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.

Isaiah Navarro | Indie Filmmaker

As far as I can remember I have ALWAYS loved movies. I was lucky enough to have amazing parents who raised me right by introducing me to classics like “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars.” I would watch these movies on repeat until the VHS tapes burned out. It was later as I got older that I realized it was someone’s job to make these movies and that they got paid for it! It was from that moment on that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to become a filmmaker! And be the one to create the stories that would cause people to burn out their VHS tapes too. I love how movies can make you forget about the world for a second and then completely change your mood. Movies can inspire or make you see things differently. I want to be the one to make people feel or even inspire them to make movies themselves. Read more>>

Lk Thompson | Blondilox Founder & Esthetician in Que

I set up my brand Blondilox around 2015 in the UK (where I’m from) after suffering with an eating disorder, I knew I always wanted to start my own business and my passion for health and wellness as well as being on the road to recovery inspired my business. During my recovery I was eating porridge daily and my business idea popped into my head; Blondilox. I saw that there was a market for porridge and I knew that I could put my own spin on it. I created the brand and launched it online as a ‘create your own’ concept with different superfood blends and my marketing plan was to host pop-up events and collaboration with brands such as Lululemon. Then a rather big life event happened for me and changed my direction from the UK to the US when I met my husband here in Dallas on a 24 hour stopover! Blondilox took a back seat and I got a role at a Digital Ad Agency working as a content strategist for various brands and start-ups where I did everything from social media to marketing strategy! Then with everything crazy in 2020. Read more>>

Sara Kiser | Owner of Salty Lady Vintage

I’ve always loved vintage things; clothing, accessories, furniture. I used to dig through my grandmother’s drawers to look at all her vintage jewelry and trinkets. When I started high school, I realized everyone was dressed the same and that was boring to me. I wanted to stand out, so I started thrift shopping and I’ve been hooked ever since. Combine my love of all things vintage and my obsession with thrifting and a business was born! Each thrifting trip is like a treasure hunt, you never know what you’re gonna find. Read more>>

Meghan Forest Farmer | Sustainable Wardrobe Stylist

The Considerary was born at the crossroads of my love of style, fashion, clothes, and the desire to help people make more sustainable choices in their wardrobes. Working in the fashion industry has been my first choice since I can remember. I was enthralled with fashion magazines, books, shows, and knew I wanted to live in this world someday. It was so glossy. So inspiring. I started early on in retail and wove my way along the fashion pipeline through wholesale, retail management, and a Fashion merchandising degree. I landed at editorial, still life and e-commerce styling in 2014 and spent time in house at a luxury brand as well as freelance. Even if you have not had the opportunity to see inside the fashion industry, you probably can sense or know that it is not faultless and it is affecting our world in more negative ways than we’d like to acknowledge. Poor working conditions, unfair wages, over consumption, waste…to name a few. Read more>>

Brooke Fitzpatrick | The Inclusive Matchmaker

I love connecting people and helping my friends find love. I had the initial idea to turn my love for connecting people into a business over a year ago and decided to step out on faith in July 2020. Before starting the business, I did some research on the matchmaking industry. Something that immediately grabbed my attention was that there are over 1,600 matchmakers in the U.S. and half of them have only White clients. Of the remaining half of matchmakers, very few cater to people of color. I became a matchmaker because I saw that populations of color were underrepresented in the dating services industry and I wanted to change that. God spoke to me in a dream and gave me the name “Mosaic” for my business. I officially launched Mosaic Matchmaking in September 2020 and have had an overwhelming response. Read more>>

Monika Heaton | Enrolled Agent & NTPI Fellow

I was working at a start-up company in California, and while I was on maternity leave, the company closed its doors. Paychecks stopped coming and for the first time since I was 16 years old I found myself without a job. I didn’t want to go back to corporate America as I wanted the freedom to take time off from work if my daughter was ill or had a school play. It was at that point that I decided to start my own tax and bookkeeping firm. That was 20 years ago and I never once regretted that decision. Read more>>

Nicolina Lawson | Executive & Artistic Director – Ballet North Texas

Starting Ballet North Texas stemmed from wanting more; more opportunities to dance contemporary and classical works on top of more opportunities to choreograph and work with choreographers I love. But then it grew into so much more. When I formed Ballet North Texas there were few to no professional companies in Dallas that performed classical masterpieces, neo-classical, and contemporary work with a heavy focus on ballet. I had a desire to fill that void for myself as a dancer and choreographer. I have worked with many contemporary companies including Lines Ballet in San Francisco, but I always fall back on the classics. I love tutus and tiaras and pointe shoes. In the first year we were able to hire ten professional dancers and include children in many of the performances. From there I knew we would need a school to fully realize the potential of the company. North Texas Conservatory was founded with the idea that it would train dancers from a young age to one day assume the company positions of Ballet North Texas. Read more>>

