We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Sonia Cervantes | Certified Health Coach, Nutritionist and Master Herbalist

I worked at Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years in the Technology sector. My background is in Business and Technology Sales. Still, I was inspired to pursue a health and wellness career after seeing the need for people, families, and children to become healthier. Nutrition-related Chronic Diseases and Sedentarism are on the rise, impacting our health, the health of our loved ones, and our communities. I experienced it first hand with my parents as they got older and diagnosed with chronic illnesses. At that point, I decided to get certified as a Health Coach and Nutritionist, so I could help individuals, families, and organizations to take charge of their health. Read more>>

Garrett Goerl | Photographer & Cinematographer

My thought process behind starting my own business was a simple, but drawn out winded journey that was a long time coming. To make a long story short, I had always been into photography and videography as a kid in middle school up through my teens. I essentially have always wanted to be my own boss as I was tired of working a regular 9-5 and going from job to job and wanted a career I could essentially grow into while having the freedom of being able to make my own schedule by working when I want. Read more>>

Cody Beck | Entrepreneur & Jiu Jitsu Competitor

Being sober and change my life around for the better. I always wanted to lead a team and build something big. I started with a $10 curl bar I bought down the street from my great grandmothers house in 2018. I flipped it same day for $25. Right then I knew what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Isabelle Verona | Artist and Painting Instructor

In 2018 I became a mom and because of all the demands of being a stay home mom I couldn’t keep up with my old business. I used to post weekly art and crafts tutorials on YouTube. I was doing great and I grew my audience to 450k followers on YouTube. I used to do all the work by myself so I struggled to keep the consistency after my son was born, and you need consistency to make money using social media. So in 2021 I decided to try something else. I always loved painting watercolor and after practicing a lot during pandemic and noticing that my painting tutorials did great on YouTube, I invited some friends to a park, bought some extra materials and did my first donation-based watercolor painting party (that was in March 2021).  Read more>>

Alvin Do | Businessman

I have a normal day job. I wanted to do something that would benefit my favorite hobbies. Off-roading and shooting sports. I wanted to be the guy people can trust to get their gear. Read more>>

Jami Goddess | Illustrator and Designer

I create art with positive mindset that promotes self care and self healing. I am recovering from stage 3 breast cancer so I’m navigating mental health and post-cancer care issues. A percentage of my proceeds go to help good causes such as suicide awareness, single-use plastic reduction and cancer research. Read more>>

Andrew Chi | Co-Founder

We’ve been close friends for over 20 years and even worked at the same company for almost a decade. We had worked in marketing on a variety of food and lifestyle brands and decided to start our business when we came across a problem that needed to be solved. We were inspired to start Salivation Snackfoods when our close friend Dave was on the keto diet to help treat a serious health condition. It’s hard enough to stick to any diet, but the limited number of tasty dessert options that were keto make this particularly difficult for Dave, and we knew he wasn’t the only one, so we decided to do something about it. Read more>>

Quentin Minor | Drummer

I honestly didnt have one! I was in highschool, and this guy asked if I wanted to start a band. I’d been playing music since age 5, and had picked up the drums in highschool. I’ve always had a bit of a business sense with the band, I think much moreso than my peers did at that age. I just knew that if I was going to do anything, I wanted to do it as efficiently as possible. Read more>>

Isaiah Bernstein | MTB riders

When Traildogs was started, it was a hobby that we could have never imagined would have formed into what it is today. It started with a way to document the fun we would have on mountain bikes and it morphed over time into what it is today. Read more>>

Destiny Frye | CEO of Hip-Hop Dreamz

I was 23 years old when I started my first business. It was when I was in New York after many failed restaurant/nanny jobs. I wanted someone where I couldn’t be fired for whatever reason , and that was happening a lot to me. And it effect my self esteem because I knew I had a amazing worth ethic. You don’t move from San Diego to New York City at 17 if you were unmotivated and lazy . But being replaced in the work field was inevitable. So with less than 1,000 dollars, I started my first business with my best friend Amy who’s was also from California living in New York and was a English teacher at the time, we got our business plan and named our business Read more>>

Devonte Pearson | Hip-Hop Artist, Recording Studio Owner and Lead engineer

I was never good with authority growing up. I also was never shown a career path so I was pretty much on my own from the jump. Once I got older and started working more I found myself getting laid off time and time again. The whole “job security” thing became obsolete in my head. I knew I had to do for myself. I have always been a music guy so I chose to open my own recording studio. Read more>>

Ariel Sanchez | Real Estate Consultant

One of the biggest reasons behind me getting into real estate is not only to help people with one of the biggest transactions of their lives, but to also teach the power of investing through real estate. Investing into real estate early on in life can become essential for one who is not only looking for a more comfortable life, but can also create generational wealth for your family to enjoy through time. Read more>>

Zakiya J. Norton | Attorney & Co-Founder of Norton Basu, LLP

Some of our reasons were personal: We wanted to own our time and control our financial fate. While we are proud of our accomplishments as businesswomen and lawyers, we also treasure our family and understand the value of work/life balance. We knew that we could do things differently, and better, than many firms. For example, we’ve made it a priority to proactively communicate with our clients. We broke the mold by making client service a top priority, which boosted our reputation in the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles areas, thereby rewarding us with clients who rave about us. Read more>>

