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. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Andrea Brock | Licensed Esthetician

No thought process at all! Just took a leap of faith after having my second child. I initially started out the business thinking and believing that I wouldn’t be able to maintain all the responsibilities that came along with being a business owner. Once I pushed myself out of my comfort zone I begin to get a new mindset. I have allowed myself to evolve of the past 3 years and I’m excited to see where else this industry and my business will take me. Read more>>

Meet CURNELIUS Arnick | Brandon Scott – Chief Executive Officer | Chief Financial Officer | Curnelius Arnick – Chief Operations Officer | Chief Compliance Officer | Roddrick West – Chief Business Development Officer : Devin Woodson – Chief Marketing Officer

Tequila with Friends originally started as a blog. Three friends that were passionate about enjoying great tequila decided to share our experience with the spirit along with interesting facts that we’ve learned over the years. We started off talking about other tequilas, the history of tequila, and how to best pair tequilas with different types of food. As we did more research and learned about the industry, our naturally explorative side kicked in and said why not create our own tequila. Why not create a brand that people can connect to as they enjoy their favorite beverage. We traveled down to Mexico in 2018 to find our manufacturing partner and we found the perfect one. We rebranded Tequila with Friends and have now launched our first of many expressions – TWF Tequila Blanco. Read more>>

Lane Kuntz | Owner, Founder and Maker of Sugar Momma Scrubs

My son developed several eczema about 6 months after birth. We went to countless specialists – tried shots, creams, prescriptions, detergent changes, food changes, resulting in minimal difference. Having worked in the dermatology field for ten years, I was beyond exasperated with not being able to resolve this terribly painful, disruptive and humiliating condition for him. After research and countless attempts, we finally found something to help – gentle exfoliation via sugar and deep moisturization via unrefined coconut oil and sweet almond oil delivered through a carefully crafted scrub. Almost 4 years ago, at the encouragement of family and friends, I brought this formula to market, offering it in a variety of scents – 19 to be exact – and now have a strong customer base of both skin challenged. Read more>>

Daron Babcock | Executive Director of Bonton Farms

Bonton Farms started with the conviction that every, single person was created in the Image of God (Imago Dei), and that every person has the ability to fully manifest this full potential. We started in order to provide what this community said it needed most; jobs. In order to do that, we created a farm, a car program, a café/coffeeshop and a farmer’s market, so we could provide jobs that paid the members of our community and gave them meaningful work. But we came to find that there is more to the story of restoration than just jobs. We believe that there are 7 essential tools that every human needs in order to thrive, regardless of background or socio-economic status. These include community, economic development (jobs), safe affordable housing, access to fair credit, education, access to fresh food, and access to reliable and affordable transportation. Read more>>

Rachel Willis | Wedding & Event Planner

It took a long time for me to realize I needed to be my own boss. I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but suppressed it due to fear of being on my own. When I was 13 & starry eyed, I’d say I wanted to be an event planner, but as an adult you learn that being a business owner isn’t that simple. There’s something very intimidating about taking the step to identify as an entrepreneur, let alone start working autonomously without anyone to bounce ideas off of when you’re an extrovert. I knew I was happy working in the wedding & events industry, but I couldn’t help but feel like I could do more for my clients. I slowly began to realize I wanted to be a lot more involved in the planning & design aspects of each couple’s big day. I started living for the days when clients that would ask me tons of questions or ask for my advice. Read more>>

Adriana Meyerovitz | Expert in Ad Specialty, Promo and Swag

From a young age, and as long as I can remember, I have been a perfectionist when it comes to my work and any task I was given. I have also always loved a good challenge so in my head, I tackle work as if I am constructing a puzzle or solving a great riddle. Lastly, I love and thrive the most when I get the feeling of ownership over a project or a task at hand. When you combine the thee, becoming an Entrepreneur and being in charge of my own professional destiny seemed like the perfect combination, and the most fulfilling way to tackle the work force. As I look back, this trifecta has allowed me the freedom and creativity to grown both personally and professionally. I never take for granted and greatly appreciate the years that I did work for a large Corporation or under someone’s mentorship. But once I allowed by wings to spread I felt that the sky is the limit in terms of my career. Read more>>

