Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

David De Souza | Creative Director

As a creative, it was difficult for me to work a 9-5 job. I was working as a full-time employee with really great people, but I knew I needed to venture out on my own. I began to think about what my business would look like and what my values were. I love community and I knew that I wanted my business to be a conduit to building a community that I felt was lacking in my area. So, I named my business The Filmmaker Society. It is a video production company that also works to bring local filmmakers together. Read more>>

Paradis Books & bread | Bookstore, Bakery, Wine Bar & Shop

paradis books & bread is a bookstore, bakery, wine shop & bar — a culmination of all of our experiences and passions in one place. The idea for paradis was born almost 10 years ago; having been immersed in the NYC restaurant world, we were most inspired by the idea of opening a casual, yet refined restaurant in the traditional sense. But, as our experiences and interests expanded over the years, we came to realize that a restaurant was just not enough to support what we ultimately wanted to share with others. From the initial desire to open a restaurant, we became more and more interested in the question of what a physical space can offer, becoming obsessed with the perhaps obvious but nevertheless valuable idea that there’s something special about coming together, as well as the possibilities for learning with, caring for, and enjoying one another. We wanted to have a space of our own, where we could create, experiment, and explore with others. Read more>>

Desy Gato | Entrepreneur and Model

I am the type of person that fully takes responsibility for what’s going on in my life. I am spiritual but I don’t believe in the universe making things happen for me without me putting in my effort as well. I was in a point in my life where I felt like I was giving 150% of my time, energy, and focus on my job but I was not receiving what I felt was worth everything I was putting in. I didn’t feel fulfilled, I didn’t see as bright a future as I had hoped and I was burnt out all at the same time. I knew I needed a way out so I made a list of things I was passionate about and thought about how I could monetize any of those things. Then, my business was born. Read more>>

Zoe Chin Loy | Spa Owner & Microblader

I wanted to help women with their self esteem by microblading their brows. Eyebrows are single handedly the most important feature on your face and as we age they thin out so I wanted to help restore some of the confidence they might’ve lost. Read more>>

Monique Woodland | Owner of Club Rapunzel

I became interested in subscription boxes a few years ago, and during a focus group with Drinkfinity we talked about what solutions we’d be interested in receiving on a consistent basis. At the time I was recovering from some severe color damage and sun damage to my hair. I then realized that all of the holistic research and diy products I was using could be a road map to help other people facing the same problem. Read more>>

Frances Rodriguez | Owner of Gaia Skin

I have to say I did not think it would turn into a successful business. I didn’t think a hobby and something I found passion for would actually turn into a business. But when it took off, my thought process was how can I make my products stand out from the major companies. I took myself as an example, being their customer for years, what did I look for when shopping. I looked for natural ingredients and also looked at the packaging making sure it was eco-friendly and reusable. Now, the how can I bring my ideas to life. Where to start and how to get it out there?? were all my thoughts. Read more>>

Devonn Vidal | Founder of Sneakky Klean

I have never done well as an employee. I most other entrepreneurs can relate to that sentiment. My work history is plastered with a combination of small startup concepts, and short term employment runs. Sneakky Klean started as an idea in 2017 when I was in search of someone or company to clean my sneakers. I was always short on free time. During that period I was a partner in 2 different restaurant ventures, and detested the fact that my sneakers were always dirty and I never had the time to properly clean or service them. That service was unavailable in Miami. After I exited the restaurant industry in 2019, I decided there was no better time to give this idea life and see if it had any roots. Not an immediate success but the need for the service was definitely confirmed with most customers expressing a combination of joy and relief verbalizing expressions like ‘ I’ve been looking for this service for so long! Thank you for doing this.’ That was confirmation enough for me to go full time into Sneakky Klean. Read more>>

Jose Tillan | Executive Producer/Content Developer

I wanted to have the independence and freedom to call my own shots and follow my heart. I have always had an independent spirit… I also saw an opening in the market to create something unique and different. Read more>>

Zach Windahl | Owner of The Brand Sunday

When we first started out, I had just returned home from a very intense training program in Australia where we studied the Bible for 70 hours per week. From that experience, I had pages upon pages of notes and my thoughts on different passages of the Bible. And even though I grew up in church I was very overwhelmed with the Bible and thought it was a boring, irrelevant book. Until now. The more people I talked to about being raised in church had similar perspectives as me. So, first, I saw a problem. Secondly, I knew that I needed to create a solution that was easy to understand and fun to use. From there, I developed The Bible Study and, today, our company continues to create tools to help people understand the Bible and grow in their relationship with God. Read more>>

