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.


My thought process behind starting my own business: When beginning Bi-Wi “Because I’m Worth It!” International, Inc., it was my desire to engage in a business that would, somehow, be a benefit to others. I wanted to do something that would enable me to give back a portion of the blessings that I’ve been given over the decades. Over my lifetime I’ve experienced hurt, pain, abuse, and hardship; but on the other hand, I’ve also experienced love, grace, help, resilience, courage, laughter, healing and wholeness threefold: (a) physically, (b) emotionally, and (c) spiritually. Life’s experiences have afforded me opportunities to gain wisdom from struggles and misfortunes; to show resilience when seemingly down to rock bottom; to glean a sense of accomplishment, self love, and a willingness to share with others both my gains and losses. It is a fact that we don’t encounter problems without a purpose. There is a reason for experiences we encounter. I believe there is a lesson in everything. Read more>>

Andrea Elibero | Virtual Assistant Coach for High Vibe Virtual Assistants & Certified Online Business Manager for Soulpreneurs

I was sitting at my desk at my 9-5 one day thinking, “Is this it?”. I worked REALLY hard to get here and now I will just sit in this same cubicle for the next who-knows-how-many years with just a few weeks of vacation/year doing work that I now realize isn’t as rewarding as I once thought it was. I realized that my primary value is FREEDOM. It was then that I searched the entire internet to find something that I can do from my laptop that would both be beneficial to the world and allow me to work when and how I wanted from my laptop. This led me to become a virtual assistant for health and wellness entrepreneurs, which quickly evolved into my becoming a certified online business manager for soulpreneurs and a high vibe virtual assistant coach. Now I get to do work I love, empowering clients who are doing amazing things in the world, all from my laptop!. Read more>>

Trinity Rivera | Small Business Owner

The thought of starting my own business all started with me buying from small businesses & noticing how high the prices were and the customer service was terrible. So I began searching for vendors & thinking about things I wanted to sell. I had lots of help between friends & family. They helped me with my name, inventory, prices, item pictures, and shipping! Starting a business seems as it’s a 123 step but it takes a lot of thought in the process. Read more>>

Cece Feinberg | Founder & CEO, Cece Feinberg Public Relations

I started Cece Feinberg PR just after I moved to Miami to marry my husband (21 years ago). At that time, all of the large agencies were looking for someone who was bi-lingual, which I was not, so they could handle PR strategies for US companies in the Latin American market. I had just moved here from NYC and my experience was specifically in fashion public relations so when I realized that there wasn’t a PR company servicing Miami-based and Latin American fashion brands to help bring them into the US market, it seemed like a perfect fit for me to start my own business. Read more>>

Gabriela Mekler | Co-Founder of mumi Design

Founded in 2014 by Mexican-born entrepreneurs Gabriela Mekler and Maribel Moreno, who now call Miami, Florida, home, the company came to market with a simple yet monumental mission: to share the amazing feeling of feeling organized with products that deliver a practical ways to stay organized at home, school, the office or when traveling. Gabriela and Maribel first met at prenatal yoga when they were both expecting their first child, and they became inseparable. They did everything together, with their kids growing up like cousins and sharing the same family values and spending holidays as a family. They often talked about going into business together and then, while on a summer vacation in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, they saw how both of their luggages were meticulously packed and organized. That’s when the idea of developing beautiful packing cubes for families came to life. They started working on the concept of assigning one color for each family member, something that is still an essential aspect of their brand. Read more>>

Lance Ladaga | Co-Founder & Creative Director

I wanted to start something that I truly believed in, and that would allow me to control my own destiny. I decided to build something from the ground up and brought on other key team members to help the business grow and develop. It’s not always easy managing your own business, but it’s always rewarding. It’s been amazing watching our evolution, and through all the ups and downs (mostly ups) I’ve always enjoyed the ride. Read more>>

