The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Shaunna Cooper | Co-Founder of Wine Spencer, a Wine Education and Consulting business

My sister Shayla and I both had a love for wine. I started drinking wine shortly after college. I didn’t take a specific liking to wine until working at an Italian and really learning more about different grape varietals and wine pairings. My sister Shayla wanted to start a wine blog a few years ago. At the time I just had a baby so I wasn’t in the proper mindset. Last year, I was ready to start something new. We revisited the wine blog idea but added in the wine education element. We both received our certification and thus Wine Spencer was created. Read more>>

JEFFREY QUIHUIS-BELL | Owner and Operator

The thought process was simple, I went “all-in” on myself. I suppose I have always had the “entrepreneurial spirit”, I created my first business with my brother when I was in college, a Christmas light hanging business. I was always dreaming up my million dollar idea. But here’s the deal. There is no million-dollar idea, there are good plans and bad plans and the hard work you put into making them happen. The latter being the most important part. I knew I had the “hard-working” part. So I started Ridgeline Digital Marketing, a service-oriented business that focuses on working hard for our clients. With a big-tech background, I saw clients constantly frustrated by processes, jargon, and poor service. I knew I could be successful in providing small business owners a valuable service without the headache. Read more>>

Emma Finlayson | Photographer

When I first picked up a camera, my intention was to just have some fun. But as I got more skilled in portraiture, more people began reaching out to me asking for photos. At that point, I knew it was something that could be more than just a hobby. And this mindset settled in at a perfect time in my life; I was in high school and began asking myself the big question of “what do I want to do with my life?” Thankfully, I had found something that set my soul on fire, and I knew that photography could one day support me financially, so I jumped and decided to go for it! Read more>>

Allison Slater | Worldwide Elopement Photographer

Before I started my own business, I was stuck in the corporate world of healthcare, medical insurance and desk work in a small office that had zero windows. I didn’t have a passion for what I was doing and ultimately didn’t have a college degree that would open a lot of doors for me to pursue something else. After encouragement from my husband and family members, I started my photography business as a way to pursue a life and work environment that I had control over and was passionate about. Read more>>

Judith (Yehudit) Amiel-Bendheim | Ceramic and Jewelry Artist

I always love to work and create pieces with my hand. One of my passions is cooking, and I thought how great it can be to serve my food in pieces that I also made. When family members and friends, who came to dinner in our house, start asking me to make them ceramic pieces, it was not only a big compliment…. it was also a great way for me to give part of myself to others. Every time I create functional piece, like a plate or a bowl, I think about the person who will hold it in his hand , who will it from this pieces and how that pieces will serve him or her. How will they enjoy their food from the plate that came out from my hands. This connection between other people and myself through my ceramic pieces is very satisfying for me. Read more>>

Kaden Gardner | (Mindwarp Art) Professional Artist

I had been drawing and creating things for as long as I can remember, and have always enjoyed it. So I figured I’d try and make it a career. Also a lot of people would tell me growing up that becoming a “professional artist” was near impossible, or that I would become a starving artist. I wanted to prove them wrong. Read more>>