Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Alenka Gomboc | GombocGoods Business Owner & Designer

I actually never thought about having my own business, this idea wasn’t premeditated at all. I am a graphic designer by trade and somehow I always had this belief that business and creativity don’t mix. I had no prior knowledge of business – I’ve always been a creative person and business wasn’t something that came naturally. Or at least that’s what I thought until I embarked on this journey. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kwan | Digital Artist & Twitch Streamer

Drawing was something I always loved to do, but it was one of those things that got pushed to the side as I got older and busier. Right before I started my senior year of college, I got a corgi puppy and started an Instagram (@beebothecorgi) to document his life. He’s my first dog and I knew that I would want a place to look back at our memories together. One thing that I found out by joining the online dog community is that sticker trades are a huge thing. I love cute art and stickers so I decided to hop on the bandwagon and found a bunch of artists to commission. Over time I followed more and more artists who had their own stationery shops and it was so inspiring to me. Read more>>

betsy fein | President of Clutterbusters!!

After years spent voluntarily helping friends, neighbors and relatives organize their homes and offices, I determined that the growing demand for organizing services, combined with my background in human resources, sales, and management, made me an ideal candidate to start a professional organizing business. I researched the industry and learned the optimal way to present services to the public. Since that time, Clutterbusters!! has grown quickly, and has become the largest organizing company in the region. Read more>>

Grant Smith | Entrepreneur

I have an obsession with Lake Powell. Every thing about it. The water, the sand, the sun. The jet ski’s you can jump over 6 foot waves to land hard and dislocate your shoulder. Back flips off of insanely high cliffs just to land so hard in the water you wonder why you jumped in the first place. Maybe it was just for the video… Who knows. In fact, I almost lost my life at Lake Powell back in 2017 when I was backed over by a boat. Long story short, I survived because of a life flight and lots of prayers from family and friends. I got a cool scar to prove it 😉 My family is a big inspiration and drive to start this business. I’ve never liked the idea of working under someone and getting paid hourly instead of by project. I have more value than just minimum wage. You hear it all the time, but I’m the one that’s going to do something about it. Actions speak louder than words, right? Read more>>

Adrienne W. Andrews | Event and Wedding Planner

The business was created in 1986 after I went to a co-workers wedding and before it started, the bride fainted and fortunately, she revived after she was attended by a medical profession. She was stressed and just tried to do too much, after a hour she decided she wanted to continue with the ceremony. The rest of the day was beautiful and her reception was perfect end to the day. At the end of that event, I knew it had to be a better way for a Bride to prepare for that very long awaited wedding day. That started Weddings to Infinity by Des Dames, later becoming Weddings to Infinity. Read more>>

Dr. Zak Goodman | Chiropractor and Human Performance Specialist

I wouldn’t say there was much of a thought process behind starting my own business. I believed, and still believe, that there was a big hole in healthcare that nobody else had filled. So I decided to start my business on the basis of patient healing through intentional movement. Before I started my own business I worked at an integrated wellness clinic, a “one stop shop” for all your healthcare needs. They have chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, physicians, nurses, etc. It all sounds so good. Everything in one place! Read more>>

Christopher Lackhan | Functional Patterns Human Biomechanics Specialist

I opening my training facility to offer Functional Patterns training to people in the state of Arizona. Read more>>

Sarah Sheets | Photographer

Being a newly stay at home mother of 2, a 3 yr old and a newborn, I knew I wanted to do something to contribute to my household but also something I could schedule around my busy life as a mom. I had been doing photography as a hobby for about 3 years at this point. I photshoot here or there for a friend that was maybe expecting, or, just some family photos. O have always had a creative side that I enjoyed so much and I needed an outlet for that. Read more>>

Anthony Osuna | Baker/Small Business Owner

My thought process on starting my own business was definitely an exciting process, but all I could think about was perfecting my craft so that I could eventually sell my product to the public and really put myself out there. Read more>>

Jennifer Fero | Founder & President

My daughter died in 2010 and I found myself without support and isolated. I realized that there had to be a better way to support families after their baby died. This began my journey to going to college and becoming the founder of my non-profit. I found it important to remember the pain I had in the beginning of my loss in order to connect with families who are experiencing what I went through. Read more>>

Kimberly Heywood | Owner of SHADE Marketing AZ

I have been running the business and marketing side of my own businesses for years. Lots of people love my unique style and have asked me for tips and tricks and even asked me to do their marketing in the past. I finally decided I should start my own marketing company so that I can help others and utilize my unique skillset to grow local small businesses! Read more>>

Claudio Azevedo | Krow Arizona

Actually I was just thinking about happing fun and be able to show Brazilians people how different is living in US (specially in Arizona) comparing to Brazil. I started my YouTube Channel in 2019 when I bought my first motorcycle in Arizona. Back in that time I just wanted to show the new model of that bike, some pros and cons, and if it could be a good option for beginners. One day I was riding back home, recording some footages with my GoPro attached to my helmet, when I saw a big piece of wood in the middle of the road. Read more>>

