Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Angee Malebranche | Entrepreneur, Stoner Babe & Spiritualist

When I started my business at the end of 2011 all I needed at the time was supplemental income for the high rent in New York City. I was only 20 years old and had no idea that I could actually make a livable sustainable wage with a online business. My thought process was I love accessories why not sell it to people. So I went to the fashion district in Manhattan and got to work. I actually tried out a few different business models over the years. But the Prissy Lifestyle branding was the one that stuck. Read more>>

Ryan Sharman | CPR Instructor & First Responder

I had been teaching CPR courses for a company for several years as well as teaching Emergency Medical Services programs at a career college. I felt that I had reached a certain level of mastery and expertise in the fields. I wanted to have the freedom to design my own courses that incorporated my knowledge, experience, and personality. I wanted to deliver the product to people in a personalized setting and where emergencies occur most often, inside the home. The intention was to make CPR and Life Safety training more accessible, entertaining, and engaging for participants. Traditional CPR and Life Safety training courses can be so mundane, daunting, and monotonous. The subject matter and training itself, however, is extremely important and can determine the outcome in an emergency situation. Read more>>

SuperSeal Worldwide | Entertainers

At the time, there was great demand in the industry for not just DJs but people were looking for a complete experience. We wanted to bring something new and unique to the local market, taking events to the next level! Read more>>

Sabrina Trueblood | Certified Lactation Counselor

When I had my son I knew I wanted to breastfeed and had the unwavering support of my husband. However, I didn’t have the support of all my immediate members of my family and they challenged my decision often. I was learning as I went along but wanted to get more formal education. I looked into it and decided to become a CLC, Certified Lactation Counselor. It took me some time, but I realized a ton of other mamas also needed help… The Aladun Tree was created!. Read more>>

Vernice K Bell | Motivational Speaker | Transformational Coach | Personal Brand Architect | CEO of 18 FortyThree LLC

It was 6:43 pm, August 22, 2016 I went through the most heartbreaking experience of losing my father. Who would have known that would change the trajectory of my life. Fast forward 3 years later I found myself with a complete new list of plans for my life. Time allowed me an opportunity to take inventory of the things that were most valuable to me and courage granted me the strength to release the things that didn’t bring me happiness, joy, and peace. And as I reflected on the day of my fathers passing I came to the conclusion he had slipped away from us in the middle of the day and not only had he not lived as fully as he had hoped my father also had taken all of his ideas, dreams, goals and visions to the grave with him. At that very moment! I vowed to help others remember how to dream and also to coach them into their best versions so they could actualize their ideas and dreams and take actions to first dream the dream then reach their dreams! It was then that I was given the next set of directions for my life. Read more>>

Rebekah Whitehead | Vegan Chef & Owner of NomBucket

I love to feed people, it brings me joy. And seeing the lack of options (a couple years ago) inspired me to provide locals with some of my favorites. It was also an opportunity that allowed me the freedom to be more available for my daughter who is a big motivator. I was very blessed on how it all came together. Read more>>

Elise Kramer | Optometrist & Musician

Even when I was in university I always pictured myself having my own practice and doing it my way. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to do what you love most but on your own terms. Every minute that I work and every amount of effort that I put in results in my own professional and personal growth and the results are immeasurable. I knew that starting my own business would not always be easy, especially because I was starting from scratch. But I knew that I had to start somewhere. Working for a company or another entity was never an option in my mind. The most important thing I did was that I never gave up, even when things got hard. Read more>>

Sara Hynes | Graphic Designer

In college as an Art student I was learning all about art and design. I loved all of the new skills I was learning and ended up creating some things in class I was really proud of. I enjoyed creating things with the new skills I had learned and thought other people might enjoy them as well. I started off by selling digital prints on Etsy. Mainly designs about long distance from Florida (where I was attending college) and Minnesota (where I’m from). From there I moved onto pregnancy announcements and other things I designed for my sister. 7 years later I have transitioned into selling apparel and home decor, I hand letter and illustrate all of my designs and even though I’m a full time graphic designer by day my Etsy shop is still my creative outlet to design things that bring me joy. Read more>>