Kristen Geez | Chief Executive Officer & Media Personality

I started my business after a conversation with a group of friends in my living room. Unfortunately, as the years have passed, so have the seasons in those friendships, but I wouldn’t have formed Lipstick Ready without them. I originally came up with the idea of a mentoring program around my 21st birthday. At the time, I had dropped out of college and was really confused about what I wanted to do in life. I realized there were many things in high school that I never learned regarding entering the real world. So I begin going to the library to meet with a librarian named Ms. Connie; I told her that I wanted to do something about all the high schoolers who were unaware of all of the real-world issues they would face upon graduating. She gave me a curriculum template and told me to begin writing mini-workshops on topics that weren’t covered in school. Little did I know I would spend the next nine months creating an entire curriculum book with no participants to learn these lessons that I thought to be important. Read more>>

Lane Tunstall | Owner + Founder of Board + Brie

I’ve always loved to arrange food and a cheese plate has been my dinner of choice my whole life. After making my own boards at home for family and friends for several years, I thought why not make this into a business. Read more>>

Frederick Washington | Professional Celebrity Tattoo Artist & Piercer | Serial Entrepreneur | Investor | Author | Mentor

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I wanted to help build financial freedom and generational wealth for me, my family, and everyone else around me. Read more>>

Ashleigh McGhee | Head Cheese Lover

I’ve always had a love for cheese and charcuterie my entire life! I’m a very creative and visual person and being an accountant full time just wasn’t filling the creative bucket for me. That’s when I sat down and thought about what I really enjoyed doing in my free time and that was make charcuterie boards for friends and family. So one day in my tiny cube alongside the rest of Corporate America I started planning and thinking through what I needed to start a small business. From there, The Rustic Board was born and it’s been an amazing journey ever since. Read more>>

Joel Llanes | Photographer

Another skill that I thought to add to the list of things I want to do. As time went on and my skill progressed, I thought “Hey why not start something up of my own”. And the thought of my having my name as the title on something sounded pretty nice to say the least. So that’s when JLlanesCaptures started to come about. It took a minute to come up with a name because I wanted something that was different yet got the idea of what my business was about. A lot of thinking and asking my peers and family for ideas and what not. JLlanesCaptures just kind of popped in my head and I couldn’t really move past it and so I went ahead and ran with it. The thought of having your own business is nice but there’s things that come with it. Being able to impact the people around you, whether it’s a client, friends, or family, really just adds more joy into doing what I do. And photography does just that. Read more>>

Halima Essary | Creative Director & Arch. Designer

“I can do this better.” I have grown up with entrepreneurial parents & family. My mother has always had her own business. As a kid, I used to help greet her customers and find out what they needed. If it was something simple that I knew could help them with, I would take it upon myself to direct them. I’ve always had that mindset around me and as I started my career it’s the element I’ve missed. One day things clicked, I realized creating a business or product or even services, does not mean you have to reinvent any of it, but rather make it better and knowing you can fill that gap. Realizing that was the element I needed to push me to use my skills and make a creative business to explore the things I was interested in. Read more>>

Kathy McCommon | Intuitive Integrative Health Coach

Beginning in 1993 because of a multitude of personal health issues, I wanted to learn how to navigate the holistic world. I was blessed to have had some of the highest trained holistic healers in the world to assist and mentor me in my journey. Probably the first reality that was a big revelation was the understanding that the life of the body is in the blood, clean up the blood and you can clean up your health. In 2005 my health journey began to take a shift when I began to understand food signatures. Understanding food signatures gives a broader understanding of how our bodies are nourished and how we can maintain optimum health. I have maintained my health and wellbeing outside of allopathic medicine all of my life. 20 years ago as my young family began to grow into adulthood, I asked for my soul’s purpose and how I was to contribute to humanity. It became clear as I enrolled in various healing modalities that becoming a safe harbor for those seeking holistic healing, would fulfill my soul’s path. Read more>>

Tim Nguyen | Cosmetic Dentist

I think the main thing with starting or owning your own business is being able to do it the way that you want to. Working for someone else can be great, but not if there are differences in how you think that business should be run. There are challenges as well, but I find that at the end of the day if you can complete that day and treat people the way that you think they should be treated then that is the best possible situation to be in and owning a business provided me that opportunity. Read more>>

Felisha Burleson | Founder of The Patchwork Society

IHG out of the foster care system in Texas in 2007. It was not the easiest transition. There was a lack of support as well as resources available to me. I tried to navigate adulthood with very few tools and resources i had at my access. Not only did I want to change the outcomes of Youth and Young adults who had experienced foster care, but other people who had similar circumstances that did not experience intervention from the system. Read more>>

Keith Larry | Business Student, , Business Owners, Actor, Director, Content Creator & Writer

When I decided to start my own business, there were many factors that I took into consideration. The first factor that I took into consideration was my family. I want to be able to provide my daughter with generational wealth in the future, while ensuring that my immediate family is well taken care of. The second factor that I took into consideration was, being able to build a business that focus on the collaboration of others in multiple industries. Along with being the point of contact for individuals that want to start their own business and don’t have the reliable resources to know where to begin. One of my favorite quotes is by Helen Keller, ” Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” I believe that when you collaborate with like minded individuals and brainstorm, we could create something so amazing for the community that is bigger and greater than a vision of one person. I have came across some amazing talent and interviewed many individuals that has spoke on the lack of support from others in the community. Read more>>

John Long | Owner & Coffee Roaster

No regrets. I simply didn’t want to be 70 years old asking “why did I never try?”. Read more>>