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.

Clint Hess | 2D Illustrator & Animator

To be honest, starting my own business came out of necessity. At the time when I started freelancing, I was not being fulfilled creatively by my full-time position, so I took it upon myself to work with clients whose ideas aligned better with mine. I used those opportunities to explore different digital art styles and learn what types of projects I truly enjoyed. Read more>>

Daniel Laver | Mortgage Loan Officer

Deciding to leave the team I was on and go independent was the difficult decision for me. No one tells you how deep, dark, and heavy the water is when you decide to work for yourself and jump into the self-employed pool. I was very lucky and started my leap with a few sales and started getting enough traction to get by my first year. My motivation behind leaving was due to building up others business while getting paid little compared to what I was helping someone else get, Read more>>

Cherrymae Monrose | Southern California Lifestyle & Wedding Photographer

My photography business would definitely not be where it is today if it had not been for the support from my husband, sister, and best friend who encouraged me to start my business. I’ve always loved being creative and have always loved photography. My mom supported my love for photography at a very young age by purchasing my very first camera which I took almost everywhere. This was way before taking photos on your phone was a thing. Read more>>

Hannah & Ricky Kuntemeyer | Fitness Coaches

We started our own training business because we identified a need in the industry for a holistic approach to fitness. As individuals who have been involved in the fitness industry for some time, we recognized that there was a large population of people who were not being served well with the current fitness atmosphere, and we wanted to change that. Read more>>

Emilie Swearingen | Charcuterie Entrepreneur

I always thought I’d go back to work after my children were all in school full-day. But I also knew I needed something flexible that would allow me to still do all the “mom things”, volunteer at their school, etc. That plan was put on hold for a couple years once Covid hit – but that was also when I got inspired to turn something I enjoyed into a business. I created my own perfect job. It allows me a creative outlet, the flexibility I need and extra income for my family. Read more>>

Christina Kelley | Founder

I actually started my business out of a need to fill the bare walls of my first home. I wanted vintage worn surf art and decided to make it myself. After posting a few images of my little home projects on social media the art in the background gained a little buzz. Here we are 4 years later stocked in shops around the world and hanging on the walls of some of the raddest people. Read more>>

Stephen Murray | Owner

This business is a lifetime in the making. For all of my life I have been drawn to small delis, specialty grocers, and food centric retail shops. My love for food and wine led me to culinary school. Now after over 15 years in the restaurant industry working as a chef my wife and I decided to make a big change. In 2010 my love and interest in wine drove me to become get my certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers. My passion for wine was always through the lens of a chef. Instead of focusing on the intellectual details, my focus was always on the flavor experience of wine. Particularly how wine interacts with food. Read more>>

Louis Supan | Celebrity Chef, Private Chef & Loucideatz, Coach, Consultant & Entrepreneur

As a child, I didn’t have a lot. My mother was young when she had me, and she really struggled with the work life/home life balance. Seeing her struggle at such a young age instilled a determination within me. I promised myself a long time ago that I would one day be in a place to where my mother would never have to work again. I know she did her best to support me growing up, but she missed out on a lot of my childhood. Being my own boss has given me the freedom to do what I love AND spend my time the way I want. There are some moments you can never get back, and this fact alone has proven to be a huge motivating force in my life. Read more>>

Lisa Monday-Gomez | Station Owner, Radio Personality & Journalist

I started Whatever68 Radio to encourage and promote independent unknown artists. I had been contributing to other internet Radio stations and saw they were pushing bands aside and not giving listeners a chance to hear them so I decided I would build my own station and give air time to all independent artists. Then I took it a step further with live interviews giving support anyone in the entertainment industry and beyond. I also create yearly free compilations with worldwide independent artists giving them even more exposer I love helping people be known and seen. Read more>>

Connie Stewart | Medium, Mentor, Author

What I have to offer in the way of psychic medium abilities and healing was not valued in mainstream Corporate America. Of course, I used my intuitive skills to help me navigate my career, but it was not joyful or fulfilling. When I’d had my fill of that oftentimes toxic environment, I made the leap into entrepreneurialship. Read more>>

Lisa Peranzo | CEO and Founder, A Healthful Life

If you had asked me if I wanted to own my own business or be an entrepreneur around 10 years ago, I probably would have laughed at you. Unbeknownst to me, I was already in that world of entrepreneurship. I joined it as soon as I left the traditional corporate America structure of work back in 2012 to be a fitness instructor full time. Even at that point, it did not cross my mind to go into business for myself. I hustled and worked for different training facilities, driving all around the city I live in to train as much as I could because I love what I do THAT much. Read more>>

Grace Bradford | Owner of Haute Barre in Del Mar

As a fitness lover and entrepreneur, I saw a need in the market in our area for a studio like ours. We are the first infrared heated barre studio in Del Mar and we also offer additional formats to add variety and value to our client’s experience. We wanted to create a place that was aesthetically beautiful with attention to detail that help to create an experience and a place you want to come a bring your friends and not just get in, workout and leave. We wanted to create a community where you feel welcome from your first step in the door! All of these ideas fueled our decision to open Haute Barre! Read more>>

Sammara Perez | Graphic Designer & Pet Business Owner

Chidow Pets started with me barely touching a sewing machine and attempting to make cozy pajamas for my dog, Shadow because she’s very sensitive to cold. And after trying different sizes for dog pajamas I always had to alter them anyway so I wanted to make some with a better fit. After a couple of PJs later, I moved to an easier project which was to make bandanas for her and my other dog, Chibi. Read more>>

Brittany Boyd | CEO/Creative Director

I love anime and fashion and noticed two things about the niche: 1) There was a negative stigma associated with those that like anime and most were ashamed to admit that they liked it. 2) There weren’t many apparel companies that offered wearable or minimalistic anime pieces that made it easier to style with your existing wardrobe. The purpose of creating Unique Style Code was to inspire people to “do both” by creating anime inspired fashion pieces that they feel comfortable wearing and styling! Read more>>