The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business.  They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business.  Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Ken Mullen and Hector Diaz | Professional Chalk Artists

Prior to starting our own business, we both worked for many years in the graphic design industry. Neither of us were In love with our jobs, and the grind of designing for advertising or marketing day in and day out left us somewhat unfulfilled. We both really enjoyed the opportunity to create chalk art when it came around, so we looked for every opportunity to do it. Once we realized that there was a market to make money with chalk, it was a pretty easy decision to take the first step and work towards becoming our own bosses. Read more>>

Andrew Martineau | Chief Creative Altruist & Partner

I’ve always been a creative person and set my sights on getting into the advertising/marketing industry at a very early age. I was fortunate enough to be able to intern at an office of a global advertising agency out of high school and a job at a commercial printer shortly after, before going to college to formerly study graphic design. Upon graduation I immediately got a position at a local advertising firm, where I was able to increase my knowledge in the industry and be exposed to larger clients, brands and opportunities. At this time, having developed the skill to utilize graphic design and marketing strategy to solve clients challenges, I felt that opening a business that was able to offer these services was something that would allow me the flexibility to not have to be dependent on an employer to generate income and the ability to make my own schedule. Read more>>

Pilar Carvajal` | Founder & CEO

I was in New York City on September 11th, 2001. It was this event that led me to move back to my home town in Miami Beach and join forces with my mother in her senior living business. I work with her until 2016, when I was accepted into a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. The goal of this program was to grow your business but it was during this program that I realized that if I wanted to grow my business, I had to leave the family business. This was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life because from one day to the next, I had no business and had to start one from scratch. Read more>>

Mayra Roubach | Lifestyle, Portrait and Interiors Photographer

​In 2009 when I moved to Miami, I was coming from London without a job, but with new life goals in mind: grow my family/have kids, build a new career and be my own boss. That’s when I decided to pursue photography as a professional job. I dedicated my first years to attending workshops, hands-on courses, completing certifications, and working on finding my style and voice within my new craft. It took me a while to fully commit to this transformation, but I never lost track of my goals. Now, after 10 years in business, I know I did the right thing, and I’m a proud professional photographer living in Miami. Read more>>

Andres Restrepo | Co-founder

When we first thought about starting PalmEraMia we were looking for a life project that we were passionate about. At that time we had jobs that were teaching us skills that would later come in handy as we started our own business, but we didn’t see the future we wanted to pursue in those current jobs. The idea for the brand came about as we wanted to offer clothes that we dreamed of, but couldn’t find anywhere. This is where the concept of creating streetwear through simple elegance was born. As a pilar of the brand we also wanted to find a way to make the world a better place, which is why we decided to help communities without access to clean water. These components put together by 3 partners who grew up together made up the perfect recipe for the life project we were looking for. Read more>>

Keri Elliott | Spray Tan Artist & Owner

I have always been a stay at home mom and I found myself in a position where my kids were older and i wasn’t needed as much. My role as mom was still important but began to not be as time consuming as most of my boys drove and I just became a little sad and a little lonely. I decided I needed to start up a business that dealt with women and would possibly lead to traveling and meeting people! I bought a spray tan gun and a couple of bottles of solution and began practicing on friends and family. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined where this little journey of being a spray tan artist would take me!!! It has been the wildest ride of my life and definitely the most exciting! Read more>>

Oscar Alci | Real Estate Broker

I always saw myself as a leading person instead of depending on someone else’s success. I started working as a water delivery boy at the age of 13. I did not want to be paid hourly instead, I asked my boss ; not to let my tips to go into the pool. I was willing to differ myself from others and not get my business to be hurt by others action. I immediately sought ways to better the water delivery. I was paying attention to the delivery time by making a more efficient route. Taking my shoes off, keeping colorful and clean socks on all the time. It was interesting that clients started requesting my name for deliveries and i was getting more than an average tip. This was really the starting point of owning my business. It made me feel so good and valuable to believe in my ideas. I followed this thought process and own many businesses. Owning a business is like being a boxer in the ring. There is no one to blame the failure but the success is very rewarding. The proud moment of perseverance.. Read more>>