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.

Austin Jennings

I was always slightly dissatisfied with my job for one reason or another. I always dreamed of being my own boss and creating a business model that used common sense for every day practices. I had been at a particular job for a few years and been promoted to the point of being a “store manager”. I was happy enough with the title and pay, but the work life balance wasn’t there. It was the beginning of 2020 and the pandemic had just hit. After all I had done to better my job situation over the years, I was in a position to be let go. Thankfully, that did not happen and was able to keep my job for the time being. Though it prompted me to start thinking about how security and stability is not as guaranteed as we would like to believe. So I decided to take the leap of faith and start my own business and see where the journey would take me. Read more>>

Rhiannon Rouyre | Boudoir Photographer || Magic Maker

My thought process behind Reverie Studios TX, has always been focused on the desire to be great, I just didn’t know at what. When I started my photography journey, I focused on families, weddings and child portraits. Boudoir photography intimidated me, I was down right terrified to jump into a genre that has some of the most amazing creatives in the field, literally right down the road. All I knew at that time. was I wanted to be great, I didn’t understand my ‘Why’, why did I want to be great and why did I want to focus on this type of photography? I was scared of judgement and failure, of course, but also scared that women would be putting their confidence and most vulnerable selves, in my hands. Read more>>

Corey Culton | Health Coach & Nutrition Club Owner

My thought process behind starting my business was “Faith over Reality”. I know that my reality probably needed to be changed and I knew there was more to me than what only I could see. I manage to take a step of faith during uncertainty in my life and trust God every step of the way. A lot of times I believe our reality hold us back on accomplishing our goals, dreams, and what we want out of life, but with a mindset that “no matter what imma going to give it my all “ & “trust the process” has gotten my through a lot of my toughest moment while being in business for myself! Read more>>

Russender Powell | Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialist

I started my private practice to make a diabetes and weight management practical, accessible, and realistic for the everyday person. My ability to translate the complex science of diabetes and lifestyle management into simple action steps has allowed me to help so many take control of their life and thriving while managing this disease. Read more>>

Sadaf Saiyed | Custom Cookie Decorator

After my 3rd born I found myself doing all things mom and no time to do anything that involved only me. As amazing at it is to be a mom, I knew to be able to give my best to my kids I need to take time doing something just for me. Somehow I found myself making decorated sugar cookies. It’s an outlet that allowed me to do something I was enjoying and also providing something to others for their celebrations, its just the perfect combo. Read more>>

Hrisi Udrescu | Portrait Photographer

When I decided I want to start my own business, my family was the first one who supported me. It is very important to have their acceptance because once you start a business, of any kind, your time becomes the most precious and priceless asset. You have to acknowledge that planning, executing, and delivering your products are essential, therefore you need all of your family’s understanding and cooperation. Especially in the beginning stages, you need to develop systems that will allow your future clients to find you, gain confidence in your process, receive quality long-lasting products, and come back for more or refer you to their friends and acquaintances. All these systems are learned both through industry education and trial and error so you have to be prepared to spend time thinking and learning about what would best work for your area and your target market. There is always trial and error before there is success and you have to be mentally prepared and emotionally supported by your loved ones. Read more>>

Tuan Luu | Realtor & Medical Laboratory Scientist

For the past few years, I’ve been working in the medical field as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. When I was younger, I thought that being in the medical field was the only way to become successful since a lot of my friends were interested. I was also influenced by my parents telling me to become a doctor. After awhile, I realized that I didn’t want the typical corporate type of career. I wanted my own hours and to become my own boss. I wanted to make my own opportunities instead of waiting for years for something to open up with only a small chance of obtaining it. I wanted to start my own business. After a lot of researching, I decided that I wanted to do real estate. I had no clue how to start so I’d figure that becoming a real estate agent would at least have me in the right path. Read more>>

Julian Roman | Beauty Lover

The process of building RomanTic Cosmetics was out of making my dreams a reality. Ever since I was young and I discovered makeup I wanted my own brand. Growing up I didn’t know if guys could do such a thing and I was always scared of having my own business, but during my high school years people called my MannyMua and never knew who that was. Then one day I looked him up and saw it was a male in makeup and from there I knew it was possible. Then fast forward Covid lockdown I really thought about laughing my own brand more and more then I finally sat my family down and told my dream. I knew I wanted this brand to be close to my heart and represent me 100% so I named it after my last name Roman and added the Tic at the end and it became RomanTic Cosmetics. Read more>>

Tajudeen Bello | Chef/Entrepreneur

I’ve always had a dream to have my own brand/business. My thought process of starting it came from hearing about other peoples families having businesses passed down, so it inspired me to want to create something that I could one day leave for my family. Read more>>

Leslie Soto | Treat Maker & Baker

The thought process behind starting my own business was a result of being laid off in early 2020 due to the food industry’s reduction of workforce. For many years I had thought about starting my own business, but I felt it was too risky to leave my job and never really set something up. Early 2020 left me no choice, and I finally made the decision to start something simple that I was good at. I figured that this was the time to take a leap of faith and use my passion for baking and cooking to make a career of something that I truly enjoy. I wanted to start off simple and I began making chocolate covered strawberries, and custom cakes. Read more>>

Tommy Obenchain | Management Consultant

It was really the previous business’ I started. In launching, nearly destroying, and then rebuilding a company that I went onto sell, I came to appreciate how challenging it really is to be an entrepreneur. There is just so much bad information out there. So, I formed Tommy Obenchain Consulting in 2016 to help leaders struggling in the chaos of running a business and hurting from the results of financial stress. What I really do is help people establish clarity, and then take the right steps forward. Read more>>

Theo Murdaugh | Founder & Run Coach

I started ZFT Run Club Dallas in March of 2020. I was previously apart of the Houston chapter of ZFT Run Club for 3 years before my job relocated my to Dallas. My main reason for starting the Dallas chapter of ZFT Run Club was the overall community I helped build down in Houston. Running is intimidating and there are not a lot of run groups that really cater to new runners. After being in Dallas for a few months and visiting a few other runs groups I knew I had the opportunity to build something special with ZFT Dallas. As an avid runner myself, and then visiting other run groups in the city showed me that there is a need to help new runners. Most of these other run groups are geared more towards the experienced runner. I saw an opportunity not only to cater to experienced runners but to build a group to develop new runners. Read more>>