Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Nikky T | Recording Artist & Recording Studio Co – Owner

I have had many thoughts, emotions and challenges with being an entrepreneur and starting my own businesses. To give some background on who I am my name is Nikky T and I have two main businesses: I a singer/songwriter, as well as, I also co – own a recording studio in Hollywood, CA. Read more>>

Qianqian Zhao | Cinematographer

Starting a business requires commitment and consistency. And most importantly, passion. I found my passion in being a filmmaker. And that profession has driven me somewhere I have never imagined. Dodge College of Film and media arts has educated me to become a true professional as a Cinematographer, editor, director, and colorist. I have spent years developing my skills and trying to be better. Read more>>

Laura Niebles | LOVE from LAU Jewelry | Founder & Designer

I always knew I wanted to have my own business ever since I was in College, but after finishing college I was most focused on what type of finance job I would want to do in order to make really good money. I ended up moving to NYC and worked my way up the corporate ladder. Once I was performing my dreamed-job in a better than expected company, I realized I wasn’t as happy as I saw myself in my dreams. I was doing a lot of self-reflection especially, around 2019. Read more>>

BBBORIS | CEO – SmileyFaceStudio / M4BMU$IK

I can’t say there was a particular thought process. Every time that I spend a lot of time planning or thinking about something it usually never comes out as expected. This was definitely the case with my business, Smiley Face Studio. All there really was at the beginning (around 2015-16) was a notion that I wanted to create experiences that made people smile in new and genuine ways. That’s all there really was when I initially came up with the idea living in my friends closet at UCLA. Read more>>

Jesse Miller | Watercolorist and San Diego Lifeguard

When I first started thinking about becoming an artist, I had the naive thought that I would be able to paint when I felt inspired and then people would come to me to learn all about my work, and how they can purchase it. I envisioned myself like Monet, painting in the garden, or Picasso doodling on a napkin to pay for a meal. Well, not exactly like that, but I thought I would have flexible hours, be able to be creative when I wanted, and have plenty of time to surf when the waves were good. I soon realized that being an artist, or any kind of entrepreneur was way more than a full time job. Read more>>

Frostee Rucker | 2 Time National Champion/Retired NFL Athlete/Entrepreneur/Venture Capitalist

With NIL (name, image, likeness) being one of the most profound subjects of college sports, I felt it was necessary to build an apparel brand that not only highlights dynamic sports icons but finally gives them an opportunity to profit off their collegiate likeness. With that in mind, the Active Legends GOAT series was conceptualized. Starting with my alma mater, the first collection to drop is officially licensed with USC and features Carson Palmer, LenDale White and Mark Sanchez. Read more>>

LaKisha Calvin | Herbalist

My thought process behind starting my own business was how can I help others with their health. How can I contribute to my community, How can I help my children be the best them and how can I show them that having your own business is the best thing ever. Read more>>

Victoria Romero | Event Planner

The initial thought process behind becoming a professional event planner/face painter was to share my ability with others. For many years I provided these services as volunteer services, and then my began reaching out inquiring my services and abilities. Read more>>