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.

Sara Krish | Spiritual Leader + Intuitive Healer + Meditation Guide

After moving through a challenging, uncomfortably expansive experience with cancer at 30 years old I began offering my guidance from wisdom gained to others living among the darkness. My sharing began inside my community of Cancer Warriors and opened up to all over time. As years went on and my service grew so did my personal soul healing and connection to the divine. With each conversation and opportunity to tap into Source consciousness, I became acutely aware of a common pain point among us and subsequently the magical, miraculous healing power of awakening the soul. What I was shown repeatedly as a theme among the collective was a soul severed life causing festering discontentment and deep suffering. Although circumstances vary as well as degrees of discomfort and dissatisfaction, at the core of it all there is one simple reason. Read more>>

Emylee Covell | Mobility Therapist + Owner of Pharos Athletic Club

I never wanted to start a business. Afterall, Who needs overhead and payroll and endless stress, impossible margins and sleepless nights… I’ve been coaching for the last 10 years, helping people change the way they move, feel and function through mobility training and bounced around to nearly every gym in Los Angeles providing injury prevention and rehab programs. It’s not so much that I wanted to start a business, I was just zeroing in on my purpose. In 2016 I met my husband and partners and imagined building a facility and system that could house the best of Mechanics, Strength and Conditioning. A place where athletes and newbies could all join in and feel safe in the pursuit of Health and happiness. Pharos Athletic Club opened in 2017 and exists to be a light in your day and a guide for your limitless potential. Read more>>

Samantina Zenon | Actress, CEO/Founder Wildsamfierce Shop

My thought process was to create something that was meaningful to me and my customers. What’s really special about the collection at the Wildsamfierce Shop is that it was created as part of my healing process from my childhood traumas. Wildsamfierce Shop is an e-commerce store that designs graphics with inspirational quotes. Each design and quote were inspired by moments that shaped me into the person I am today. It’s a reminder to all of us that, with the right mindset, we can make our wildest dreams come true. Read more>>

Gunther Estrada | The Garbage Master

I think it all happened organically, there was no thought process behind it. perhaps later on when things got a little more busy I needed to understand the seriousness of having a company as far as legal business documents, Taxes and all that good stuff that comes along with your own business. My company originated from a group of friends making art and having art shows. I think when all that ended the nostalgia of not having my friends around made me continue pushing art in many different ways and play with the original collective name (Los Garbage) and put my own spin on it without really knowing it will eventually turned into a company. but here I am. this is Garbage Made. Read more>>

Laura Menz & Moira Gilbert | Co founders of Muddle & Wilde Botanical Infused Syrups For Cocktails and Sodas

We met through our two daughters in Malibu and after both moving to Topanga, Laura threw a cocktail party and was looking for something delicious & fun to serve. Tired of wine and totally uninterested in the traditional drink mixers on the shelf, she thought “How hard could this be?!” Laura gathered fresh citrus and herbs from the garden and got creative in the kitchen, cooking up what would become our first few flavors – Sage- Lemon, Rosemary-Grapefruit, and Lavender- Lemon. Paired with vodka to bring out the newly minted citrus & herb elixirs, the drinks were an immediate hit. Moira recognized the value instantly and with her 30 years of history in fashion sales and marketing, not 24 hours passed before Muddle & Wilde was born. We got straight to it, brainstorming about packaging and branding while experimenting with flavor ideas on the stovetop in Moira’s kitchen. Read more>>

Gina Hacken | Interior Designer

I really wanted to create an opportunity to bring a level of art, design and creative freedom to the client experience that I hadn’t been able to do before. Starting out, I had worked in many different levels of the design world before going out on my own, and up until recently, had only now began to implement different skilled trades and artisans to each of my design jobs. Its very rewarding to say to an independent artist that you’d like to work with on an upcoming project, and to help them in their businesses, while at the same time, also helping my own design clients achieve their dream homes. To bring that level of creativity and expression to each project without being limited or tampered by voices from the top of the corporate world, really level up the value I could bring to each project. There is an abundance of technical and artistic talent out there, and I love to bring that to each of my projects. Read more>>

