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.

SimplyJustJoe | Creator, Artist, Entrepreneur

I struggled to fit most cookie cutter jobs. I found that either I my happiness was being stifled or my creativity was being mistreated. I wanted to create an environment that was conducive to my mental, emotional, and financial well being that would allow me to reach the world with a smile! My creativity provided the tools, starting my own business simply my happiness’ platform. Read more>>

Jennifer Dickson, BSN, RN | Nurse, Mom, Small Business Owner

This business exists because I needed a business like this seventeen years ago when struggling to balance nursing school while working in order to fund my education. One way I created income was to babysit for families who all loved using a nursing student. It was at this time that I thought all families deserved that level of trust and safety for their children and I knew more nursing students like myself needed a flexible work option. That was an idea I tucked away for 17 years as I began my nursing career and became a mom. In my career, I developed a passion for hiring and training exceptional staff and achieving high quality outcomes while providing excellent service. Born and raised in the Dallas area, I’ve watched the DFW metroplex grow as it has led or been among the top cities in recent years for people relocation. Read more>>

Shelter Ukpe | DJ and Visual Motion Graphic Artist

I really didn’t have much of a thought process behind starting my own business. I just had a dream, and i wanted to turn it into a reality. Sure there was some planning in what path I wanted my business to follow, but I mainly just made the most of every opportunity that was given to me. Life is an adventure that you either enjoy or dread, and I choose to enjoy the ride as I see where it takes me. Read more>>

Dajai Monae | Social Activist

When I started my nonprofit organization I didn’t think about how big it could actually become. I had a goal to help my community with a focus on youth. I knew I was passionate about community relations and improving the literacy in children. What I did from there was made an organization that combined those two focused together and I was successful enough to start a nonprofit. Read more>>

Fabi Melendez | DFW Photographer

Never in a million years would I even thought of starting my own business with photography. It seem like such a far away goal and with so many talented photographers in the community around you can definitely feel the pressure and intimidation at first. So many adjustment and lessons I had to learn throughout the process, but after doing my first photoshoot the satisfaction of the client when they see the photos is beyond words. Read more>>

Oleta Roy | Owner of BGM Nail Supply

Once I became a licensed professional in the nail industry, it wasn’t long before I experienced how bias it was when it came to purchasing professional products locally. Myself, as well as my peers, have experienced racism, disrespect, and price gouging from the Vietnamese community but yet we felt somewhat stuck with dealing with that to get what we needed. I wasn’t very happy continuing to spend money where I wasn’t appreciated or respected. The idea of opening up my own nail supply derived from my own personal experiences and I felt it was time for a change. Once the pandemic hit hard in March of 2020, I had nothing but time to really crack down and focus on how to do this as I was completely out of work for 2 months straight. I brainstormed and worked hard for months with my business partner and by June we got the keys to our building. We officially opened our doors for business on September 11, 2020. Read more>>

Stacy Swinney | Intuitive Jewelry Designer

I’ve been in Retail & Service for over 20 years, 2. I wasn’t finding the type of jewelry I wanted to wear at prices that made sense to me. 3. I have having a hard time finding jewelry that told a story or had meaning to it that I could identify with. With these 3 components, I decided… I can do that, I can try to fill a gap I’m seeing. As I started wearing the pieces I was making, I started getting compliments about them. That’s when I really sat down, made a business plan and decided: I am going to do this. When determining what I wanted my brand to be, I knew one thing I wanted; I wanted it to be something that matched my style of collecting: you find it when you need it, you find it when everyone else has passed it by, it was meant for you. With that mindset, Fortuna seemed like the obvious choice. Fortuna, the goddess of luck, she represents life’s capriciousness. I wanted my brand and my pieces to be something you found by happenstance, or exactly when you needed it. Read more>>

Renae Anderson | Real Estate Broker

My career as a Realtor has been extremely rewarding. However, like most agents I did struggle to find a place where I could flourish most. When I was building Sage Street Realty I set out to do 3 things. 1. Create an amazing culture. I wanted to provide an environment where Realtors would feel like they had a support system, had processes and tools to help them run a successful business, and relationships within the brokerage that would feel like a family. I truly want everyone to succeed. I want them to feel like they are not in this alone, and that at any moment they can pick up the phone and get the help, support, or a friend. 2. Diversify our income streams. Real Estate has up and down markets, so to combat that I try to provide alternative real estate related streams while also creating training opportunities. By creating multiple divisions of Sage Street Realty, I make sure that all sectors of real estate are offered at Sage Street Realty. Read more>>

