Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Melissa Jean Jarzynski, MSPT, HPCS | Physical Therapist, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist, Trauma informed Stretch Practitioner

Professionally, I started partnering people with horses in 2005. At that time, it as a very new area and had only been around in the states for less than a decade. Starting my own practice wasn’t something I necessarily dreamed about from a young age. It was actually something I was quite scared of. However, it became clear that if I wanted to continue my work I would need to jump into entrepreneurship. in 2011, I launched my first business, Happy Trotters. Read more>>

Jessica Handelman | Owner and Founder, Jessica Jewellery

It was truly a very natural decision. Because of my family connections in the industry, I was able to explore my own business without taking any financial risk. My only investment was my time, and as a young 20-something individual working in the corporate world, I saw the merit in spending a couple hours a day exploring this business and investigating the potential. I was able to enter the industry very gradually, very safely, and very thoughtfully. Once I formally started my own business and I had left my corporate job, I had already built a clientele, experience, and my own connections to be able to succeed. Read more>>

Mary Helen Sheriff | Author Marketing Coach & Award-winning Author

It wasn’t so much that I decided to start my own business, rather it was that I decided to publish a book. My women’s fiction novel Boop and Eve’s Road Trip needed a business behind it to get it into the right readers’ hands. Suddenly, I had a book and a business. It takes time to build a lucrative career as a writer, and I needed to invest money into my business to make money. The writing world offers many paths to supplemental income. Read more>>

David Rodriguez | Worker-Owner

There were multiple factors that went into us making this jump. First and foremost: We wanted the independence and control over our own labor – going into business for ourselves allows us to build financial stability which we were not finding in the run of the mill wage labor jobs. Read more>>

Sharell Lester | Esthetician

Whoo this is a doozy! This has always been the plan, but I was comfortable and complacent. I was not planning on starting my business without a net in place! Working a corporate drone job, on auto pilot. Feeling under-valued and unappreciated. Just plugging along and then poof! I was let go suddenly! Biggest blessing for me! Read more>>

Dr.Bobby Thrush | Owner of RECVR

The thought process behind starting RECVR is to create a place where people can get better and connect with their higher selves. As a former collegiate basketball player, I lacked a full support system to help me succeed, but have a soft spot for helping people who need it. I made a promise to myself to help the community with cutting edge techniques, talented staff at every position, and a great place to support our community in there own journey. Read more>>

Rachel Duplessy | Spray Tan Artist & PMU Artist

It was always a goal of mine to start a business since I was in college. I remember being curious about starting a franchise business at one point. I did not know anything about running a business or what kind of business I would get into so in the meantime I took some introductory business courses at a local community college to get basic knowledge. Read more>>

Heatstroke | Rap Group

They were sitting in Zane’s car after a long night of partying just thinking about what their next plans were and what they were going to do with the music they wanted to make. After rapping together for years, busking on the corners of Wynwood, the two finally decided to make some songs based around house and electronic music. A few songs were made by Zane and Shamoo but they needed someone to help them engineer. Shamoo knew a producer by the name of Nairb Zepol whom he’d met in college. Zane, Nairb, and Shamoo hit it off immediately and suddenly Heatstroke was born! Read more>>

Ayana Jackson | Head florist

I have been fortunate to pursue my passion, my dreams, which has become my new career. I see the power of blooms as they are used to celebrate the start of new life, and new beginnings in life. Throughout this entire process they have brought me much joy. I took a leap of faith and decided to put purpose behind my passion to spread joy in our community through flowers. Maybe starting a business during a pandemic seemed a bit questionable, however my passion couldn’t be easily tamed. Read more>>

Andriy Stefanyshyn | Content Creator

As a Freelance Landscape Photographer You need to find the work model that will fit your art. I guess the key point for me is who will be interested in buying my art. Read more>>