Zachary Lefevre | Content Creation | Photo, Video, Drone, Editing

My business originally started as Flipside Photo. I made an Instagram under that name after I photographed my first music festival, SnowGlobe 2017, through EDM Identity. I had been writing for EDM Identity for ~3 years before I picked up a camera, but as soon as I did I fell in love with it. I was so ecstatic about my experience as a photographer at a music festival I knew it was something I wanted to make part of my life. Besides falling in love with a new form of expression, the biggest factor that made me want to be a photographer was being able to use my own photos in my articles. I really wanted everything in the article to be mine and I found a lot of photo kits after festivals did not have photos that captured my experience. I’m always looking at the art, side stages, and other random things festivals have to offer. Read more>>

Roxi Gunz | Fashion Designer & Business Owner

My thought process behind Wrecked Cotton Candy. Let’s see if I can condense this since I tend to overthink and over explain things, I have always loved fashion and music. The 8o’s metal, hair band scene is what I’ve always been drawn to. I love Cotton Candy, anything cotton candy! I was going to wreck t-shirts like all the bands I grew up listening to used to wear. Since I was going to WRECK them, they were made of COTTON, and they were going to be addictive, like CANDY. It made sense to take everything I love and put that together as Wrecked Cotton Candy. I was a paralegal for 12 years. During that time, I wanted to try something new so I decided I was going to start an Etsy shop as a part time thing. My husband is in the Army National Guard and he was getting ready to deploy on his 3rd deployment in a few months, and this would keep me busy on the nights and weekends. Read more>>

Dr. Jeiran Lashai | DAOM, L.Ac., FABORM

I had so many ideas for how I wanted to set up my practice and none of them involved a model where my patients would feel they were part of a factory line up – where they weren’t heard and where I didn’t have time for them. That’s why from the very beginning I started my own practice. It was scary, hanging up your shingle with zero patients and zero hospital or insurance system to help funnel them in as patients. The very first week I had one patient, but then quickly through word of mouth my day (I had an office one day a week then) filled up and I had to move to a new space. Often times I am the last resort for a patient. They come to me after they have seen several specialists and had a myriad of lab work done and have tried many medications. It takes time to comb through this history and if my assistant or myself knows that someone will have a bigger case, we work to move things around so I am not rushed and I can ask all the questions I need. Read more>>

Ciaran Gough | Founder

I think for many in the restaurant industry, the ultimate goal is to open your own place one day. I’ve had the good fortune of working in some fast pace growth vehicles, thus creating a lot of added responsibility and opportunity as my career evolved. I did not want those experiences to be left unchallenged, hence opening The 908 at Long Beach Exchange in 2019. I had a lot of pent up ideas and artistic expression that demanded liberation. My experiences were worth their weight in gold but that does not guarantee success unless you can hit the balance just right. Our aim was to pair all our operational experience with a design aesthetic that had a foothold in Long Beach’s ethos and culture. We created a footprint that is primed for proper execution, a menu that blends classic with nouvelle in a building that ultimately makes you feel good. Read more>>

Bree VanZutphen | Yoga Instructor & Life Coach

When starting my own business, I wanted to seamlessly integrate my personal practice with my offerings. I try to see my career and other aspects of myself as one in the same. As I continue to grow and evolve as a human, my business has grown as well. I do believe in having a strong value system so that everything I create comes from a deeply rooted “why.” I check in to make sure every action stems from what I value. I see my career as a continuous process of unfolding. Read more>>

D’Vonte Mckneely | Father & Owner of You So Crazy LA

The process that came behind starting my own business was an idea sparked by a friend. I am huge on wearing hats so he seen me buy multiple hats at a time, and he jus threw the idea of “why you buying so many hats, you might as well make ur own”. that conversation stuck with me and 2 weeks later I made my first hat and released it just for my instagram followers and I saw the warm reaction to the product and it just inspired me to create more and more. I am currently in the process of expanding into not just hats but clothing as well. Read more>>

Star Partee | Bartender/Mixologist

I was going through a rough time in my life and needed some income to support me and my daughter while trying to peruse my bachelor’s degree. I decided to go to bartending school as a means of income. After earning my certification, I went bar to bar trying to get hired, but wasn’t successful at all. Even went to a few strip clubs, but was only asked to be a waiter or bottle girl… wasn’t happening. Eventually, I gave up on the search and figured, since no one wants to hire me at their bar, I’ll create my own. That’s when Star At The Bar was created. Read more>>

