Ideas aren’t everything, execution matters greatly, but starting often requires an idea and so we asked folks to think back and tell us the story of how they came up with the idea for their businesses. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stories below.

Freddie Harb | President of Sleeping Giant Music, Mastering Engineer at Distinct Mastering, Producer and DJ

Back in the early 2000’s me and a couple of friends were always in the studio making music. They had just gotten out of record deals and wanted to do their own thing. One was a rapper (Blest), one was a vocalist (oneson), and then there was me the DJ / Producer. So we started Sleeping Giant Music, at that time which was more of a traditional record label and a community of artists. The MP3 eventually came out which led us down the path of pivoting into a booking agency, and thats when our partner Mikey Beats got involved around 2007/2008. As the main division Sleeping Giant Music grew into the touring DJ division, we eventually developed the SGM Events division that deals with corporate and private events and a whole other subset of artists. Read more>>

Travis & Monay Miller: Founders of The Miller Initiative & Certified Life Coachess

The first few years of marriage were what we’d consider “typical”. Both of us were working (Travis in Engineering, and Monay in Social Work). We both dove into our careers and the picture-perfect marriage started to get a little blurry. We were living the“back to back” style of marriage for the first few years. One day we looked up, took an honest look at our relationship, and we realized that we were on track to arrive at a destination that we didn’t realize our actions were choosing. We had challenges along the way: Time, Money, Direction/Information, and Limited Beliefs. We didn’t have the mentors or information to create the life that we wanted to live and become the spouses and parents we wanted to be. Read more>>

Brian Parker | Metal Swap Meet Organizer

In the early 2000’s, I worked for a record store called Blue Meannie Records. It was owned by a musician and fellow heavy metal fan Norm Leggio. It was a dream job. All day long I would listen to metal, order metal records, and talk metal with customers and coworkers. It was more than just a record store, it was a meeting place for local heavy metal fans. After about 6 years of working there, the record industry was dying. Sadly, Blue Meannie Records was no more. I moved on to a new career, but always felt the metal scene in San Diego was missing what Blue Meannie Records provided; a place where local metal fans can meet up, buy and sell heavy metal merchandise, and meet others with the same heavy metal passion. Read more>>

Carolina L. Mery | Founder of Pura Buena Onda – Conversational Spanish

When I started teaching Spanish I used traditional methods, such as flashcards and endless grammar exercises. I quickly realized that the time that I spent chatting with my students at the beginning or at the end of class is what they most enjoyed and what seemed to be the most effective. Then I thought back to my English learning journey when I was a kid. I studied English for years and when I got to this country I couldn’t have a conversation. I could point at things and tell you what they were called and I could conjugate verbs and recite grammar rules, but I couldn’t speak or understand English in conversation. When I put 2 and 2 together, I realized that I was going about teaching language in a completely unnatural, yet traditional way. It was in that moment that I decided that I would throw out the textbooks and start teaching Spanish the way that we learn languages as a child. Read more>>