We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.
Karissa Doyle | Travel Creator
After working for the same company for over 12 years I made the decision to quit after the loss of our second unborn child. My boss was less than compassionate, and wanted me back to work right away. Read more>>

ShayAujanae Johnson | Hair Stylist

My thought process behind starting my own business started with working a job I didn’t like In a profession I wasn’t interested in at all. Another factor was age I felt like i’m currently 25 years old and getting closer to my birthday I felt stuck like I’m wasting my time doing something I don’t enjoy or see myself doing for the next 60+ years ! I always did hair on the side and I enjoyed it so I told my self I will rebrand get an idea and system that works for me , stay consistent, stay positive and execute ! Read more>>

Rochelle Claire | Nutritionist & Public Health Professional

Coming from a soviet background, my parents always wanted me to get a good job and become well established. Through college, I had many internships and did the things that my parents wanted me to. Read more>>

Kaylie Ricks | CEO of Run Away with Kay, LLC

To be honest, starting and running my own business was never an intentional plan I had for my life. After graduating college and jumping right into a corporate career, I used my first job experience to really understand my work ethic better and take note of what fulfilled me and what drained me. Read more>>

Kevin Simshauser | Real Estate Entrepreneur

I have always had passion for leading others and a certain amount of confidence to believe that I have the skills and resources to be successful. That’s not to say I haven’t experienced numerous failures over the years, but with every bump along the road, I have maintained the vision to continuously keep growing. Read more>>

Shawn and Mitra Mozoon | Owners of Nature’s Secret CBD

We wanted to start a business where we could help people, connect with people and feel good about what we did for work every day. CBD is such a healthy, natural solution to so many ailments. We feel great about how many people we have been able to help. Read more>>

Alexis Delalama | CEO of Mad Lashes

As a mother of 2 and a recent pandemic I feared losing my small business to the unclear of what our future looked like. I was so wrong about losing business, in fact I was the busiest I had ever been. Read more>> 

Tina Gross | Tina Gross /Women’s Athletic Wear CEO

My thought process for starting my own business was to deliver a brand of athletic wear for women of all shapes and sizes. I wanted women to feel confident and fashionable in their everyday life. My thought was to also have this affordable and for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. I wanted my brand to be geared towards women of all sizes not just the size 2 or a size 4. Read more>>

Josh Shalek | Illustrator & Cartoonist

I am a freelance illustrator. I came upon the idea by a process of elimination. I eliminated the ways in which I didn’t want to work and arrived at the one that seemed to hold the most promise. Instead of working to get a job, the work I’m doing all goes toward my goals. There is no extraneous effort. Read more>>

Erica Drake | Founder & CEO of American Grit Travel

Growing up as an Army dependent, the love for our Country was the core to my being. However, the extent of my traveling consisted of California and Italy (thanks to my parents for schlepping me along on their 20th Anniversary.) a short resume for a Travel Advisor. Read more>>

Jamie Hawk | Operations Consultant

When I originally started my business, it was a side job as I stayed home with my kiddos. Over time, it became much more than just a side gig and it became a dream, a passion almost a calling. For the first time, I felt like I knew what I wanted to do. It was nothing I ever thought would get to where I am today, but I am still loving the journey. Read more>>

Kyanna Mitchell | Makeup Artist

My thought process behind starting my own business was to bring together the idea of doing something I love while making money at it. Growing up, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I changed directions so many times. Read more>>

Veronica Hawkins | Natural Cosmetic Chemist

My business was started out of years of frustration dealing with dry breaking hair and acne prone skin that was also very sensitive. Since I was 13 years old, I struggled with bad skin. My face was covered with painful acne including several cystic acne. Read more>>

Bob Ryan | Writer and Creative Communications Professional

I have a pretty diverse creative background. I began my professional life as a performing musician. In my mid-twenties, I became a graphic designer working in agency and corporate and freelance settings. for many years, I worked for a mid-sized Phoenix-based company designing everything from stuffed animals and wall art to book covers, catalogs and direct mail packages. Read more>>

Justin Speers | Artist

I am still at the earliest stage of migrating my artwork to a business. It was a gradual process to get to this point. For several years, I focused on the expression and development of the art itself. Read more>>

Tonya Hankins | Founder and Executive Director

Hanani House was founded in 2019 in response to the great need for women’s recovery housing for those who are seeking long term recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). At the time, I was working as a substance use specialist for a large treatment provider in St. Louis. Read more>>

Jacob Rupp | Executive coach and Founder of the 8 to 8 course

I grew up with the mindset that I could either do a job that was fun/meaningful or made me money. I was thrilled to get a job that “paid the bills” but was meaningful–as my family grew and my expenses increased, I found myself struggling– as I pushed myself to learn more about business and mindset, I realized many of the things I was doing in my 9-5 job as a rabbi was being taught in the mindset/business theory I was learning. Read more>>

Shania Thomas | Leader, Photographer & Influencer

Honestly My thought process was amazing because of the feed back that I was getting I just knew I was going to make it far with photography Read more>>