Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Lauren Ronquille | DFW Photographer

Starting my own business was something that I had been wanting to do for a while. I had been doing photography on the side since high school and absolutely loved it. When I graduated college I went to go work in the corporate world doing Marketing. I loved it but the schedule wasn’t for me – I am not made for corporate life. My fiance was my biggest support system – I told him that my dream was to open my own business and do photography full time. Read more>>

Melanie Lara | Photographer

I would say that there was definitely lots of thought in starting my photography business. For years I had been photographing my children and had taken several classes and workshops to improve my skills but the thought of owning my own business never crossed my mind. I was strictly a hobbyist photographer and that was more than okay with me, Documenting my kids growing up was rewarding but I kept getting requests to book sessions. How scary, right?! Read more>>

Martina Delaguti | Chef

Honestly, the first thing that came to mind when I started Santa Maria Artisan Kitchen, was how to reach those that have been in this country for a long time and miss the great flavor of an authentic Mexican meal. The flavors that we remember when we were young and means that our mothers and grandmothers cooked. I don’t have the slightest doubt that a good meal like those from our Santa Maria Artisan Kitchen, can make us transport into those happy times of our lives that we think we had forgotten. Read more>>

Alexandra Gloria | Photographer and Graphic Designer

You know how you see these amazing images and want to duplicate it but give it something that it’s missing, or you think you can do better in your own way? THAT is what I wanted to do. I wanted to capture the moments I thought were missing in images. I started at Sears Portrait and it was dull, forced and ‘posed’. Back in the early 2000’s you didn’t see the candids unless they were celebrities out and about, I wanted to start seeing that with regular every day people and families. It’s been over 15 years since I picked up a camera and I still get an anxiety-driven thrill to meet clients and capture their day to day and special moments. Read more>>

Traci and Natalie Grant | Small Business Owners of Fashion Granted

Well, to preface, I (Traci) have owned a small business in interior design for 16 years. Through that time, my daughter, Natalie, had started a fashion/lifestyle blog known as Fashion Granted. She wanted a creative outlet and has always loved fashion and lifestyle. We spent many coffee dates dreaming about how we could own a clothing business and what that would entail. One day I brought up to Natalie that this dream could be a reality. I told her that because of my interior design business, I had access to the Dallas apparel market- we could easily go to the event and see what it’s all about. So we set the date on our calendar. We were quickly overwhelmed by the floors and floors of clothing brands, but we learned so much. Read more>>

Haley Levitsky | Co owner

When thinking about opening an online boutique it was a thought I had for honestly most of my life. For so long I thought it was impossible or I wouldn’t succeed or it would be too much money. One day my best friend and I were talking and decided why not. What did we truly have to lose? Nothing. We’re both stay at home moms to boys and they’re our biggest motivation in our small business Read more>>

Grace Ward | Founder: Lake Cities Run Walk Group

30 years ago, I was running down a quiet dirt road in our small community. Past sleeping cows and crowing roosters as the sun came up beyond the horizon. I passed a woman running towards me, “Good morning” I called out, she nodded. A mile further down the road I passed a man, furrowed brow, intensely running up a hill, “Good morning” I called out, he smiled a huge smile and replied, “It is a beautiful day for a run”. I loved that so much – from furrowed brow to a big smile! As I continued my run, I couldn’t help but dream of a community where people knew each other, not just saying hello but knowing each other by name. Read more>>

Dillon Baxter | n/a

My goal has always been to make the maximum amount of impact on the world. Originally, I wanted to get workforce experience before starting my own business, but the more I evaluated both opportunities, the more I felt this was too good of an opportunity to wait on and that I could get experience as I went. Read more>>

Jimmy Nguyen | DJ & Wedding Professional

I’ve always enjoyed DJing and loved the fact that I could make a living off of it. After 6 years of experience working for a DJ company in the wedding industry, I decided to start my own brand and company where I had control of how I wanted to be connected with my clients. I’ve had the opportunity to DJ for many businesses and organizations along with some of the loveliest wedding clients. Thanks to these people I’ve grown my business to where it is today. I have a great team that I work with to ensure all of our clients have a memorable experience. Read more>>

Bharvi Soni | Perfumer & Founder Expressive Aromas

• Imagine the oldest child in the family, a dogmatic Virgo, who is used to having things in order and maintain that control. Now imagine that same person with a one-month-old on maternity leave and COVID shuts everything down. Well, that was me, my well laid out life just upended, family help I was hoping for could not come and I was stuck home with a newborn and a three-year-old. Honestly because I was on leave from work at the time, I felt disconnected from the world and thought all the hoo-hah about COVID will blow over. But like any grief stage, when that denial stage was over, and I was in the acceptance stage and tried to make the best of everything, Read more>>

Kevin Jones | Business Owner & Entrepreneur

The ability to create your own schedule, do something you are passionate about, and create a family legacy inspired me to start my own business. My mother always told me ” If you love what you do for a living, you never work a day in your life”. Read more>>