Alix Lebec | Entrepreneur & Creative. Founder & CEO, Lebec Consulting

2020 was a wake up call. We are living in this unique and yet also turbulent moment in time where it’s just crucial time for all of us to do everything we can to get our planet, society – and really all of humanity on better trajectory. I found myself reading Jacqueline Novogratz’ new book – Manifesto for a Moral Revolution – every night at 2 am last year, talking to myself, and saying yes we absolutely need to “rebuild our systems in a way that puts our shared humanity and the earth” at the center of everything we do – not just profit. How do we get this to really drive the agenda for the global corporate and financial industry – where a majority of financial resources and influence reside? How can this – alongside business plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – become the priority in Lawrence Fink’s letter to the business community each year, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos? We need massive transformation across the board. Read more>>

Thomas Curry | COO of Alignment Entertainment

Financial freedom being able to make choices, and achieve my own goals. Read more>>

Peter Kolter | Musician

I was a couple years out of my undergrad at UF and I was waiting tables. I hated it. I was drinking a lot and was spending a lot of time either waiting tables or trying not to think about waiting tables. At that time I was working mainly lunch shifts so I could have time for playing gigs at night, I had one weekly gig on Friday nights and one biweekly gig on Saturday at 150 bucks a piece, so I was making 225 a week playing music plus tips (which I was not very good at soliciting). At a certain point I just got fed up with it and realized how much energy I was wasting in someone else’s stupid restaurant. I thought ‘I’m quitting and I’m going to spend this energy finding more gigs, if I can get two more I’ll be at 525 a week and I can live on that for a while.’ So I quit and like magic the phone rang that week and a friend of mine who was managing a restaurant offered me another biweekly gig on Tuesday, which ended up being my longest standing gig. Read more>>

Fabio Moretti | Hair Stylist | Business Owner

it was 21 years ago in south beach , right in Espanola way , back then we didn’t know much about the Miami culture , people used to go out a night, so the morning for us was a struggle , it was very slow , until we decided to open at 1 pm and extended the hours till 10 pm. , then everything change in better. Read more>>

Nicole Simpson | Professional Organizer

For years I was the go-to person for organization amongst my family and friends. I noticed how being disorganized (with both time management and physical items) negatively impacted those around me. They’d tell me they felt like they were drowning in their mess until I rescued them. Helping them get organized dramatically improved their quality of life. Realizing how much people needed my skill set and service motivated me to launch Neat With Nic. Read more>>

Robert Poliszuk | Physical Therapist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist

When I first came out of physical therapy school in 2017 I worked for a clinic that was busy to say the least. Three to 5 patients an hour was the usual. Impossible to focus on each individual patient, it was like falling down a hill all day until you finally crashed, unsatisfied with the quality of treatment you provided. The sad thing is most clinics operate this way. This is why I created Physiologix Sports Physical Therapy. I wanted to give them one on one care to people who wanted it.: people who are truly motivated to get themselves better. Now I’m doing my 30 year with the business I am extremely pleased with where it has gotten. My dreams of helping those in need the way I wanted to have been for filled and I would recommend it to anyone who feels that their career is being bastardized by corporate policy or greed. Read more>>

Avani Modi Sarkar | Co-founder of Modi Toys

My parents moved here from India when I was 8 years old, with me and my two older brothers.  They did a great job of reminding us of where we came from and what we left behind. Therefore, growing up, I always felt a deep sense of appreciation for my heritage because of the food we ate, the language we spoke and the traditions we carried. But slowly overtime as my brothers and I became increasingly immersed in the American culture, our identities became more “Indian American” rather than simply the “Indian” ones we carried for many years prior. All of this was fine until I had my daughter and my niece (born just one week later!), and I quickly realized that they weren’t going to grow up the same way. And it’s foolish of me to think I could give them my childhood. Nor did I want to. But what I did want to continue to carry across the three generations – from my mom to me to my daughter – was the love and appreciation for our Indian heritage. Read more>>

Portia Perkins | Marketing Professional & Indie Book Publisher/Author

During a temporary loss of employment during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, instead of dwelling in the negative mental space while job searching, I decided to use the downtime to develop a children’s book idea that was in my mind for the last few years. Instead of potentially waiting years to go through the traditional publishing route since I had extra time, I decided to start my own publishing company to release it under and have ownership of it. I had given so much to the corporate world and during that time I felt like I wanted something of my own. My independent publishing house, Clarendon Publishing is named after the parish in Jamaica where my family is from and highlights multicultural stories and diverse characters. My first debut title, Sundays Are the Best was released in November 2020. Read more>>


I wanted to branch my brand in many ways. “The fruits of your labor.” So I figured I was the tree, and every idea I have is an extension of me. I love promotion, and creating marketing ideas. I am my own creative director in a way. Once I was called King of the vibez I knew my purpose was to spread vibez that last forever, changing the frequencies of the world through music. So all my brands circulate around that. Read more>>