Amanda Marino | Co-Founder of Next Level Recovery Associates

I was following my heart and my dreams. I became tired of giving my all to companies that didn’t appreciate or value all that I have to offer. I wanted to create my business, from my heart. My partner Blake Cohen and I saw a need to be filled in our industry. We loved learning from mentors and in our education, we wanted to add some creativity to it. We work with addiction and families who are in a tough spot. We want to see more people live happy, sober and fulfilled lives. Read more>>

Tanaine Jenkins | CEO & Entrepreneur

I wanted to be free. I wanted flexibility and I didn’t want the 9 to 5 lifestyle. I also didn’t want my salary capped. Not having to clock in or report to anyone is indeed freeing. Read more>>

Seymour Loftman | Personal Trainer, Teacher, Business Consultant and Football Coach

I wanted to take my passion that I had in sports and apply it to something that would impact my family lives and people in my community. Read more>>

Gerald Campbell | Producer & Director

My thought process behind starting Nova Sound was how do I turn my passion into a paycheck. I was fortunate to find an industry that I enjoy working in so work never feels like work, even when doing things business-related that I do not particularly enjoy. Read more>

Tanaine Jenkins | CEO & Entrepreneur

I wanted to be free. I wanted flexibility and I didn’t want the 9 to 5 lifestyle. I also didn’t want my salary capped. Not having to clock in or report to anyone is indeed freeing. Read more>>

Daisy Penzo | Wine Importer

I wanted to be on the driver seat of my own life and pursue my passion. I feel that many people go through life on auto-pilot or in the passenger seat while letting someone else make the big decisions. Starting my own business in the midst of the COVID pandemic really showed me what I was capable of accomplishing. Read more>>

Kelly Merbler | Leadership Consultant & Executive Coach

When I considered starting my own business I reflected a lot on why I wanted to take this risk and walk away from a successful career. I had enjoyed what I was doing for many years, but as I grew older and had more life experiences, I started to look at what I valued most and what was most important to me to focus my time on. I saw a need for something in our community and within organizations and I wanted to be able to spread my wings and use the gifts I was given to add value to more people. I tried so hard to do this where I was, but I couldn’t get buy in so I decided to create my dream job and hire myself. I had a lot of sleepless nights thinking through what I was leaving, but in the end I realized I wasn’t leaving something, I was moving towards something that was waiting for me all along….my future. Read more>>

Aariel Datis | CEO & Founder

Candles have always been my guilty pleasure. I’d walk into Marshalls for a new bath rug or pillows, and leave with 3-4 new candles. It never failed! I just could NOT resist sneaking to the candle aisle of any store. My love for candles started at home, as a kid. My mom would place a different scented candle in all areas of the house and lit them every time she cleaned. The kitchen would smell like apple pie. Following, the living room would smell like some kind of flower, and the bathroom would smell like lavender. I took that with me as an adult, and built my love for candles from the memories that came along with them, and the message they represented in my household, “cleanliness.” As I got older, my love for candles broadened by not only their scent, but how lighting a candle would change my entire mood. As soon as I would light a candle, I would automatically feel a sense of peace, relaxation, and relief. The use of a candle started to feel more like an outlet, rather than a preference. It made me feel like candles were apart of my mental health routine, rather than just a part of my cleaning routine. It just so happened that the use of candles could benefit both routines, and then some!. Read more>>

Shacana Andre | CEO

I decided to start my own business because of the movement created after the killing of George Floyd. Like many African Americans, I am tired and tired of seeing people who look like me, get killed everyday for seamless crimes. I started BLEX because I believe in the Buy Black Movement and wanted to create a hub where black businesses owners can grow and thrive. A place where we can buy black and support black. Read more>>

Robert Blankenship | Founder and CEO of WebFindYou

I started WebFindYou because I wanted to help fix the tainted digital marketing industry and level the playing field for small businesses with small monthly marketing budgets to compete with larger companies with much larger marketing budgets. I also wanted to help bring more transparency and simplicity to the already complicated digital marketing and SEO process to help stop the vicious cycle of businesses jumping from one platform or agency to the next for their digital marketing needs, only to continue being frustrated and unhappy with their results and the money they’ve lost. This is especially detrimental to small businesses and has caused many businesses to no longer believe in SEO or digital marketing entirely. With traditional media on the decline, something had to be done, otherwise, the digital marketing industry would be negatively impacted forever. Read more>>