Alex Bayer | CEO Genius Juice

The thought process was creating something that could provide a need. In this case, better-for-you ultra clean plant-based smoothies that taste great and are great for you. This was a constant source of frustration that everything on the store shelves was not satisfactory and processed. We wanted to do something better and felt inspired and created this brand and product out of this inspiration. Read more>>

Paige Ford | Esthetician

Starting my own business came fast and really out of nowhere. I lost my job during COVID and opening up my studio was really my only option at the time, it was sink or swim and then boom I had a business. Read more>>

Ryan Shelton | CEO & lead designer

Ever since I was little I always wanted to run my own company. After I learned about 3D printing I began to wonder if I could fuse my love of rockets and this new form of manufacturing. Ever since that day pushing forward with 3D printing model rockets I have never looked back. Read more>>

Nancy Hopkins | Artist

I have always been an independent thinker and have never done well in traditional work situations. I work hard and do the job but have never hesitated to offer my opinion on how things could possibly be done better or at least differently. So, being my own boss was the natural progression to happiness for me. Read more>>

Chelsea LaGrasse | Professional MMA Fighter, Personal Trainer, Self Defense Coach, and Nutrition Coach

I had always wanted to be my own boss but the thought of that scared me. I also wanted to help people more than I was helping them in my current job at the YMCA. I didn’t feel like I could give my clients and the people that I coached the support they needed with the limitations at my job. Read more>>

Ali Patchett Emeri Johnson | Entrepreneurial High School Seniors

At the end of our first year being able to attend formal school dances, both of us were exhausted from trying to find modest dresses that were both comfortable and affordable. We decided to start our own business with the dresses we had acquired from the previous dances and are continuously adding new dresses to our inventory. Read more>>

Susan Lacey | Baker

I was widowed unexpectedly in 2019, and found love again in Arizona after i moved here from Vermont to be with family. My new husband and i honeymooned in the White Mountains and never left! I have always had a passion for baking, and after baking too many yummies for us, I needed to share. At the time I didn’t know about the cottage license in Arizona so I looked for a way to satisfy my creativity and treat fur babies to homemade cookies. Read more>>

Derek Van Der Werf | President of DeVan Management and General Contractor

Our situation was very unique in that the business was started because of an opportunity when the real estate market crashed in Arizona. In 2009 and 2010, the housing market went completely upside-down and my father and I saw an opportunity to buy real estate and fix up houses and turn them into rental homes. In early 2010, we began to buy homes in the easy valley of Phoenix. Read more>>

Kevin Rhodes | Crafter of All Natural Soaps and Lotions

When starting our business we wanted something that was going to improve our families lives. Not only financially but also the everyday health of our family and the surrounding environment. They always say if you do what you enjoy you never really work a day in your life. We found that, it started as a hobby and turned into a business. Read more>>

Jess Mueller | Content Creator & Boutique Owner

I’ve been all over the board when it comes to careers. I had a record deal in high school, I was a television news reporter after college, I was a middle school English teacher, and now I own my own business. I think the “though process” was more of an inevitable happenstance. While working in all of these different careers, social media was always something that I dabbled in; it was something that I was always drawn to. Read more>>

Rossana Gonzalez | Event decor planning and coordinator

I always worked, even if it was only part time. After my third child I stopped working completely, it was a hard decision to stay at home or go back to work since I’d be working to pay for babysitting for three kids. In the beginning when I decided to create a page to announce I was doing party/event decor, my kids were my inspiration, all their birthday parties I always did everything myself as far as decor and pastries (a lot cheaper) and I enjoyed it a lot, they started getting more elaborate every year. Read more>>

Teresa Brenneman | Holistic Human Design Coach & Energy Healer

I’ve always been motivated by time freedom and having a positive impact on others, yet I love to work. Entrepreneurship has always felt empowering to me. I realized if having a career was going to be sustainable, it better be something that I enjoy doing that also challenges me and pushes me to keep learning. My favorite thing to do is deeply connect with others so I knew that my work would revolve around that. The way that I support and connect with others has shifted over the years and I’ve always allowed myself the freedom to pivot when necessary. Read more>>

Kelly West | Dog Cookie Baker

I worked at the best company in the world but I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing, and didn’t like my current boss & department. Once the China Virus hit it was crystal clear I wanted to 1. Do something I enjoyed, 2. Do something from home to be with my dog. Read more>>

Courtney Padilla | Luxury Boudoir Photographer

My thought process was to build an Empire I could call my home. To build an Empire others could call home. I wanted to build a business that was a safe haven not just for me, but for others to feel comfort, empowerment, and a feeling of safety. I knew building my business up would take hard work and dedication but with the hopes of effortlessly running my own business years down the road. Work smarter, not harder, right? Read more>>

Tiffany Riddering | Mobile Bartending Service

My husband and I have been in the bar industry for over 14 years each. We have been bartending events and weddings for over eight years now with three other bartending companies. Bartending weddings and events are such a wonderful thing. It’s not like working in a bar. It is something that we truly enjoy doing. After spending years learning all of the ins and outs of the business we decided to start our own adventure that we could customize to our style and preferences. Our biggest challenge thus far has been advertising. It’s hard to advertise to a very specific group of people. Read more>>