Holly Roberts | Wedding and Elopement Photographer

I was working the same job for 5 years, and was at the point where I was as far as I could get. I really didn’t enjoy life anymore. I was just surviving. Something in me clicked that made me realize that life is more than just surviving. And if I never try, well then I would regret that forever. And I didn’t want to ever feel that feeling. Read more>>

Kerry D | Singer/Songwriter

I started making my own music, because there was music being created all around me, but none of it reflected me. A black gay boy who wasn’t afraid to express his emotions whether it’s in love, during heartbreak or through the signs of hope. I wanted to create music for that little boy, who grew up in church and also longs to express his love freely. Knowing what I wanted to do with my music, I first started reaching out to friends I had who recorded music and or were writers and inquired on writing sessions I also went researching YouTube for artists who were independent and doing something similar to what I wanted to do, watching their interviews and their process. It allowed me to make moves that didn’t so far out of reach. Read more>>

Jesse Herrera | Executive Director | CoAct

I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and had a tumultuous past that involved 4 years of gang activity. Reflecting on this experience, I learn to appreciate the value of why and the intimate details that led me to this lifestyle. It helped me to understand the nuances of my many chapters and some of the struggles I content with today. As a designer, I identified a disconnect created by our industry between us and the end user. This was applicable to the multifamily projects I designed for seniors to the classroom spaces I built as a public administrator. As designers, we were thrust into positions to assume what the end users needed rather than inviting them to participate. For example, when designing a classroom, I have no clue on how to best teach a class or what key experiences are important to current students. Read more>>

Miles Matthews | Pilot and Entrepreneur

I started Allura Aviation because I saw a gap between support for pilots that want to operate newer and faster airplanes and the aircraft charter industry. Owning aircraft is expensive and complex. Most owners also underutilize their aircraft. That is where Allura Aviation brings value. Read more>>

Sarah Rivera | Branding Photographer

Photography started as a requirement for me in highschool, the love for it grew from there. I never thought I would start my own business despite coming from a family of entrepreneurs. But as my skills and passion in the craft and creativity grew I knew I could use it to help other creatives boost their businesses. So mix those two passions together and how could I not start my own business?! Read more>>

Amy Hamilton | Amy Hamilton/Artist

Just like my photography business, it all started out as a hobby. It wasn’t long and I had several paintings just sitting around. I starting getting commissioned work and I thought… Hey, there might be something to this. So, I opened an Esty store and started doing local antique shows and Farmers Markets.. That was several years ago and I am still panting weekly and sharing my art. Read more>>

Dean Lewis | Stand up Comic & Comedy Coach

I’ve had a great career as a stand up comic and part of the reason for that is I was lucky enough to have amazing mentors. Established comics taught me the secrets of how to write and perform in a way that resonated with audiences. I’ve worked with comics who wanted to be successful, but they had no method or technique. Passing on what I learned gave them immediate results; this verified to me that comedy can be taught. The Stand up Workshop developed from there. I love good comedy and I know the workshop has helped hundreds of comics become better. Many have gone on to appearing on Comedy Central, Showtime, Conan, HBO and Netflix. Read more>>

Reanna DiPaolo | MBA, Business Consultant, Artist, Curator, Business Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was the thought of why work towards someone else’s goals when you can work towards your own. When you own a business all of the pressure is on you, but you also in my opinion are more fulfilled as a person. I wanted to create a business model that made it to where I got to create my own schedule, accomplish dreams I never thought I would get to achieve, and to push myself. I truly believe that if you aren’t scared then you aren’t doing the right thing for your own personal growth. Read more>>

Abby Sidauruk | Creative Brand Designer

Starting my own business is always fun but challenging. It’s adding another layer of my busy life. You have to be everything. You have to be the designer, the accountant (lucky me, because I have help from my man), sourcing person, packaging designer, customer service reps, pretty much all the hats you can wear. However, once you see how happy those people who purchase and receive your products, it just melts all the challenges and leaves me with happy warm hug feelings. Read more>