Alexa Kuve | Alexa Kuve Arca Images

Arca Images emerged in 2001 as a need for self-expression in the arts. Collaborating next to me in this dream was, as usual, Larry Villanueva, actor, stage director, acting teacher. I came up with the name Arca for our nonprofit organization, and then Carlos Caballero, another colleague actor who was also part of our team when we started, proposed to include the concept “images” next to the name to expand on and cover other artistic endeavors. Hence the name of the organization as we know it today. Read more>>

Susana Cisneros | Co-Owner Plume Home Decor

Over 10 years ago, Magita and Suzy were working on a few client projects and realized how challenging it was to source pillows, lamps, wallpaper and home accessories. That’s when the idea for Plume came to them and they decided they would feel the need for a uniquely curated home accessories boutique in Miami. They wanted to be a resource for designers and customers to shop and feel inspired. Read more>>

Jassier Medel | Owner and Founder of Kenzo Mobile Detailing

My family. During the pandemic I was working at a trucking company managing truck drivers. We were an essential company so we were kept open and eventually transitioned to working from home. My son was just born, so being home was a blessing. I was able to see his first crawl, his first laugh, and his first steps. I would have missed out on all of that if I would have continued working 10 hours and an additional hour for travel to and from the office. Once they made us go back into that same routine, I decided to start a business doing something I was great at to be present in my loved ones lives, not just living to work. Read more>>

Rache Creque | Photographer

My thought process behind starting my own business in photography stemmed from my family. I come from a family of female serial entrepreneurs. Almost all of the women in my family has left 9-5 job and decided to work for themself. Growing up I’ve always had the influence of working for yourself is possible. I also knew that I hated being at a certain place at a certain time, I always wanted to follow my own rules. My way or no way. Read more>>


First of all… This is’nt my firts business, to be here and do that, i’ve got several experiences and business, that gived me the knowlege to start my business. Estrela D’água Beachwear started from a desire: everyone needs to be confortable with their body and the outfit is the one ho has to suit to the person ho is wearing it. We are diferente, like stars, everyone has is own shine. Read more>>

Patrick Gardener | Visual artist

Starting a career as an artist involved many risks, specially with two children depending economically on me, and in a place where art is not well recognized, its very hard to make a living as an artist in Lima, Peru. My first profession was architect, working in design and also developing and construction. My parents never let me study an art career, they wanted a lucrative career instead of ending as “a hippie selling his drawings on the park”. Read more>>

Ebony Martin | Record Label Exec. & Financial Consultant

I started my own record label because I believe in owning your work and being accountable. Read more>>

Bryan and Jeff Lamar and Coulter | Producer/ Engineers

1. We met and started a band together in the eighth grade, then kept that band together and touring for several years after high school. While we loved the travel, and all the experiences and insight it gave us into the world of professional musicianship, we knew we didn’t want to keep it up forever. Starting the studio was our way of ensuring we could continue our work in music for the rest of our lives. Read more>>

Gabrielle Laura | Intuitive Channeler & Spiritual Coach For Entrepreneurs

I’ve known since I was a little girl that I was going to run my own business one day. I joke that my first sentence was “I’m going to be an entrepreneur.” I’ve just always known and for me, someone who is highly intuitive, it’s nearly impossible for me to ignore my intuition. I didn’t start off my career as an entrepreneur, even though it was the only thing I wanted to do. I started off as a receptionist at a local magazine in Boston where I worked 40+ hours a week and made $900 every two weeks. Read more>>

Toni de la Torre | Business Coach

Back in 2018, I was working as a Risk Management Consultant in a corporate job (Deloitte) and, although I was in a good work environment and I really liked my job, I did not feel completely fulfilled. At that moment, I decided to launch a digital marketing agency with a business partner, but after some months, we ended up closing the agency due to lack of time. We did that despite having good results in the agency because of the high demand for these high-value skills, which were not completely covered in the industry at that time. Read more>>

Jesus Rouco | Content creator & wildlife photographer

My thought process behind starting my business was simply the idea of creating valuable content that either educate, entertain or teach something useful for my audience as well as sharing my work and the process behind it to many people around the world. Read more>>