Jocelyn Romero | Actress, Writer, Spiritual Cartographer

The impetus for founding Spiritual Cartography Expeditions where I do expert Tarot, Astrology, and I Ching readings happened during a session I received from Spiritual Medium Kennedy Morgan. My ancestors he was channeling had a very clear message that I needed to make my gifts professionally available to the world-at-large. I’d been studying/doing readings with Tarot, Astrology, and I Ching for over 20 years, but didn’t have a formal company and website until after that experience. For me, these divination practices have become a normal part of my daily life, and I sometimes take for granted what a rare skill it is to wield. The spiritual maps created with Tarot, Astrology, and I Ching are all about developing a relationship to the larger Cosmos, truth, and the evolution of humanity by self-correction, personal growth, and leading by example. This company works perfectly in tandem with my acting and writing pursuits since I have a lot of flexibility with scheduling client sessions. Read more>>

Erik Piedrahita | Chef

I moved back to Los Angeles from San Francisco to open Bon Temps. Having lived in the Bay Area for couple years, I was ready for the right opportunity to present itself so I could move back to LA. I was missing my family, and my girlfriend and I at the time had been managing a long distance relationship. I love San Francisco, and have amazing memories of my time there, but I was ready to move back. During my intitial phone interview, I fell in love with the concept. I flew down to LA a few weeks later for a tasting, and got the the job. Opening a restaurant is not easy by any means – there are tons of moving parts; developing a menu, establishing vendor relationships, hiring an entire staff, training an entire staff…the list is never ending, All this while construction is still happening, and theres always a new issue popping up. But theres something about the work that you pour] into it. Theres a bond that forms, and an inherent attachment to every aspect of the restaurant. Read more>>

Maggie Mattuchio Flynn | Communications Director, Producer, and Wellness Advocate

I am a creative being with over 16 years of experience in film and television production. I have always loved an underdog story and I because of that am drawn to those in need. Coming up with creative solutions for people that help people was at the core of starting the Deep Agency. After almost two decades in the film and television industry, I was completely burnt out and looking for something to feed my think tank. As a woman in film and television, I endured situations that were complicated and uncomfortable and I turned to wellness practices like reiki, yoga, and mediation to help process the discomfort. During that time, I observed that there was a space in the wellness community for press and publicity services. When I moved to Los Angeles in 2017 working for a digital editorial publication. Read more>>

Kayla Grosse | Social Media Specialist & Author

I wanted to be able to have the freedom to be my own boss, make my own schedule and enjoy life rather than work the 9-5 grind. I also wanted to be able to offer the type of services I was best at, and work with fantastic clients of my choosing. Read more>>

Danny Oberbeck | Performer and Songwriter

I’ve spent many years involved with “ corporate “ creative endeavors. The one thing in common was there were too many “bottom lines” . Once the creative spark was divided up and diluted, it always ended up becoming a source of frustration. That a great idea got stripped down to mediocre possibilities. I love collaboration, but you know the saying, “ Too many cooks spoil the broth”. Usually the “ broth” got lost in the process. I grew up in the early Orange County Punk scene, where DIY was the only way of growing. I’ve been an actor/musician since I was 13 and I learned early, that if you want something, you have to create your own opportunities and basically create your own luck. Starting my own business was a way of keeping control of my dreams, and holding myself responsible. If it didn’t work out, it was on me, which would make it easier to accept failure…or, more importantly, build on failure. It also lets me define “Success”. Read more>>

Maria Villagomez | Spanish Consultant

Often, people would ask me to translate documents for them and/or interpret for them from either English to Spanish or Spanish to English. Rarely, did anyone offer to compensate me for those services. Later in life, I discovered that I possessed valuable skills that deserved compensation. I was underestimating the value of my bilingual speaking and writing skills and my ability to interpret and translate. I discovered my skills and ability and decided to launch my business to offer those services in exchange for monetary compensation. I identified the demand and realized I had the supply to offer those services. So I decided to launch my business. Read more>>

