Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Nia Spicer-Thomas | Family Nurse Practitioner & CEO

pHembiotics was started after a personal experience with chronic Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Yeast Infections, and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). I thought to myself, why aren’t there any solutions to resolve these issues and that I could develop a sustainable solution, I could help other women like myself. Read more>>

Patricia Pietra

I hold a degree in Marketing and I was working in the corporate world for more than 20 years until I became a mother of two adorable children and I decided to completely change my life and dedicate myself to the Holistic World. At the beginning I started as a way to take care of myself, I was feeling disconnected of my true self and I wanted to find ways to connect to my inner healer.  Through Yoga, Meditation, Sound Therapies and Holistic Nutrition I achieved a balance in my body, mind and soul. I wanted to share all that was good for me and my kids with others that may need it.  I studied Sound Healing, Meditation and I did my Yoga Teacher Training Certification at Synergy Yoga Center. Also I became a Vegan Nutritionist so I decided to create a space for healing that represented me but also people can relate too. Read more>>

Mylene Leon | Product Developer & Business Owner

I felt that I needed more control of my lifestyle and schedule. Spending years in a corporate environment felt a lot like running in circles on that corporate hamster wheel. I spent my time developing companies and making them successful. I missed out on family gatherings, my daughter’s volleyball games, and nights out with friends. I was giving 110% and neglecting my own needs. My health and wellbeing were slowly fading away and I found that I was losing myself. Both of my parents have always taught me to step up to challenges and persevere; the only thing than could ever stop me is my own mindset so I decided to take back my life. I took a risk and started my own business. I had very little resources to start up but was determined and did it one step at a time. I now invest 110% into my own company and enjoy watching it grow. Read more>>

Jay Veal, M.Ed. | The 6 Figure Tutor

The funny thing is that I never wanted to be in entrepreneurship originally. I thought I was going to be a CIO of a Fortune 100 company. My background was in the IT and Tech space and then in 2008 I ventured off into the education space. My first teaching assignment was at my alma mater, Townview Science & Engineering Magnet HS. I was tasked in my first year of teaching to teach a class called Fast Track Mathematics. I taught Freshman 3 years of Pre AP math in one year. So, there was Pre AP Geometry, Pre AP Algebra 2, and Pre AP Precalculus. Once done teaching for the year, all my students earned 100% PERFECT scores on the state exam which was unheard of in Dallas. After that, I decided to teach 3.5 more years all other math courses in high school. So, at the end of the 4.5 years, I taught every single math in high school at the regular, Pre AP, and AP levels. Read more>>

Dr. Cali Estes | Celebrity Addictions Coach

I was tired of making other people rich. I wanted to do what I do best, help people get sober and live their best life, but I wanted to make more money doing it. Read more>>

Krissy Webb | Executive Director

My husband and I just had twin girls they were about 6 months old, \]\[‘my dad and I were driving in a Uhaul moving our stuff across the state to be back home in Palm Beach Gardens. I leaned over and asked my dad who at the time was a Florida Power and Light Executive “Who will my daughters look up to?” Through the ensuing conversation, my dad realized that his most memorable and rewarding experiences were attained when teaching and/or coaching me, my sisters and our teammates and classmates. Dedicated to the idea that every student deserves access to character education in order to succeed, we wanted to form an organization that would help put the future of the country in prepared, capable hands. With that in mind, we started Student ACES (Athletics, Community and Education) in order to instill values into the next generation of leaders and role models. Read more>>

Ashley Whyte | Mental Health Therapist

I started my business because I saw a lack of mental health services that specifically cater to the needs of the BIPOC community. I am passionate about creating space for my community to feel safe, to have room to open up, and to just allow themselves to be vulnerable. Historically, conversations about mental health in our community are often avoided and are even considered taboo. It is not uncommon for black people to have a difficult time with trusting the medical and mental health care system in our country. We are likely to ignore and neglect our mental health with the belief that we just need to “stay strong”. Some are more inclined to turn to the church and pray their problems away. While there is nothing wrong with praying and turning to our faith, we must also acknowledge that we can go to both church and therapy. Read more>>