Lerice Wee | Artisan & Small Business Owner

I’ve always wanted to start something on my own, something I have passion for. I’ve always loved creating and thinking of something I can do myself. I absolutely love accessories and jewelry. One day, I bought a bracelet set and realized I did not like how the bracelets looked in person or how they fit on me. I knew I was able to remake them and that’s how everything started. Read more>>

Amalia Natalio | Soul Alchemist & Spiritual Teacher

I didn’t realize that the things that came so easily for me all my life were spiritual talents that could translate into a career! When I was in high school, friends would come to me with their problems and ask my advice. I would share my thoughts, and oftentimes, dreamed about their query discovering an answer. I thought everyone had this ability (which we do, but that’s a story for another time)! I felt weird and wanted to be accepted like most teenagers, so I stopped. I shut down this part of myself until much later in my adult life. Read more>>

Donné Haynes | Visual Artist

Honestly, I’m in love with Art, and creating, it’s my way of expressing raw emotions, social issues etc. My business was born out of the process of me creating, people became interested in my art and wanted it in their homes/businesses within my homeland Barbados. My business is something I really love, made sure I put time and effort in the process of each piece, so people could feel the same connection I feel with my personal work. Read more>>

Anzhelika | Esthetician & Laser Specialist

First and foremost, entrepreneurship runs in my family. Looking back at my parents when I was a kid, I admired the business they were able to build and how many great opportunities were open to us because of it. So I always knew if I wanted to have this life on my own, I would have to open some kind of business. My thoughts exactly were : “I had to do something.” Read more>>

Tyler Guzzo | Tyler Guzzo

I started my own business for a variety of reasons. First and foremost: My family has a DNA of entrepreneurship. My great grandfather owned and managed a hotel, my grandfather owned a furniture shop, and between his brothers they had owned a variety of businesses from radiator shops, to meat markets, and even some bird shops. Read more>>

Paloma Larroy | Art gallery owner

Since 2003 I have created several companies, guided either by offering solutions to an existing problem or by finding new market niches. After living in Brazil for 4 years, when I went back to Madrid, I saw there was an opportunity for introducing Brazilian artists in Spain. I started by contacting interior designers and architects and showing them the art pieces in my showroom. They loved them and the general comment was…”You should open an art gallery open to everyone…”. So in 2006 I open my first art gallery in Madrid. Read more>>

Catherina De Nicolo | Architectural-Interior Designer

The idea of being independent and have the opportunity to do many things at the same time. Enjoy my family, have the change to help others. The fact of being employed is a great opportunity to develop discipline, responsability, but it is also a comsuming life which sometimes can private you from growing. . I’ve always been very clear about what I want in the future, so I had to go for it from a very young age. I’ve been always aware that starting my own business is not an easy path to follow, but it is not impossible either. Its a journey full of ups and downs but the satisfaction of seeing in real life the results of all your effort, constancy and faith pays for it all. Read more>>

Sav Ammann | Writer & Copywriter

To create without a ceiling. Running your own business means investing in yourself and your skill set. I wanted to freely design my own schedule, see how quickly I could develop my passion and knack for writing, and bring in some big bucks doing it. Read more>>

Mike Odabashian | Creative, Percussionist, Music Technician

Having been a musician for better part of 35 years, my entrepreneurship has always been in my blood. The idea of working for someone rather than working with them has always been my mantra. So being able to control that narrative myself has always been something that excites me, scares the hell out of me, and keeps me moving forward and growing. Read more>>

Adam Potash | Health Coach

I wanted the opportunity to truly help people in the best way possible. I also wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. My program has certainly adapted over the years in effort to help more and more people lose weight. I wanted to create a program that did this without giving up the much needed support and attention. Read more>>