Lauren B. | Founder & CEO

I was simply frustrated with the options that were out there in nail care and polish that did not fit into my life or tick all the boxes. I had suffered one too many bad Gel Manicures that left my nails destroyed, and damaged. This is when I realized that there must be a better way to have long lasting manicures, at home or in the salon. It was an idea for many years until I had the courage to launch, and then to leave my day job to pursue Lauren B. full time. In founding Lauren B. Beauty, I want to empower all women to feel beautiful and confident about their nails and in turn using my products; because I honestly want my customers to feel empowered and beautiful all the time! I create superior nail polish and nail care products so that women can simply look down at their hands or feet and feel confident and remind them to smile! No matter who you are or what you are going through my brand is built on LOVE ❤. Read more>>

Inbal Claudio | Founder of Like Minded Collective

I started Like Minded Collective because as a small business owner myself, I saw a gap in the influencer marketing space. After running my candle company, GOLDWICK, for over 3 years, I wanted to start reaching out to influencers in the hopes of collaborating but found the search function on Instagram and Facebook completely inefficient. I then decided to reach out to influencer marketing platforms, but quickly realized that they were out of my budget, or my business wasn’t large enough to get approved. There was no marketplace for influencers, brands, and small businesses who were just starting out, so I decided to create one. I wanted to provide a space where everyone could connect, where the pricing is affordable, the platform is easy to use, and most importantly, where everyone is welcome. Read more>>

Tessa Young | DJ & Booking Agent, PRISM DJs

I’ve always loved music, entrepreneurship, and helping people, so everything aligned in 2015 when several clients expressed how difficult it was to find a female DJ. These conversations sparked an idea to meet the market demand for talented, professional female DJs; and with that, PRISM DJs was born. Read more>>

Yancarlos Jimenez | Self Published Author, Artist, Art Director/Co-owner of Shop Cultura.

Building a brand with a unique art style that would spark new interest within the younger generation but also keep the interest of an older audience, using silk screened t-shirts and Children’s books as our chosen canvas to help engage and build a platform to inspire a bigger following towards the beautiful Mexican American culture. Having a son who is on the spectrum required our family to look at the values of our own history and the many different customs passed down from one generation to another. Helping us to create a new outlook on life and changed the way we view art and history within our own culture. This is our way of contributing and keeping our culture alive. Read more>>

Taylor Elyse Compton | Tattoo Artist & Entrepreneur

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I find business to be just as creative and artistic as designing a piece of art. Although it can take much longer, you basically do the same steps. You start off fantasizing about what you want to create, then you research how to make it possible, gather your resources, and get to work! By the end of all of that you should have something pretty awesome enjoy and share with the world. What’s not appealing about that?! Since I think about design and business as such similar things, I think starting a business always felt natural for me. It was intuitive. Starting a Tattoo Studio was no different. Once I had the idea that it was something I wanted to do, the moment I started to even fantasize about it, it sort of just happened. I believe in business you need to follow your intuition, work really hard, and be willing to get pushed out of your comfort zone. Read more>>

Bill Horn | Communications Specialist

We started Marque Communications essentially out of necessity. After working for nearly two decades for other people, having our first child in 2010 changed our priorities. Once Bill’s paternity leave was over, the 2+ hours round trip in the car was now time away from our newborn baby girl. And the casting director jobs Scout was being offered, would end up being a wash financially. And we knew that things would get harder once she started a sleep schedule. Why had we worked so hard to adopt, if only to see our daughter on weekends? Since starting Marque we can honestly say we’ve never worked harder, but we’re able to keep our own schedules. Read more>>

Rodney McCullum | Photographer

Like every business owner, I found a gap in the market where my ideas could flourish, I saw a lot of gate keeping for some of the techniques and business practices for photographers who wanted to get into the fashion industry and shoot great clothing and talented models. So I want to be the one to fill that gap and create a way for anyone to follow their dreams regardless of the idea of ‘Luck’. Read more>>

