We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Emily Rocha | Portrait and Family Photographer

As a teenager, imagining that my creative hobby of taking photos could turn into a successful business was a wild idea for me–I never took any photography classes, had any in-person photography mentors, and only begun to learn the technical side by digging into manuals and watching hundreds of Youtube videos made by other photographers. During high school, I started taking more and more photos of my siblings and friends. Read more>>

Madelynn Shae | Singer / Songwriter

My thought process was very quick, I always wanted to do this as a career. Through out the years i was pushed in different directions, but something about the year of 2021 sealed the deal for me. I went through a very painful breakup, and that break up was the push I needed to start my career. A experience that was so difficult for me to move past brought me so much confidence and connections with people that i will always be grateful for. Read more>>

Crystal Lockett-Thomas | Licensed Professional Counselor & Parent Coach

Over the course of my career as a Licensed Therapist & Parent Coach, I kept hearing the consistent message from teens and their parents that they don’t understand one another and they often had issues connecting and relating to one another without friction. So I decided to tailor my business to bring back the joy in parenting especially during the tween and teen phase. Read more>>

Anna Long | Owner & Head Designer

When I zoomed out on my life, I knew I wanted more. More travel, good times with family and close friends, and more opportunities to find genuine moments of happiness. My goal has always been to tie these elements into my company. I acquired another company that had not been successful but had a solid foundation, Read more>>

James Corona | DJ

Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for music. At the age 16, I went to my first teen club and fell in love with all the sound and lighting. It was incredible how the club DJ commanded the dance floor and immediately knew, I wanted to be a DJ. For the next few years, I started buying lots of CD’s and DJ’ing for free at friends and family parties. A few years later, Read more>>

David Porter | CEO: Tunnel Vision Productions

My thought process behind created my own business was to allow myself to really have the “freedom” I really want. I have the freedom to choose the work, and clients I work with. I get the freedom to set my own schedule. Starting my own business allowed me to not put a cap on how much I could make. Most 9-5 jobs have a cap on how you can make a month/year, with starting my business I have more control over what the number is. I knew starting my own business wouldn’t mean I’d have to work less, but it would let me create a life I don’t have to “retire” from. Read more>>

Nakita Gee | Marketing & Branding Consultant

With everything that goes into starting a new business, I thought it would be very beneficial to create an all inclusive experience for small business owners to obtain all of their marketing and branding needs to jump start and elevate their business. I understand the struggles of having to work with multiple vendors to get things started for your business and I want to make your process less stressful and smooth. While doing all of that, I wanted to also provide great quality work at an affordable price. Read more>>

Radha Driver | Owner of Spiked Sweets

I started making small treats at the bar I was working at like the pudding shots, cherries and gummy bears. It was when it was my best friends birthday that I did my first spiked cupcakes that were gin and tonic since that was his favorite. After that I decide to start making other flavors. I really enjoy making treats and desserts for others. Especially since after I left the bar industry, it gave me a chance to expand what I made and a place that my old customers could reach out to me for their favorites they enjoyed. Read more>>

Vivienne Damatan | Executive Coach, Speaker & Facilitator

Before starting my own business I was at the top of the proverbial professional ladder. I was serving as the Vice President of Sales and the only female leader on the executive team of a technology start-up. I was also doing my best to navigate all of the adventures and challenges that being a new mother presented. It was tough to juggle both, but the company was thriving and things were looking up. Read more>>

Madeline Ricci | Founder and CEO of multiple businesses

In 2008 when the Real Estate market crashed, I worked for the corporate of America for 18-years. So when I got laid off like many in the industry. However, I knew an amazing skill set that could fill the holes in an industry that can be serve-centered rather than reactive. Read more>>

Eric Kasmire | Owner, Stacks Property Services

After abruptly departing the Oil & Gas industry in the spring of 2020, I tried to find a position that was as fulfilling and well-paying but those management positions were nonexistent. I started a sole proprietorship LLC where I learned a few lessons in running a business but it did not quite deliver as I had hoped. I knew I wanted to own and run a small business but I did not know what shape it would take Read more>>


Whew…my thought process for starting a nonprofit organization. I started couponing back in 2017, & when I tell you I was really doing something I was really doing it. My stockpile just kept growing & growing, from snacks to household items. One day I realized that I had enough to last my family for quite some time, so why not share with the ones who need it most. That following week I approach my coworkers with my idea and we came up with a game plan. Read more>>

Christopher Smith | C.E.O. & Owner

Helping artist generate income from their music. Develop a record label in my city that could be looked at throughout the United States of America. To sign myself and to generate money. No company pays, so in order for me to gain income, I had to start my own record label. The process wasn’t over night. I wanted to start a corporation that receives donations from the city and turn those donations into something profitable. I also want to expand my business into management of artist. After seeing what artist go through, I begin to think of a way to help the artist while gaining income myself. Read more>>

Synnovia Conner | Loctitian and Business Owner

Of course making my own money lol, but most importantly I’m raising girl. So I want them to see me being a boss and doing big things so it’s kind of something they inherit or can just say the grew up seeing. Read more>>

Brittani Hudson | Dessert Connoisseur

The thought process behind starting my business was fueled by my passion for creating simple, yet delectable desserts that are not only delicious but beautiful. Desserts are one of my favorite meals, which I choose to eat first. The vision of making my desserts is steeped in love and passion, which has led me to my purpose. Read more>>

Aj Long | Founder & CEO

The thought process behind starting my own business was I was not seeing anybody really helping the youth in my area. Therefore, I started Diamond Athletics to give back to the next generation; the same way that the generation before me gave back to me. Read more>>