AMY HENDERSON | Pole Dance Instructor

I wanted to have something of my own to where I was able to use my creative process freely. I wanted to have something I could handle and enjoy without over working myself. So I made sure these things were accomplishable. Read more>>

Charity Jackson | Entrepreneur

At a very young age I struggled with self love, I had a problem with pointing out the smallest things that I hated about myself. The world’s definition of beauty is based on a person’s physical form and neglects the internal beauty. They tell you that you are not beautiful unless you look like this or that and I was tired of it. I finally opened my eyes and saw myself for who I truly was a beautiful individual inside and out with a brilliant mind and a heart of gold. Starting this beauty brand wasn’t just about physical beauty, I wanted my customers to feel highly of themselves inside and out, no matter what the world says you are beautiful and as long as you remember that nothing can stop you. Read more>>

Bill Stephens | DFW Entrepreneur

If you’re working for someone else you’re only helping their success. To really be financially successful my mindset was to own as many profitable businesses as possible. The BmoneyProducitons Clothing company was a blessing in my life where preparation met opportunity!. Read more>>

Heather Allen | Small Business Owner

For years my heart had been burdened with the tragic stories and horrific statistics of children in foster care. My father was a foster child, and the heartbreaking stories that happened to him are sadly still happening to foster children today. I would daydream about small ways I could help, but never took real action. In 2018 something shifted in me. The burden evolved and plagued my mind relentlessly. I wanted to do something to facilitate change in our community. In my gut I knew that it was my time to step up and help these most precious children in a tangible way. I remember thinking that if I just redirected my time and energy, I could start my own company. I could earn money to give back to these children. Something that would connect me with people in my community and act as a gateway to raise awareness for local foster children. Something that would fuse my corporate business experience with my love of home and family. I started to dream big! That’s when Blue Door Cleaning was born. Read more>>

Laresha M. Harris | Abstract Artist

A Gurl & Her Brush was a concept I played with a couple years after I started to develop a consistent passion for painting. Art had become my creative outlet and my primary form of self-care. The beauty of creating something from nothing was addictive, satisfying and exciting. My Art became an internal check of my mental health and stability. My Art is personal and with that level of vulnerability comes scrutiny I didn’t think I would ever be ready to share with the world. Painting started as a means to heal myself from the inside out. A Gurl & Her Brush as a business was born of love, encouragement, and support from my close friends and family whom believed in my creative ability more than I did honestly. I saw A Gurl & Her Brush as a means to renew myself and my loved ones saw it as a means to heal the world one brush stroke at a time. Read more>>

Amber Alexander Zuñiga | Metalsmith and Sign Painter

Ever since I was little I’ve been creative. Starting with macrame pot holders and cross stitch, I realized when I was about four years old how fulfilling it is to be an artist and crafter. I grew up around crafters, engineers, and mechanics and always had access to sewing supplies, paints, and tools. As a teen I attended a renowned high school with college level visual art classes where I began producing and selling my jewelry to classmates. Having the foundation and training in art helped me realize I could make a living using my hands. I got married and had three children shortly after graduating high school and pursued degrees in graphic design and photography in order to create a web presence for my artwork. I needed to create artwork. If I wasn’t working on projects I was obsessively planning them. Turning my back on my creative side would be self destructive and I knew it would be like missing a limb if did so. Read more>>

Elizabeth Arenas Alegre | Owner & Creator of Under The Pergola

I was very nervous about starting my own business. Thoughts of failure came to mind several times. What if people did not like my product? What if all this work was for nothing? What if I never made a sale? I really had to mentally put all those negative thoughts aside, and focus on what I would lose if I did try. The answer was nothing. I figured out my business plan, my audience, and gave it a shot! I realized that my business was a formalized way of practicing my hobby. I enjoyed my hobby, so it was worth the risk. I have always enjoyed making charcuterie boards for family and friends. I love the fact that I can now share this with all my customers. I also sell curated gifts. I am very intentional when it comes to gifting and UTP has become an extension of that. I work with customers to create personalized, meaningful gifts. I have zero regrets about starting my business and look forward to its growth. Read more>>

