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.

Lucia Leon | Director Of Social Media

A year ago, during a period of severe isolation because of the effects of the pandemic, I started using social media as a form of escapism and self expression. I opened a TikTok account (@lucy.thinks.aloud) where I shared my thoughts and opinions about a variety of different subjects related to my experience as a trans woman. I was genuinely surprised when my follower count started quickly growing. My content and style seem to have resonated with a significant sector of the community who felt like I was able to represent some of the modern anxieties felt by trans people. Read more>>

Kerrie Fitzgerald | E-Commerce &Marketing Strategist

IMPACT. I wanted to make an impact and help female entrepreneurs create & scale their dream product-based business. When I started my first product business back in 2016, I didn’t have coaches, courses or any support to help me. I had to figure it all out on my own and it was hard as hell. Once I sold that business in 2019, I knew I wanted to take the overwhelm, confusion and frustration from others as they were navigating how to grow their product-based brand. Read more>>

Rachelle Araos | Center Director and Owner of Mathnasium of South Escondido

My husband and I wanted to start our own business, initially, for financial independence. I think this is true for most entrepreneurs. I have been working in the IT corporate space for 20 years at that time and the daily grind has got me thinking of what else I can do. When we started our learning center, the advocacy of teaching students a better way to learn Math slowly took over, After attending our first Math training at Mathnasium in Los Angeles, we quickly realized that this is something we want our younger selves to have known and therefore want to share to as many students as possible. Read more>>

Jamilah Allen | San Diego Birth Photographer

Oh man — starting my business was a long time in the making. I have always been the person that documents and takes pictures at events and of friends and family. I had plenty of basic digital cameras in my life but I got my first DSLR in 2017. It became an extension of my arm and I wanted to take photos of everything. I offered photos of my friends, taught myself to edit, took a photography class. I was hooked. But starting a business just didn’t seem like a doable thing. When I had my daughter at the end of 2018, I had this really incredible birth doula. Read more>>

Cerece Rennie Murphy | Author, Founder of Virtuous Con

It was a very easy decision for me. When I first started, I did what everyone else said I should do. I queried agents to try to get my book published. But as I started getting rejections, I noticed a pattern in the responses. In addition to the generic rejection letters, I got a lot of “we think this book is great, but we don’t think it will be commercially successful.” Read more>>

Martin Ceisel | Freelance Content Writer

It started with a simple goal: to write for a living. That goal has sense evolved, taken on new layers. Assignment after assignment, what began as a transactional “hey maybe I can write five things for X amount of money a month” turned into “hey maybe I can leave my in-house role and do this proper, full time, out on my own.” So I gradually iterated and learned and tried to get better. Ultimately, my goal has always been to work with as much flexibility, and the least amount of interpersonal stress, as possible. Read more>>

Viviana Sanchez | Health and Wellness Promoter

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your community; I appreciate the people around me that share the same interests and grow our networks together. It felt organic in a way, since all the information we share with our community is about our everyday lives and common interests related to health and wellness. What I felt was punctually necessary, was to integrate information from our mental, emotional and physical states of being. You can’t be overall healthy if you exclude any of these three factors. Read more>>

Gretchen Grunt | Proprietress Artist Educator

The birth of my business started at age nine (1979) when I realized I was an artist and wanted nothing but art to think about. Then at the age of eleven I had a premonition (while a local artist, Don Malone was doing a pencil portrait of me) that I was going to have my own business. As a matter of fact, the premonition was so strong that it actually took place in the very building I am sitting in today writing to you right now about my business that’s located here, called the 29 Palms Creative Center & Gallery. Read more>>

Jennie Boone | Toddler and Primary aged sleep coach

I always have loved the idea of being my own boss. As a kid, and to this day, my entire family calls me “boss” so the urge to be a leader was always appealing. I liked the idea of motivating myself, working from anywhere I choose to, and having complete creative control over what I was doing- but, I didn’t know what my business would be! For quite sometime I had a running list of different things that interested me, but nothing seemed like the thing. Read more>>

Nicole Abejon | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

I started my business back in 2011. My husband and I had just bought our first home and our two best friends were getting married within months of each other. We couldn’t really afford to give them the nice gifts we really wanted to. My husband had an old wood burning kit and I had an idea to engrave their new last names on a hanger so they could hang their wedding dress up. The hangers went over really well and my friends kept saying that I should sell them on Etsy. I figured if I could make a few extra bucks so we could see a movie here and there, it would be a fun hobby. About six months later, I quit my full time preschool teacher job. Read more>>

Bru Langlet | zine maker & ilustrator

I don’t think I look at zine-making as a business, but ever since I started “floresrosx” I wanted to create a place where mexican and latinamerican queer, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming outcasts could publish their thoughts, drawings, feelings and ideas. Read more>>

Matthew Curry | Executive Chef/ Owner

Serving others through cooking has always been my passion. The desire of having more flexibility and potential to reach out to more people and to carry it out, led me to start my own business. When the pandemic started in 2020, everything closed down. Many of the workers in the food industry were laid off including myself. Everyone was affected. I believe that when there are challenges, there are opportunities. I felt that it was the perfect time. Read more>>

Nicki & Mathew Deines | Owners of Loos of Luxury – an upscale portable restroom company

Starting Loos of Luxury didn’t come to us as a business venture as naturally as some would think. As owners and operators of a local septic pumping company for 5 years, expanding into a related business makes sense. However, it wasn’t until 2021 that we realized the need to expand into the luxury portable restroom market. The pandemic had a huge impact on weddings and large events! For many, these events were sadly cancelled or postponed. Read more>>

Anisa Mudawar | DNP, FNP-C NURSE PRACTITIONER

Bigger is not better. Working as a nurse practitioner cosmetic injector in the top 3 medspas in SoCal however, told me otherwise. Constantly, there is a push to inject more product which incentivized the pay of injectors. This ideology funded their businesses but stripped my autonomy, creativity and aesthetic eye for natural beauty. I am grateful for this experience though as it allowed me to study injectables and understand that if they’re provided strategically and conservatively, you can enhance one’s features instead of distort it. Read more>>

Justin Wittman | Aspiring Entrepreneur

I’ve never wanted to work for someone but that’s the way the ball usually rolls when you first start out, but unless you finally had enough it’s when you start to take control of your own life, make money on your own time and be YOUR OWN boss and have to answer to no one but yourself. Plus we really love animals so I wanted to make it a career and can’t wait for it to take off. Just the thought of being considered an “Entrepreneur” is so satisfying and I’d love to inspire others to take control of their own lives because moment you do, nothing can stop you! Read more>>