Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Gladys Johnson | Creative Director/Choreographer

To help create a fun place where dancers no matter their size could feel free to dance and create. Read more>>

Amber Knauss | Photographer

Oh boy. I wish I could say I put more thought behind starting my own business than I actually did. I heard all the advice of how much money to set aside, how many clients you should have booked, all the equipment I should have, etc – and yet, I just went for it. I had planned and planned and tried and tried for a few years and just nothing was coming together. I finally decided that if I really wanted to do this, then I needed to just do it. Perhaps not the best way to go about things, and definitely NOT what I would recommend for others but it’s what I did. Read more>>

LaToyia Dennis | Motivated Mom | Nonprofit Professional | Author

I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I am what you call a serial entrepreneur. I have never doubted that I could create, start, and run successful businesses. Once I had my son, I knew that I needed to focus on a business that would allow me to utilize my experience and expertise to earn a living while creating a schedule that is flexible and allows for true parent engagement. Read more>>

Donnie Boivin | Founder CEO Success Champion

I spent 40 years living with other people’s dreams. Even told by a former employer how grateful they were that I was their retirement plan. So, at 40 years old I set out to create Success Champion. I wanted to teach others how to be a champion in their life. It took a while to make that vision come true, First I had to become the champion of my life and that took realizing that Success is my fault and Failure is my fault. Once I got there and understood that everything that happens in my life is on me. That became the foundation of where I am now. Read more>>

Phillip White | Fashion Designer

When I came up for the idea to start an activewear brand my main focus was to create a great product. In a market of very similar products I wanted to make sure to have a design aesthetic that was truly unique to me as a designer. I initially thought if I’m looking for a style that is not on the market surely others would want that as well. Read more>>

Lynda Caldwell | Licensed Esthetician & Professional Lash Extensions Specialist

The thought process in starting my own business was so I can become my own boss. I always wanted to be an independent business owner. I wanted to be able to set my own hours, wages, not have to clock in and out. Be able to take off when I need to not have to answer to someone and work for someone else. I wanted to work for myself and invest in me and enjoy what I do. I feel like loving and enjoying what you do is so important because if you do not love what you do it is hard to put your all and your best into your work. Read more>>

Jeff Rogers | Graphic Designer and Illustrator

I had been working as a designer and art director in various design studios and ad agencies for about 8 or 9 years and had been in NYC for about 3 years when I decided to jump off the cozy cruise ship of “regular” employment into the frightening and uncertain waters of self-employment. I had learned years before that my success was entirely in my own hands and that the perfect job wasn’t the thing that was going to make me get to where I wanted to be, which was just to be really really good. It took a LONG time to learn that lesson but when I did, what that meant for me was to always be thinking about what I wanted to do and work on projects that were interesting to me outside of whatever job I was working. There in those first several years, there were a couple projects that I got excited about at work but I was WAY more excited about self initiated or side projects I was doing at night and on the weekends. Read more>>

Ashley Terrell | Creative Director and Owner of My Sassy Canvas

To be honest, it was just a hobby that I used for therapy. I never intended on it being a business! However, after sitting down with my sister and reevaluating my talent and my hard work, she encouraged me to turn it into a business. It was not easy to start, however, I am so grateful that I did, because it has brought more joy into my life. Read more>>

Angela Bell | Content Creator & Podcast Host

Just starting! The hardest part is always just starting! The power of overthinking is something else! I would talk myself out of starting my business so many times out of fear of failure, feeling inexperienced, and just fear of the unknown! I’ve always said, If you can start, you’ve done the hardest part already! Read more>>

Maria Puccini | Executive Director and Social Worker

I think my original thought process to start a business went a little like this: I’m not happy in my job right now, I trust the people who want to get this started with me, I have nothing to lose by moving across the country again, and I know that people believed in me to see the vision through. Read more>>