Conrad Kane | Fine Artist & Model

To live everyday and wake up to create and share my work with others, is why I wanted to start my own business. Art sparks such a joy and passion for life. Being a queer owned business, would allow my focus to stand with equality and inspire others to follow their own creative voice authentically. People say I make ceramics, take photos, or paint, but, I create stories. To communicate with others through art, have creative freedom, collaborate and share my work and passion of art and design, is some of the thought process behind wanting to start my own business. I was always interested in the business side of art and using my knowledge of photography and branding. I love architecture and interiors, nature, line, color, pattern, form, light and the process behind creating. I was 20 when I sold my first two pieces of artwork for $25 total. Read more>>

Jazmine Green | Nursery Owner

That if I was going to work myself to the bone for someone else for 40-60 hours a week, I might as well do it for myself. It was scary making the leap but ultimately I was trading my happiness for money. I was making good money at my corporate job and even though I’m not making now what I was, I’m enjoying life much more. I knew if I invested enough time to dedicate learning and growing a business, I could do it. Read more>>

Matt O’Connell | Designer, Builder, Bartender, Photographer

Starting a business was actually never my intention. It’s development was both organic and accidental. I had been in the hospitality industry my whole life; using it to pay the bills while looking into various artistic interests and allowing me the daily freedom to be with my daughter. But I developed an interest in the design side or restaurant interiors over the years and as I left my job as a bar manager where I had actually done a significant amount of the design/build myself during the opening I began to take calls from friends and customers who had seen my work. I took small jobs to build confidence and gain experience, as well as some tools and a workspace. And it grew into a business without me looking. Read more>>

Thandika Thompson | Baker & Future Counselor

I was told by my friend why not turn my passion into a business. Before 2017, baking was something I grew up seeing, something I did just because I loved it and a weekend ritual with my oldest nephew. When I put pen to paper in 2017, I wanted a name that stuck close to my culture “Jamaica”, catchy and that was me. It took a while coming up with a name, and then I bounced it off a group of my friends and then it was on to designing a logo. “Think You Know Jamaica” was the company that tiredly helped bring my ideas together and I just knew when I saw it that it was perfect and perfectly mine. Originally, I wanted to focus on small treats and appetizers, hence “Likklebites” but has faith would have it, I know specialize in pastries big and small. Read more>>

Sharniece Jamisom | Owner of Home Care Agency & Blogger

During the pandemic I had nothing but time. I was so inspired by all of the frontline workers who made such a huge impact. It made me think of my grandmother who couldn’t leave her house and all the other people who were affected and how most of those people we’re probably alone. It made decide to go back to school and start my own personal care agency. Read more>>

Edward and Alicia Boateng | Team Boateng Real Estate

When we started Team Boateng Real Estate, we wanted the ability to have unlimited income while tapping into our former backgrounds. Edward comes from a Commercial insurance background with over 20+ years of experience and Alicia comes from a Wedding and Event Planning background with also over 20+ years of experience. Together, our backgrounds were a perfect segway into Real Estate. Read more>>

Anthony Blackman | Anthony “King” Blackman

In 2017 while working for a nonprofit organization in Liberty City, I made a conscious decision to start my own business. I saw a need to build record label that could make a difference in our community. I would use some of the revenue to support ongoing community projects. While also creating financial freedom and generational wealth for my family. I also wanted to prove to myself and people like me too never ever give up and your dreams. Read more>>

Andrew Bell | President  | Belly’s Crab Corner

It was a mixture of things that were happening at the same time. For months, my family members were tying to get me to start selling the seafood that I’ve been cooking for family gatherings but I was content in not doing so because my full time job was fun and I was compensated well. But at the same time I was mentally and physically exhausted. I would travel a lot, and when I wasn’t traveling my commute to my office was 2.5hrs up, work 10hr day, and commute 2.5hrs home. After time, I decided to listen to my family and give it a try. The rest is history. Read more>>

Nodrant Lēchacha | Haitian Drummer (5LAN) & Entrepreneur.

I knew with my career that I ultimately wanted to give back to the Haitian community. However, most times when working for companies that do that type of work, it is really difficult to generate income and generational wealth. With this business, I’m able to make a comfortable living for myself while doing what I love and giving back to my community. Read more>>

Francesca Perini | Social Media Manager & Content Creator

Right after grad school I started working in a big PR agency in Miami, handling all of the social media clients with over 15 accounts a month. I absolutely loved what I was doing, but noticed that I wasn’t able to fully give 100% attention to those clients because of the hectic PR world. So when I created Stellar Media Agency, I truly made it my goal to give 100% focus and attention to each and every client that trusts us with their business, regardless of how “big” or “small” they were. Every client is our #1 priority. Read more>>