Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Laura Gould | Movement Coach

There are a number of practical reasons I could list for me wanting to set up my own business, but here are the more interesting and important ones: Every opportunity that has led me to work for other people has taught me a great deal, but in regard to business, I struggle to follow someone else’s vision. The reason I am a coach is for the pure love of teaching others based on my knowledge, experience and passion; Read more>>

Robyn Koenig | Small Business Coach & Consultant

My initial thought process behind starting my own business was a firm belief that I was in the driver’s seat of my life, despite having been laid off from my previous job for the second time in my career. I honestly didn’t have a lot of clarity around the type of business I wanted to create, but I knew what I DIDN’T want which was a huge factor in my business development process. I started by exploring what I enjoyed doing the most and how I could use my skills and experience to build a business that would help solve a problem for people. Read more>>

Julie Gabriella | Creative Director & Artist

I value my time a lot and I enjoy having a flexible schedule, so finding a 9-5 job has never been an option for me. I also love learning everything new, and being an entrepreneur requires always learning and finding new creative ways of doing things. I started my first business back in 2009 when I used to live in Beijing, China. I partnered up with a friend from my hometown and we opened women’s handbags and accessories wholesale shop. I was curating the products in China and shipping them to my hometown, while she was managing the sales. Read more>>

Brianna Murphy | Salon Owner and Hairstylist

My original thought process came when I was thinking about going to beauty school. I wanted to have a business plan and a bigger picture of what my career in the industry would look like. Fast forward years later, I was searching for something more. Was my original business plan still a possibility? I had put my passion aside to achieve other goals and craved the spark I would get from being behind the chair. I toured the Sola Salon suites to see what the concept was about and just took the leap of faith in opening my own salon. Read more>>

Sebastian Rivera | Photographer

My photography business was born out of two coinciding challenging life events. In February 2020 my daughter had a second, unplanned open-heart surgery at 6-months old. Since then has required intense daily medical care, a responsibility that my amazing life-partner, Izumi, has taken on while also helping our three-year old son learn to thrive in the pandemic world that we were all learning to navigate. 2020 was a hell of a year humanity collectively due to the pandemic, but for my family and me the year was filled with added uncertainty due to my daughter’s constant illness. Read more>>

Stacie McClam | Educator, Author, & Filmmaker

I was tired of teaching. As a teacher, I felt unheard and disrespected by the school system. It was a career that did not turn out for me as expected. I wanted to make an impact, but was unable to make the kind of impact that I wanted to according to my standard of quality. I suffered from teacher trauma. I wanted to expose the issues that I observed during my ten years of teaching. There were no other areas of education that I was interested in. Read more>>

Danielle Kloberdanz | Inner Compass Coach, Author & Speaker

It took me six years to get my book, Inner Compass Mom, to publication. At first, I was not thinking about starting my own company. I simply wanted to share what I had learned through a spiritual awakening that changed my outlook on life and my perspective on motherhood. By connecting with other moms, I knew that many were also struggling with mom-guilt, with feelings of overwhelm and of not feeling good enough, just like me. And so, after lots of encouragement from others, I decided to follow through and publish this book. It wasn’t until I was looking for a good name for my website that I had the idea to start my own company. Read more>>

Liz Murphy | SIS Founder & President, Owner at Santosha Nutrition

Sustainability is Sexy was originally born as a festival brand to provide sustainable education packaged within zero waste, festival events. We felt it was the perfect environment for Southern California residents to attend an amazing event and leave with tangible solutions to their every day sustainable questions. The festival idea was created after attending a food waste event in North County San Diego where the attendance demographics were majority retired residents interested in learning about SB-1383 (a CA bill that sets goals to reduce disposal of organic waste in landfills, including edible food) and the anticipated effects on the community. Read more>>

Emily Shipp | Social Media Strategist and Designer

Starting my own business was an easy decision! After having my son in 2018, I knew that an office job was going to be challenging due to scheduling and childcare issues. Working for myself, on my terms, with a schedule I could generally control was the solution! I’m also lucky that my skillset is very well suited for remote work, and that I already had experience freelancing. Read more>>

Elizabeth Hua | Founder of House of Hua Salon | Eyelash Extensions

Start small. I saved cash for my inventory and start up costs. I kept my rent low. I knew I was confidant in my skills and knew thats why my clients came to me. I learned to use only what I needed and as the business grew I was able to get what I wanted in terms of space and decor. Read more>>

Jeremy Townsend | Photographer

When I first started taking pictures, I wouldn’t have ever imagined I’d later be starting my own business and offering not only photography but video as well. Walking into photography with a video background made for a simple learning curve. During this time, it was all about shooting myself and fellow skaters for publicity. Before too long I started receiving offers and requests for photography services. Read more>>

Dominique Lawrence | San Diego/Orange County Realtor & Mortgage Lender

Hi, thanks for the question! I appreciate your time. I had quite a few factors go into the process: my decision to take a chance on being an entrepreneur, my belief in what I personally had to offer the world beyond that of a cramped office cubicle, my desire to help others on a major scale, my desire to live a life with money in abundance rather than living limited with bi-weekly paychecks, and my desire to live life on my own terms. Read more>>

K. Joie Santos | Multidimensional travel artíste, yoga instructor, personal trainer, elementary school art teacher

Some of the earliest memories I have are of my dad encouraging independence by making me order my own food, explaining how saving money works by giving me an allowance for good grades that I’d put in one of those kid atm machines, and then of course living by example that the goal of life is to be happy. I also realized early on in school and even a few of my jobs that I have an issue with authority. I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it in a way I know it will get done. Read more>>

Jason Joslyn | E.S.P Founder

Many of you may remember my first article in the Voyager, where I spoke of my childhood and what inspired me to not only become an environmentalist, but also what eventually would become the inspiration for the Ecological Servants Project. My love for nature has become to me, but a reflection of the true glory that’s inspired me, and that glory is God. Read more>>

Aleksandra Drecun | Clinical Psychologist & Adjunct Professor

My thought process behind starting my own business was varied. First and foremost, I wanted a private practice that would be reflective of who I am as a professional. I find psychology to be deeply meaningful and rewarding. My work as a psychologist is incredibly gratifying. Hence, I wanted to create a brand that mirrored a holistic approach that is centered around personal growth and transformation while also being evidence based. I was aware that I would not be able to accomplish that working for someone else. Read more>>