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.

David Layman | PGA Golf Professional

After many years as a club professional, I decided I wanted a new challenge to and to be my own boss. The opportunity presented itself and I decided to go for it. I spent the next few years learning all the aspects of owning my own business. Hard work, experience, and my strong desire to succeed led me to where I am today. Read more>>

Edie Klein | Jewelry Designer

I’ve been creating jewelry for about 17 years and I initially started my own business as a way to help fund the jewelry supplies I was buying. I was making gifts for friends and family and getting rave reviews so thought what better way to pay for my hobby than to start my own small business. Over the years, as my family has grown and my skills have evolved, it’s become more about wanting the flexibility to work from home and spend more time with my daughter. Read more>>

Valerie Spegal | Boudoir Photographer

In 2013 I married the love of my life who was also active duty military. Two days after our wedding day he received orders to Aviano AFB in Aviano, Italy. So you could say our world changed drastically in a matter of days from just being married to now moving to an entirely different country! This Arizona born and bred girl had never ventured that far in life so I was excited and nervous at the same time! I had left my normal day to day career and moved to Europe! In Italy, military spouses had very few opportunities to work. I needed something to keep my days busy, so I picked up a camera and taught myself how to use it while taking landscape images to collecting donations for taking family photos. When we moved back stateside is when Boudoir Photography intrigued me. I loved what it did for women to build self confidence and that feeling of empowerment of doing something so out of your comfort zone and realize that you are stunning inside and out no matter what size or shape you were! Boudoir photography was known for changing the way women looked at themselves and changing lives as well. Read more>>

Keelia Trively | Founder of Miss K Studio

I wanted a way to help emerging artists not feel lost and unheard. I grew up in a low-income household where art wasn’t seen as a job, but a hobby, and I didn’t know anyone who had started their own business. Often times we look at the art world from the outside and we see these great artists and even those we consider “new” artists are actually those with years of experience and funding. I had neither, and neither did the people around me. This is still an obstacle that I face daily. But my goal is to lessen that obstacle for others while introducing emerging artists to new audiences. Read more>>

Breanna Mora | Latina Academic Entrepreneur

Starting my soap business was simultaneously exciting and a bit intimidating. Initially, making soap was only for friends and family in hopes that their support would help me with school costs. Not in my wildest dreams did I think to sell in the community, purchase a website, or sell to strangers across the country. To this day receiving comments, feedback, new followers, and orders through social media platforms makes me proud to be part of the soap making industry. Read more>>