Iris Ramirez-Lugo | Wedding and Event Planner

I have been in this industry for 20 years; I started in Puerto Rico because I was the one in the family in charge of planning all the activities and events. When my cousin decided to get married, he asked me to plan his wedding, and that is when I decided to study Wedding and Events planning and get certified and begin my business. When I moved from Puerto Rico to Texas in 2005, I only planned different school, community, church, and friends’ events. Because of those events I planned, my friends and clients referred me to other people, and they started advising me to expose my business to social media, do a website and expose what I love to do, which is Wedding and Event Planning. Read more>>

Aaron Hutts | Artist

My main driving factor behind starting to sell my art was honestly my complete intolerance of being able to sit in an office for a 9 to 5. I have chronic pain, ADHD, and an unending love for art. None of which work well in most professional settings. Read more>>

Bradey Donaldson | Artist and Business Owner

Downtown McKinney is down to one art gallery. In the past 20 years there have been three or four open at one time and all mostly promoting local Artists. I have been an Artist showing work at The LAST Art Gallery since 2016. The gallery had three partners and they represented about 25 artists. After 6 years they were getting tired of the five day a week grind of running a business so they decided to retire in May of 2019. When I heard this I immediately went to them to discuss how to keep the business going. They directed me to the landlord whose family has owned the building for more than 60 years. Fortunately he was interested in seeing the gallery continue so I developed a plan and signed the lease. It was a big gamble because I had no idea if any of the existing artists would follow me in turning the gallery into a hybrid CO-OP. Read more>>

Jani Rad | Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, and Podcast Host

I’m one of those people that just isn’t satisfied doing one thing – I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember! I’ve always had a hobby or side job on top of my ‘9 to 5’ standard life. For the past few years, I decided to take some of these hobbies and extra curricular activities I had during college and graduate school and identify what marketable skills I acquired through those experiences. Three years ago, I started a business that provided professional coaching, writing, and development services to young professionals or professionals looking to pivot their careers. I wrote and edited resumes and cover letters, built professional websites, and provided career coaching based on people’s life experiences and interests. Read more>>

Suresh Dakshina | Chargeback Gurus President

I usually ask myself a few questions before I start a new venture. 1. What is the biggest problem we are trying to solve? 2. Can our solution serve thousands of businesses? 3. Can we create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) solution? 4. Is our solution scalable? 5. Can our solution create a win-win situation for our customers and us? 6. Will I hire our service if I were a customer? 7. Will I feel happy working on our project during the next 7 to 10 years? If my answer is yes to all the above questions, then we embark on our new adventure. Before founding Chargeback Gurus, my co-founder and I ran eCommerce businesses. We also provided customer service support for several eCommerce merchants. Read more>>

Lisa Wong-Rosales | Creator and Founder of Wros+Co Floral Lounge and Apothicaire

For the past 20 years I have been so fortunate to be a part of my family’s restaurant business. An establishment that has been in my home town for the last 47 years. When the pandemic made its way to the states back in March, just like everyone else in this world, our routine was replaced with panic and a lost sense of stability. But during our time in quarantine, I had the luxury of spending time with my loved ones outside of work. It was in these moments that I was able to finally take a break, breathe, and reflect. From that point on I decided it was time to reset my outlook on an unforeseen future. One that will be more positive, patient, and above all full of gratitude. Read more>>

Devin Kraft | Writer, Illustrator, Publisher, Art Director

I’ve always wanted to be creative professionally, and after leaving my first post-degree job, I wound up bringing several of my self published comics to a local comic convention. It went fairly well, and it was gratifying to go from total obscurity to being able to see responses to my art. I’d saved enough from my previous job to focus on writing and illustrating my first graphic novel Dragon Slayer, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it looked like if I saved hard I could make a living drawing (I’m also incredibly grateful to my Aunt and Uncle for letting me stay with them while learning how to make art profitable). Making a living with art sort of hinged on a mix of comic conventions for monthly expenses, and they subsidized longer stories (my real passion) which would have been impossible to make a living on, but were more artistically gratifying than single illustrations. Read more>>

