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.

Victoria O’Connell | CEO, Golightly

I was born in the Middle East with an Irish/Maltese background and later lived in Vanuatu which got me hooked early on culture and travel. After University in Edinburgh, I cofounded and helped manage an international e-commerce and real estate company for 20 years but would still always run vacation rentals on the side to supplement income and enable further travel. In 2017 my short-term rental flat was burglarised by a guy who disappeared after, leading me to branch out and start Golightly, with the mission to make travel safer for all women through its private platform. I often felt uncomfortable traveling but it made me realize that even as a host there is too much anonymity in the big sites, and having a connected network of women would help provide the needed trust and safety element going forward. Read more>>

Joshua Bliss | Father, Climber, and Private Wealth Advisor

After honing my skills at the large investment firms and banks for close to 20 years, I felt passionate about starting my own Wealth Management Firm where I was able to select the best strategies for my clients rather than being constrained to only offering proprietary products. I wanted to form a boutique Investment Firm with a limited number of clients, allowing me to focus on a concierge level of customer service and the ability to provide tailored made investment portfolios for my clients. Read more>>

Robert Boyd Jr | Financial Consultant

I never believed I would be able to start my own business. I was inspired by my wonderful wife, Hesok. With her drive and passion to start her business, it opened my eyes to more possibilities that are outside of the traditional 9-5 job. I began to think about the support I would be able to give my family. I’m able to educate myself and family with the tools that our business brings. I asked myself “what is my passion?” I learned my passion is to prevent another family from going through situations that we went through. I learned my passion is to never let my ego prevent me from bettering myself or my family. Being able to build and grow helped me understand why I worked so hard at the 9-5 job, which is my family. I want to give my wife Hesok and our 7 year old son, Robert III, the life they deserve from me. Read more>>

Bella Crandall | Birth Doula

If I don’t do it someone else will. So why not do it? If I failed then it would be because I didn’t try hard enough. The beauty in what I do is I have 100% control of my business. I decide when to take on clients, how many, what kind of births, what to charge, and so on. If I needed to pause and focus more on my family as a stay at home mom then I could. There will always be pregnant women looking for birth support so I wouldn’t have to worry about starting over. Read more>>

Taylor Blades | Salon Owner

My thought process has always been stay true to who you are and great things will come. Believe in yourself, trust the journey and be willing to put in the work! When opening my business I had no idea it would be what it is today, my thought process has always been making sure I can help women feel confident through their hair! It turned into so much more than that, we pride ourselves in giving structure to employees that fulfill them in a life they have always dreamt of. Helping stylist find their way in this industry and showing them their worth helps create a team in power! With a strong team we can proved a luxury service to our clients. Hair is SO important to so many people and what better way than to serve guests by providing a service through our passion Read more>>

Marcella Turella Willden | Social Media Manager & Consultant

I have always wanted to be my own boss! I remember when I was little, I used to say I wanted to be like the main actriss from The Devil Wears Prada movie (but nicer than her haha). So I combined my passion from social media and helping businesses to succeed on social media with my dream to become the CEO I always wanted to be. I have to say, it took me a lot of time to leave my stable 9-5 job to start my own thing but I wouldn’t change it for anything! Read more>>

Socorro LeRoux | American Businessman & Recording Artist

Starting my own business took a great deal of critical thinking as it involves risk. My thought process centralized around being logical. Over time, I developed a unique music and entertainment skill set. After analyzing the changes within the music and entertainment industry, I discovered that there was new demand for my skill set. These factors compelled me to establish “The LeRoux Directorate” where we specialize in music, media and entertainment. Read more>>

Nadia Simms | 14 year old actress and entepreneur

I wanted to create something for everyone. I wanted to create something that enhances your beauty and doesn’t mask it or make you look like someone you are not because we are all uniquely beautiful in our own ways Read more>>

Brandon Snedden | Graphic Designer & Entrepreneur

I was working as a night shift warehouse manager and going to school for graphic and web design. I had made a design specifically for the members of my night shift team and when I showed them, they wanted it on sweatshirts. I had ordered sweatshirts for the team to wear, and they instantly started receiving feedback and others wanted to know how they could get one! Around that time In school, I had a project due with the assignment of creating a live website and chose to use it as a way to test and expand the reach of what was the beginning of Graveyard Apparel. As the popularity grew, I tested new designs that also received positive feedback, and with a vow of confidence from my wife, and the support of the local SBA, I decided it was time to seriously pursue my passion in graphic design and officially created Graveyard Apparel. Read more>>

randon Baldenegro | The Pit Stop Company, Owner

The Pit Stop Company exists today to provide a convenient solution to your irritable errands. Most vehicle owners procrastinate getting their vehicles serviced because they don’t have the time, they don’t like wasting their time waiting in a lobby, and they don’t like the feeling of being upsold by big name shops and dealerships. Combining this with my passion for vehicles made this an easy choice for me to pursuit this journey. Read more>>

Lola and Chris Forbes and Szydlowski | Pastry Chefs and Owners

We originally created Spooky’s Swirls as a food truck concept. We knew we wanted to do gluten free but when deciding what product we would specialize in the answer was easy: cinnamon buns! We quickly outgrew our little food truck and had to come up with an out of the box way to grow. We found a storefront with room to greatly expand our gluten free menu while mixing in our second love, horror and sci fi movies. We knew we were fulfilling a need for delicious gluten free baked goods, but we set out to create a business that just let us have some fun and create exciting themed desserts and pastries. Read more>>

Victoria Munoz | Physician, Competitive Athlete, and Entrepreneur

I’ve been surrounded by encouraging people all my life. My parents have always told me that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. I don’t know if this is because they saw my potential, or if their encouraging words drove my potential. Either way, I have never doubted that I could accomplish the things that I set out to do, even from a very young age. At the age of 2 I announced that I would be a doctor when I grew up. Over the course of my life I have always had a knack for making money. Now I am not only a physician, but the owner of 4 businesses. Read more>>

Olivia Khiel | Editor in Chief

After graduating from journalism school. I was having a tough time finding work in my field. I’d been out of the game for awhile before my best friend suggested starting up Atlas Artist Group to really shine a spotlight on musicians making a positive impact in the scene and beyond. It’s been amazing getting to show our readers new music with a great message. Read more>>