Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Carla Nell | Artistic Director & California Realtor®

InnerMission Productions was founded for the purpose of bringing new work to the stage in San Diego. I wanted to bring new work to audiences here. Work that is considered risky, edgy or dangerous is the kind of theatre I wanted to see and I wasn’t seeing a lot of options for that in San Diego. That was the ultimate reason and thinking behind starting this theatre adventure. Read more>>

Ken Irvine | Owner & Executive Chef

My dad owned a tuna fishing company and when I was starting out I worked for him as a fisherman. As cool as it was to go on fishing trips in Panama and Pago Pago, it was hard work and it was a tough industry. But I did learn about being a business owner and knew that I eventually wanted to be in business for myself. I bought Chez Loma in Coronado when I was 29 and I’ve been owning and operating restaurants ever since. Read more>>

Gill Sotu | Performance Poet, Playwright, DJ & Event Host

I had to become a creative. It’s part of my DNA. Starting out, there is not a lot of money in it, and you are constantly hustling. But in the mist of it, when everyday feels like a great challenge instead of laboring work, you know all the sacrifice is worth it. Read more>>

Caitlin Rother | New York Times Bestselling Author, Writing-Research Coach-Consultant & TV Crime Commentator

Before becoming a New York Times bestselling author, I worked as an investigative newspaper reporter for nearly 20 years, most recently for The San Diego Union-Tribune. As the news industry shrunk, so did the space in the newspaper to write thorough and meaningful stories. I got tired of my editors always saying “shorter, shorter, shorter,” and having to push and cajole them for more column inches. I would have left the news biz sooner, but I needed the health insurance and I was still paying off my mortgage. It also wasn’t easy to sell my first book — it took me 15 years of trying! Finally, in 2004, I got a contract to write POISONED LOVE, the story behind the Kristin Rossum case, which launched my successful career as a true crime author and is still my bestselling book to date. I took a risk by quitting a job with health benefits and a matching 401K, but I couldn’t wait any longer to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time author. Read more>>

Jeff Robbins | Co-Founder

I know first hand that having plants inside and out can improve your health and benefit the environment. Plants purify our air, beautify our living spaces, and provide a general sense of healing and well-being. Although not everyone has the luxury of a front or backyard, almost everyone does have a shelf, windowsill, or office desk that could support a green companion. The idea for Instant Plant Food™ is another way for me to share my passion for plants with more people, including those who may not have outdoor space to garden. Read more>>

Carla Romo | Certified Dating and Relationship Coach, Author & International Speaker

I had this urge to help others heal from relationships through self-love as I had done myself a few years prior. As dramatic as this sounds I had an epiphany where I asked myself, “If I were to die tomorrow would I be upset I never started my business?” The answer was obviously yes. From there I got to work and started building out my business. Read more>>

Darryl Anunciado | Founder

I never planned to start my business. I found it by accident. I created something that was not meant to be a product but as some sort of hobby. Posting my hobby on Youtube and Facebook sparked interest from random people who saw what I was doing with autonomous flying robots. My conversations with people trying to help them build their own aircraft paved way to people offering to buy the things I have built. This is how the company started. Read more>>

Sharon Mintz | Floral Dream Weaver

To be honest, there wasn’t a major plan or methodical thought process behind staring this business. I was 27 years old and still felt like a baby. My father, a nearly life long small business owner, thought it was time but I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t until I had worked for an event company as a subcontractor under my imagined business name, Organic Elements, and then received a payment check under said business name, that I really took the plunge to get my fictitious business name, business license and bank account to go with it, in order to be able to cash that check. Well, the rest is history. Read more>>

Laura Beulke | President, Owner & Graphics and Bull Key Consulting

I have always been a leader and wanted to take charge. So over the early years in my career I noticed I was working extra hard for my employer and said I would never be satisfied with what I was doing if I was doing it for someone else’s benefit. So having lots of drive and determination along with support from family and friends I took the leap and opened my own business. Read more>>

Michelle Lomelin | Chocolatier & Confectioner

I always strive to do something I love. My interest grew rapidly and I realized that if I could make money doing this thing I loved I could spend more and more time with it. Every day is a joy when you are doing something you love doing. Read more>>

Jennie Hamilton | Executive Director

We needed arts & culture, therefore, we needed a theatre in our community. Read more>>