Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Extatic Sound | Djs

We believe that starting your own business is not easy and you have to be willing to make sacrifices in order to make your business grow and be successful. When starting a business, do something that you love and don’t just do it for the money. Do something that you genuinely enjoy. Use all the skills and principles you’ve learned from working at a regular corporation and apply it to your business such as waking up early, serving and pleasing customers, working over time, and even your attire or uniform. You have to be prepared for sleepless nights and be prepared to sacrifice friendships and relationships because a lot of people will not understand what you’re trying to build. Starting a business is hard work but social media makes it look fun and glamorous, so make sure you do your research before starting a business and research what it takes to make your business successful and what does success look like for you. Read more>>

Rudy Mage | Creative Director

When i graduated from the Art Institute i realized quickly i didn’t want to work for someone. i was in and out of dead end jobs for many years. i had finally landed a good job with a decent salary as an art director for a paper manufacturing company. i was there for a maybe a year and from one day to the other they had to let me go. it was at that point that i said i was never going to work for someone again. i had a little bit of money saved up and i went and i got a small warehouse, my mom helped me out with a small loan and i went and got some screenprintng equipment and a digital printer. the rest is history…15 years in the game. Read more>>

Spencer Schau | Photographer/ Videographer

My thought process behind starting my business was that I didn’t want to be tied down by my nine-to-five job anymore. I’d worked in retail and the tourism industry and eventually was laid off from my job. I knew that my passion was creating stories with photos and video but didn’t think that it was attainable. Starting my business had its challenges and still does but over time I’ve been able to overcome them. Starting your own business is very stressful but once you get the hang of it, it’s completely worth it. So if you’re thinking about starting your own business, keep it as a side hustle for a little while and see if it’s really what you want to do. If you find that it is sustainable financially, then go for it. At that point, you are the only one holding yourself back. Read more>>

Shenique Shade | Influencer/Blogger

I simply want to work towards my own dreams. Having my own business idea started when I realized that I strongly disliked working on someone else’s time. I want to be able to do what I want and when I need to do it. That freedom is everything to me! At that time I knew I wanted to be my own boss but I just did not know what kind of business it’d be. Until, I started blogging my natural hair journey back in 2015 on Instagram. That’s when I started to notice the lack of self love when it came to some black women and girls loving their natural hair in its purest form. I loved being such an inspiration to help women learn to care and love their natural hair. That same desire to inspire is what started Dope No Lye, LLC. Read more>>

Steffany Lee | Career Catalyst and Company Culture Consultant

I didn’t have a thought process behind starting my business. In December 2017, I was helping my friend discover his fulfilling career path. He said to me “You know you can make a living doing this. There are so many people who NEED this service!” At the time I laughed and didn’t do anything about it. The following February, I got a call from another friend who was most upset. He said “You are the only one who can help. My employees are not working and I don’t know what to do. Please come work your magic.” I showed up and had an interview with each employee. When he wrote the check I had to open a business bank account to deposit it. Recently he told me “you know you are the only professional I’ve ever hired!” What I learned in this instance are some times one’s purpose guides one to action. I, also, learned one must have trust in one’s self and faith that things are happening as they are supposed to. Read more>>

Quantieshia Brown | Screenplay Writer, Film Director, and Producer

When I was a little girl, I knew that I always wanted to be creative. I knew that I wanted to become an actress and bring characters to life. As I grew up and started going to auditions, I realized how discouraging it can be to not be casted for a part or hear the casting director talk about how bad my audition was or that I needed more work. That negative energy stayed with me for so long that I literally gave up on my craft of acting. However, it was in high school when I started learning more about what goes on behind the scenes of a film and I felt in love with it. Fast forward to 2020, I launched my company in hopes to give other up and coming actors and actresses who felt discouraged after auditioning for a role that they really wanted and was told no. I want to use my company to give other creatives the confidence to work on their craft and make their dreams come true. I also give opportunities to individuals who want to learn the behind the scenes aspect of filmmaking the opportunity to learn and grow without having to pay thousands of dollars for film school. Read more>>

Teri Angel | Happiness Coach and Peace Ambassador

When I started Angelspeakers in 2014, the intention was to network with other likeminded individuals/companies and collaborate in an effort to reach more people with our messages of hope and light for our world. That intention still exists. Over the years, the means of outreach has evolved and especially over the last year with the changing dynamics as we learn a new way of communicating with each other. Read more>>

Simon Cherkasski | Sculptor – Artist

Obviously scared, as an experienced professional in the marketing field and a leading person that opened 3 businesses for others as a “working partner”, I knew all the problems that new business may and will have. Doesn’t matter how good you are or your product, how hard you work all this not promising success. You not opening a store/business and people just pouring in to make you a profit. First got to be sure that you can survive a year by just making zero profit, Second you hope, that all the preparation you did: demographics, right merchandise, proper advertisement are right, and then you need luck. Luck it’s not something you can buy or obtain it’s something you only can hope to have. Read more>>

Alli Parker | Hair Artist & Braider – Owner of PlayBraids, LLC

I decided to build my business around something I loved doing, was curious about, and could grow and learn from. I realized a demand (albeit a luxury one) in my community and filled it. Read more>>

Abdull Albeloushi | Digital Creator

I first started my page just to have a social media outlet where I can practice content creation and social media marketing while I was in grad school. Along the way, as I was learning new techniques and improving my content I started being noticed by local businesses, and eventually started being noticed by many big companies. Many people are able to be full-time content creators and make a living from it. I would love to reach that point but it is very time-consuming. Read more>>

Marvens Jean-Baptiste | Scriptwriter. Director. Business Owner. Future Pirate King.

