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.

Jacqualynn Gordon | Doctor of Physical Therapy

I have worked in different settings for Physical Therapy and I wanted to improve the care that people are getting. When someone comes for physical therapy they are looking for someone to explain why they are in pain and to help them get out of it. It seems simple but it’s not always being done, sadly. I enjoy teaching and helping people. I want to empower people to reach their health and fitness goals. When people enter the Onyx Physical Therapy studio I want them to feel comfortable, and inspired. Read more>>

Matteo Tibiletti | Actor, writer, filmmaker, acting coach

Well, I think many things brought me where I’m now. I had many different jobs in my life, but none of them ever make my happy and satisfy! And I was so afraid to make some mistake or fail, that I lost much time just thinking to what I’d like to be. But then one day, after I met my wife, she encourage me to do what I was really born to do: art. Read more>>

Mary Anne Wendt | Mobile Notary & Loan Signing Agent

After working for others for so many years, I knew that I didn’t want to work for someone else forever. My most recent job as an Executive Assistant / Personal Assistant was eye opening. I saw how successful my boss was as a female minority and it inspired me. I knew that I wanted to be my own boss and I’m happy I found my path. Having the freedom to set my own hours allows me to be there for my family. I hustle as much as I can to bring in business and it’s exciting to know that I’m creating my own destiny. Read more>>

Thomas and Rosemarie Cannell | Thomas | Woodworker/Owner and Rosemarie | Owner

Block and Bowl was something that had been lingering in our minds for a while, long before the pandemic. After I finished school in the UK, I did a carpentry apprenticeship and then trained and worked under a cabinet maker for years before going into the culinary arts industry. Read more>>

Logan Goodman | Online Art Gallery Owner

I love searching for and finding new artists that speak to me. When I see them, I love to dig deeper and learn more about the artists, their backgrounds, motivations and processes. By starting my own business and creating an online art gallery, I am able to share the art of the artists I represent, plus everything that I have learned about them too. My website allows me to be in the middle and help both artists and buyers. Read more>>

Mike O’Connor | Small shop owner, birder and author of the weekly column: Ask the Bird Folks.

I simply needed a job. On Cape Cod, in 1983, there weren’t many opportunities. Plus, I didn’t have the skills needed for the few jobs (construction, fishing, landscaping) that were available. A friend had his own successful retail business, so I decided that if he could do it maybe I could, too. Basically it was the case of no one would hire me, so I hired myself. As the saying goes, do what you know and what you enjoy. I was a birder. Read more>>

Vihan Khanna | Film Festival Founder & Writer

I have always wanted to start my own business. I just didn’t know what business specifically. I got involved in the film and television industry when I was in high school. While in college, I got involved with a local film festival. It was there that I started diving deeper into the film festival industry and noticed that amateur filmmakers weren’t getting enough of a platform. I noticed that larger film festivals often have high entry fees and very limited selections from young amateur filmmakers. This is what inspired me to start Visionaries Film Festival. We focus primarily on amateur filmmakers. Read more>>

High Vibe Tribe Dez + Clairity | Wholistic Alchemists + Sound Magicians

High Vibe Tribe never felt like we fit into society’s standards and molds. We believe community & mutual aid is key in the new earth being created. Money isn’t our priority like most businesses, it’s all about the connections we make and generational healing. Our thought process was not to be healers, but to be providers of healing tools and services to guide each individual to remember the power of healing thy cellph. We co-create intimate alchemy for our clients. Read more>>

Kristen Benslay | Photographer & Artist

I really wanted to do something I could take with my anywhere I live. I am passionate about creating and capturing moments in life. By establishing my own business it gives me the opportunity to work from anywhere and bring my ideas and customers ideas to life. Read more>>

Barney Smith | Cartoonist, Author, and Podcaster

I created Storycomic initially as a publishing house for my own work, but as I connected with more artists and authors, I realized that there are many creatives who have great work to share and great advice to give. What started out as an occasional Livestream platform to chat with my industry peers has turned into an acclaimed and internationally received podcast which has been streamed in over 50 countries. I have close to 250 episodes recorded so far. It has been a delightful journey and I am grateful to make such great connections. Read more>>

Bryn Reynolds | Artist

When I retired from law enforcement, and the military, I took up drawing as a hobby for some reason. I had never tried it before, but when I started posting my drawings online people seemed to like them. I started to offering the originals for sale, and now I also draw custom pet, people, and home portraits. Just a few years later, Dark Mountain Arts has really taken off for me! Read more>>

Rob Crist | Candle Maker

Both of us love scented candles, but most commercially available ones were too strong and gave us headaches. We started making our own candles using soy wax and clean fragrance oils that didn’t bother us. Our friends liked them so much that we decided to start selling them. Read more>>

Q The Barber | – Voted Barber of the Year 2022

The thought process that I had behind starting my business was “Just do it! It’s time.” Being in the hair industry has always been a passion, but I never thought of it as a career. I loved it, but it was something that I just enjoyed, and I was good at it. I explored everything else outside of the hair industry. I started a nonprofit, I wrote several books, I worked in corporate America, but I never explored what I was passionate about, as a career. Read more>>

Rafael Thomopoulos The Lamboartist | Artist

I don’t see it as a business I see it more like a hobby. My main focus is to create art that people like. I want to make people draw and focus more on their hobbies, in a technology focused generation, where people just scroll social media. My though process before I started drawing and posting it on social media was to leave my mark on the supercar community, and to get to know my idols personally. Read more>>

Priscilla Molina | Beauty Studio Owner & Microblading Educator

As a child I always aimed high and never wanted to settle for anything less than I felt I deserved. At the age of 7 I already knew what fashion brands were like Jordash and Sergio Valente jeans were my favorite, yes the good ole 80’s. My mom once tried tricking me with some non-brand jeans and that didn’t play out well. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a brat or spoiled, I just knew what I wanted and what I deserved. Which is kind of funny for a kid growing up in East Los Angeles in a lower middle class family. Read more>>

jaime Contreras | Event Coordinator/Promoter

I live in a small town just out of Los Angeles called the antelope valley. Growing up there was a great local scene and small events almost weekly for a kid in HS. I started throwing lil house parties which was the thing to do in the late 90s. But when i got older there was less and less going on. Also we never really had a consistent flow of national artist if any. Until the industry theater where my good friend Tully owned. I learned a lot during that time never being involved in any show that had more than 100 people in attendance. Read more>>

Jake LaMore | Podcast Host & Radio Personality

I was working a full-time job that I wasn’t fully enjoying. I loved the work I was doing but didn’t care for the type of management I had to deal with at the time. So my thought process was, why don’t I try working for myself and see if that makes me happier than I am now. Read more>>

Chris Yarranton | Personal Trainer & Lifestyle Coach

I have always been driven to help people in the most impactful way possible. While working with clients at a gym, or training swimmers on the team I worked for, I began to realize that being affiliated with one company actually prevented me from helping ANY person who needed/wanted my help. I began my business to bring health awareness, fitness training, and wellness guidance to ALL people. Read more>>

Alexis Kharel | Arts and Events Publicist

When I first moved to Los Angeles from New York, there were only a handful of galleries that were really pushing the envelope, (not counting The Brewery compound of course). However, I watched and participated in what eventually morphed into a new renaissance for the Los Angeles Art Scene. Read more>>

Sam Litvin | Climate Change Business and Environment Consultant

I wanted to work on climate change but I realized that there was a mismatch between people working on sollutions to the symptoms and the causes. I decided that my education and talents were best applied by helping organizations that are working on climate change to get to success. Read more>>