Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder.  We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Ian Simon | Personal Trainer and Strength Coach

The fitness industry is a copycat business. Everyone more or less does the same thing, and it is your job to make yourself standout in a business full of alphas. When I came up with The InstaBooty, I studied who I believed were the best in the business and I observed what they did very well. I also looked at what they could have done better, and that’s where I would provide value. The InstaBooty came to be because I wanted to provide high quality, individualized training in a group setting. Each one of my clients, I know their needs, their limitations, their goals and what they need to eat daily down to the last calorie. My goal is always to provide the best results, a safe and healthy environment both mentally and physically, but also a place where you can just have fun! Read more>>

Jalia Pettis | Visionary of 3Jay Productions, Licensed Beauty Professional & Educator

When I started my business it was with the thought that I knew I wanted to work for myself, I saw my mother become an entrepreneur and realized the freedom she had. I worked in corporate HR Management so I was the person who hired and fired, that is a stressful position to be in day in and day out! So, when it came to starting my business it allowed me to use the creative side of my brain. When I was younger I modeled and I knew how difficult it was as a black woman to be accepted or not accepted based on physical attributes. I noticed young men and women like myself not being able to comprehend what that entailed and out of that birthed 3Jay Productions. Read more>>

Megan Loda | Health and Wellness Coach

I’ve always had a heart for helping others. I wanted to make a difference. I saw first hand how important your health was after my back surgery. Fitness changed my life in so many ways. It made me a stronger person not just physically but mentally too. I wanted to help others feel that way. Read more>>

Bear Prandelli | CEO & Founder of WulfenBear Media

When we first started our business, I had just finished working on a failed grow operation in Northern California and my brother and business partner had just dropped out of school. We had always talked about and dreamed about starting our own video production company, with the ultimate goal being to shoot high-level commercials, narrative films and documentaries. In essence we were forced by the universe to go for it. Neither one of us had much to lose at the point we were at in our lives and taking on the challenge of chasing our dream seemed like the best possible option. The whole experience was terrifying in many ways. We moved to Phoenix, a city where we had virtually no network, and had to start from the ground up. Read more>>

Kaye Manjares | Baker & Small Business Owner

In 2018 I had started the keto diet and soon realized that there was not a lot of options for keto baked goods to be found in my local grocery stores. In order for me to be able to stick to this diet I had to prepare, cook and bake things for myself at home. Prior to finding keto, me and diets did not get along because I have always had a sweet tooth. Many diets say you can’t have sweets or desserts but on keto you actually can. You can have breads, cakes and cookies on the keto diet in moderation as long as you use keto friendly ingredients and substitutions. Most Keto friendly foods are gluten free, sugar free and low in carbohydrates which can be hard to not only find but also to make if you’re not used to working with certain ingredients. Read more>>