Deciding to work for yourself is often cited as the best decision folks in our community have made. Hearing the same response over and over led us to ask them about the next best decision folks have made and we’ve shared their responses with you below.

Kassandra Sophia Casanova | Creator

The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was choosing myself throughout this journey. Kraftwheel started with offering a variety of crafts that were customizable to the customer’s preference. That’s when I realized I wasn’t creating what I truly loved/enjoyed. And in reality, that was only because I was afraid my own art wouldn’t be able to capture people’s interest. But then came polymer clay, and that was all about creating something of my own! And to my surprise, the support has been unreal. Reminding yourself of your worth and giving yourself the chance to just be you, works WONDERS. Remember to be yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, and most importantly choose yourself. All in that order. Because what is meant for your will find its way to you. Read more>>

Hiba Agha | Small Business Owner/Herbalist

The single most important decision that I made that I believe contributed to my success has been to let go of the fear of the unknown or the fear of being judged, to stop anticipating all the bad scenarios that might play out and to just trust in myself and in the process. Along those lines, it has also been to just start somewhere. Don’t let the details or the big picture steer you away from starting. You can improve things as you go, or even change. Just because you started at point A does not mean you will end up at point A necessarily. What is beautiful about just starting somewhere, even when all the pieces aren’t completely put together yet, is that you quickly lose the fear or anticipation about all the theoretical scenarios and you get to tackle the practical scenarios in front of you, and soon much of the fear dissolves because you realize that much of those scenarios were just made up in your head. So my piece of advice is just start somewhere and figure the rest out as you go. Read more>>

Zoé Van Cauwelaert | Asa Nisi Masa Baker/Owner

Back in 2016, my husband and I lived in Mexico City and worked in a very different field, making films. When our son was born, our life was completely turned upside down in a good way. The big city was too crowded, too noisy, too stressful. and we wanted something different for raising him. So we decided to move to Ensenada, a medium size beach town near California. We wanted our own business and we loved coffee brew bars, and of course, what goes with a nice strong coffee than a delicious buttery french croissant, right? That was the best decision of our lives and now we get to brew the best roasted Mexican coffee beans and serve our friends fresh-made bread with love while we watch the waves from our coffee shop and our child plays with his baby sister on the ocean. Best decision ever made. Read more>>

Time Ends | Producer, Sound Designer, Composer & Podcast Host

Working alongside individuals with intellectual and or physical disabilities is hands the the best decision I have ever made.  But coming to San Diego allowed me to combine three passion Jobs I worked in Los Angeles into one.  Now I sound design, score films, run an independent music and film company as well as a podcast. Read more>>

Thomas W Schaller | Artist, Architect, Author

Learning to listen to my own advice. I think that in trying to make our way in the world, all of us are affected by the input of too many others. When starting out, we look to others who are more successful, more well-known, more confident, just.. more. Up to a point that’s OK, but over time, our own voice can start to recede into the background. But once we realize that – to a large extent – we already know who we are, what it is we want, what we may be capable of, and of our own worth. We don’t need that much validation or “permission” from anyone. Once we accept this, our own voice becomes stronger and easier to understand. And our path becomes more clear. Read more>>

Annie Purcell | Co-Founder and CEO of Next Level Daily

My current business is my second business. I started my career by working for myself by opening my own private medial practice as a physician doing Spine and Sports Medicine. The decision to work for myself was a key component in my success and longevity in my career as a physician. However, when I opened that first business I was missing the key mindset component that I have now, which is the single most important decision I made for the success of my current business: I DECIDED THAT MY SUCCESS IS INEVITABLE! In the first business, I made very cautious progress, being careful to earn the money that I needed to grow the practice before spending it. I was very risk averse and it slowed me down in many ways. If I would have run the business with the mentality that I knew I would succeed, I would have invested up front on many things that eventually helped us grow. I would have had more progress and much sooner if I had not been constantly waiting to make sure were doing well and it would be worth the investment. Read more>>

Dr. Tslil Feinberg | Psy.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY30632)

The most important decision I made is with regard to how I can best allocate my time to accomplish the most good. People are what first motivated me to become a clinical psychologist. While this core motivation continues to serve me well, getting to the point of running a successful practice asked more of me than my commitment to people alone. In fact, the most important question I was asked when I started my business was from my partner John. He asked, “Do you want to be a practitioner or do you want to be a business owner?” My initial response was of course a practitioner. For one, I’d just studied for the last six years and I was not about to forego using my doctorate. For another thing, I really love providing therapy. It’s rewarding. It gives me a sense of true meaning when my patients achieve positive growth. Now that CAST Wellness is an established practice, I had a chance to revisit John’s question. What I realized is that, as a practitioner, my reach is limited to the people I interact with directly. And while I still want to maintain a portion of my time dedicated to patients, I also know that I want to expand my reach to others—to provide education, support, and consulting to help grow other providers in the community. Read more>>

Linh Du | Small Business Owner

Being involved in the community and being a positive role model for other businesses. Read more>>