Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Dream Dee | Entrepreneur & Cannabis Enthusiast

Honestly, I used to work in a call center and I know there are a lot of people who use THC for coping with things like stress and anxiety. Well, you can’t really go and hot box on your lunch break, no matter how good your perfume/cologne may be. So, they needed alternative options. Voila! Read more>>

Allie Ronquillo | Esthetician | Spa Owner

In college, and life in general, I’ve always taken the conventional route. Great degree, lead to great job opportunity at huge company and subsequent financial security. Everything was awesome until my husband got an incredible opportunity himself. He was called by his company to relocate to sunny Texas. When we did so, our family had a fresh start but I had to leave my secure job. Plenty of temporary jobs later, I began to think that being my own boss was best for me. After all, I could make all the decisions, I was great at that. I could decide what risks to take and not take. I could decide my hours and what projects to take on or not. It has been a great running my own business and being not only financially stable but free to make decisions based on what is personally best for me. Read more>>

Stephanie Shireman | Health Coach

Starting my own business has always been a dream of mine. But what led me to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was the desire to find more ways to help heal my body from my digestive struggles. I quickly realized that food is only part of the healing process. My past emotional pain, body image views and anxiety needed to be cared for as well. Becoming a Health Coach has given me the opportunity to serve women in their journey of life. I get to listen, give encouragement and give guidance in areas where they struggling. This aligns so perfectly with the call that I feel God has placed on my life for encouraging other women. Not only did I learn about nutrition, but also how many things like career, relationships, spirituality, and other things can play a role in our health and lifestyle. Read more>>

Regeanie Corona | Business Strategist, Social Entrepreneur & Author

I have always wanted to have time freedom and control how I spend my time. Time is one thing that we can never get back so it is important that we use it wisely. As a wife and mom, I wanted to be more available to my family, while still satisfying my desire to have a rewarding career. The answer for me came in the form of entrepreneurship. Additionally, I wanted to have the freedom to decide how I engage in the marketplace and which parts of my skillsets and expertise I would utilize. I chose to start a nonprofit, as well as a for-profit consulting company so that I could combine all that I love doing as an entrepreneur while also giving back in a way that has a multiplied effect. Read more>>

Taylor Custer Crosby | Jewelry Maker

In 2009, about 4 years into my working career after college, I really felt the need to be doing something creative. I loved the company I worked for but wanted to do more. So I took an earring making class at a local bead store with my sister. I started making earrings and had so many that I started selling to family friends. Soon after, I decided to open an Etsy store and in April 2010, I had my first sale from a stranger in New York. It was then that I felt more confident in my small hobby to turn it into a side business. Read more>>

AJ Reyes | Owner, Operator, Woodworking artist at All Starwoodwerx

To be honest, I’ve never been good with authority. throughout most of my jobs I had been fired or laid off due to bumping heads with supervisors who weren’t qualified to open a can of tuna much less manage people. I had to find something that I could do that wouldn’t involve me having to deal with people but also allows me the lifestyle that I knew I wanted. I tried everything from stand up comedy, leatherworking, bounty hunting, freelance hull cleaning and a variety of other jobs until I finally found that Woodworking was where the most profit came from Read more>>

Faith Anderson | CEO, Tenth Child Inc.

My initial thought behind starting my business is seeing gap between artist and managers and wanting to erase the stigma that people in management have which can be crooked, deceitful, and manipulative. After hearing and witnessing a few horror stories I wanted in. I wanted to change how artist who needed management viewed the role and offered a partnership model that would empower artists who aligned themselves with my company. Read more>>

Stephanie Marquez | Barber

Really , it was just a dream I never really thought about starting my own business it started with just driving around looking at locations , after that my thought process was like “I’m ready to be the next big thing “ Read more>>

KATIE CHRISTIE | Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki Master, BA Psychology

“How does my greatest passion meet the world’s greatest need?” How can I do what I am naturally good at & what brings me the most joy, in a way that helps people to live better, healthier lives & raise the vibration of love on the planet? This led me to studying Psychology at University & attending the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. My business started with preparing food for families with health conditions. This was beautiful, satisfying work, though I wanted to make a bigger impact & help more people. I felt inspired to “teach them how to fish” instead of doing it for them. If I can empower people to do it themselves, and make it simple & fun, I can maximize my impact & feel more alive doing work I love, sharing the magic of healthy cooking. Read more>>

Sergio & Sheila Manriquez | Luxury Residential Real Estate Agents

Our thought process behind starting our own business was because we were both tired of working at 9-5 corporates jobs. We wanted to design our own destiny, create a legacy for our family, be free to work & do things according to our schedule and our time; and not have to follow a “corporate culture/idea” of what is acceptable. We have always been taught to play it safe , go to school and get a job. Well we quickly found our selves running a rat race that was quickly going nowhere. We knew that if we wanted different results, we had to make changes. With change, meant we had to take risks! Meant quitting our corporate jobs and starting Real estate full time, and never looking back! Read more>>

