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.

Estie Rand | Founder & Consultant

10 years ago I had to leave my job as CIO due to a toxic environment. As a mom of 3 little kids at the time (I now have 5), I really struggled finding a job that would enable me to balance my professional and personal life and realized I had to go out on my own. Being super risk averse I took on 3 jobs and started doing consulting and coaching as a side gig, in the hopes that it would become a full service consulting. Well, 10+ years later we are a multinational full service creative consultancy with staff and clients in 9 time zones around the globe. And the majority of my staff? Moms who I give the same benefits of flex time I wish I found 10 years ago. Read more>>

Ross Pangilinan | Chef & Restauranteur

It was always a dream to have my own restaurant. Before I opened my first restaurant in 2016 I worked for the Patina Group for a long time. It was a great job that offered excellent hours for a chef plus amazing benefits, but I was too comfortable and the timing wasn’t right. In the time I was with the Patina Group I started a family, got married and had two kids. Eventually, I felt ready for the next phase of my career and made the decision with a “now or never” mindset. Read more>>

Erica Eden | Actor & Visual Artist

As you know, the Quarantine forced all of us to slow down and reflect. So I did. I needed something to bring me joy, something to fill the gaps. Aside from all of the self tapes and online classes, I needed something to do on my off time, so I sifted through my storage bins and found some old paint brushes. Art was a big part of my life growing up. My art teacher at the age of 5 was my first hero! The arts have always meant a lot to me; it has shaped me into the person I am today. Finding those paint brushes brought back a lot of happy memories for me, which motivated me to buy some new paints and canvases. I then started painting. A LOT. My house was full of new artwork. I was so excited that I posted my paintings on my social media and got a lot of positive feedback, which was very exciting! Read more>>

Ryan Levy | 3D Visualizer, Animator & Founder

Starting my own business was a step I knew I had to take since my career began. This may sound cliché but I believe anyone who has the slightest interest in starting their own business already has what it takes. I am a fairly methodical person so life choices can be tough to make at times. This particular decision was an exception because of the support of my peers and the growth of confidence in my own abilities. Both of these took years to achieve. Before officially starting Specular, I did not have a clear vision of what I would offer as far as creative content. As a generalist by nature, I can take on almost any creative project given to me however, it was important to narrow down my skills to a strong few. Freelancing was a big part of this since clients would hire me for particular jobs or styles they needed. Read more>>

Steven Samblis | Creator of the 1 Habit Book Series

Knowing who my client or customer was has been a huge part of our “1 Habit” book series’ success. When I create the first 1 Habit book, I saw the reader as my client. As I stepped back, I realized the actual client was the Co-Writers that I worked with to create the book. I realized, if I do everything possible to put the Co-Authors in the best light possible and give them the biggest voice possible, people would love them and, in turn, love our books. Coming upon this epiphany was a game-changing moment in my life and the life of our book series. Read more>>

Stephen Silver | Animation Character Designer & Teacher

When creating my online art school my thought process behind starting venture was to create a way for artists to learn from all my years of experience in one place.My thought was also to simply be in control of my life. It was a way for me to wake up in the morning, energetic and also challenged to make something work where I could be in control. I have many ideas that I come up with and by owning my own business, I don’t have to rely on someone else telling me what I can or can’t do. There is a freedom to it. Read more>>

Maria Hoey | Hilarious Storyteller

I wanted to do something that I was passionate about as well as something that would give me the flexibility I needed as a mother. I wanted to be able to pick my kids up from school and also provide for my family. Starting my own business has not only given me both of those things, but also so much more. I truly work harder than I ever have, but it is so much sweeter because it is all on my own terms. Read more>>

Lucas Coleman | Owner

Before I began Calibunga, I had years of experience working for other schools. Most of them focused on one & done lessons for tourists that never anticipated paddling out a second time. I realized (slowly) that there was a market for people interested in becoming surfers with a consistent coach to help them each week, picking up where the last session left off. No one in Los Angeles was doing that. I also became aware that when people are on vacation they don’t have any idea where to go or how to navigate the chaos of Los Angeles beaches. So the more I helped people figure that out and take on some of their burdens, the more I thought damn, someone should start a school that makes it easy for people. That eventually became Calibunga. Read more>>

Rob Kleiner | Songwriter & Music Producer

I decided early on that I didn’t want my life to be in service of someone else’s dreams. There was never any motivation for me to anything except follow my own path. I knew it would be difficult in the beginning. I’ve always loved the old cliche “its better to be at the bottom of a ladder you do want to climb, than half way up one you don’t”. Read more>>

Taylor King | Entrepreneur

I wanted to do something creative while at the same time be my own boss. It turns out being your own boss has a lot of perks with just as many disadvantages. It is rare to find someone that will work as hard or as passionately as you will and if you want a job done, sometimes you gotta do it yourself! Overall I think I’ve been fairly lucky the past 9 years in that our vision has been well received by our customers and community and while the struggles have been real they could have been much worse. Read more>>

Alvaro Rojas | Chef, Barkeep & Entrepreneur

My thought process behind starting my own business was honestly not that well thought out. I, like most entrepreneurs I’d imagine, thought I had something unique I could bring to my community that would help address something that I felt was lacking. I was twenty-one with likely more testosterone than brains at that time. I convinced myself that healthy Mexican food was going to change the world one burrito at a time. Read more>>

Julie Cegelski | Founder

I moved to Arizona to live with my boyfriend and once I moved in I realized his house was a bit cold/bachelor pad vibes. I set out to make his house a home by purchasing some great pieces like rugs and coffee tables, pieces to pull the rooms together. After COVID hit I lost my job and my taste in home to decor how to reflect that. Instead of CB2 and Restoration Hardware I was looking at Tuesday Morning and TJ MaXX, I found some great pieces but I thought why isn’t there a happy middle market of unique, good quality home good products and that is how The House Warming Project was found. We work with high quality manufacturers to source the best products for your home. Once we have secured all the products for a kitchen we will makeover a kitchen for a family in need or experiencing a hard time. Read more>>

Jodie Jimenez | Director of WISH Homeschooling Co-op

The thought process in starting my own homeschooling co-op was driven by my desire to understand what was lacking in my own children’s education and social life. I knew that if this was a concern of mine, that it must also be a concern for many other homeschooling families. How can I best support my children’s interests while also providing resources that others could benefit from? Read more>>

Vanessa Gonzalez | Content Creator & Visual Storyteller

People. Stories. Human Connections. In my late 20’s, I searched for a creative outlet, and it came by way of photography. Being a photographer breathed new life in me and set forth a path that would lead me to where I am now. In this decade-long journey, I recognized I enjoy uncovering stories of people from different backgrounds. This time around, I wanted to add my spin and become the storyteller; and share the stories of talented, creative entrepreneurs. Read more>>