Marquise McBride | Entrepreneur

I can take no credit for starting FROOT KAVES LLC. It was my kids idea I just put the money time and marketing behind it. Now I work for them full time. Read more>>

Jody Stein | Botanical Artist/Relationship Therapist

I definitely wanted a business where I could get the best of both worlds. Use my brain and be creative yet stay home with my family. Time is a precious commodity and I try to maximize each day by working while simultaneously playing with my children. Read more>>

Laurel Uko | Owner of Afro Luxe Hair & Beauty

When I started my business, I was 17 going on 18 so I was pretty young but ambitious. I knew I was not cut out to work for someone the rest of my life, despite me not even having a job at that time but I craved success and I was willing to do whatever it would take to achieve that success. I also wanted to stand out. I have always known from a young age that I was meant to be set apart from my peers and none of them at that age were thinking about business but I was. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel lost or even confused at one point because I did not know the logistics of having a business but I had an idea. Read more>>

Parker Cates | President, Egon Holdings

My mental process for founding the first business was not miraculous. I found a huge gap in pricing models in the market and decided to open a company with moderate pricing. The second, third, and fourth businesses kind of fell into place on their own. That’s usually how things work. Read more>>

Aquinnetta Mims | Baker

Starting my own business was one of many exciting moments in my life. Through all the excitement, I was also terrified because I did not know what to expect. I just knew I wanted to build a business that expresses my love for healthiness and baking. HealthyAddicts is a business that I built in showcasing that you can live a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy the sweets we all crave. I have spent many years battling with the ups and downs of maintaining a healthy diet that resulted in unbalanced weight. Once, I learned that sugar was my problem. I begin to think of different alternatives on how I can enjoy the sweets I love but healthier. That’s when I started baking healthy treats like cookies, brownies, and protein-energy bites that not only were healthy but, tasted amazing and I did not feel guilt for just eating more than one. I want everyone from adults to children to feel the warmth, the love, and deliciousness when they take a bite of my cookies, brownies. Read more>>

Courtney Zuber | Wedding & Event Florist

When I started Cone Flower Designs in 2018, I thought about how I was 23 years old and about to launch a company. If I fail then at least I tried and if I succeed then I made my dream a reality. Starting a business isn’t easy and I knew that going into it. I wanted to prove to not only myself but to the men and women out there who think young people can’t succeed actually can. With hard work and determination you can do anything!. Read more>>

Marguerite Knowles | Artist and College Student

I got really into painting during high school, especially during Christmas and Summer breaks, and I painted everyday during these breaks. I soon realised I had so many finished paintings and not enough space to hang them! I gifted some of them to friends and family, but it still wasn’t taking care of all of the paintings I was creating. So I decided to start an online store where I could sell these paintings. I first began an eBay store, and then realised that Etsy was more suited to handmade items, and so I moved my store over. Since then, I’ve really learned how much work goes into a business (much more than I’ve expected) and I’ve expanded into greeting cards and stickers as well as the acrylic paintings which I began with. Read more>>

Pierce Brantley | Author, Speaker, Product Strategy Consultant

The store of my consulting practice started when I was young. As a kid, the peak of success for me was Matthew Broderick in the movie War Games. All I wanted was a glowing, green screen computer on which to play new and exciting games. I never hacked the government for a competitive stint of tic-tac-toe like in the movie, but I did get an original Apple II computer and that set the trajectory of a career filled with innovation and exciting new technologies. Those early experiences led me to build and sell a small agency in my mid-twenties. The business provided software development and branding services on the edge of the Web 2.0 craze. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working and consulting with a range Fortune companies and startups in all things technology and product development. Digital product strategy, which is essentially new-wave business development, is the way by which companies now compete. Read more>>

Shraddha Pokle | Enterpreneur, Workaholic, Mom, Environmental Friendly, Fitness Conscious

I always wanted to my own business ! No one ever owned any business in my family ! So I was very interested in being the first one ! Also I wanted to do something which I can handle it myself and don’t have to depend on anyone, if my staff doesn’t show up, business goes on as usual ! I am easy in kitchen so wanted to try something with food industry ! Also something which I am proud of ! After considering several other juice franchises, Kwench stood out, as far as the products and total investment!. Read more>>