To be honest it started with one of my friends who’s an artist named King Hoodie. He told me something that i think about all the time. It’s something you hear all the time but i guess i needed to hear it from someone that i know and who inspires me to try. He told me that i can either use my time on this planet to make someone else money( work for a company) or i can work to make myself money. Either way it’ll take the same amount of work. Ever since then i decided to try as hard as i can to make it out there for myself. Read more>>

Jordan Jones | Entrepreneur

My experience as a teacher made me realize that systemic or institutional change is not happening. If we want to see real, lasting change in our communities then we need a cultural revolution. What if the most influential streetwear brand on the planet was promoting information that inspired people throughout the world to believe in themselves and cause a positive effect in their reality. When you think of which athletes are sponsored by nike, you think of the best athletes in the world. What if there was a company that sponsored people based on the number of people they were able to help. Imagine these people becoming more popular than celebrities. Imagine these people are able to reach bigger audiences than mainstream news outlets because they are connected via their sponsor who helps to facilitate collaborations and projects that serve the planet. Then that company creates media, clothing, and art to popularize the projects that serve all of humanity. SKUT has big aspirations but the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Read more>>

Blake Pruitt | Home Building Industry & Outdoor Media/Content Creator

To work for free. Initially I felt my limited experience as a new business needed a stronger resume. The goal while having a preexisting career providing income was to offer services for free in exchange for the experience. I must say the experience came and so did the adventures. This quickly morphed into trading goods from well known companies in exchange for lifestyle media. Today, the ability to charge for my services is now backed by experience and an incredible network of clients. Read more>>

Elisa Ortega | Freelance Graphic Designer

It all started after having my daughter, 5 years ago. At that time I worked together with my husband helping him in his digital marketing business in the ​​graphic design area. I always thought aboout creating my own brand, but at that time it was a little complicated between housework, the baby and everything else…. Time passed and I left my native country, Ecuador and came to live in Miami. As I could not work because of my legal status and because I was in charge of my daughter, I began to sketch the idea of ​​offering my freelance graphic design services. Read more>>

Peter Molick | Architectural Photographer

Before becoming a professional photographer, I practiced architecture for a number of years and had always felt that it wasn’t my final destination. One thing that I never second guessed was my love for architecture and design, I just hadn’t found my place within that world yet. As I began to develop the skills do capture architecture through opportunities with friends and colleagues and later firms who I had relationships with, my mind was really opened to the possibilities of striking out on my own as a photographer but remaining in the architecture community that I valued so much. Many things stood out for me when considering this change. If successful, I would have more control over my own schedule and creative process while being able to get in front of more design than I ever had before. Once I made the decision to take the leap, I never looked back and really cherish the opportunities it has afforded me. Read more>>

Dwight Mathis Jr. | Business as Normal

Letting go of trust issues from being previously burned by partners from my first business. Trusting not only the partners, but the leadership of them as well. Having to question if we’re all moving in the same direction is a cautionary sign, so my thought process is to make sure we’re all in it for the greater good of the team and the one’s we’re servicing. It’s true, you can’t go very far alone, that’s why partnering with Koji Sumalde and Zach Moore has been an ever expanding dream none of us saw coming. We all have had the dream of making it in the video production world, but didn’t know how. Our combined mindsets carry a bouquet of experience, skills, morals and values that undeniably pushes us further ahead each time. Read more>>

Ojette Bonhomme | Creator of Love Speaks & Love Scents

When I first started Love Speaks, it was simply suppose to be a passion project. A platform to share individual testimonies and allow those going through trying times a space to feel comforted and know that they are not alone. In my mind, if at least one person could be inspired by one of our stories, then I had done a good job. Read more>>

Syana Mclean | Hairstylist

At the time I was a young mom and I always knew working for someone wasn’t a option I need consistent income for me and my little one it was a personal drive I had amazing support but my mom had me think of ways to have consistent income and flexible hours and then a friend talked me into servicing hair services since I was always changing my hair . I had barely any knowledge but I took a leap of faith. Read more>>

Randy Fenelus | Business owner & CHEF

When i sat down and thought about what I wanted to give to the world I was at a time in my life where I couldn’t afford to be wrong I had to believe in myself I wanted to bring something different to my community from the knowledge I had for food prior I just loved being from Miami and I had so many different culture influences I just wanted to showcase my version of good food. Read more>>

Jay Jiggins | Founder and CEO of Finesse Corporate Wellness

I believe no one knows your potential better than yourself. I have always had a very good work ethic as I am an “all in, or not at all” type person, I felt that If I am going to put my all into something, I wanted it to be something I was passionate about and to reap the rewards of that in both flexibility and finance. Read more>>

Hermest Benoit | Director, Content Manger and CEO

To make a long story short, I felt the need to change the way people experience and interact with content. In the same effort also change how businesses appeal to their customer base through media and advertisements. As someone growing up in the pop up ad and subscription based service age, it became obvious to me that current way of media advertisement and content consumption is over due for a new contrasting way of looking at the market. Read more>>