Sara Rosenthal | Artist, Writer, Founder of Lovestruck Literature

I have always worked well independently- and I like facilitating a team’s actions towards a particular goal. Coming off of a Master’s degree in creative performance that had me writing, directing, filming, and editing a series of short narrative films, I wanted to once again dive into a creative process that balances other peoples’ stories and my own creative abilities. The business emerged while I was living in Greece during the first pandemic lockdown. Working as a freelance writer far from home, I started to broadcast live readings of the historical romance novels I was ghostwriting at the time. My audience of family and friends loved the readings, and I loved the feeling of lifting their spirits with words I had written. “If I can write these stories based on fiction,” I thought, “Why not write stories based on people’s real quirks and inside jokes?” That’s how the business was born, as a way for me to reach out to people remotely and spark romance, celebration, and joy. Read more>>

Lianna Nielsen | Integrative Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach

I learned early on that I didn’t really like working for other people. Having both freedom and flexibility in my schedule were important. I’m also really bad at doing things that don’t interest me (probably not my best quality). I found myself working for start-ups and small businesses early in my career which was helpful when starting my own company–though I didn’t realize it at the time. I knew I wanted to help people, I knew I was good at making others feel empowered, and I’ve always had an unending thirst for knowledge–the key was trying to combine those. For a long time I knew I would work for myself, but I didn’t know in what capacity, and then I got really sick. Though it obviously wasn’t fun to spend a few years with a lot of serious health issues, I’m grateful for it, as it ultimately lead me to my purpose. Because I had an undiagnosable autoimmune condition, doctors couldn’t really help me. I was forced to do a ton of research which lead me to heal my body myself. Read more>>

Olga Jaeckel | Founder and Creative Director of Little Olin

I always loved fashion but I don’t think I ever dream of becoming a fashion designer. It happened organically and pretty much overnight. And it’s all because of my daughter. We couldn’t find unique and fun clothes that we both liked while shopping together. I thought there was a niche in the market and I saw an opportunity. I wanted to create fashion-forward pieces that make children stand out and feel confident. Read more>>

LAUREN CAMARATA | Owner of Old French Trading Company, a Creative Atelier

This is a great question at a great time. Like many who may be experiencing job loss or a career change due to the pandemic, my business was born out of the recession in 2009. After spending over two decades in Film, Television, Print and Radio, I found myself downsized with substantive opportunities few and far between. During this period, I moved into a fixer-upper and found myself with a huge to-do list and some time on my hands. I decided I couldn’t live with ugly, outdated wood cabinets and was determined to find a solution that didn’t involve the use of power tools. My online searches led me to the website of Annie Sloan, the creator of Chalk Paint®️ and lifestyle expert. My first purchase came with lots of expert advice from the Stockist who sold it to me. One application of the paint on my kitchen cabinets and I was sold. Read more>>

C Key | Beauty Influencer & Business Owner

Empowering women and instilling confidence in them not only verbal, but in a tangible way. Read more>>

Derek Pham | Doctor of Chiropractic, Performance Coach, Health Enthusiast, Movement Specialist

At some point, I realized, do I want to focus on helping others build their own dream, or do I have what it takes inside of me to do what I am meant to do, and build something that will align with who I am, and serve a greater purpose in my life. For me, it was an easy decision when i look at it from those perspective. Entrepreneurial ship is not for everybody, but I truly believe you really have to love something so much to go all out for it, or hate your situation so deeply that you want to make changes for yourself. Depending on the situation, there is an innate drive that is needed to start the journey. A big enough why, and an above average work ethic really helps. I had all the check points. I believe this was several years in the past, I freshly graduated chiropractic college. Read more>>

David Deioma | Entrepreneur and Dave-of-all-Trades

The thought process behind starting Mudroom Backpacks was to carry a pair of shoes to work while avoiding cross-contamination from shoes with a laptop. In my case, the need was for cycling to work, while wearing cycling cleats and carrying a pair of office shoes separately from laptops, electronics and internal storage like lunch. Enter Mudroom Backpacks: a single solution with multi-use versatility. The name “Mudroom” comes from the Midwest where homes have mud rooms for taking off soaked and dirty clothes to keep from tracking dirt and water into a home. With 250 days of rain, snow and clouds, the only option was to go outdoors during inclement weather to keep from driving parents crazy. So that is what we did in Midwest Ohio. Fast-forward to an insightful day while riding to work on Bike-to-Work-day, and voila; the need became the mother of this invention. Read more>>

