Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Osiris8 Booque | Yoga Teacher | Rapper | Spiritual Equity Advisor

In 2012 I began to recognize that between blond dreadlocks & Lululemon, the nexus of Yoga and Hip-Hop disproportionately underrepresents people of color. SimpIy, I didn’t see many yoga teachers that looked like me. I found this interesting given that Yoga originated in India and Hip-Hop was founded by blacks living in the Bronx. Having earned my college degree in intercultural communications, I deeply value representation and inclusivity. I am not Indian and I did not grow up in low income housing, thus those cultural stereotypes associated with Yoga and Rap do not necessarily apply to me. Being a Mixed Race American citizen, I am aware of how I walk the thin line between Appropriation and falling into stereotypes. As my practice developed I grew weary of practicing in studios with teachers that didn’t look like me, that didn’t represent me, and that did not connect to my story of spiritual growth. Read more>>

David Rumley | Portrait Photographer

I suppose everything started for me out of a certain degree of necessity. Several years back I was working for some friends as a music coach at a local youth orchestra, and as we were a fledgling organization, we needed to get the word out through our media content. To help with this, I bought a camera to acquire the video and still images we needed for our website and social media pages. The more time I spent learning the technical aspects of photography in my personal time, the more I really started to enjoy everything about the art form. In addition to my teaching, I had been working professionally in the live theatre industry for over 20 years. I figured a great way to learn more about photographing people would be to start offering headshots to friends of mine in the business who needed them. So, with no shortage of willing photography subjects, I was shooting pretty regularly. Over a couple of years, and as the equipment improved, so did the need to be able to recover some of my investment. And I just enjoyed taking portraits so much, starting a legitimate business seemed like a logical step forward. Read more>>

Ghisela Garcia | Owner/Designer

Starting my own business was an exciting venture. Coming from a sedentary corporate America 9-5 job I was exhausted and noticed a toll on my mental and physical health. I was introduced to the fitness industry and immediately noticed big changes in my overall health. I fell in love with the new me. Feeling my best at all times and seeing the changes in my health gave me a drive to help other by introducing them to my newly found passion, fitness. This new found passion led me to train for my very first body building competition. I enrolled in school to learn everything I could about fitness, thinking I wanted to become a personal trainer. I quickly realized that was not for me. I finished school and used the knowledge for my own health. Although, the process of competing is worth every sacrifice, I found some aspects to be unaffordable. Specifically, when it came to the glamorous competition suit. Having gone through the preparation process several times, I know how important it is to be in the right suit. The right suit will highlight your hard work and help to present your physique with the assurance that you look your best. Read more>>

Shylah May | Lifestyle Blogger & Entrepreneur – Focused on Mental Health and “Feel Good Fits”

I wanted to start my own business because I was looking for a job that served a better purpose in our world. I wanted to do something that helped others be better, do better and feel better about themselves. Three years ago, my journey with mental heath inspired me to start a blog, Shylahmay.com. At the time, no one was talking about these scary feelings I was once feeling so I wanted to start talking about it. I wanted to create a safe place for others as well, in case people were feeling the same way or had experienced mental health issues before. The blog made me get really vulnerable, and motivated me to start sharing it all. Three years later, shylahmay.com has saved many lives, helped people feel less alone and has allowed so many to navigate through it. This little idea has also transpired into a loungewear line that consists of positive affirmations embroidered into the clothing. We are all about feeling good in your (out)fit. Read more>>

Albert Chan | Tour Guide & Analyst

I wanted to do something else, other than the typical nine to five, that combined my passions for food, culture, and adventure. Read more>>

Hayley Jackson-Weber | Photographer

For as long as I can remember, I have loved photography. I was gifted a small point and shoot film camera when I was a child, and I would take endless snaps with it. I’d also spend hours poring over those “A Day The Life” photography books that were so popular in the 80’s. I got my first proper camera when I left for university, and from then on I was hooked! During my college years I took several photography courses which included learning how to develop my photos in the darkroom. There was something mesmerizing about watching images magically appear as they developed. After I graduated college, I put photography on the backburner, and over the next decade I dabbled in a variety of different fields – radio, television, marketing. However nothing ever made me feel like it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was only after I had my first child that I started to feel like perhaps the obvious career choice had been staring me in the face all along. I decided that I would focus on raising my daughter and work on honing my photography skills. Read more>>

Johan Engman | Founder and CEO, Rise & Shine Hospitality Group

I always wanted to work for myself and control my destiny. Although the risks are of course high, to me the risk/reward thought process made it obvious for me to pursue this path. Read more>>

Brandon Corral | Artist

I was previously going to school for chemical engineering. Learning to create and appreciate art was completely new to me and I was completely unaware of the satisfaction and pride I got from creating. I figured if I was already on the road headed towards struggle, I might as well carve out something for myself. I’m no stranger to a challenge. In fact, those who know me know that I like to deliberately make things difficult to spice things up. I took creating this business as a challenge to test myself and I haven’t looked back. Read more>>

Leslie Power | Toffee Maker

My name is Leslie Power and I am the creator of 3 Sisters’ Toffee located in San Clemente, California. My grandmother was an incredible cook. In the late 80’s my she came across a recipe for english toffee in the newspaper, and she refined the toffee over the years and it became her signature gift at Christmas time. My sisters and I grew up making and eating the decadent toffee. Fast forward to 2009. My husband needed some corporate gifting for his company. I knew the gifts needed to be memorable and standout. I quickly knew that my grandmothers toffee would be the perfect gift. That first Christmas I put together 25 baskets full of English Toffee and it was a hit! The next year at Christmas time my sisters (I have two younger sisters) decided they wanted to do the same gifts for their businesses and we decided to brand the company and call it “3 Sisters’ Toffee.” In 2009 my kids were little and so I only made and sold the toffee at Christmas time, but every Christmas I knew the company had huge potential because it grew substantially every year. Read more>>