Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business.  So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Gregga Prothero | Hairstylist & Salon Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was to open a space where I can create my own vision of what a salon I would want to work at. With so many different personalities and types of salon settings I was able work with particular types of hairstylists who we worked so well together. Read more>>

Phil Tice | Writer/Director, Author & Indie Bookstore Owner

Well, I’ve only just begun my journey as a small business owner with Tice Tomes, my new horror bookstore/online art shop, but I’ve been charting my own path in the filmmaking world for a few years now, and I always go back to the idea that “no one else will do it for you.” Read more>>

Colleen Holiday | Founder Holiday Studios | Professional Personal Trainer

The Colleen Holiday/ Holiday Studio’s Brand was born out of my passion for making women stronger. As the last child of three daughters, I witnessed all the hurdles women jump through. I learned the most difficult things to do is to change your life, especially mid-stream. It takes discipline, consistency, a sobering understanding of your weaknesses and the realization of some gnawing unhappiness inside–whether it be in body or in mind. Read more>>

Lauren Sands | Founder, LES Collection

I traveled many paths before founding LES Collection, never finding the right one. So many projects were started without completion or completed only to move on to something else. I was an anthropology major in college; I thought I wanted to be a winemaker; I did a brief stint in international public health; I graduated from law school; I spent a year surfing throughout the world. Read more>>

Marcel Nash | Founder of The Good Water & Market

My thought process behind starting The Good Water Co. began around 2016/2017. I was tired of buying cases of bottled water all the time. Each having its on taste (which always was peculiar to me) and seeing that I’m an avid recycler yet always on the move the bottles would end up stacked in my backseat. Read more>>

Denise Khumalo | Film Director

As an immigrant I wanted to start my legacy within the film industry. It was the best way to help get my name out and showcase my culture and tradition. That is why I chose to name it “Mnandi” Productions which means Good or Nice in Ndebele/Zulu. My goal is to create feel good content and to be inclusive in content by showcasing immigrants and People of Colour. By owning a production company it puts me in the position where I can help other immigrants who need assistance and it would allow me to offer help and guidance. Read more>>

Kharis Collins | Entrepreneur & CEO of Khavy’ Official

I’ve always known that I wanted to make something revolutionary, but also make a mark on the world. In 2020 God brought me the vision to start Khavy’. I believe in turning my pain into pleasure and I knew this was an avenue to take. I wanted to take the Du-rag and amplify it like never before and make it comfortable for many people around the world. Making this completely versatile for people with disabilities like Epilepsy and Cancer. Read more>>

Veronica Alvidrez | Educator and Entrepreneur

We started paraMi over a gap needing fulfilled in our own lives. As Latina women, we found ourselves bombarded with expectations during the pandemic and with little room left to pursue our own passions Read more>>

Mimzy Faillace | Professional Personalizer & Events Professional

My career in the events world was once extremely fulfilling, but to state the obvious, Covid-19 wiped out my field and my career 6 years of hard work was gone. In came months of a little too much down time. My quarantine was not simply adjusting to working from home, but adjusting to not working at all, as well as the lack of ability to use my new found (and once rare) free time due to Covid restrictions. Read more>>

Kellie Velasquez | Artist & Owner

As a young girl, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a creative flair. Any hobby I had, I wanted to make a side hustle out of and find a way to share my interest with other people. I loved the idea of working for myself and creating something out of just a dream. I knew when I found baking, I had found the right artistic outlet to make a living from all while enjoying my work. Read more>>

Zachary Ashman | Screenwriter & Marketing Executive

My process was to show up and serve. My business model is creating on three factors . Have space to educate which sharing knowledge in person or online with our blog, have space to learn . By inviting my tribe in and allowing them to share who they are and how they thrive. And lastly how can we come together to elevate the experience by helping them achieve their goals. Read more>>

Jackie Wada | Artist

I’ve been training the youth in basketball for 8 years now and have been very fortunate to do what I love. My training business, Wada Life, has given me the opportunity to mentor kids and also, be around amazing families. Read more>>

Shirley Johnson | Licensed Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Healer

I started my own business in 2007. I honestly did not know that was what I was doing. I had just completed a course called African Holistic Health with my teacher, the late Dr. Llaila O. Afrika, that technically gave me a certificate as a holistic health coach and a naturopath. Read more>>

Angelina Strangis | Special Effects Makeup Artist / Angel.Rose.Makeup

While in makeup school I connected with my classmates, we all got to work together to create our very own business cards. My initial thought was to build a clientele and eventually have my own makeup line, but I recently found my true passion in special effects makeup and I am shifting my focus to that as we speak! Read more>>