Nicolette Noree Watson | Online Entrepreneur & Social Media Professional

I have always had an “entrepreneurial streak”, as far back as childhood when my dad would show me how to set up concession stands in our driveway during our neighborhood garage sales. I would sell lemonade, hot dogs and cookies and he taught me how to pick pricing and approach everyone to ask for their business. Even as a kid, I loved making the posters, meeting new people and, of course, making the sale. My dad also gave me ample opportunities to earn money doing extra chores, and he got me a special bank that divided the money into spending, saving and giving. It was clearly very important to him I understood the value of work and money. Upon getting my first “job-job” at about 15-16, I remember pretty quickly not loving it. Not because I minded the work, but because I would see other ways to do things and couldn’t stand not being able to implement them. Read more>>

Valencia Snow | Rapper, Radio Host, Brand Ambassador

Honestly I’ve always loved lip gloss. When I was in college I was trying to teach myself how to do my own nails since I wasn’t near a nail shop. There was a powder in a kit I thought was really pretty and would make a good lipgloss. I added the powder to some clear lipgloss I had and it turned out great. A couple years passed by and I couldn’t find my favorite lipgloss in stores so I thought back to how I previously made my own. After realizing I had over 30 lipglosses I decided to go into actually selling my own lipgloss. Read more>>

Lindsey Lawing | Small Business Owner and Pie Baker

Sweet Lucy’s Pies began as a labor of love quite literally. When I became a single mother to my daughter Lucy I was determined to find a way to support her, build for my future and be present in her life. I was working at Reata Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth at the time and the hours were long and late and I was desperate to not miss out on those precious moments with her. So with a notebook of ideas and a determination to teach myself how to make homemade pies from scratch, I started Sweet Lucy’s. It began as a side hustle out of my small garage apartment but quickly gained a small, loyal following and I soon realized that I could grow my little business into a full time career. Sweet Lucy is now seven, Sweet Lucy’s Pies just turned 6 and the business continues to grow and thrive. Read more>>

Anne-Marie Labbate | Baker & Owner – Cake.i.AM

I have always been a prolific baker. Any spare time I had I would experiment with new recipes, develop new techniques and hone my skills. I would take courses and task myself to bake more and more complex recipes that were technically challenging. My favourite part about baking is the science behind it. Combining ingredients and flavours with the aim of creating something beautiful and delicious. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would start my own business. When I moved to Dallas from the UK in 2012, I just assumed I would carry on as an IT contractor, just picking up contracts and working for a variety of companies, but a chance request for a birthday cake back in 2015 made me realise I could turn my passion for baking into a business. I can tell you there is nothing scarier than giving up your day job to start your own business, but I am so pleased I took the risk. Read more>>

Dennis Gelbaum | Branding Magician and Marketing Mixologist

For me it was always about being able to streamline the decision (and action/reaction) process. I’ve always been an effective and efficient problem solver, often times impatient if the process gets bogged down during the approval process. I love to create, present, sell and execute. Although the “execution” is my least favorite part of the process. As an Executive Producer, I know how to put all of the pieces together. As a Director, I know how to bring ideas to life, to engage, motivate and inspire others. As a company founder, owner and leader I know how to listen to clients, my customers and deliver results that always exceed expectations. I recently co-created with industry pro Wendy Kay, WENDEEMAD, a music artist development and management company. We work with music artists of all ages, genres and performance levels. Read more>>

Dylan Brown | Restaurant Owner

I was looking for food that I was used to eating from Chicago but I couldn’t find none so that was the beginning. Read more>>

Rogers Vigne | Professional Services Consultant, Certified Professional Coach, NLP Coach

I believe that, as a part of our professional evolutionary journey, that you will eventually become an expert in your field. If that is not your ultimate goal, then you are not living and growing in your God-given gift. The ultimate expression of a matured gift is someone operating in that gift in a way that provides the most value to the most people. This can take many forms, including creating something new, becoming a major player in an industry or in the establishment of a business. In my evolutionary journey, I found myself in position to create and grow this career coaching agency… it is what positions me to provide the most value, to the most people, using the God-given gift that has been bestowed to me. Read more>>