Nia Shanay | Artist

I wanted to see how it felt like to truly be on my own time. I had invested so much of myself in so many other projects & places that’s continued to thrive, so why not put that focus in myself and watch it grow. Read more>>

Laura Ashley Todd | Gourmet Caterer with a Modern Twist

After working for several years in the luxury hotel industry, I was unfulfilled and underpaid. Plus, the fact that the culinary industry is male dominated added another challenging aspect to the job. My mentor, at the time, suggested that I start my own catering business which planted the idea in my head. I wanted to start a full service catering company that would deliver classic elegance with a modern twist. Read more>>

Dillan Foss | Certified Athletic Trainer

Problems are the symptom of individuals not having solutions to a specific scenario or situation. Businesses only survive by way of providing a solution to a problem that many people experience. The most common problems that humans experience are a result of not having the education to resolve or understand any issue within our own bodies, whether it be chemical, emotional or physical. My desire to help people understand their own body is my main goal. The Limitless Theory mission statement explains it best. “Limitless Theory’s mission is to provide individuals with a like-minded community that thrives on economic, nutritional, and fitness freedom. The goal is to educate, collaborate, and learn how to master the mind and body we call our own. Personal education and individualized approaches ensures everybody and anybody is properly equipped to create their limitless journey with a customizable and flexible 3-part lifestyle.” Read more>>

Darnisha Parker | Wife, Mother & Hairpreuer

My thought process behind starting my own business were factored on three values that are important to me. Those values are impact, time and growth. For me, It is very important to make an impact in what I do and every day I get to inspire, uplift and enhance the beauty of both men and women through the gift of styling their hair, vlogging on my YouTube channel and through books that I have written. Time is so important and I when starting my business I wanted to be in charge of my time and how I choose to spend it. As a creative/entrepreneur I get the opportunity to explore, travel, spend as much time as I choose with my family and work from any place that I’d like to. Starting my business, I recognized and understood that the ladder for growth is endless. There are so many opportunities to grow and become better in every way and I’m proud that I stepped out and started my business because I get to bask in the fruit of these three values daily. Read more>>

Dr. King McCray | Wealth Manager & Serial Entrepreneur

I believe it was the value behind the information, not only for myself, but my community. I wanted to start a business that I knew would impact the community and give us a deeper awareness of financial literacy. Furthermore, I knew that I simply didn’t want to work for anyone else. My mindset was, why work so hard for someone else when you can work just as hard for yourself and create that same income or more. Not everyone has that entrepreneur mindset or that itch to become a business owner, but it was embedded in my DNA. My father owned a framing business while working for another company and once he retired he opened up a restaurant. So, I’ve been around business owners my entire life, but I didn’t see the true value in being one until I started my own firm. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of late nights and early mornings, but the sheer pleasure of seeing people happy, educated, and on to a better financial path is what pushes me every day to continue. I love the freedom having my own company brings me, but my true happiness lies in my spirit of helping others. Read more>>

Melannie Bannerman | Swimwear Business Owner

My business is centered around body positivity and women’s self-confidence. Until I had my son 5 years ago, I didn’t realize how important this is. Your body goes through different changes after being pregnant/having a child, I wanted to find a way to promote that you can still feel and look your best after those changes! I struggled with my own body insecurities for awhile, ignoring compliments people gave me, because in my mind, I just knew they were lying. I came up with Chocolate Swimwear for those women who feel how I felt at that time in my life. Women should be able to wear a cute bikini to the beach and feel their sexiest no matter what life changes they experienced!. Read more>>