Anais Vivas | Floral and Event Designer

When we fled Venezuela and came to Miami we had to leave everything behind. I had a successful career as a singer and my mom had dedicated her last couple of years to helping me as part of my team. Coming to Miami was a complete shock for the whole family, no one had a job anymore and we had to figure out quickly what we were going to do. It took a couple of months and different jobs here and there until one day I decided to open an Instagram account for my mom to showcase her passions and skills. She has always been very crafty and had been in the event industry for years when I was younger. I thought maybe she could sell some flower arrangements for her friends here, small parties at their houses, something that could give her a revenue doing what she loves and also give her a distraction. Read more>>

Sandra Molina | Founder & Head Stylist

As a little girl I always loved the idea of looking and feeling my best. My mother gave me the independence to dress myself, so taking time to pick out what I was going to wear was freeing and fun. The moment I would put on any outfit I worked hard curating I knew I was going to have a good day, hoping others felt the same in their clothes. As time went by I grew to understand the meaning of confidence and how fashion and style played a really big part in that. My mind was made up! Even though I was in high school at the time I knew I wanted to be someone who helped people feel good, and speak without words through their appearance. I attended College and received a Bachelors in Fashion Design and Production. Followed by a move to South Florida, a few years and job experiences later I received a Masters in Business Administration. Read more>>

Lauren Brown | CEO & Interior Designer

I wanted to share my 30 years of extensive knowledge and genuine love and passion of design with others. I had semi retired 3 years prior… and I had a God Wink at 65 years old to continue to do what I was “born to do”. I opened my Design Firm in February, 2020 and March, 2020 Covid 19 hit and the Country closed down until May, 2020. I will humbly share that I have been blessed and thrilled to have the opportunity to have worked with 15 clients since May, 2020. Read more>>

Kindsay Elgin | Platform Stylist, Educator & Salon Owner

I was able to create a successful career as an individual hairstylist and for that I’m truly grateful. However, I realized that I was maxed out as an individual. I didn’t just want my own success, I wanted to make an impact in the industry. I wanted to create an environment where I could educate, grow, and nurture other stylists to find their success as well. My answer was to open my own salon where I was able to prioritize the values that meant the most to me; a team-oriented culture, on-going education, and passion for mastering stylist skills. Read more>>

Ryan Malkin | Attorney

Prior to starting my law firm, I was an attorney for Pernod Ricard USA, the world’s second largest wine and spirits supplier. At that time, the craft distillers movement was gaining momentum nationwide. Many of my friends and contacts within the alcohol beverage industry were now heavily involved in the craft boom. I recognized the need these new industry members had for industry specific legal advice. From a young age, I have always been entrepreneurial. So when moving from New York City to Miami, rather than going to a big firm, I started Malkin Law to provide counsel to those within the alcohol beverage industry. Read more>>

Sam and Pete Wallace | Owners

We have been music creators for most of our professional careers. So it made sense to start a company that reinforced what we were already doing: Creating music, and sharing it with the world. Between the two of us, we have the knowledge to sit with an artist, and take them through the creative process of writing a song, producing it, and releasing their song on all digital platforms worldwide. With the help of our talented music team, we are also able to get some of the best musicians in the country playing on those records. So we thought, why not bring all this talent under one roof, and make it easier for the artist to get to their final product. Read more>>

Thierry Dejean | Musician, Photographer & Entrepreneur

I always had an interest in providing a creative workspace for artists. Read more>>

Vivian Gomez | Owner & Director

OM Movement is one of a few business ventures that I am involved with, but OMM is all about passion. The inspiration for OMM is the desire to be of service to others, create a space for people to feel at home and offer up various movement modalities to enable them to live in wellness and become better humans. Read more>>

