Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Ramon Felix | Photographer

I worked as a telephone co linemen for 10 when I fell from a pole about 30ft up. I spent a couple of iof years off work healing up both physically and mentally from that fall. It was at that point I thought if I’m going to injure or die doing a job it should be something I love to do. That is photography. So i think the process was standing up after falling down. Read more>>

Gabrielle Dillard | Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I started my career as a social worker many years ago, working with all ages. I worked out in the community, in hospitals, schools, and in homes. Once I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I started doing therapy and worked for a major health care plan. It was great meeting with people in person and providing mental health services. Read more>>

Diane Montoriol | Founder & CEO of Merci Maman

I realized that something as basic and simple as raw chilled soups was missing from the market. I loved to eat them throughout my entire childhood with my grandmother in the south of France. And I longed for them while living in Los Angeles as an adult. Read more>>

Danielle R. Baines, M.S. | Organizational Development Consultant & Leadership Coach

Before starting DB2 Consulting, LLC. I realized that many people never took a leadership class before leading people. Through my personal and professional experiences, I found a need to assist many who struggle with showing up as their authentic selves in many different spaces. Read more>>

Leilani Lopez | Online Fashion Boutique Owner & Pop Up Event Organizer/Host

Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to be my own Boss! As I got older, I worked for others, worked 8-5pm and sat at a desk everyday until I realized God had different plans for me. At one of my worse times in life I decided to make a change. I was inspired and motivated by a friend of mine who had her own online fashion boutique so she led the way on how I can get started and since then I’ve been my own Boss. Read more>>

Debbie-jean Lemonte | Lifestyle Portrait and Wedding Photographer

I honestly didn’t have a thorough process. I knew I didn’t work well working FOR others. I work better WITH others. I also wasn’t the type to enjoy a traditional 9-5 behind a desk. Seeing that I was making more doing what I loved (photography and social media) than my 9-5, it made sense to just make that jump. Read more>>

Bazooka Zac | Music Producer & Digital Artist

I’ve always felt running my own business would allow me the freedom to pursue my passions and curiosities to the fullest extent. Starting my own music production business keeps me on my toes, learning the latest technologies, and appreciating the latest trends and influences. The freedom to explore my potential on my own time makes me work harder, and smarter, than I might if I had a guaranteed/fixed income to look forward to. Read more>>

My first thoughts were- Where can I make a change, how can I make an impact, and how can I make it vegan? Then I thought, am I willing to put my life on hold while I set out on this venture? Do I care enough to go through the struggles of trying to make a change and is it worth it? I answered, if I can stop some of the single-use waste in the world, LET’S DO THIS! Read more>>

Lauren Harb | Owner, Harem Modern

For me the business came before the plan, and before any real thought process. I had a really positive and exciting experience traveling to Morocco, and in all the excitement of negotiating in the souks, bought more rugs than I had the space for at home. I began casually selling them on my Instagram to friends and friends of friends and quickly realized there was an opportunity for creative fulfillment and a real “business.” Read more>>

Mikerlange Barthelemy | World Class Olympic Equestrian Trainer , & Entrepreneur

First and foremost , Thank you Mike for taking the time to set up this interview . i mean the first thought that comes to mind when starting any businesses are always the fear of thinking what will you do if things don’t go as planned , for me that was the main question before starting my training facility Limitless performance. Read more>>

Sunil Bhaskaran | Experienced Mentor for Entrepreneurs

In 1991, I needed the money! But I also knew that I had to rethink how I was earning money. I was working quite happily as an electrical engineer / software design engineer. My company treated me more than well. But I knew that the economic model of working long hours for a salary had its limitations. Read more>>

Min Liu | Animation artist & Tattoo artist

To me, everything comes down to creative freedom. As an animation artist and tattoo artist, these are two formats that I feel most true to myself. I don’t feel like it was intended for me to start my own business, but simply because in this way, I can have more power over my own work. Read more>>

Max Jordan | Esthetician

I wanted to be able to provide services to people in the community I lived in. A lot of skincare salons do not cater to us, and I was determined to change that. After spending years at a place I was unhappy, I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. Read more>>

Roma Singh | Founder + owner

I’ve always been obsessed with fragrance(my perfume collection is always growing) I wanted to create my own signature fragrance line but I knew labs would cost a lot of money – that I didn’t have. One day when I was at my retail job, a lightbulb went off. I thought “ I could make candles!!!” That evening I went home and watched a lot of videos so I started to google all of my questions and I felt ready! I then ordered supplies and never looked back Read more>>

Marco Tabasso | Artist

I (Marco Tabasso) have been working in an Art Design gallery, Galleria Rossana Orlandi, for more than 15 years here in Milan. Part of my work was to select proposals from young designers from all over the world and most of them were proposing things like seatings or lightings, accidentally tables. Read more>>

Neli Plouzian | MS, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

It’s always been my dream to open a preschool within which the philosophy is a combination between child-lead play/learning through exploration and structured teacher-lead activities. It’s been my mission to teach children from an individualized perspective (with their strengths and weaknesses in mind) versus the standardized one. Read more>>

Hannah Abitol | Jeweler

I started my own business because I had a deep passion for jewelry and did not see many vendors who offered what I loved most which is Moissanite rings and jewelry. Read more>>

Chevy Knight | Hair Stylist

Wanting to start my own business was something that was always in the back of my mind. I’ve had many different jobs in many different fields and I was always put in the manager role without actually being a manager. A ‘natural leader’ I’ve been called. Read more>>

Ellery Bonham | Artist, Songwriter, Producer

I think since I was young, my strengths and weaknesses were VERY palpable. I was obsessive about singing and ear training— the kind of attention-to-detail work that came in long waves of inspiration– and I wasn’t great with cyclical structure and routine. Read more>>

Jordyn Jackson | Humanitarian and Social Entreprenuer

I became passionate about helping young people, like myself, unlock their full potential at an early age. I wanted to help kids turn grow their ideas dreams into reality through my experiences and donate car loads thousands of soccer balls. Even though I was really nervous, I think my willingness to call and partner with organizations that are like-minded, played a role in my success. Read more>>

LaVantae Johnson | Director & Editor

I always had a passion in Film, my brother had me watching all type of movies such as sopranos, Harlem nights, Scarface, Face off etc and and Every time I watched a movie or TV show I always wondered “How did they make that? Was that effect real or fake” I always wanted to know what all went into creating a film.i was already working the camera at church and learning the ends and outs of a camera so I grabbed my moms camcorder on the weekends pulling all nighters doing short films with my friends and started doing commercials for my brother Brand Leaders. During that process both of my friends Darius and Jamiersen showed me that this is what I need to be doing and need to start focusing on creating a production business So I started out as “Think outside the box” because I was big on never being boxed in always believed in spreading your wings and expanding your vision. Read more>>

Lexi Collins and Renee Wylder | Actress & Teacher & Creative Director

Renee and I have been auditioning and working as actors here in LA for about 8 years now and have shared a lot of the same experiences. We share a strong passion for musical theater, magical fairytales, and working with children. In fact, we’ve been playing princesses professionally for almost a decade but we especially took a liking to portraying the “Frozen Sisters,” Elsa and Anna, together. Mostly because we’ve been playing each other’s “sisters” in real life since we met in 2014. Read more>>

Derek Jolley | creator, organizer, & humanist

When I was in middle school my best friends and I started a band called Ticket To Ride (which still exists today www.tickettoride.band). We were extremely young, and it seemed like nobody really wanted to help a few queer punk kids out with anything, especially in 2007, so, my record label business was born. Since 2008 I’ve owned and operated the entity by which we record, license, distribute, and promote our music. Read more>>