Wilneshia Burgess | Believe In Your Vision

Starting a business was a big deal for me. It was something I wanted for so long, but I just couldn’t grasp the concept on where to begin. I often thought to myself you can’t do this, you don’t have enough time or money to fund a business. I used to write all my ideas in a journal and plan out events. I had journals after journals. It was a nice gesture however, nothing was getting done. When I would share ideas with family members or close friends I didn’t get much feedback. I would pitch ideas but no one really understood my vision. As you can imagine I got a little discouraged and I wanted to give up plenty of times. But the faith that I walk by kept pushing me to talk to people and network. Eventually I knew I would connect with the right person. When you have a vision and you strongly believe in it’s concept, you have to walk with that vision and talk to that vision. Nothing in life comes easy and nothing easy is worth fighting for in my opinion. If others are bothered by what you are doing then you are doing something right. Read more>>

La’Dresha Booth | Graphic Designer & Creative Brand Stylist

If I can do it for someone else then I can do it for myself. If I can commit 8 hours/day for someone else then I can do the same for myself. So every day I spent the same amount of time that I would have spent working for someone else, working on my business. Read more>>

Prana Branstetter | DJ, Marketer, Creative, Musician & Producer

It started when I had an epiphany after I saw a DJ in Miami. Since then, I’ve had a real passion for Djing and love working for myself rather than another business. I have always been quite independent.. Working as a DJ, I get to make my own schedule and plan out my days to their fullest potential. This allows me time for everything, including networking and relaxing. Growing my own company allows me to put my creativity to the test and express myself in ways that other jobs don’t. Read more>>

Daphanie Mulet | Entrepreneur, Credit and Financial Advisor, and Realtor, and Commercial Real Estate Property Accounting

The though process behind starting my own business was most definitely to start something that could pass the test of time. When I was originally presented with the opportunity to become an entrepreneur, I can honestly say that what I saw was the opportunity to help others change their lives and meet their goals. It wasn’t until I started working in the finance industry that you realize how many people are in need of help- change.. something to push them and help them realize the importance of great finances- credit, budgeting, savings, and multiple streams of income. I believe that the last year was an eye-opener for many people, I am just glad I was able to help so many people and I am still helping people grow and become a better version of themselves. Read more>>

Michelle Salas | Founder & President

Community and environment is something I’ve always deeply cared about so I wanted to get into an industry where you’re also making a positive difference in communities and the environment. My main motivator was never the money, although it’s a very important aspect; My main driver has always been the impact value. I’ve been a social entrepreneur even before I knew the term existed. Read more>>

Mallory Sanchez | Owner of Paige.

If I say that starting my own business was an easy and obvious decision for me, I’d be lying. I had known for many years it was something I wanted to do, but like any entrepreneur, taking the leap was a scary thought. Ever since I graduated high school, I have always had a job. I enjoyed learning how to manage my finances and having that bit of freedom. Although I had to miss out on weekends with my friends, I honed much of my work ethic at a very young age and for that, I always found myself ahead of the game. I spent much of my college years as a sales associate at a boutique in Miami. This is where I fell in love with the idea of having my own brand. I loved the creative aspect of it all. There is just something about adding a touch of accessories to any outfit that makes getting dressed up that much more fun. When I graduated college, I found myself back at that same boutique as a manager, where I really learned the back end of the operations, including website development and social media content creation. Read more>>

Brittney Webley | Food and Beverage Owner of Islands Twist and Refreshers

– [ ] What was your thought process? To be honest I made these empanadas for myself my and my family my friends and one of them said to me these are so good you should need to start a business you need to sell them no one else has any other product out there like this . During that time was a stay at home mom and the pandemic hit and I was going through postpartum depression I really was going through a hard time al looking for ways of income to help provide for my son , this business fell in my lap . I had enough courage to make a post on my Instagram that I will start selling empanadas ,and the support has been amazing Since because of God . While cooking the empanadas this brought me so much joy it helped me with my depression and my son was my inspiration and motivation . I made a special sauce after my son legend . to know could bring delicious food an amazing sauce to people that have had never had anything like it before is a feeling that not enough words can express. Read more>>

