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.

Jennifer Woodward | Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner & Board Certified Functional Wellness Coach

I had just worked through some awful health issues like insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, low thyroid issues, and chronic infections by going through a program called Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and applying the principles I learned to myself. After realizing how much better I felt, I was excited to share what I had learned with other women. I didn’t really go into it to start a business, but it evolved to be so, and I am very grateful. Read more>>

John Bashyam | Co-Founder

I’ve always wanted to start a company of some kind, I just never knew it was going to be in this field. I knew I would work in this industry, but I imagined I would start some interesting product idea and not something directly related to animation. But hey, doesn’t hurt to start something that you’re good at in the first place! I’ve been passionate about animation and visual effects work since I was in high school and eventually got ingrained in the industry after moving to LA for college. Between internships and freelance work during school I had already built quite the professional network and worked for feature films (Avengers, Antman, etc), music festivals (Coachella, Bottlerock), commercials, etc. To make a long story short, I was working at a large post production studio for a few years right after graduating. Read more>>

Lindsay Kavet | Director & Writer

Expressing Motherhood was found in 2008, I was a stay at home mom at the time and desperately wanted to be a part of the creative world. I have always been passionate about female stories and once I became a mom, my interest then become honed in on mothers and their stories. I thought I needed to make this show work for me, being a SAHM with no help. The idea to have people share their stories about motherhood on stage was born! Within a year the show was performing Off-Off Broadway for a sold out small run. Everything I did was honed in on making the experience for the performer and audience member, mostly moms, enjoyable. Down to the fact that I start the shows much earlier than traditional shows, we moms get tired early. Read more>>

James T. Bartlett | Journalist, Author & True Crime Book Club Host

Though I really operate on a small, individual scale, the idea for me to research, write and publish the “Gourmet Ghosts” guide books to L.A. really came from the fact that, when I arrived in Los Angeles, I couldn’t find a guide book like it. Initially I was just looking for stories I could sell as a freelance journalist, but I just started collecting more and more, getting lost down internet rabbit holes, spending more time in the library, and eventually realizing that I was enjoying myself. That was the key to me (or the “secret” behind whether you are prepared to spend hours and hours and hours of unpaid work trying to see if your idea can get any other people interested in it). As long as I enjoyed it and didn’t see it as just a chase for lots of money (always a risky goal, as you’d give up very quickly as soon as you realized how much time you’d put in for no return), it was worth it. Read more>>

Judith Cassis | Author

I have been an entrepreneur all my life. It came to me naturally. From taco stands to knocking on the doors of neighborhood businesses to earn money doing chores, I have always managed my own income. During my teen years and throughout college, I worked as a server in various restaurants, but even in those roles, I would say I was “self-employed,” as I was responsible for earning an income based on percentages and customer service. From early on I enjoyed leading as opposed to being lead. I’m solution-oriented, and so from my early 20’s forward I became self-employed. Read more>>

Dr. Julie Glick | Doctor of Audiology

I started my own business by accident – it wasn’t planned at all!  Musicians Hearing Solutions was created in 2010 as a culmination of all of my work experience up to that point including working as a clinical audiologist dispensing hearing aids, a sales representative for a major hearing aid manufacturer as well as a combination sales/marketing/audiology position with an in-ear monitor company. Each experience taught me something different – caring for patients hearing health, business and how to successfully run one as well as the ins and outs of all that goes into live performances. Read more>>

Lara Adekoya | Entrepreneur & Small Business Owner

I have always had a love for cooking and baking. I grew up spending lots of time in the kitchen with my mom and as I have grown older, I have cherished the ability to nurture others through good food. Being in the kitchen is my comfort space – it is where I feel safe, creative, empowered and happy. I started my small baking business @Fleursetsel in April of 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I was furloughed from my sales position at Nordstrom and had more time at home with family. When I decided to start my own business, Fleurs et Sel, I was driven by my nurturing spirit paired with my passion for cooking and community. I wanted to bring comfort to my friends and the local los angeles community during these challenging times. I wanted to share my cookies and more importantly spread positivity and love through Fleurs et sel where we pride ourselves on making sweet treats in small batches. Read more>>

Michelle Chu | Founder & CEO

I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart and just didn’t open myself up to pursue this passion until recently. After I adopted my pit mix, Kono, I dove headfirst into the life of a dog mom, and it eventually led to me starting Kono’s Kitchen, a freeze-dried raw dog treats brand. When I first explored different ideas to pursue, I thought about different dog-related businesses.  Read more>>

Ross Walker | Co-founder

I had a solid educational background, some good experience in the related industry and a unique, niche investment idea I thought would be compelling to investors. Plus, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to have the opportunity to run my own business for a number of reasons, including more control over my own destiny and potentially more balanced lifestyle. Read more>>

Dena Watson | The $5.00 Jewelry Diva

My biggest and number one goal with starting my own business was to literally fund my oldest son’s college career. That has been the driving force behind the entire thing and really has evolved into a true passion that I had no idea would come about. I’m literally having fun and if someone would have said it was going to be fun when I first started, I would have immediately doubted it. Read more>>

Adam Mendler | CEO & Host

There were several factors that drove me to start The Veloz Group. After working in the corporate world for some of the largest companies in the financial services and entertainment industries, I felt that I was at the right point in my career and in my life to try something entrepreneurial. My view was that my expenses were never going to be lower, my energy was never going to be higher and I could actualize my vision to create a unique culture that would attract great talent and make a meaningful impact in the lives of others. Read more>>