byrus West: Multi-Creative

I just was wanting to be solely independent on myself.. My biggest goal is to be able to leave my family with a legacy to live off of for generations. Can’t do that but helping somebody else build their empire without building my own… Read more>>

Amy Byer: Principal, Handled – Exceptional Estate Sales Accomplished

My thought process behind starting my own estate sales business boiled down to one thing: the big “why.” Why am I doing this? What is my motivation? The answer: to provide exceptional service to clients who need to empty their homes in order to start a new chapter. Read more>>