Jac Viramuerte | Film Director, Writer & Editor at Manifesto Multimedia

Starting Manifesto Multimedia was the first step in becoming a self-sufficient artist & simultaneously becoming our own bosses. A lot of times me and my business/creative partner Samuel Romero find ourselves working or freelancing for other film companies with big production budgets & we always thought to ourselves that there’s nothing really stopping us from getting to where they are. If they can do it then so can we, and that’s what we’re striving for now. Read more>>

Malcolm Jennings | Producer, Director, Actor & Screenwriter

My thought process behind starting my own business was simple. Do I want to live or just exist. As simple as that is it took me quite a bit of time to take the leap. Security is important but a lot of jobs use it to keep us as slaves to their systems. Helping others to accomplish and their dreams and goals. I started a business with some gentleman that had like goals that I believed in. It took me a while before I totally went all in. As a career bartender I had a hard time letting go of the quick cash and health insurance etc. I haven’t felt better as an adult since I made the decision to walk away. Read more>>

Joann Milord | Owner of Welcome to Little Haiti

We launched Welcome to Little Haiti during the pandemic as the world was forced to quarantine. My daily hectic routine was abruptly stopped. Although I was fortunate to be working from home, I found myself with a lot of free time. In the beginning, I enjoyed expanding my hobbies and started baking like many people began to do. In addition, I had time for self-reflection and wanting to pursue my passions. For the past decade, I have volunteered or worked in the Haitian American community in multiple roles and various cultural initiatives. Professionally, I have worked in economic development specializing in small business lending. Starting a business was a natural progression for me. As I decided to start my entrepreneurial journey, I wanted to continue highlighting the Haitian Culture and Little Haiti. Read more>>

Ashaala Shanae | Celebrity Vocal Health Expert and Coach, Christian Recording Artist, Author, Speaker, Mentor, & Mental Health Advocate

The process behind starting my own business happened when I first graduated from college right after the September 11th tragedy. Many of us who graduated with Bachelors and Masters degrees couldn’t get corporate jobs after that time and so it forced me to go into entrepreneurship pretty quickly fresh out of school. It was the best thing that could have happened because it set the tone to where I am today. I knew that I already had a knack for teaching and as I started working with producers in the local area, alot of them would ask me if I gave vocal lessons. Making that connection as I began my career as an aspiring vocal coach, launched me into becoming an in-demand vocal health professional. Read more>>

Jamila Fraser | Baker

The thought process behind starting my business was encouraged by the pandemic. As a child my grandmother would bake religiously every weekend and little did I know that passing the sugar , salt and greasing cake pans ( let me not forget how annoyed I was doing that lol) would’ve turned into my passion. Read more>>

Travis Ganzy | Clothing Designer

At Projected On Canvas we believe that art is an expression of oneself. Without it, we would not be ourselves. We decided to introduce clothing to supply the need for streetwear/urban fashion in the community. Read more>>

Charnice Mckinnon | Entrepreneur

I always had a thing for hair, so i realized why won’t I just start selling it . After I started working at this job for a few months , I didn’t like working for anyone so I decided to make my own hair business. Read more>>

Tabia Kuntz | Entrepreneur

As a teen, I always struggled with finding jeans that were long enough for my extremely long legs. To no avail, I had to continue to wear my regular jeans which on me were considered “high waters”. As I got older, I began finding sites that would accommodate the length that I needed. I found that an inseam of 34 inches is where I finally began to feel comfortable in my jeans. So that was one problem solved! On occasion, I would go shopping with my friends and they would be able to buy all the new popular jean styles and I would always feel left out. I could only buy my jeans in certain stores or online and they were always really plain and basic with no style or flare to them. As time went on, I found more places to shop online for my jeans but that came with even more struggles. I had to deal with inconsistent sizing, high prices, and limited availability. I finally decided enough was enough. I decided I would start my own line that would solve every struggle that I had ever experienced with jeans. Read more>>