The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Rebekah Edwards | Massage Therapist

I wanted to put my own brand and creativity out in the community. I wanted to offer massage therapy to those in the community and I find that clients enjoy working with an individually owned business. Read more>>

Dr. Kristin L. Kahle | CEO and Founder

I started my career in the Human Resource and Compliance area, I was in school for my Doctor Degree when the Affordable Care Act was passed (ACA). I decided to read it one weekend, as all people should. After finishing, I thought employers have no idea what they are in for and how to accomplish what our government wanted them to do. It was clear that this bill was written by people that do not own a business or run a business. So I started creating the ways that I could help- more of a service based business at that time. After hearing from clients on what they needed, I knew we needed to create a software/technology solution to help employer Navigate the ACA (no pun intended). Converting from a service business to software, with no software experience was a learn curve for sure- but we have a great technology solution that protects American Businesses. Read more>>

Koon Vega | Co-owner and Creative Director at Creative Vega Inc.

I was working for an agency for about 3 years, everything was working fine, money was good. However, I felt that what I was doing has no purpose, there was no excitement, there was no improvements, all I needed to do is to design something that will get approved by my boss and ultimately his clients. I was hungry for something more and I knew that I can do a much better job and get paid better. Read more>>

Khris Sesley | Realtor & Investor

The idea of starting my own business came from my upbringing and my desire to change the landscape of what my family knew as success. I come from a Blue Collar city, Memphis, Tn, and a blue collar family. While there is absolutely no issue with blue collar work I wanted to show myself and those around me that entrepreneurship was an option too. Not just the model I was taught where I was supposed to pick a field, go to college or tech school for it and then getting a job and live happily ever after. Read more>>

Tyler Vanosdell | Fly fishing guide & fly fishing instructor/coach

For me I feel that my success and the success of my brand comes from the ultimate desire to HELP my clients. When you are passionate about what you are doing, the customer can see and feel that. And more often than not when someone is working their passion they tend to have less ego and less emotional insecurities. So the experience for the customer becomes one of ultimate gratitude. Read more>>

Charlene Plummer | Charlene Plummer Chef & Biomedical Researcher/Registered Nurse

I think one of the most important factors behind our brand is not worrying about the next person doing the same thing. Having confidence in our product. Understanding that everything happens in time. As well as being true to ourselves. Read more>>

Anthony Szol | Real Estate Agent

The most important factor behind my brand’s success is having a “Raving Fan Service” In the book, Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, the authors state “Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans” I base my business off this philosophy. Read more>>

Victoria Downie | Owner & Dog lover

The factor behind our success is consistency. Opening our own business was hard, it was very hard, especially opening during a pandemic but we stayed consistent. We worked our butts off. We continued to be transparent along the way with our customers. We kept our values at the fore front always giving top notch customer service, accommodating to our customers needs and genuinely loving what we do. I feel like if your heart is in the right place and you are doing your very best to your abilities, then thats really all you can do. Stay consistent and you can reach your goals no matter what they are. Read more>>

Cate Caplin | Producer- Writer – Director – Choreographer

I learned very early on in my life that pursuing a career in the arts not only requires great focus, discipline and commitment, but also high levels of training, performance experience and sheer tenacity! There’s no getting around the importance of continued study and practice, no matter how good you are (!) and because art is highly subjective, there’s no guarantee that that you will be hired or that your work will be picked out of the crowd or acknowledged. So, if you don’t absolutely LOVE the process and the nurturing and development of the art itself, you might not have what it takes to survive the long distance journey required of an artist or someone in the entertainment industry. Read more>>

RaeAnne Bowlin | Poet & Founder

Placement + Persistence. It turns out its not just about constantly doing something, its about constantly creating on/for the right platform. Read more>>

Niccole Rumans | Dog Trainer and Daily Dog Coach

The most important lesson my dog training business has taught me is how to differentiate myself from the other competitors and stand out in the market. So narrowing in on a specific niche within the market has helped me fine craft my skills to really make an impression on my client. Because when I impress my client they refer me to others which has helped me keep my business going. So I have also learned to ensure quality of service rather than quantity. Read more>>