All Biz | Rapper & Actor

When I started doing music, alotta people wasn’t doing it. Back then, everyone wanted to be athletes which is cool but only a few stood out with the rap. I tried doing the group thing a couple times but I felt like I was always the oddball or my subject did relate to the others so I decided to jump out there on my own and see how far I’d get. Read more>>

Heather Bartos, MD | Medical Director & Podcaster

Our conventional healthcare system isn’t set up to serve women. Not just because doctors have 10-15 minute windows of time to talk to every patient – which means they’re often treating symptoms, instead of a deeper cause – or because there’s a mountain of health info out there via Instagram or Dr. Google. By far, the biggest obstacle women face in the system is not knowing what your unique brand of “healthy” looks like. I decided I wanted to be a doctor when I was 28 years old. I was working in PR at the time and after a bunch of cool projects with Texas Children’s Hospital, I was hooked and knew I wanted to be doing the work, not just writing press releases about it. After med school and serving in the Navy as an officer, I went into corporate medicine and knew I had to change how we do things. As a physician, I craved more time with my patients. I wanted to help them get to the deeper cause of their symptoms, and I wanted to care for them, mind, body & soul. Read more>>

Casaudra Martin | Tax Consultant

My tought process behind starting my own business, came from me working in corporate America. I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I make myself quickly known in any environment I work in as the go to person. I learn quickly, give 200% and show leadership skills amongst many other talents. But, very often, I saw my self getting looked over for promotions. I realized quickly that I could determine my own success by starting my own business. Read more>>

Mike Jones | Judge, College Professor/Instructor, & Commercial Realtor

The flexibility and freedom from working a 9-5 or supplemental income. Read more>>

Raymond Delmar | Executive Producer & Promoter

I wanted to start my own business because I desired certain goals for my family. I desired to leave my children, and future generations a legacy. I started a business because of a desire to help people. As I have been working for someone else, I do not see the real opportunities to affect positive change in my neighborhood, in culture, my family or circle of friends and associates. Being an entrepreneur affords me the opportunity to get my hands dirty, if you will. I can see the situation through my own eyes, and have the freedom to engage with the situation on a more personal basis. Moreover, I get to choose which “projects” to focus on, without being hindered by a time clock, or others’ opinion of importance. Being my own boss allows me to shape the model for our company. We determine the need, and then development the services to meet that need. This is not the case as employee of another company. As an entrepreneur, I can dream it, and then execute it, according what I envision it to be. Read more>>


I got tired of punching the clock. Working on someone else’s terms, making someone else rich, being limited to that hourly wage and most importantly being away from my boys. I went 2 years without spending time with my kids the way that I wanted to, not being able to tuck them in at night (I worked graveyard shift). I knew then something had to change and that’s how KISSES BY MONIQUE took flight. Read more>>

Johnny Flores | Spa Owner

Starting a business was a long time dream, that I hoped to achieve in the long run. I wanted to hone my skill set and learn every facet regarding skincare and aesthetics, The business side of this industry is extensive, and multi level’d ranging from private spas, corporate hotels, franchises, med spas, etc. The amount of knowledge that I acquired through out these experiences was rewarding and beneficial to my growth. During this entire development of character building and expansion, I had one thought that resonated the most with me. Freedom. The freedom of expression with my craft in every form that it could take me. I had many doors close, many chapters end and the moment that I started to believe in myself, trust in my truth, the best doors have opened. Becoming an entrepreneur is the most challenging phase of my life that I knew I was ready to embark on. Read more>>

Arnold Ossei | Creative Head

After 27 years of working in the menswear industry. My goal was to create a brand, that represents modern elegance for the distinguished gentleman. A brand that sets the benchmark of style and sophistication. The desirability for Art & Design. Those intricate details that may only be available in custom production, but able to attain in ready to wear suiting, hence the affordable pricing and garment at your immediate disposal. The masculine appeal with bold expressive lapels, the distinctive pucker on shoulder sleeve head that displays elegance in a relaxed manner, the high armholes that is meant to allow a free range of motion, to the Gurkha style and side adjusters on trousers. Giving the client the appeal to be one of a kind. Read more>>