Nicole Martins | Founder of The Martins Law Firm

I worked incredibly long hours in a male dominated field and felt I positively impacted no one. Law school was the only route I could take to be the legal voice for those who couldn’t find their own. As it turns out, the first leg of my career as a civil litigation attorney, representing massive corporations, was exciting at first, but so far removed from the reason I went to law school in the first place. I was saving large corporations money by representing them in lawsuits. But my heart wasn’t in it. The firm I worked at had a series of changes, and as the youngest associate on the team, I was let go. It didn’t take very long at all before I had a few job offers, but for reasons I cannot explain, I turned them all down. Days later I had an epiphany: if I work as hard for myself as I have for others and in a capacity that is meaningful to me, there is no way I will not succeed. Read more>>

Saraie Denis | Hair Growth Specialist & Financial Representative

I have always been involved in business. However, I did not plan to start this business originally. I had been struggling with my hair growth for years and I decided I wanted to start taking it more seriously to see if I could actually retain length. I did extensive research to find out what works best to make hair grow and I created the growth oil. At first I only used it on myself but when I started seeing results I shared the oil with my friends and family. I had no intentions of actually selling it even though everyone told me I should. I guess I was a little fearful of failure. I then realized that it would benefit so many people that are going through the same thing I was going through so I decided to put it out there and start my business. Read more>>

Keane Carter-Reaves | Owner and Founder of Bridge Gang Ent.

All of our lives we were taught to grow up go to school and get a good education afterwards get a good job with benefits. rarely are we encouraged to be business owners and work for ourselves, and as a person who has worked for several different companies and have been let go from the majority of them, I wanted to try my hand at working for myself. figuring out my God-given gift and learning how i can live off of it. I didn’t want to be that person who works a 9-5 because it pays the bills and helps me to get by., what good is that and I’m miserable every time i clock in? That lifestyle is not the one for me especially when I serve a God who has created me with unique and specific purpose and who says that there is no limitation to what i can do being centered in him. so my thought process was I’m going to take God at his word and step out on faith. Read more>>

Alexus Pace-Patterson | Flex Lex Treats – Owner & Master Personal Trainer

I started my Flex Lex Treats as a passion project by coming up with healthy and low calorie recipes to treat my sweet tooth during prep. I’m an NPC IFBB professional bikini competitor, which calls for very intensive nutrition regimens and detailed preparation to be able to show off your best physique on stage. Flex Lex Treats contain healthy ingredients, they’re macronutrient friendly, and they are completely guilt-free, which made them the perfect dessert to snack on throughout the day, everyday. I ended up loving the breads and different healthy flavors so much, and after seeing how much fiancé loved them all, I decided to start a business out of the idea! It all started with the original Chocolate Banana bread, My fiancé was obsessed with it during his prep, and he had been telling me for years that I need to sell my bread! He was a great taste tester to listen to because he’s very picky with what he eats, and experiences many food intolerances, but we noticed that my bread never upset his stomach because of how healthy it was and the flavor was amazing. There’s nothing like eating chocolate banana bread everyday and continuing to lose weight!. Read more>>

Rocio Medina | Diseñadora Grafica y pintora

We thought about which areas we stood out and we were passionate about, we knew that design and production always attracted us and that is why we decided to create our business in that direction. Read more>>

Ken Berman | President & CEO, Gorilla Trades Inc.

I was a successful stockbroker in the mid-1990s. There was a ceiling as to the number of clients I could communicate with each day. I also realized that online brokerages were beginning to steal business from the full-service brokerages in a big way with their inexpensive commissions per transaction. This led to a lack of guidance for do-it-yourself investors. I looked to fill that gap. Read more>>