Dr. Taja Mclean, DMFT, LPC | Licensed Mental Health Therapist

I started my private practice Heart of Gold Counseling because I wanted to be the person I never had growing up. At the age of 11, my mother passed away. I remember being depressed along with other members of my family as a result of her death. Therapy was not something that was talked about or promoted. We just learned to “deal with it” and I did not have an outlet to express my feelings. I have a passion for helping children who were just like me. Children who do not have an outlet and need support. Read more>>

Georgia Chaliasou | Wedding Planner at Marriage in Style

I always felt that I wanted to offer services and that I would be very good at it. How much more to give joy and create unique moments for couples who would trust me. I have not regretted it for a minute and I take joy from this choice of mine every day Read more>>

Akili Anderson | Photographer

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to monetize from my deepest passion. However, starting a business is not easy by any means. Before embarking on this journey, I made a commitment to myself to stay consistent with my pursuit throughout every season. There is a lot of uncertainty as a creative and entrepreneur, but you can never truly fail. A failure is always a win from my perspective, because with “failure” comes wisdom, and you are able to use that knowledge to pivot in a direction with a more attuned focus. I’ve endured many battles with fear before and during this journey, but I know with every fiber of my being, this is what I am meant to do. With that understanding, I never stop creating, connecting and building, even if it is only one brick a day. Read more>>

Ridge Bedell | Fitness Trainer & Entrepreneur

My brand Transcendence Athletics was birthed from the evolution of my fitness lifestyle, and health issue I overcame my sophomore year of college. I wanted to use fitness to show people they’re capable of more than they know mentally, physically, and spiritually. My senior year of college I created a branding booklet for my brand, and two prototype shirts. The original idea was to show people how to transcend themselves through social media content, and provide workout fitness apparel. Read more>>

Camora Fuller | Sculpted Nail Artist

Since middle school, I’ve always loved getting my nails done, it was an amazing feeling. Fast forward, it’s 2019 and I’m starting to see the true creativity behind nail art and I fell in love even more. After watching countless videos on applying acrylic, I began to believe I too could become a nail tech and make people feel beautiful. In February of 2020, I applied to nail technology school and became a part-time nail tech student. Little did I know a month later would be the start of a worldwide pandemic. During the peak of the pandemic, my hours started getting cut and I was on the verge of losing my job. Read more>>

Wade Bennett | Content Creator – TechDaily

I’ve been fairly business-oriented since I was a kid and always seemed to have some sort of “side hustle” going on. I’ve also always been interested in tech in some capacity – whether that be making websites, buying the latest gadgets or offering tech support to friends and family. When I went to college, I figured I’d graduate and work for a tech company. But I eventually realized that I was not cut out for the working world. Naturally, I tried to combine my interest in tech with my business-sense, and that ultimately worked out in forming TechDaily. Read more>>

Debbie Clason | Marketing and communications expert

I’ve been in the marketing and communications business for more than 40 years. When my leadership position with a non-profit organization was eliminated in Jan 2019, I found myself in a unique position. At my age (then 61), should I dust off my resume and re-enter the job search market or use my experience to start my own business? Although I really liked the idea of a steady paycheck, I’d been toying with the idea of striking out on my own anyway. I realized my recent setback was actually a setup to move forward so I took the leap. I’ve been challenged every day. I had a great first year, then lost everything in the pandemic. I’m so glad I stuck with it because 2021 has been the most abundant year of my life. Read more>>

Sydney Stewart | Dance & Gymnastics Wear Owner, Dancer, Teacher, & Supply Chain Analyst

I always knew that one day I would own my own business. From a little girl I dreamed of always opening up a dance related business that would be all inclusive and allow people of many different backgrounds to have access to have a safe place. When I finally got the opportunity to open my business I jumped at the opportunity. Realizing early on it would be challenging to own an inventory based business I knew I had to come up with unique products that was nothing like anything else I had seen before at similar dance and gymnastics stores. I wanted products to cater to not only the “idea” or “standard” dancer or gymnast, but rather the unconventional one. Read more>>

Ursuela & Justin Padilla & Coldiron | Founder & Co-Founder

Ursuela and I met one night and discussed the idea of starting a business together and that’s where we came up with My Athlete Box. We wanted to provide other women, just like Ursuela, with everything they would need to get motivated to live a healthier lifestyle – healthy fuel, apparel, gear, motivational products, one-on-one virtual workouts, and more. Read more>>

Tanner Blackburn | Photographer/ Filmmaker/ Creative

There were many different reasons why I wanted to start my own business. Out of all of the reasons it came down to two big factors for me: freedom/flexibility and the creative environment. Two very different, but equally important reasons. First off, freedom and flexibility. I love having the opportunity to work all over the country and see places I would have probably never been to. Getting to make my own schedule is so crucial to me, as my life as a freelancer is so spontaneous and unexpected. It’s the best! Being in an environment with so many other creative people has helped me so much. Meeting and collaborating with people who think differently than everyone else is so cool! Everyone feeds off of each others energy and it creates such a fun, positive place to be. I have met so many amazing people through starting my own business, and I can’t wait to meet so many more! Read more>>