Francis Abramson | Co-owner & Professor

The first challenge was to move from Brazil to the USA with my family and provide them a great life. I’m a US citizen but never lived in the US before. So I had to learn everything in a short period of time in order to make this move. In Rio de Janeiro we were established, surrounded by family and friends but the future was uncertain. To make this dream happen and become a successful reality I had to move forward and stay focused. This took me around 2 years and a few trips to the US with my wide until we found a place to start our new life. As a black belt (in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) I’m very determined and disciplined. This helped me a lot to never give up on my goals. Even if the people I’ve met here I had long 6 months of paperwork, permits, plans, sales strategy, and marketing to go through. Read more>>

Leon Posada | Co-Owner & Creative Director

When Nacho and I founded Mussa, our goal was to offer architects and designers an opportunity to visualize their projects, and share them with clients, in a whole new way. Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) were the tools we chose to achieve our goals, but as time went by we shifted from design to the world of street art. As it turns out, life does have a way to work itself out, and we ended up being part of a wave of technology currently redefining the way in which audiences interact with public art! Read more>>

Roberta Donato | Co-Founder

We wanted to create a lifestyle brand that embodies a carefree, fun and timeless feel. One of a kind treasures from around the world and clothes that can transport you to a happy place and bring color and joy into your life. Read more>>

Sara Haber | Owner & Producer

We wanted to become more financially independent as opposed to working for someone else. (We were both working for other companies before our decision.) And also, we preferred to work directly with clients as well. So in order to make both of those wants happen, we decided to take our expertise and utilize what we learned in previous business courses and start our own video company. We took the time to understand what was needed to start a business and after some time and patience, we began to build Methodical. Read more>>

Dorandy Mercado | Sculpture Artist & Potter

I am a conceptual sculpture artist by trade. My creative process is lengthy and tedious, I require a considerable amount of time and concentration to execute my ideas through mixed media and clay sculpting. When I partnered with a friend to open L Mercado Art Studios, I found myself creating less and working more on the business side of the studio. With a demanding busy schedule and still having the unsatisfied need to create, I started making functional pottery. I found myself having instant gratification when I made something on the potters wheel that probably took make a couple of hours to make versus spending weeks or months on a sculpture. I found myself simplifying my life so that I would have more time to spend on things that truly mattered. Read more>>

Kssava Arepas

Our principal idea was to share with our neighbors and friend, the a sizing and incredible taste, with all the benefits, of our natural and delicious cassava arepas. Read more>>

Hana Dolgin | Independent Kangen Water Distributor

I am also a jazz saxophonist and have never had a full time job in my life! Except for once having a steady weekend job, I have always been self-employed. When I moved to NY from Israel (where I grew up) in 1989 to pursue my jazz studies, I wanted to have a flexible schedule, so that I could take music lessons, play music jobs and go out to clubs at night to hear live jazz. Music was my first priority for many years, so I built my life around it. While living in NYC, I had worked as a waitress, a street vendor, a Gestalt psychotherapist, a translator and interpreter, and a real estate broker. When I moved to Miami at the end of 2008, the real estate market had crashed, and I was looking for something new to get involved in. Read more>>

Magali Carusotti | Learning Experience Designer & Course Creator

I always wanted to make an impact in the world, but I didn’t know how this would translate into a career. The short story is, I was a high school teacher, I wanted out of the classroom to work online, and travel the world, while STILL having an impact. I got a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Design form Florida State University and this was my ticket to online work. I worked “for the man” creating courses of Human Resources departments and other government contracts; this felt boring, stale, and a dead-end to my dreams. Years later, inspired by the divisive state of the 2016 election, I felt people on both sides were hungry for change. My time in the classroom cemented my belief that education is the driving force that enables change. So, I decided to start a consulting business designing human-centered educational experiences for lifelong learning. Read more>>

Monique Bright-Rodgers

I wanted to create a renewable energy and eco-friendly lifestyle business that catered to ALL people especially those that were being overlooked. The goal was to take a multi-tiered approach that allows us to be a seller, user, utility scale solar farm creator and distributor/supplier, so that we could help others generate wealth by starting solar companies of their own, no matter where they are in the world. We are seriously looking for new people who want to start or expand solar companies. I also wanted to reach the day to day elements of eco-friendly living, not just solar panels, or prefab building construction, but every element, including the fun stuff too. Read more>>