Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Kyle Gronski | Unfiltered Sports

The idea for Unfiltered Sports started in the summer of 2020 when we came together and wanted to create a business using our passion for sports. We started out small on instagram posting highlights and some of our first bets on sporting events. We faced a lot of challenges early on as none of us knew how to gain an audience or market our services correctly. However, every idea you put into action will bring its problems and you will learn to fix them. Read more>>

Greg Fishell | Craftsman

Fishell Paddles started out of Ontario Canada with crafting and selling functionally artistic canoe paddles. Our family owned business started with purchasing the equipment and tutelage from the legendary canoe paddle maker Ray Kettlewell. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but when Ray retired someone needed to fill his shoes for the paddling community and we knew that from Ray’s 40+ years in the industry, he had created a following. So we knew it was a smart business decision. Read more>>

Garie Chavez | Artist

At the age of 9, I already knew I have that entrepreneurial spirit by selling items at the street corner where I grew up. Fast forward to 2015, I wanted to create something very unique that would be considered functional art by repurposing wine/liquor bottles and live edge desert hardwood. My goal is for my clients to have a piece of handcrafted art they cherish, and know that it is truly one of kind and made especially for them. Read more>>

Ron Steinhilber | Father, Husband, Coach, Runner, and Firefighter

The thought process behind starting Distance University was to provide an opportunity for children who wanted to learn how to run long distance events. I was volunteering as an assistant coach for another track club, but after three years I was ready to branch out on my own. With the support of my wife and daughter, I filed the correct paperwork, and Distance University was born in 2015. Read more>>

Mackenzie Dickson | Holistic Wellness and Spiritual Mentor

When I was 19 years old, I experienced a severe emotional trauma which resulted in a health crisis. I watched as my overall health began deteriorating despite her best efforts to heal my physical body through allopathic medicine, and natural medicine alike. This is when I felt like I had hit rock bottom, I felt powerless and helpless. From this place, I felt a deep draw and connection to Mother Earth as I continued to search for healing. Read more>>

Mackenzie Yost | Owner, Newt & Narwhal —–Mackenzie Yost | Owner, Newt & Narwhal

The world can always use a little bit more whimsy and wonder. Newt & Narwhal was shaped around the thought process that even the smallest works of art can evoke genuine moments of happiness and fascination. Primarily selling handmade small batch resin earrings, my work is designed to feel whimsical, wonderful, and fanciful. Our daily lives can be tough– work, school, kids, chores, and a bunch more seemingly endless responsibilities. So, why not make the day a little more fun and put on a cool pair of earrings before heading out the door?! Read more>>

Chris Snowden-Santi | Hockey Goaltending Instructor

Starting my own business was something I had considered when first entering the workforce after college. I had been coaching goalies of various ages all throughout college, and knew it is something that I enjoyed doing. Unfortunately the market I was in could not support my business, so I tabled the idea, and followed opportunities in other industries. Read more>>

Mikey Sanchez | Owner/COO Operations Officer, Geological, Technical Professional

Freedom, without hindrance or restraint, became the idea that formed “Fault Line Mining”. We have created a company that myself (Mikey Sanchez) and Sean Sibert could shape into a legacy. We are family and community-driven and wanted a career in that we could do something we love and that is not the average or “normal” thing. Read more>>

Jaryn Dominique | Digital Marketer & Business Owner of Deviant Digital Services

I had already been in the industry for many years and was a Director of Digital Marketing at a nationwide marketing agency. The thought of starting my own business had crossed my mind over the years from time-to-time, but it never seemed worth the risk compared to a stable 9-5 job. Then the Pandemic happened and, as we all know, everything changed. I was amazed at how many businesses canceled traditional marketing like billboards, commercials, and even direct mail. Instead, all businesses were redirecting their budgets to digital marketing. Read more>>

Ron Laikind | Adventurer / Inventor / Entrepreneur

My thought process behind starting this business was a simple solution at first, create a way to keep cool while hiking my favorite trails. I live in Arizona, the hottest of locations in the United States, and I’m an avid outdoorsman who explored the world’s deserts – including a 1000-mile trek through the Sahara. I was always grappling with the heat, and I didn’t want it to stop me from the activities I love. I looked around for anything that could help, but high-pressure misting systems were only for home or commercial use. Personal systems were low-end, hand-held, mini-fan style misters. That just wasn’t good enough! Read more>>