JC Cochrane | Author, Well Being Coach & Owner of awarehouse.life

I started my business, www.awarehouse.life, by first filling a need for my own wellness in body, mind, emotions & soul. Since the age of 16, I’ve been fascinated with alternative healing, clean thinking, and simply “doing my own personal development work” in order to find happiness within rather than wait for something/people outside of me to change. Over the years, I certified in hypnotherapy and NLP, yoga, and meditation, amongst other modalities. When life’s challenges arose, I practiced with the tools that I had learned. I ended up writing a memoir (true story) eleven days – from 35 million to food stamps…what a family gains when losing the American dream. It has over 100 Amazon reviews from BOTH women and men. And I also wrote a companion, guidebook, called Temporarily Closed for Self Care & Spiritual Maintenance. Read more>>

Lenita Dunlap, MPA, MA | Consider me your Chaos Whisperer. I have two decades of chaos-quelling practice from working extensively within the third sector, focused primarily on educational institutions specializing in mental health, community development, and nonprofit leadership.I’m excited to share my expertise to calm any chaos you have in your life, organization, or team. Hire me as your coach

I love working through crisis situations and helping individuals and organizations experience freedom. I have such a heart for the third sector and believe we can truly change the world with proper resources and support. I’m an advocate for change and will help executives achieve their goals. I took the long route to discover how to live a dream-fulfilling life and still pursue purpose in work. I’ve had my share of challenges as well as triumphs. I share the shorter routes with my clients to experience the freedom to cultivate a work environment that honors the work that you and your team achieve. My commitment to mental health access was birthed from advocating for my family’s mental health journey. Read more>>

Jay Maggio | Artist

The simple answer is “income”. I have been pretty much on my own since I was seventeen years of age and worked my way through college and thereafter. I pursued various avenues for careers. A career as an artist was really the last resort. Growing up in rural Louisiana the general attitude was “it’s great that you are talented young man but you will really need to get a real job.” Although I initially pursued a career in art while attending LSU, I later conformed to that way of thinking. In 1995 when I lost my job working at a software company here in Dallas I tried various income generating avenues. Few of these proved profitable and a career as an artist was seriously my last choice. Read more>>

Catie Keck and Mary Beavers | Owners of Pot & Kettle

The initial spark: we both wanted to spend time in a place that didn’t exist. Our fantasy cozy hangout spot wasn’t anywhere to be found. That’s when we started thinking about creating that space for not just ourselves, but other like-minded people. Beyond that, we had similar interests, goals, and ideas about blending food and community. Read more>>

Elizabeth Eiss | Founder & CEO

Ultimately, it was a compelling sense of Purpose that emerged and evolved, anchored by the confidence of successfully running a number of corporate businesses in my prior career. In the course of doing work I found the classic gap – a business need that the market was not addressing. In my case, this was a gap in the online freelance talent marketplace. I saw a better way to match businesses that need skilled, flexible workers with quality freelancers who could provide needed expertise. I was inspired to create ResultsResourcing® after hiring freelancers using online platforms myself. I noticed many job platforms were not designed for smaller companies yet were used successfully by enterprise companies with skilled HR teams. Read more>>

Mariah Smith | Founder of Belle Âme Creative Agency

Starting my own business was something that I felt called to while attending the University of North Texas. I studied Merchandising and Home Furnishings Merchandising with a minor in Marketing. My studies fueled my passion for creating and maintaining a successful business. When it was time for me to complete my internship in order to graduate, I learned very quickly that a traditional 9-5 job wasn’t for me. I was commuting to Dallas to work for someone else’s dream and it felt so wrong to me. I had so many dreams of my own, and I felt miserable at that job. During this internship I had discovered a love for social media marketing, and had one client on the side while working in Dallas. I had a realization that I could work towards my own dream and create a business providing social media marketing services to businesses around DFW. Read more>>