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.

Flemming Madsen Co-Founder of Delicious Raw | Co-Founder of Delicious Raw

I have had an extensive career in investment banking and private equity investments with an emphasis on analyzing businesses and markets and making investment recommendations. This has primarily been in a sort of an advisory role rather than a position where I would have had hands-on responsibility on strategy, leadership and execution. It was something I felt I was missing professionally and the idea of putting your full passion into something, having the freedom to go in the direction you believe is right and be accountable for that was very appealing. Getting into the restaurant business was however not something I actively was pursuing. But I have always had a passion for great food and great dining experiences as I believe that such experiences are invigorating, bring people together and just generally enhance the quality of life. Equally I have always been very conscious about the quality of what you eat and its impact on your general wellbeing. In a way, I think that those passions subconsciously drew me towards the restaurant industry and made me feel I could make a difference. Read more>>

Silvia Baffone | 𝙴𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚎𝙿𝙰𝚆𝚗𝚎𝚞𝚛

I’ve always wanted to help others, so much so that I got obsessed with the idea of improving the world somehow. I learned that the best place to begin making a change is within your community; and that’s precisely what I’m doing. I work and support local small businesses as well as local shelters. Read more>>

Lizz Gueits | Baker Business Owner

Believe it or not, I had been baking since the age of 8 when I made a cake for my school bus driver. My mother owned and I administrated an assisted living facility for 30 years and I still baked here and there. When my mother passed away in 2016 and hurricane Irma destroyed the facility, in had to make a difficult decision that very next year ion to rebuild or just give up and it was easier emotionally to just let it go. Thats when I felt that my mother was pushing me to do what I always loved and fromthere ihas grown organically. Read more>>

Kandice Jacobs Robinson | LFDE / Social Entrepreneur & CEO of Kandice Jacobs Creations

After successfully securing licensure as a dually licensed, Florida funeral director & embalmer, in 2016 I launched my business – after becoming my own client…when I lost my god-brother. On Jan. 5, 2015, my god-brother Titus and I were texting “Happy New Year” greetings as I prepared for work, making plans to talk later about getting together. However, a couple of hours after that conversation – at the exact time (I would later learn) as I sat in our funeral home chapel, overseeing a funeral service – Titus’s heart stopped beating. He fell to the floor, just feet away from his 1 ½- year-old son, and he died… At 41 years old, Titus left behind six children and a widow. He had no life insurance. Thankfully though, his church family financed his funeral service; and, as a Navy veteran, he was eligible for burial in the local national cemetery. My why became Ti and the inspiration for Kandice Jacobs Creations (KJC). Read more>>

Alf Palacios Dickudt | Brand Strategy Expert | Founder of Leaf Happy, Branding Studio

It was many years ago, in Miami, in front of the sea, that I first had the thought of setting up my own business; it was a key moment in my life. I wanted to be able to relive that moment forever, to work from my computer on the seashore whenever I wanted, owning my time and my space, following my passion for design and branding. Everything in this life takes time, we all need to mature, learn, experiment. To appreciate good design, as well as good wine and good food, one must train the eye to recognize a good branding campaign, understanding the strategy behind it, looking at details, taking photos, analyzing icons, forms, patterns; everything takes time. Read more>>

Monique Swift | Custom Creations Designer & Small Business Organization Coach

The thought process behind starting my business, came from a place of sitting too still for too long! I’ve always been a career girl. My field of choice is Higher Education; Specializing in Business/Administrative Organization. Well after working in the field for 10+years & being pregnant with our first child, I decided to take some time off and enjoy being a mommy. Welp, 6 months in, I was losing my mind! Babies really do sleep all day. So, in the midst of my boredom I decided to act on my hobby & love for crafting. It started small with making a few shirts for family and soon it became a passion I could not live without. And then there was the thought, “I should do this full time” & with that thought ViaSwift Creations, LLC was born. Read more>>

Yakitori boyz | Gregg Marsi and George Dassi head chefs

The thought process behind starting our own business was simply we wanted to create food we were passionate About. Also to bring every type of person together with the form of food. We worked for other people’s dreams and we wanted to fulfill ours. Read more>>

Martina Estrada-Rojas | Martina Rojas CEO/Owner

Even though I have been working in a corporate environment for the past twenty-five years. I always had a creative mind and the desire to become an entrepreneur. I often wondered if only I can find the right balance to do both successfully. My thought process behind starting Head2ToeEssentials was to provide a product that could compete with the Bath & Body products currently on the market. I wanted a product that was free of chemicals and unnatural additives. I also, wanted women to know the importance of self-care and self-love. I was inspired by my daughter who started a summer job at Wholefoods and began making her own hair conditioners. She changed her lifestyle, became vegetarian, and influenced me to do the same. Her customers started asking her what products she was using in her hair, and from that, the idea of creating a natural bath and body products line was born. Read more>>

Lillie Mae | PR Strategist & Coach

After being laid off from my dream job in my early twenties, I was excited to begin my first entrepreneurial endeavor called “SIR Magazine”. It afforded me the opportunity to attend the MTV VMAs, BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, as well as interview many of my favorite celebrities. Thereafter I started my own agency, Lillie Mae PR as well as the Glambitious brand to help other women entrepreneurs thrive. ( | Read more>>

Pharaoh | Imperial CEO & Artist

After day one of my first job I knew working for someone else wasn’t for me. I hate not having control of my own time and feeling like I could be doing something more productive or lucrative. Growing up I had a lot of entrepreneurs in my family so in the end it was really just finding out how to turn my passions into businesses. Read more>>

Andrena Phillips | Master Life Strategist/Personal Development

The thought process behind starting my business was to be the positive impact, change agent and instrument others need to navigate through life to become the best version of them. I understand the journey of starting over in life with no direction, support system or guidance. Making life changes are scary but rewarding. Read more>>