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.

Rob Powell | Owner San Diego Basketball.com

In 2001 I was working for a local municiplaity and had experience running youth basketball leagues. I was presented with an opportunity to run an Adult basketball league and took the opportunity. I quickly realized that this could be a good side hustle. My brother helped me make a website and I launched San Diego Basketball.com. Read more>>

William Montgomery | Transportation & Technology Expert

I worked for many companies in the past and learned a lot what to do right and not so well. I also went into the Army at a young age and learned the basics and respect for others. The outside world is different and it pushed me to start and run my own business. I still work for UPS for the benefits they are great and it’s a good company I’m happy with. Thank you Read more>>

Mark George | Social Entrepreneur I USS Midway Veteran I Firefighter/Deputy Fire Marshal

I started H3 Heroes Helping Heroes 4Life to help Homeless Veterans and their Families with the challenges of Behavioral Health, Suicide Prevention and Homelessness. As a proud Navy Veteran of the USS Midway and a 23 year Firefighter and Deputy Fire Marshal 1st Responder, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by our Heroes in humbling circumstances. Our nation’s Veterans face greater needs than the general population and have higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, PTSD, depression, and relationship issues. Read more>>

Aidan & Nuri Spencer | Rinjanie Batik & Accessories – Owners

Our story is a bit complicated and is indicative of when two Worlds collide. I, Nuri, was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I worked for 13 years in a Health and Beauty Company out of Malaysia. While working for this company, I realized that to achieve my dream of having a family with my new American husband, who is a professional musician, we would need to start our own business. This was about 6 years ago. Read more>>

Tiff Artis | Performance Coach, Kettlebell Specialist & Stretch Therapist

I think it was a no brainer for me. I started my first personal training business in Virginia back in 2013. It was almost as if the universe pushed me to do this on my own. I have worked for a couple of corporate gyms in the past, and because of my skill level they were charging 100+ dollars per hour. I was only seeing a very small percentage of that. After almost 2 years here in San Diego, I decided to take the risk and go for it on my own. Best decision I ever made. You’re never going to feel ready enough to go for it, but life kind of pushes you in the directions that you need to go. When you listen it all works out. Read more>>

Leslie DeSimone & Miriam Siefken | Salty Cali’s Co-Founders/Co-Owners

It was pretty organic. At the time, Leslie was managing a surf shop and realized there was a lack of high quality beach jewelry for surf shops. We saw a need for it and that’s when we went to the jewelry store with $50, bought some materials, made a couple pieces and we had our first shell collection! It had sold out in one weekend-that’s when we knew we definitely had something. We both had full time jobs, but we believed we could transition this hobby into a business! Fun fact: our shiva shell is still one of our best sellers! Read more>>

Gabriel Tornero | Automobile Detailing

Like most individuals, I was apprehensive about establishing my own business. This may be true for many entrepreneurs, but one of the primary motivations for beginning my own company was to acquire more control over my own fate. Starting my own company was a long and gradual process that required constant attention, resources, and sacrifice. Splash Mobile Detailing’s mission to serve you and your car with the best treatment possible, whether it’s at your home or business, in a time when “personal service” is becoming increasingly rare. Read more>>

David Jauregui | Owner and designer

II’m from Santa Ana in Orange County and I moved to San Diego to work in the shipyard. I ended up leaving that job after about 1.5 years and then was bouncing in and out of jobs for the next 3 months. During those three months, I began to make furniture products out of wood from pallets I found on the streets for my backyard patio in the duplex we were renting. I was pretty much out of money after not having significant income for a period of time so I had to make things for the backyard because I couldn’t afford to purchase anything Read more>>

Emile & Leonardo Johannes & Mocci | Co – Founder & Co – Founder

We have known each other for about five years, we were introduced by a mutual friend of ours, and over time became good friends. We are both into sneakers, fashion and anything with an engine. Emilio always planned to start a business of his own, previous generations in his family had always ran their own businesses, from hotels in southeast Asia, to artisanal and factory bakeries in the east of the Netherlands. He was just waiting for the right idea and partner to get started. Read more>>