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.

Christina Nowacki | Bookkeeper

Real talk – I needed to be putting away a lot more into my retirement account AND my mom had reached out to let me know my dad’s memory was failing and they were running out of money. Oof – that was a brutal beginning to 2015 right as I was turning 50. I’d been in financial accounting in the corporate space for 30 years so that is what I know. I had also been a volunteer bookkeeper for every sports league my youngest son had been in, so…why not get paid to do that? I knew there was a need after having talked to many entrepreneurs particularly in the online coaching space. Seemed like a natural fit and it sure has been! Read more>>

Jocelyn Hucks | Lifestyle Photographer

I’ve always had a passion for photography. It has been one of my hobbies for many years. As a military spouse, we move every 3 years to different locations across the United States. I was tired of revising my resume and applying to jobs every few years. I thought of pursuing my passion of photography since it can be transplanted wherever we go. I played with this idea for a couple years but held off out of my own fear of the business side. Read more>>

Grant Willson | CEO

In early 2022 me and my partner Ayric Angeles decided to take our chances on a buisness we’d been discussing for months prior. Me and Ayric both grew up in Corona,CA so there was a lot of Agriculture and Farming that definitely helped shape our vision. Another big influence was Farmer Dave Strandberg of Corona who was nice enough to teach and introduce us to a lot of different Farming techniques that we carry on with us today. With all this prior knowledge we end up here today with Farm Fresh Delivery the first same-day farmers market delivery service! Read more>>

Rich Rodriguez | Shopkeeper

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak even when I worked within large companies. But the idea for having my own shop and brand started back in the early aughts when I was living in Brooklyn, NY. There are so many small, independent shops with their own unique collections and I always loved stopping by not only to browse and but, but also to talk with the owners. I really loved getting to know the people who owned the businesses and many times they were my neighbors! Read more>>

Roberto Garcia | Interior and Architectural Photographer

It happened naturally. After moving to Los Angeles from Barcelona, I started shooting interiors as a freelance for Airbnb. This allowed me to land in the US in a safe mode. After a couple of years, I was shooting for other companies and professionals. Then the business side of my work grew accordingly. But I have to admit there is always space for improvement. Read more>>

Silenus Crew | Brewer, Taproom

As everything, it all started as a hobby, experimenting, learning new things, so, it was just adjusting to the demand from our friends who then became costumers. We were taking it one step at a time, not trying to get a hold of the whole market, but little by little instead. So basically, even though we had a vision of what we wanted to do for our brand, we knew it wasn’t gonna happen overnight, . We have had a lot of struggles: production, licenses, permits, trainings, city compliance, etc. Read more>>

Michael Ma | Volleyball Coach & Private Trainer

Outside of coaching, I had a few volleyball players or their parents in the local area reach out to me about wanting extra reps, and providing more individual attention to improve on certain skills. Initially, I would only do this a couple hours a week, just to help with having extra food and gas money. Once clientele started to rise, I knew there was a chance to turn this into a business and real take things to the next level. Read more>>

Lola Adeyemo | TEDx Speaker, Author and Employee Resource Group (ERG) Expert

I had never really seen myself as an entrepreneur, My husband and I started our first company in 2016, but I didn’t ever consider being full-time at the beginning. But then, things started changing and shifting. I was a corporate employee, who I had always been until I wasn’t, and I wanted to do many different things! I set out to figure out what would happen if I peeled back the layers to reveal my purpose and did what I wanted to do. Solve the problems I cared about? Develop the solutions I was not seeing? I took one step at a time in the direction I wanted, and I am still doing that. Read more>>

Steven Irvin | Entrepreneur and former Pro Volleyball Player

My thought process for starting my own business was really centered on two things: impact and potential. For impact, I am referring to more of a societal effect. Many people make good money working for great companies and maybe the company itself makes a big impact, but most employees’ impact is more internal within the company (which is great for them!). I would love to have a company that people know/learn about and can actually provide real value to them, offer them something that did not exist before without the new company. Read more>>

Alex Pasternack | Binske President and Co-founder

Prior to binske, I had created a few other companies and got a taste of what entrepreneurship was like. Early on I realized that I would rather bet on myself as a hungry entrepreneur than to work for “the man” and try to climb the corporate ladder. binske was my second real baby, and I liked my odds of creating something magical with my brother. Read more>>

