Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Kasey Viani | Viani’s Performing Arts Academy Director/Founder

I have been in the performing arts since I was 2 years old, and there isn’t anything I know or love more to do (aside being a Mommy and happy wife, now married 10 years)! I have been choreographing and directing for over three decades now, and I just felt that I had so much more to give. I have all of this experience and all of this knowledge, but what was I doing to pass it on? Read more>>

Angelina Ong | Photographer/Videographer

It all started with an intense motivation to get out of this 9-5 rut. Everyday I would wake up and absolutely hate that I had to go in and give 8 hours of my time and energy into making money in order to “live”. I was not happy in any sense and it really affected my mental health. I remember specifically being in a meeting and looking at the business structure and thinking to myself, “I could run this establishment so much better and with more empathy.” From that day on, that thought nagged at me until I did something about it. Read more>>

Cassie Dominach | Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist

When I decided to pursue my Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, I knew that I wanted to master the craft of acupuncture, and help as many people as I could with this medicine. I knew that I wanted to positively impact others, help ease their quality of life in some way, and use this medicine to change the world. What I realized (about half way through my clinical and academic studies) was that in order to accomplish that dream, I had to find a way to let the people who needed me know that I existed. I realized that even the BEST Doctor of Chinese medicine wouldn’t be helping anyone at all if they didn’t know how to attract clients and get them into their office. Read more>>

Lisa Lopez | Positive Apparel Business Owner

For most of my life the thought of starting my own business didn’t pass through my mind often. When it did, it felt like an unreachable goal. I had always been the kind of person who lived every day in the moment. My goals were to work, make money and memories. I never really set up career-oriented goals for myself. When the pandemic hit, things changed and my perspective on life shifted. Not only did the pandemic take away my job but it took away a job that I had been severely injured at a couple months prior to that. Read more>>

Allison Korn | Jeweler

I started my jewelry business many years ago with hardly any experience making jewelry. It sounds funny, but I knew that this was what I needed to do. I had always done creative things in my life- I was a musician, I loved to draw and dance- but I had always pushed those creative passions to the side to do what I thought was expected of me. It was when I was in the middle of getting a masters degree in anthropology and pregnant with my second son that I got to my breaking point. I had had enough of academic thinking and wanted to live my life expressing my creativity from my heart. Since I knew I wanted to design and make jewelry, I took the steps I needed to to learn how to make silver jewelry. Read more>>

Alicia Cacho | Beauty Entrepreneur & Content Creator

For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in entrepreneurship; at 10 I was selling flower pens, and at 12 I was planning parties. However, my current business I did not originally plan on launching. I have rough and dry skin, and could never find any products online or in store that left my skin feeling hydrated and clean. I also felt like all the products I purchased left a sticky and uncomfortable residue on my skin and did not deliver the results that were promised. Read more>>

Greg Foster | Hot Sauce Virtuoso

Honestly, I was very hesitant in taking the jump and starting a hot sauce business. I wasn’t sure I was ready. It took a swift kick in the pants from one of the most generous men I know, Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Company, that gave me the confidence to take the leap. Going back into the beginnings of considering starting my own business, I had struggled for many years being content working for someone else, busting my rump to give all credit to someone else, and taking all the blame when things didn’t go perfectly. Read more>>

Laura Segre | NexGen News CEO & Founder

The idea for NexGen News was born in a 5th grade classroom. When I was in elementary school, current events education consisted of cutting a clipping out of a newspaper and summarizing it in front of the class. 20 years later, as a 5th grade teacher, I had a difficult time finding age-appropriate news sources that were actually engaging for students. I thought to myself, “If I’m teaching the next generation of learners and leaders, shouldn’t they stay up to date about the world around them? Don’t they deserve their own news source to stay informed about current events?” I noticed a gaping hole in current events education in the U.S., and I wanted to fill it, but how? Read more>>

Courtney Dunlop | Co-Founder, Good Clean Wine

I have had many different types of jobs over the years and have had many different experiences, from startup to corporate to freelance. I realized that I was tired of working really hard to that other people could have a valuable business. I wanted to own a valuable business of my own so that I could reap the rewards of my hard work. Read more>>

Jamie Kaufman | Photographer

When it came to my starting my photography business, I wanted to showcase the beauty and the raw energy in people and events. About 90-95% of my photography content pertains to concerts, while the other 5-10% pertains to portraits. My goal for both instances is to bring out that energy I see in front of me, and really hone in on the positive and wanted aspects. Read more>>

S.G. Blaise | Award Winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author

It was a difficult decision to start my own business, but I’m glad I did. Choosing to self publish my book and build a franchise business around my characters gave me creative control every step of the way. This creative control was very important to me because I have specific goals in mind for my story and the characters. It also means that I can build the franchise as I see fit, with plans to add comic books and other media. I liked the idea of building my own team and finding complementary skill sets across the trades. Read more>>

Molly Hodo | Owner

It started as a simple plan with two last names coming together to form a business name for our acreage in the Cuyamaca Woods of Julian, California. We are a husband (Brian) and wife (Molly) team that wanted to live more simply and be creative in what they love – functional art handmade by both of them. Molly is a graphic designer, artist and marketing professional that worked for over 13 years in the commercial aerospace business, but wanted to step out of the big corporate world and enjoy being an artist again. Read more>>

Deon Dukes | Winemaker & Owner of Dukes Wine

My thought process behind starting my own business derived from watching my mother start her own business from the ground up as a hairstylist. Most importantly, developing goals, staying persistent, and succeeding while doing it. These characteristics planted the idea in my mind that I too could be a business owner one day. Read more>>

Katey Sommers | Welder

I started my company back in 2019. I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to do SOMETHING! I was just a beginner welder at the time, and I loved to mess around with scrap pieces. I thought, how fun would it be to turn something I love into a business? I knew it was going to be tricky, and it has definitely not been the easiest road but I love being able to run this shop the way that I always imagined. Read more>>

phakapan salao | Founder of Martial arts/fight gear ( Muaythai /Thaikickboxing ) retail /wholesale sport product

Started from love and passion, enjoy what you do and you never feel you work in a day that behind i was started my business Read more>>

John Andrew | Owner of Level-Up Home Improvement

I never really thought I would be the one to start their own business. I always believed I would work for one company over the course of my career. As my career continued, I realized that when working for someone else, the company always cared more about the company and not as much about the employees. This really came to light during the Covid pandemic and I realized it was time to start on my own adventure to start my own business. Read more>>

Mikaela Doe | Comprehensive Wealth Planner

I always knew that I never wanted to work for someone else because I always strive to take myself to the next level every single day when I am doing something I love. I knew I would work harder if I worked for myself. I hate being told what to do in order to achieve a level of success for someone else. My thought process was “Just go for it. If you don’t do it now, you never will.” Jumping into the financial services industry at 22, with no clue what I was doing, was a daunting revelation. Read more>>