Erika Knox | Custom Dessert Baker/ Decorator

was in college when I got engaged and wanted decorated cookies for a wedding favor. I could not afford to buy them – so I decided to make them myself. That was a BIG mistake and an epic fail! I at least had the sense to outsource my wedding cake so I did. The cake was delicious and we were supposed to save the top tier to be eaten on our first anniversary but I didn’t wait. By the time our anniversary came around, I NEEDED a cake. I called a local cake shop and asked them to recreate our top tier. The owner of the shop told me the price of the cake and I jokingly said, “I’ll learn how to make this cake myself before I pay you that much for it!” The owner laughed and said, “we teach classes!” I took a class “just for fun” and started baking for friends for free. After almost a decade in business, I’ve grown my bakery into a successful home-based bakery (following the rules and regulations set forth by the Texas Cottage Food Law) but have yet to make the top tier of my wedding cake. Read more>>

Monica Fogerson | Health & Wellness Blogger

Simply Healthy Fit was created to inspire and encourage others to live their best, healthiest, happiest life through health and wellness. Health and wellness became a major priority in my life when I was struggling and at my lowest; I was at rock bottom. I knew change needed to happen and I dug really deep to figure out what that change needed to be. I realized that, that change needed to start from the inside. I wasn’t happy and I felt like I was falling short at every turn. I started working on myself in all aspects -mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, etc. It took time to find myself again and build a life I truly loved. Read more>>

Na’Kita Span | Social Media Marketer

The thought process behind starting my own business is in the name itself. NS5 Marketing Enterprises was born from the love I have for my children. As you probably guessed, I have 5 beautiful children Brooklyn 16, Addison 11, Houston 10 and the twins Santana & Santiago who are both 6..leaving you with Nikki Spans #Fab5…hence NS5. With a family of this size, I knew that I would have to go over and beyond to give them the world for FAMILY IS EVERYTHING TO ME!! We have been blessed to be in business for 5 years this past July. Marketing and promoting all types of businesses from tax services and restaurants to dance teams and businesses on the go…we gotcha covered! The #Fab5 are the drive to continue on this entrepreneurial journey. Read more>>

Shakayla Canaday | Cosmetologist/Esthetician

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I wanted my daughter to see what was possible. I’m the first business owner and first creative based business owner in my family. I wanted her to see that there are more avenues to life than going to college should she so choose. Read more>>

Jewel Odeyemi | Luxury Wedding & Event Planner

Right from a young age, I’ve always dreamt of running my own business due to my independent & bossy nature. I didn’t know what type of business I would start until I found my hobby in party planning in high school and through college. However, it wasn’t until I got married and had children that I realized that I could take my hobby that I’m so passionate about and great at and turn it into a money making empire for my children. I didn’t want to be that mom who was always absent from her kids life growing up because I was dedicating my time to a company that didn’t value me and I was dispensable to. Read more>>

Armani Smith | Entrepreneur & Student

Honestly starting my business at such a young age , I didn’t have much of a thought process like I should have. I knew I wanted to make money and quit working for people so I went straight to YouTube and started looking up how to make money on my own. Everything after that was pretty much go with what I know. Read more>>

Ben Burgess | Owner / RRNTX

There were many reasons for wanting to start my a company, I wanted to be able to take all the things that I was not happy with from my career experiences and make them better. I wanted to be able to help people, many times my wife and I would go to dinner or lunch and I would say “it would be so nice to be able to provide people with a chance at a career,”. I was never able to do this working in corporate America. I wanted to be able to provide a place for people when Corp America had given up on them. There are a lot of people in this world that I truly believe just need that 1 chance that 1 person to believe in them and their dreams, being able to provide that is a very important piece to this company Read more>>

Ashli Harper | Stylist, Interior Decorator and Clothing Boutique

I always get compliments about how well I dress and how I carry myself while being a curvy woman. I’m also the person that everyone comes to for fashion ideas. Finding plus-size clothing in different styles is not easily accessible. My thought process was to start selling clothing that would make a woman feel sexy, classy and confident, all at the same time! Read more>>

Alex Cisneros | Portrait Artist

Making pet portraits wasn’t t something that I was pursuing or trying to get into, it just happened. One of my friends asked me to do a portrait of somebody’s pet and of course I said yes and from there commissions started to trickle in, some of pets and a couple regular portraits and it has definitely kept me busy. I want to keep this momentum going and hopefully gain a few more commissions but more importantly elevate my artistic skills, creatively and skill-wise. I also want to learn more about the business side of creating and selling art, which definitely has many aspects and requires a lot of work. I want to broaden my talents and be able to create more than just custom portraits. Read more>>

Derricka Clayton | Private Chef/Caterer & Website Designer

I always had a curiosity and interest in becoming a business owner. The flexibility, empowerment, and challenge intriguied me. For 20 years, I worked in corporate america because that is what I was taught to do. However I always wondered what it would be like to own my own business. In January 2019, my life took a drastic change. My ex-husband/co-parent of our autistic teen daughter passed away unexpectedly, then 2 weeks later my contract ended with my job. I went into a deep depression and was in the darkest place in my life. I didn’t know what to do or how I was going to move forward. I prayed over my entire situation and had the epiphony to use my hobby and passion for cooking as my career. Read more>>