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.

Cassandra Hunsdon | Baker

I started my business, more or less on a whim, as a way to get myself out of a major life funk and depression. It was September 2020, I was struggling with depression from chronic health issues, the impact and isolation of the pandemic, and the stress of getting off disability after taking a few years off to focus on my health. I decided I needed to be in control and knew it had to be on my terms, due to my health being hit or miss most days. Read more>>

Angela Schoening | Portrait & Wedding Photographer

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From a young age I tended to take jobs where I was at least partially in charge of my own schedule, time off, and money-making potential (serving, bartending, freelancing, etc). When I entered the corporate world, I knew almost immediately I was in the wrong place. My heart kept calling for something that I could start and grow for myself and my family. The freedom of time is something that is invaluable to me so I decided to take the leap and go for it! Read more>>

Jhamiel Robles Phan | Lead Instructor

When my family and I welcomed my second daughter. Everything was perfect. That is until we found out she had a complicated cyst on her neck. At 8 weeks of age, we travelled for three hours for her operation. Thoughts were racing in head. I was scarred that I might have to leave the hospital without seeing my daughter smile once again. It was painful to even have a realization that the only memories I had of my child were videos of her struggling to breathe. With one last kiss and a tight hug, I left my daughter in the hands of nurses and surgeons. Minutes turned into hours. It was an unbearable wait. Read more>>

Ashley Olson | Founder @

I wanted to create an inclusive world for myself and others like me. My life dramatically changed after becoming paralyzed at fourteen-years-old in a car accident that also killed my father, crippled my mother and injured my younger sister (older sister not in the car). Since my dad was a park ranger, my sister and I grew up camping and hiking, so after the accident my mom insisted we go to Hawaii for our first luxury vacation, as we had all been through hell and back. Read more>>

Andreea Serban | Coach

I have started my own business when I was 24. I wanted to succeed, be free, and be very enthusiastic. Read more>>

Cassidy Taylor & Shelby Lecometros | Soap Maker & Small Business Owner

Cassidy & Shelby have been making bath essentials since 2019 for family and friends! Cassidy took a soap making class and fell in love with the creativity aspect. When she was pregnant with her first baby in 2020, her husband told her, “I think you need a hobby.” Cassidy then decided to expand her knowledge and branch into bath bombs, lotions, and work with advance soap ingredients such as beer and wine. Shelby was always the ultimate tester of Cassidy’s new projects of bath essentials. Together, they formulated a recipe worth sharing with the world. Read more>>

Dr. Jeff McGee | Chief Executive Officer

Ironically, I really didn’t have a desire to start a business at first. My desire was to become a professor at a college or university. As I began applying for faculty positions, some friends of mine approached me to put together a training program for a group of individuals that were interested in learning more about racial issues and diversity, equity, and inclusion. I put together a five-session training program and facilitated the content. Read more>>

Raphael Uduhiri | Owner and Creator of Naija Grille Spice Mix

I started this business as a result of my love for foods that have the right combination of heat and savory flavor. I came up with a home blend spice mix that I felt had the perfect balance of those 2 things and after discovering that there are quite a number of people that share a similar desire in their foods, I decided to share my spice mix with the world. Read more>>

Kavan Lake | Portrait, Fashion, and Dance Photographer

I was an active duty Marine for almost 23 years. During my time in service, it was important for me to stay focused on the mission, and the people under my charge. When I retired from the Marines, I worked as an engineer for a couple years. I have always had a passion for photography, and wanted to pursue it as a career. After resigning from my engineering position, I decided to follow my passion for photography and start my own business. My thought process was that if I didn’t follow my dreams now, when would ever do it? Read more>>

Barry Van Meter | Owner of a outdoor camping survival company

I was fired from my job and no one would hire me. Read more>>

Tiffanie Redman | Self-taught Edible Enthusiast & Baker

As an Army veteran, I know how it feels to suffer from severe pain and mental health problems. I wanted to create a more natural method for those who, like myself, do not enjoy ingesting pill after pill. GoodAssCakez is meant to shine a light on someone’s dark day. To make your tastebuds dance and ease suffering. Read more>>

Andrea Ordo Ley | Andrea Ordo Ley, BS

The toughest process to starting my own solo business was to resign my full time job as a social worker. I graduated with my bachelors degree as a sociologist and after graduating my dream job came true. It was very hard to decide to leave my dream job to become a self entrepreneur woman. Having to decide if it was the right decision to make, making numbers so I could financially support my monthly responsibilities and trying to figure out the steps to take to be successful towards my business was stressful. Read more>>

Justin Balczak | Filmmaker & Parkour Athlete

I have always been a creative person, especially behind the lens of a video camera. Growing up I despised seeing cheesy poor quality commercials for local businesses, and always thought I could do better. I originally moved to LA to study film and work my up the ranks in the film industry. I was fortunate enough to work on multiple sets, and meet many great individuals, but I learned quickly that the politics behind the industry was something I did not want to deal with. Read more>>