Anne McAuley Lopez | Content Writer, Author, and Badass

When I started my writing business, it was 2010, and I had been laid off from a data-focused job in corporate America. While I was good at the job, it didn’t feed my soul. I’ve always loved writing so when a friend asked me what I always wanted to do, I told him that I loved to write. The Great Recession was in full swing. I was at an event for job seekers and asked if I could blog the event so we could reach a wider audience. That’s how it started, as a volunteer. Through that organization, I found my first clients and was paid for my writing. I’ve always loved telling stories and shopping at local businesses so while it has been a learning curve, it is the perfect fit for me. Read more>>

Dr. Will Moreland | Executive Coach and Business Expert

For most of my life I’ve considered myself an Entrepreneur. I loved the idea of being my own boss, having time freedom and controlling my own destiny. Owning my own business gave me the opportunity to explore, to travel and express my genuine self. Read more>>

Tierra Owens | Clothing designer and DJ

I first started out by selling vintage clothing and accessories but then decided to create my own clothing with vintage sewing patterns so I was different from other shops. I thought my clothing looked new and fresh but still had a vintage theme to it. Read more>>

Anastasja Castoro | Local Business Owner & Plant Advocate

I wanted to create a platform that would allow me to become more deeply connected with my community, and to advocate for honoring Nature in our daily practices. I knew from past employment experiences that I wanted joyful connections with strangers to be at the center of my own business. I was just about to graduate ASU with an Interdisciplinary degree in Marketing and Digital Audiences, but in December 2020 my learned methods of finding a job were only yielding remote social media intern positions for corporations I had never heard of, and I started to explore the idea of entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Danny DeNicola | Founder of Locals Only Skate TV & Sk8 Coach

My business started as a passion project of my love for skateboarding and making videos. I had always filmed videos, for as long as I have been skateboarding. I started skateboarding in 2006 and skateboard my way through middle school, high school, college, through to this current day. Read more>>

Tyler Valencia | Tyler Valencia | Owner of Time 2 Train Fitness

The decision to start my own business has to do with two things that have to do with my personality. One of the traits I possess that has to do with working with others, involves having to believe that the other individual can help me achieve a higher standard. A personality trait test might score this attribute less favorably. However, through my years of building experience and working for other companies, I learned what not to do with my own business, and what I should strive for. These experiences acted as a framework but also as the motivation to work hard towards success so that I didn’t have to work for any other company. Read more>>

Theresa Mazza | Dietetic Student, Recipe Developer and Plant Based Chef/Nutritionist

It’s funny because I actually didn’t really have a thought process. I was in school to be a dietetic technician at the time and one of the people I worked with on my internship was neighbors with a dietitian that needed help with their social media. Since I had the nutrition background and she respected my work ethic, she recommended me to work with her. After a couple of months helping the dietitian out with her social media and some recipes she said, “you’re really good at this, you should be doing this for more people”. Read more>>

Erin McCarthy | Bow Maker

I started my bow company in 2020, right when everything shut down with the pandemic. Everything seemed so unknown and it truly helped me to have the creative outlet. It also was a way that I thought I could help my family financially in a time that seemed so uncertain. Read more>>

Takiya Saavedra | Owner & Creator

I kind of stumbled into business ownership. Like many of us, the lockdown inspired new and renewed interests. I’d done a few macramé projects several years ago, but only for my personal use. I began practicing those skills more with the time that the lockdown provided. A few friends purchased my early creations and started requesting customer orders. Read more>>

Anusha and Milla Natarajan and Nguyen | Founders of Culture Talk

As we were reflecting in our past experiences in our high school and current experiences in college, we realized that not a lot of people know about culture and history, and it has tended to be sidelined. We wanted to create a platform that would educate people about culture in different aspects of the world in history and geography. Read more>>

Ebonie P. Fields | Award-Winning Children’s Book Author & Writing Consultant

The thought process behind starting my own business was to create a legacy for my children, like the Berenstain Family. The Berenstain family created The Berenstain Bears, which has been a successful children’s literature franchise for over 60 years. Their legacy continues to thrive throughout the world. I am the author of award-winning books, Zenie and the Magical Hummingbirds and Zoey and the Magical Hummingbirds. I look forward to publishing several more books that children from all around the world can enjoy. Read more>>