Dominique Blakely | Licensed Massage Therapist & Wellness Facilitator

After 8 years of being in the spa/massage therapy industry I just felt it in my spirit. I know this is an insane time to just jump into starting a business but I felt so sure and at peace about the idea. So coming into 2022 I sharpened up some of my continuing education and a general idea and client base and slowly transitioned from working within a spa to working for myself as a mobile massage therapist. I wanted to be able to consistently be in the vibes of wellness and happiness, sometimes that’s lost inside of the spas because of business protocols and missing the bigger picture of wellness. Read more>>

Haley Cottey | ExploreMore Founder and Yoga Instructor

I’ve always been entrepreneurial minded. Even as a kid, I would sell homemade pot holders outside of church. I’ve also always LOVED the outdoors and always wanted to explore. When we would go on family vacations, we would often find local trails to hike. My parents probably just wanted to get me and my sisters out of the car while on road trips and run around for 30 minutes but I always loved discovering new places. I did a 40 day backpacking trip in college with Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries and it just solidified my love for the outdoors and all things adventure. Luckily this is what drew me and my now husband as he also had done a trip with Outward Bound. Read more>>

Micheal Foster | Content Creator & Videographer

my thought process of starting your own business is gather all the information about the business 1st before evem starting a LLC like knowing the ins and outs of the business. How much its gone cost to start what industry is it in what about the business do you know etc and go from there once you get all the answers you need then start the business. You can always trademark the name tho if wanna do that 1st Read more>>

Tammy Salas | Body Sculpting Specialist & Medical Assistant

If I’m being honest, my thought process was all over the place. I had days where I was ready to put myself out there. I could already imagine myself making it and being successful. I was confident that I could do it on my own. But, I also had days where my anxiety would takeover. The fear of failure would constantly stop me from moving forward. I didn’t want to be a disappointment to my family or my friends. Thankfully, I have a great support team on my side. Read more>>

Tina Anderson | Small Business Owner/ Wellness Warrior

I wanted to start my own business because I was frustrated working at different spas and realizing it was never about treating the skin, it was always about selling the client product and booking their next appointment. I wanted to change how my clients were treated and to really make an impact on their skin and not just selling products I did not believe in. Read more>>

Kayla McCain | Owner and Founder

I have been working in content and social media marketing since 2011 and have done it all from agency level work to corporate marketing. While I loved working on large scale marketing campaigns, I always had a passion for helping small businesses who couldn’t afford the agency price tag. I had freelanced on the side for years, but in 2016 I was diagnosed with a chronic vestibular disorder that pushed me to finally open up shop on my own. I was no longer able to work under bright lights and in a noisy environment, so in 2017 I decided it was finally time to take my freelancing career to full-time. Read more>>

Kristy Jennings | Teahouse Proprietor

I wanted to do work that I found meaningful and utilized my innate gifts and bring something that my community needed. I wanted to have my daily work life be something I would do whether I was paid for it or not! Read more>>

Andrew Stiglmeier | Christian, Husband, Father, Architect

Looking back, it was something I had been thinking about for some time. I had been gaining confidence during my experience at my prior firm (SHM Architects) and started doing a good bit of work on the side. Primarily at the time i took them on for financial reasons (had a baby on the way), but as I did more and more, I kept thinking I might just be able to do it on my own. Read more>>

KRISTYN HEISLER | Yoga Practitioner & Financial Director

A major life event occurred and I knew that my current income level would not suffice to take care of my kids and myself the way I saw fit. Read more>>

Victoria Beasley | Licensed Hairstylist, Specializing in Healthy Hair and Hair Extension’s

Honestly, I didn’t really have a thought process when I first started my business. I just knew that I LOVED doing hair and making other women feel beautiful and happy with they see their hair. Over time I started to put more thought into branding and understanding what I specialize in. Staying in that lane and mastering it to the best of my ability, every single day is still a learning process for me. Read more>>

Stephanie Esquivel | Freelancing Makeup Artist & Photographer

I have always had the desire to work for myself or at the least provide for myself without depending on others to make that happen. And I knew I had the passion and drive to use my artistic talents to get me to place of independent work. With determination comes the desire for perfection. That is what lead me to practice and perfect my talent in a way that I could provide it to others. This included learning the trending techniques for the client who wanted to venture out and try something new or learn the traditional artistry for the client who is seeking a minimal everyday routine or a small beauty enhancement for their wedding day. Read more>>

Anthony Toles Jr. | Visionary, Founder, Dreamer, Goal getter, Creator

I was always an entrepreneur at heart I had a very enterprising spirit from early on but it took a back street to the conventional way I first pursued an I.T. career having worked in the field for over a decade. I went to school for information systems and then information security. I worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Northrop Grumman and others during my I.T. career. I experienced all the highs and lows of the corporate grind. I did contracting work as well, but I felt and different calling on my life and chose to go in a different direction. In search of change and renewed energy my family and I relocated from D.C. Maryland, Virginia, area to FL. Read more>>