Emily Landers | How’d She Do That? | Podcast Host

During the 2020 quarantine I had more time on my hands. I have always wanted to start a podcast and I knew I had the time to do it. I wanted to highlight women by asking the question, “How’d She Do That?’. I knew that it would be the best time for me start the podcast when I realized how much more I was listening to some of my favorite podcasts at the time! I have loved every minute of it!. Read more>>

Carmela Lamberti | Italian Teacher & Actress

Before this, I was a scientist for more than 25 years in Italy as well in the USA. I loved my career but I wanted a change that would allow me to follow another long-term passion: I have been an actress since I was 16. Teaching Italian privately with fewer time restrictions seemed to be the right change. It would allow me to do some acting in the theater. I left Italy at the age of 30 on a scientific project shared between the University of Naples and the University of Pittsburgh, and I took with me my mask of Pulcinella, a major character of Commedia dell’Arte. Thirty years later, I’m now using it in a theater project in Dallas with Teatro Flor Candela ( Teaching a language and doing theater are integral parts of my life. Teaching a new language is an incredible tool to stimulate interest in a new culture and to get close to people that share their own. In the same way, theater is a powerful art that uses music, spoken words, scenography and body language to communicate with the audience, share your feelings and visions. Read more>>

Roni Stewart | Pastry Chef & Bath and Body Artisan

I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. It just took me some time to find my niche. I started out making handmade custom earrings when I was 17, then I opened an online boutique and slowly implemented clothing. I had my online boutique for 3 years and it was doing very well. Then I started an online Bath Bakery where I was making handmade natural bath and body, that looked and smelled like desserts. And now, here I am! With my own Bakery. My thought process behind opening a business has always been a positive one. My goal was and still is to create a platform for my family to work, gain experience and to create generational wealth. Read more>>

Danger Dan | Rides Fast and Takes Chances

I wanna be free to do what I wanna do. I wanna be free to ride! I wanna be free to ride my machines without being hassled by The Man. Read more>>

Sean Afkhaminia | Soccer Trainer & Business Leader

I knew I would go into business for myself early on, although the form it would eventually take was not always clear. Since I was young, I think I’ve had a strong sense of intuition and self-sufficiency. I guess you could say it was an entrepreneurial spirit, but I was constantly finding things to create, quantify, and trade even before I knew what an entrepreneur was. Being in business for myself gives me a great deal of empowerment to take control over my own fate. Whether I succeed or fail is because of me, and I love that about it. Business is a team game, but only strong individuals can run it. The main driving force behind starting a soccer training business is to develop an outlet for me to express my talents, build a community, and continue to grow. Footy is my passion and I’ve sculpted a lifestyle that aligns with my identity, which brings me great content. I’m just seven years into my first big project, but it won’t be my last. Footy Factory will always stay with me no matter where I go as I continue to pursue all that life has to offer. Read more>>

Niharika Rajput | Wildlife Artist & Creative Conservationist

It all happened gradually and organically . I just amalgamated my love for art and wildlife which resulted PaperChirrups , my brand . It was a long process and took a while to materialise. Read more>>

Elaina Bryant | Founder and Creator of Elainafaye

I started Elainafaye because I saw a common problem that most women, I included, have. The problem is that women tend to not feel worthy, confident, or able to lead themselves personally and/or professionally to successfully pursue their dreams, passions, or goals. I’ve learned in the past few years that to achieve your goals and dreams you have to learn how to lead yourself every day. So I wanted to create a business that gave women tangible tools & resources, and a community to help them lead themselves and take action steps towards building a life that they love. Whether that’s in the home or workplace. Elainafaye is for the entrepreneur looking for tangible business tools, branding, or social media strategies. A leader in their workplace and looking for ways to grow and influence their team. The woman who wants to start a blog, side hustle, become an influencer, etc. Or someone who desires personal growth wants to build their confidence, and unlock their potential. Read more>>

Brandi Anderson | Speaker, Beauty Influencer, Business Owner and PRO Makeup

My initial reaction to this question is: Empowering women, igniting boldness, encouraging hope, and telling my story from ashes to beauty. I recognize that women struggle with finding the perfect red lipstick that they can wear everywhere, from work to a night out. Most women buy red lipstick for a special occasion. I am passionate about helping women, especially women of color, find their perfect red lipstick that they can feel confident wearing every day or any day for any occasion. Read more>>