Jennifer Landry | Active Duty Military & Jewelry Maker

Honestly, I was never a jewelry person. In my 20’s, I realized I need to start being an “adult” and wear some to complete work outfits, but I couldn’t find jewelry I liked. They were always so big and chunky, more like costume jewelry. Jewelry you’d HAVE to remove everyday. So I started to tinker with making my own pieces. I started with bead and wire wrapping at first. Then began to try soldering. I soon loved the thought of jewelry that were minimal and delicate, but perfect for everyday. Jewelry you don’t have to take off at the end of the day. Read more>>

Kelly Nolan | Co-Founder – Dancing Daughters Whiskey

We actually didn’t set out to find an opportunity to start our own business. The idea presented itself and we knew there was a large, untapped market for whiskey made by and for women. Once we realized no one else was really doing this, we knew we had to figure out how to make it happen. That process took almost two years from conception to launching the brand. Read more>>

LaTanya Morris | PA-C and Founder of The V Doctor

The goal has always been generational wealth and I knew that this could not be accomplished in my then position as a PA-C. So I started my own business because I wanted to gain more control of my own destiny and leave a legacy for my family. Read more>>

Jay Gerren | Director & Producer

Growing up, both my Mom and Dad owned their own business, so it was natural for me to want to start my own business. My Dad owned a video production company and I remember going with him to negotiate a deal to film a Church TV Ministry. Not long after that I was on the phone negotiating similar deals, and not long after that I had a successful video production company with sermons airing on cable throughout the Inland Empire. If I had not gone with my dad on that first meeting, I do not think I would have had the courage to pick up the phone in an effort to get my first deal. My Dad has sense passed away, however I think he was proud of me. Read more>>

Britney Jayy | Singer, Songwriter, Mental Health Advocate, Self Proclaimed Chef

To be honest – the way my mind works, I don’t even think I ever process any thoughts. I usually just think of ideas and in order for them to be removed from my mind I have to bring them to life or act on them. My current businesses “TyNey Eats” and “Ohhifren” were just that. They were two thoughts and ideas that kept replaying in my head and bringing them to life, brought me to life. Read more>>

Katie B. Turner, PhD. | Multi-Hyphenate Theatre Artist and Educator

Turnkey Theatre started as a summer project between myself and my student from San Diego State University, J’Arrian Wade. J’Arrian approached me (over zoom) during the spring 2020 semester after the pandemic shutdown moved us all online. They wanted to know how we could continue to offer theatre as the live experience it is intended to be when we couldn’t gather in person. We had both seen zoom theatre popping up already, in the form of staged readings and other exploratory performances, but we were both dissatisfied with the static flatness of theatre’s translation to zoom.  Read more>>

Brittany Noelle | Online Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

I worked in a gym setting for years and then went on to work in the corporate environment. I was frustrated that gyms were taking the majority of my income when I was the one doing all of the work prospecting for clients and getting them to their fitness goals. When I tried the corporate route I was even more frustrated that after working my tail off for a year, I was only expected to take a 2% raise which didn’t even cover inflation in California. Read more>>

Judy Kane | Mindset Change Specialist

I had been using PSYCH-K® to work with my own limiting beliefs and those of my willing friends and family for three years. I saw some amazing changes happen for each of us, and I wanted to give more people the opportunity to change aspects of their life that were not aligned with their conscious goals. The best way I could think of was to start a business and spread the word. So that’s what I did. Read more>>

Brian Rash-Zeigler | Owner of RZ Photography & Photographer

First off, thank you for your time and interview today. I am very thankful and appreciative for this opportunity, truly. Starting one’s own business is a lot of things. It’s freeing, scary, difficult, time consuming, fun, educational, etc. The best thing about it is, it’s your own. For many years I have worked for other peoples’ vision, goals, and revenue at a fraction of what they were making as the owner(s) of those businesses. I also had to follow their rules, plans, and strategies with little to no input. Read more>>

Paul Fields | President of MVA Design & Supply

I’ve always been entrepreneurial having owned and operated brands back in Australia before moving to the US in 2016. Setting up a new business here in the US was something I wanted to do, it just took time to understand the US market and find a niche that made sense for me. I knew I wanted to use my knowledge and skills I had built from running brands in Australia to help others build their brands and after several years making key connections and following leads, MVA was born. Read more>>

Chris Sweat | Owner/Pitmaster

After 24 years of Naval service I decided Barbeque would be my exit strategy, and my way to enjoy the freedom of small business ownership. Read more>>

Julian Andrei | Founder / Managing Partner – Strada Eateria & Bar

I’ve always thought that if we want something to change then we actively must participate and influence the change. Read more>>

Yendi Nieto | Fashion Designer and Co founder

Empowering indigenous people by making clothing and accessories by ingenious people. Making these items and wearing them proudly in todays society. Read more>>

Jorie Murphy | Founder of HER.period

My thought process was a little sporadic for a while but, I had just made a big change in my own life and wanted to give back to the world in a big way. I am very passionate about women’s health especially with everything happening at the SCOTUS level. I realized that creating a non profit organization for women’s health to support women of every circumstance was where I wanted to be. Read more>>

Vivian Sanz | Mobile Bar Owner and nurse

I always knew I wanted to own my business but I never knew exactly when or what I wanted that to be, or when the right time to do it was. Well the right time seemed to have chosen itself. I, like so many other nurses, was heartbroken and burned out from all that Covid had thrown at us. I needed something to bring some joy and excitement back Into my life. What better way than by helping others celebrate those momentous occasions in their lives with a nice cocktail in hand. Read more>>