Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Sandra Veum | Personal Wardrobe Stylist

My thought process about starting my own business really started while I was in college. I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry, but truly wanted to leave a mark by helping others and building confidence with people through clothing. That is why while getting a BS Degree in Textiles & Clothing, I also received a Minor in Business. I knew that at some point in my career, I wanted to own my own business. After working in both the retail industry and then in sales & marketing with the hotel industry, I knew it was time to really delve into what I always really wanted to do, which was styling. I knew my business had to remain true to myself, which is helping others be the best version of themselves and build confidence from within. I wanted to work with individuals, groups, and companies to have this happen. Read more>>

Nicola Ducharme, ND | Naturopathic Doctor

I always wanted to have my own business – the independence and flexibility appealed to me, and in my field of naturopathic medicine being an independent practitioner suited the profession too since at this time in our area, there are not a lot of hospital positions for naturopathic doctors. I have always loved to travel, and with my family living overseas, having the ability to carve out that time has always meant a lot to me. When I first went into practice, I did work for another small clinic for a couple of years, which I enjoyed. But hanging up my own shingle was always the goal. Read more>>

Melissa Michaels | Brand, Jewelry & T-Shirt Designer

I came to design after acting and modeling because I wanted to express beauty in wearable art that has something to say. “I want the men and women that wear my designs to appreciate the brand name because it stands for something. I want it to be an experience. I want them to refer it as the go-to brand for protests and marches for positive social change—as well as comfort and beauty.” Read more>>

Julian Hakim | President

For me it works its way backwards. It starts with something that I want or would like to be able to go to then I build it and find a way to make it profitable. Most of the ideas are just that, an idea. I don’t approach each project with a business mindset until after its open. Its unconventional and risky, but I believe if things that are well done will be successful. Read more>>

Melissa Sargent | Life Coach/AAT-AAA handler

Heart and Hooves Therapy is a 501c(3) non-profit that was founded in 2014 after years of growing up with children with disabilities, adoptive family who were very loving and horses. During my childhood, I went thru many feelings and emotions as to why I was adopted, etc. I turned to horses when I was just 14 and from that point on I felt, seen and learned the power animals have to help you when needed most. I continued on wanting to give back in someway but I had my own family and timing in life was not right. At the beginning of 2014, all 3 of my kids were all in school, my husband worked full time so I was able to launch our program. Our program is different as we can cater to any and all no matter where they are or what they are going through. Read more>>

Bill Philipps | Psychic Medium & Author

My situation is a little more unique than most. I never grew up thinking I wanted to be a psychic medium. It’s not really a profession you choose just because you want to. I dealt with a lot of instability and trauma during my childhood, which I think taught me to rely on myself from early age. I think that’s really where my independence comes from. It wasn’t until my mom’s death, when I was 14 years old, that I realized something different was going on with me. Fortunately, I was able to say goodbye to her on her deathbed, after we had spent nearly six years apart on opposite sides of the country. Two days after my mom had died her spirit appeared to me in the middle of the night. She had come to reassure to me that I was going to be OK. Read more>>

Cathryn Beeks | Singer-songwriter, Show Host & Founder

I guess I’d say I started my business out of frustration. I arrived in San Diego in 1999 and found it hard to break into the singer/songwriter scene at that time. Songwriter showcases and even open mics were difficult to get into, it felt like you had to know and be accepted by certain folks in order to get some time on stage. In retaliation I began hosting extremely inclusive open mic nights and songwriter showcases of all kinds 7 nights a week at various venues. I branded my events “Listen Local” and a few years later I was able to quit my administrative assistant day job and focus solely on hosting events and helping expose all the great music in San Diego. I guess originally I didn’t give it too much thought, honestly, but I’m grateful that I was able to build a business that continues to make me happy all these years later. Read more>>

David Taub | Owner & Co-Creator

There were several reasons why I wanted to start my own business. They were all important to me and not in any order but first I wanted to do something that I loved and was passionate about. And I wanted to bring my passion and share my teaching with as many people as possible. I wanted to be in a creative space where I could call the artistic shots. I totally believe in the words….”if possible, do what you love and are passionate about for your “job”, and you will never work another day in your life”. Another reason was that I don’t want to work for others anymore. I was coming off some very negative work experiences in the corporate world and instead of feathering their own nest so to speak, I wanted to start to feather mine. So when I started my own business back in 2005 one of the main goals was never to work for someone else again for the rest of my life. Taking that first step was a big risk but I believe that risk is a very necessary thing and great rewards require great risks. Read more>>

Becky Goodman | Arts Administrator & Event Producer

I co-founded my business, TenPints Entertainment, with a colleague at my then full-time job. We had similar interests in discovering new music by emerging or unknown artists and felt that there was an opportunity to showcase that music with college-aged and young-professional audiences. We had the skills and experience to produce these concerts, and we had access to a venue that would support our endeavors. We did research on similar services and venues and created a business plan. The opportunity to do creative work that we weren’t doing in our regular jobs and to work for ourselves was very appealing as well. Read more>>

George Gregory | Vocalist & Founder

My thought process was more of a question. The question was; how much do I believe in myself? Just like any other business music, if done correctly, can be a lucrative business. Branding and marketing along with timing are crucial for success. I learn everyday. Trial and error has been my template in this world. Not the best business model I openly admit but I am honest to myself and sincerely express my opinions and observations in my music. Read more>>