Nathan Royal | Swing Guitarist & Singer & Band Leader

To be a musician with any kind of meaningful creative control over the music you play, you really have to start your own business. For me it was a necessity; I was in love with acoustic guitar, roots music and old-school swing. Read more>>

Axé Osei Vita | Capoeirista /Martial Artist/Rap Artist/Actor

I learned entrepreneurship from my father ever since I was a little kid…It was , whether street performing , The Bozo Circus Show, and or Ringling Brothers Circus,NBA/NFL/MLB ,I attained it all, at the age of 4yrs. old. I was already performing for massive amounts of crowds..So at an early age I understood about working for myself ,creating ideas ,being an artist, performing and learning how to use my own skills and having the ability in creating platforms to work for myself .. Read more>>

Sesha Lovelace-Ragon | Retailer

I had just moved back to Hilo from San Francisco and I was trying to think of a retail business that Hilo needed. I got invited to a baby’s first birthday party and I couldn’t find a local baby store to shop at. I had an extensive background in the retail industry so I decided to open my own baby store, and the rest is history! Read more>>

Daniel from UNRIVALED INVESTING | Teacher on YouTube

Most people don’t achieve their financial goals. Passive investors that prefer indexes, might underperform inflation or generate limited returns for years. For example, most US stock investors in the 1970’s lost purchasing power as inflation raged higher! Read more>>

India Banks | Speech and Language Pathologist + Business Owner

I attended Howard University for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of Speech and Language Pathology. Throughout my matriculation, I was fortunate enough to attend a private practice course and was granted the opportunity to shadow therapists and clinic directors who specifically worked with the birth-3-year-old population. Read more>>

Antony Ware | Film Producer and Fitness Model

I was in a position where I was simply exhausted of the process of killing myself to be a part of someone else’s vision! When it comes to film and entertainment as a whole, as a performer you are constantly spending money on auditions, travel, training to be cast in something where all the while the creator of that gig still profits more off of you than you would ever get to take home yourself. I was done! I wanted to be the captain of my own ship, create my own content and manage my own profit margin! Read more>>

Alexandria Green | Portrait Photographer

I believe starting your own business is a great opportunity. On the outside it often can seem very glamorous, but the actual process of owning, building and sustaining something can be tough and comes with a lot of learning and unlearning. Read more>>

Danicca Prom | Body Sculpting Educator & Permanent Makeup Artist

I started Glow Beaute for a few different reasons. The first reason why I started Glow Beaute is because I was burnt out and unfulfilled from my corporate job. I wanted the ability to control my own schedule so I could spend more time with my loved ones, be my own boss and create unlimited earning potential. Read more>>

The Roof | American band Blending Hues with Psychedelic Rhythm & Blues.

I’d say we are one of the lucky ones where a pastime turned to a passion, and In order for us to pursue our passion to the utmost degree, the natural evolution was to create a brand around the music. In other words, we had to make money from our craft so we didn’t have to compromise our creativity. Read more>>

Elizabeth Salmeron | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

Growing up, I was always told to go to school, stay in school, and get that degree because that is the key to success and happiness. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and then I landed a 9-5 corporate job. Once I got the job, I was super excited and very proud of myself! This was the one thing I did on my own and I felt like my career was about to take off. Read more>>

JD Nielsen | Screen Printer, Extraordinare

Obviously the inital thought of working for yourself is self explainatory: Not working for the man, not doing things for others but spending the time that you do here on this planet building something for yourself (a similar argument to buying a house vs renting a house). Read more>>

ALISON THOMSON | Owner and Winemaker

L.A. Lepiane Wines was established in 2013 with the simple goal of crafting vibrant, exciting, balanced wines made by my own two hands. Before I could even drink wine, my love of food, interest in science, and passion for growing food guided me through my education and career. Read more>>

MIcheal Hollar | Entertainer & Activist

My thought process behind starting my own business originated when I was young. My mother raised me along with my 11 siblings while owning and operating her own home daycare. She inspired me to one day work for myself one projects that I am personally passionate about. After my mother passed this year I knew I had to leave my six-figure salary job with NASA JPL and pursue my own dreams in music and entertainment, Read more>>

Lena Strothe | Co-Founder, Wrangle

I never set out to be a business owner. I went to liberal arts school so the idea of starting a business seemed quite foreign, and something for suits. But I do like creating things and the idea of community building, and so when the idea of Wrangle came about, I felt it was the right project for me to really pursue. Sure, there are some dry aspects of starting a business, but the prospect of building something from nothing was very exciting. Read more>>

Romi Lassally | Co-Founder of Ready to Succeed

My entire career had been as an entertainment executive and media executive, but when I saw the profound needs faced but foster youth, I knew I had to make a shift. Read more>>