Jacqueline Franco | Owner and editor

Starting your own business, whatever the type of business, the first thing is to define what you want? where do you want to go? And what to do to achieve that dream! The main thing is to know what you are good at and what you like to do. have your plan A, just a plan to fight and strive for it! Read more>>

stephanie hoyte | Fashion and post op care guru

Being a Business Manager at one of the biggest Banks, i learned so much about business and one of my clients who is very successful at what he does, asked me a very interesting question. Why don’t i have my own business ? I always knew i loved fashion and one day wanted to start my business around it, but didn’t know when i would start it, but at that time he asked me that question, it was a really good one, and me knowing so much about business i really thought about it and created some goals and plan around it and turned my passion for fashion into a paycheck and started my business. I started to implement everything I knew about starting a business into myself and got started. Read more>>

Jenn Lacayo | JL Jewelry Founder & CEO

I started my small business in 2020, as we entered the COVID-19 lockdown, I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time and extra finances from all of the canceled vacations and commitments. It was truly a unique opportunity, and I spent a few months thinking hard about where I wanted to invest those resources. I came to the conclusion that if I started a small business that I would be spending a great deal of my time on, it should be in something I truly enjoyed. Read more>>

Jose Mojo” Rodriguez | Chef & CEO”

Honestly, I was just tired and fed up with dragging around this extreme passion I have for food and hospitality from restaurant to restaurant. Working in the restaurant business since 18 years old doing everything from serving tables, cooking and prepping, and even managing, I started realizing that everywhere I went I was just unhappy. I always wanted to fix or improve something at whatever establishment I was at. Read more>>

Violina Bhattacharyya | Pediatrician/ Founder and CEO of WonderKidz Pediatrics and Child Health Advocate

There was a turning point in my career as a pediatrician after I became a parent. I experienced the pediatric health care system in this country from the consumers’ point of view. And that changed the whole perspective. With that came the realization about the need to bring about a change in the current pediatric primary care space. I cannot single handedly change an entire industry. But, I can definitely do my part to bring back the trust and fulfillment for patients when they visit their doctor. Read more>>

Cynthia Cespedes | Entrepreneur

C&J Dream Designs blossomed in the midst of the lowest point in my life which I call “the dark night of my soul” (San Juan de la Cruz). A few years ago, I lost someone very dear to me unexpected. This situation led me to a dark hole where negative thoughts took over my mind; spiraling me into what felt like an endless depression. Remarkably, in the face of this crisis, I managed to maintain my job as an Accountant, grow my career, and finish my Master’s Degree in Accounting. Read more>>

Ángela Perez de Lis | Artist & Creative

The idea of starting my own business was always there. For as long as I can remember my parents have always encouraged me to do what I love and to pursue and work hard for what makes me happy and inspires me.
It has always been clear to me that I was going to be creative and that I would dedicate myself to the arts and as I have grown and matured professionally I have realized that the only way to fly free and not be conditioned, was entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Antoinett Brown | M.S. Ed, Founder and CEO of Renewed Minds Educational Enrichment Center Inc.

Educating and nurturing children are my passion and purpose in life. I was supervising my school’s afterschool program and coming home venting to my family about things I want to change in order to better meet the needs of the students in the program academically, social emotionally, and culturally. In January 2021, my dad pushed me into fulfilling my purpose. He said, “why run someone else program when you can create your own. God placed you in that position to learn the tools you need to succeed on your own.” I prayed for courage, strength, will, and endurance to create my own path and that is what I did. Read more>>

Renèe Estella | Model & Entrepreneur

My thought process for starting my business was that I wanted to do something unique and something that was very much myself, something that represents me to the fullest. I’m very detail oriented so it was a very long thought process before even starting! Read more>>

“Ju” – Julia Berrios | Digital Artist & Founder of SANARTE Foundation

I have lived with ongoing disabling conditions since 2011-2012, including Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, LYME and Glioblastoma. I am also a brain cancer survivor since 2019. I have spent years battling these conditions and not finding appropriate treatments, let alone cures. This frustration built inside me with the passage of the years and I came to the realization that no treatments and cures were found because research funds were lacking, or else treatments and cures would exist! Read more>>