Angel Guerra-Chagolla | Risk Director, Entrepreneur

I created Beauty & Beast in Business as a forum to amplify the voices of Businesswomen across the country. It is important to discuss topics that we are facing and assist with shining the light on Intersectional women who are creating successful careers. The digital publication is the perfect forum for sharing information, providing educational tips & tools as well as provide space for business to advertise to a new market while create the “Know, Like, Trust” factor. Many industries who depend on in-person events such as conferences and networking opportunities are failing to grow into new markets or meet potential clients. I want B&BB Publication to give them a beautifully designed platform. Sharing their services or products with other like minded and motivated Businesswomen across the US will allow us all to try new brands and show up in an affordable way. Read more>>

Mecki J | Matchmaker, Relationship Coach & Love Advocate

After working for so many different businesses for so many years, I realized I was miserable. I felt stagnant, and knew the only way I would really be able to grow and feel the actual growth process was to start my own business from the bottom up. No one is going to appreciate my worth more than me, which makes being my own boss an easy call. I also never enjoyed being told what to do, when to do it, and how it should be done. I figured the best way for me to do what I enjoy most is to create my own path – with God’s approval, of course. Read more>>

Aleks Victoria | Photographer

Before I started my business, I knew that I didn’t want to work for someone else or have a job that felt very routine. I wanted to be my own boss and do something creative. Once I picked up a camera and started shooting, I realized how much I loved photographing people and moments in their lives and decided to start my own photography company and do it full time. It always feels fun and no two experiences, weddings, shoots, etc, are the same. I knew it would be a big risk starting my own company and taking the chance that people would want to work with me, but I’m so glad I did it and wouldn’t change a thing. Read more>>

Jim Ojala | Special Makeup Effects Artist & Filmmaker

I worked for many years for other companies in the special makeup/creature effects field for the entertainment industry. Most companies in this field will pigeonhole an artist; you’re a painter, you’re a moldmaker, you’re a designer, etc. I trained in working in many different areas of this field and so felt very underutilized and uninspired not being able to flex those muscles. Starting my own business allowed me to do as much of the artwork as I liked and to allow other artists to flourish in several areas. Working a 9-5 for many of these companies allowed me to survive but never thrive financially no matter how hard I worked. The simple fact is that usually the one that makes the deals is the one that makes the money. I worked in the studio and on set and in many cases dealt with the clients directly yet I still wasn’t getting ahead financially. This was also a key factor in going out on my own. The concept of being able to thank or blame yourself solely for your success or failure has a great allure to me. Read more>>

Juliana & Venetia | Wardrobe Stylists

We knew it was inevitable as we always wanted to partner and get into styling together. We initially got into fashion pr and then thought we wanted to be more creative and try the other side of the industry. Once we assisted for years and owned our craft we new the next step was to brand ourselves, find our niche and make it official. Read more>>

Zachery Gaither | Co-founder of Kool 2 Care

The short answer is that my brother and sisters and I really want to stop the out-of-control consumption of single-use plastic items and play a bigger role in the growing movement of concerned human beings in communities across the world that care about the planet and future generations and want to act. We started our eco-reusable gear company Kool 2 Care, because we want to make it as easy and affordable as possible for people to use fewer single-use plastic items in their daily life. We also want to let the whole world know that it is definitely “cool for people to care about the planet and future generations” and popularize this concept if you will. Our strategy is to empower individuals, families, and communities to be able to take direct action in reducing single-use plastics in our environment and make it more mainstream and widely accepted by spreading the word that it is Kool 2 Care. Read more>>

Christina Gnozzo | President and Founder, Jab Media

I had spent a decade climbing the ranks of various PR agencies and was fortunate enough to work on innovative teams for incredible brands. My focus a few months prior to launching my business was on my then-current clients, team and agency of employment. And then the pandemic hit. After a sweeping round of layoffs that left the industry and world shook, I found myself digging deeper to figure out what precisely I wanted my next step to be. I read an endless amount of books. One article that particularly spoke to me was from Harvard Business Review’s On Mental Toughness, “How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better,” by Graham Jones. The article compares the qualities between elite business executives and athletes—finding resounding parallels such as drive, determination and the innate ability to push and exceed through extraordinary circumstances. Read more>>