Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Katy Jade Adams | Artist & Graphic Designer

Starting my own business just kind of fell into my lap. While I was in college learning graphic design I would get a lot of messages on social media asking me to build designs. I quickly realized that the western world that I live in was short on graphic designers that understood our western lifestyle and needed someone to capture it. The messages kept pouring in and that is how I started Katy Jade Designs. Read more>>

KJ Blattenbauer | Fashion Designer & Former Publicist

I started my dress line, vieve and jo, because I wanted fashion for women to feel inclusive of all women. I wanted to take an industry still heavily run by men and make quality dresses that actually fit a real woman’s body. And I wanted to create comfortable, bright, and beautiful dresses that women wanted to live in. All without selling my soul to attract investors or compromising my values on the production. I wanted to make getting dressed fun for women again. And truthfully, I had absolutely not a darn thing to wear for work or play. And I was tired of feeling frustrated with my own closet. The thought process behind starting this business was that I want to make sure no other woman ever says, “I can’t find a dress that fits me or makes me feel comfortable” ever again. Read more>>

Xavier Egan | Director, Mergers & Acquisition

I suppose it all started back in my Houston childhood, you see, both of my parents are entrepreneurs. My mother had a tax office, as sort of a side gig during the season. My father, did many things, the most prevalent throughout the years was trucking. My father also owned vending machines at some point, he brought all the change and cash home each weekend after he tended to the machines. He would dump it all on the dining room table and count bills and roll coins. (Really old fashion, with all the technology these days.) I would watch from the end of the table, until one day he asked if I wanted to count with him. I said, sure thing, how much does it pay? That day, my father recounts, is when he knew I would own my own business! From there, I feel it was really all about finding the perfect business for my skills. Read more>>

Rebecca Hogan | Photographer & Motivational Speaker

When I was a kid and even as a teenager I was very shy but I knew from a young age I didn’t want to just work a 9 to 5 job. I wanted to do something that when I woke up each day I was excited to get out of bed. It wasn’t until I got married in 2010 that I was asked to take pictures at a wedding. I was excited and nervous all at the same time because I didn’t have the best gear and I had never photographed a wedding before. After the wedding was over I realized I could turn this into a business. I was 22 at that time and I didn’t have a degree in this field so I started learning from videos, watching other photographers, and of course trail and error. My husband really invested in me and my business. We upgraded my equipment and I started getting more clients. In 2017 I went part-time at my job to pursue photography as a career and not just a side hustle. Read more>>

Kendra C Sikes | The Bookologist

I was determined to break generational cycles of poverty in my family so my main thought was “I have to do something that will not only impact the lives of others, but also impact my life dramatically ” I had faith that it would work because GOD called me to The office of entrepreneurship so the whole time my thought process was that I have to do something different to get different results in my family. Read more>>

Matthew Bird | Fine Artist

Like many art students after graduation, I was “painting on the side” while working in another field to make money. In my case it was graphic design. At the time, I thought it was a blessing to have a creative outlet where I could make a living, even if it wasn’t what I really wanted to be doing. I was also rather good at it, and continued to get promoted up the ladder until I was working as an associate creative director, managing other people and doing little of the actual creative work. The agency model seemed ironic to me, the better you are at something, the less you get to do it. Eventually I was miserable, and couldn’t keep going. I knew I had gifts and talents that I wasn’t using and I needed a change. That was when I walked away and focused on my own business. The thought process was one of necessity, I felt I was dying inside. Read more>>

Noah Winston | Portrait Photographer & Creative Writer

Starting a business was never easy. My first thought was, “I need a name.” I was so stubborn to choose whether or not to keep it simple or make it something fancy. Finally, after a long struggle to choose, I kept it straightforward and something I knew more than anything, my name. Noah Winston Photography had a nice ring to it as it should; it’s my name. But that wasn’t the hard part. Trying to understand the fundamentals like tax-paying, marketing, advertising, etc. were new to me, and at the moment, I didn’t know where to start. I had to do something fast before time ran out, but all we have is time. I took time out to study and take classes on business and marketing. I had to reteach myself the process of speaking to others and watching what I say and how I say it. It took time to get used to working in a business setting. I’ve been in business for several years now, and I’ve made improvements since then. Read more>>

Bri Hight and Shandy Bowman | Custom Stylists & Owners

We wanted to be in control of our own destiny, We spent many years and countless hours working at the same ole’ beauty shop, feeling unmotivated and creatively stifled. We felt there was space in not only our industry but especially within Dallas to create a education based, modern salon, that emphasized personal and professional growth, and work life balance. We wanted to set a standard of quality that also nurtured the creative student in all of our stylists. Read more>>

Alexus Wilson | Entrepreneur, Student & Mentor

My thought process behind starting my own business was to create passive income that would later turn into generation wealth. I want to leave something behind that my grandchildren could be proud of me for and that they could also benefit from. Read more>>

Sed Bezzy | Cosmetologist

Hi I am Sed B, owner of (Sed B Hair) & (Vibrant Beauty Aesthetics) Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and owning my own business was always a dream of mine. Honestly, I’m going to pretty blunt with my answer. I didn’t feel secure in any 9-5 job that I was in. Natural hair has always been a passion of mine. I grew up in a salon & a lot of my family members are entrepreneurs. A lot of planning went into building my brand, I finally realized this year 2020 that self investment is the biggest thing when starting your own business. Read more>>

Shaundale Johnson | Certified Technical Writer & Freelance Editor

My thought process behind starting my own business was simply playing into my strengths. Writing has always been “my thing,” so it was a natural transition for me. It was a matter of what, who, when, where, and how; however, why was never even considered. Read more>>

Daniel Whitton | Inventor & President

I think the Two Business I have started have been outside the normal for most people. The direct movement from Math Studies at SFASU into building structures and ultimately a Finish Carpenter for 35 years was aligned, including the desire to remain in good physical condition. I could labor for shape and build for mind. The first four years were exciting applying those skills I arrived with, and honing the skills I am learning. I watched and learned the physical progress throughout a contract while largely erecting homes by hand. I could see the business model. DFW Carpentry was formed in 1988. To spend my career using the ability to produce a tangible product built with creativity and purpose and satisfy the contract has largely been my saving grace. The Auralsplint is taking a different path to success. A hole in the market was discovered, and can this discovery become a business. Read more>>