Joan Aylward | Full time artist / ChalkBOS

Starting a business as a fulltime artist was the furthest thing from my mind. I waitressed for about 20 years. While working at Boston area restaurants, every location had a chalkboard of some sort. Having a background in art (always a natural instinct, going to art school, teaching myself calligraphy & having a small scale business for weddings in the past) I always was the one creating the chalkboards. The last restaurant I worked at had chalkboard walls, and I would create large scale designs for private parties etc. Read more>>

Leslie Mireles | Photographer

My junior year of high school I took 12 classes to finish my senior year a whole year early to chase my dreams. I did not know exactly what to do, I just knew I love film and anything that has to do with a camera, I went straight into the workforce after graduating in 2019. Luckily I lucked out from the 2020 covid chaos my senior year however working in a minimum wage photo studio in Jcpenny during a pandemic was not fun at all. I was taken advantage of but I did not know what to do as a 17 year old freshly out of high school at the time. Read more>>

Meshell Baker | Chief Confidence Igniter

The decision to start a business was the result of my love and desire to support my sister Daphne’s care. Daphne almost died in 2009, I realized my periodic trips from Austin to Dallas weren’t enough. At the time I was a successful B2B Biotech Sales Rep residing in Austin, Texas, where I had taken on the role of Daphne’s live-in aide and caregiver. Yet I soon discovered I was unable to successfully maintain the demands of my sales role, traveling 80% of the time and facilitating Daphne’s care. Read more>>

Tara Payne | Author| Community Builder | Entrepreneur | Vocalist

I started my business out of necessity during the beginning of COVID. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but it wasn’t until I was stuck at home that it became a reality. I was speaking to my best friend about wanting to start a business and she kindly but sharply told me that she wasn’t going to talk to me about it anymore and to let her know if I needed money but that I needed to go ahead and start it. Sitting at home I did research about what to do with administrative skills and virtual assistance came up. So, I started doing VA work and the rest is history Read more>>

Eza Borchardt | Healthy & Beauty Entrepreneur

Definitely doing R&D, and eventually a launch during a worldwide pandemic, where the entire logistics chain was impacted. But I’m not a quitter, especially when I’m on a mission to accomplish a goal. So, let’s just say, I got my patience tested a lot during that time. You can safely say I’m pretty virtuous right now, lol! Read more>>

Terri Pontzious | REALTOR®

I worked in the corporate world before my real estate career. This was in the late 1970s and the 1980s, it was very different for working women in those days. When my daughter was born, I had a paradigm shift in what I thought I wanted. Climbing the corporate ladder did not allow much flexibility for working Moms. When the management structure of my company changed, it was clear it was no longer a good fit. I took a couple of years off and enjoyed being a Mom. Read more>>

Bo Sapphire | Artist & Owner of Little Gem Gallery

At first I didn’t really have a precise plan. The idea of owning a business was formed after a series of events I experienced. I always try to be as cost-efficient as possible when it comes to my art practice. I bought my first printer and scanner after I finished grad school so I could keep making art at a low cost. I have always framed my own art as well, but I didn’t know much about it. After I moved to LA I found a part-time job at a local printing and framing shop, where I learned more about framing. Read more>>

Sandra Thompson | Professional Hypnotherapist and Wellbeing Practitioner

I’m Sandra Thompson, and for most of my career, I was a Civil Servant, working in HR (people development) and as a project manager, roles I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought I’d work at Department for Work and Pensions forever, blissfully unaware and untouched by mental health issues. However, life had other ideas for me and 8 years ago I found myself in the unplanned/unforeseen position of changing careers. Read more>>

Mariya Milovidova | Artist & Fashion Designer

I was looking for the way combine my artistic skills with my passion for fashion. I was already working as a full time artist creating drawings and paintings. However, to me art is more than just hanging up a pretty picture on the wall. I wanted to make it more inclusive and share the way the original artwork can be represented in a form of a garment that can be personalized. Read more>>

Lucy De Castenou | Fashion designer

To make a big influence on women. Give them satisfaction with their look, make them feel and look good. Read more>>