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.

Rebekah Goldman | Owner, Executive Leadership Coach & Hospitality Consultant at Taking The Wheel Consulting

I think most people decide to start their own businesses because they, simply put, don’t want to work for someone else anymore. For me, that was not the case. I was the Executive Chef of a multi-million dollar catering company here in Phoenix and loving my career. I had built a well-oiled machine of a team that stood by me and together we were creating magic for the food and beverage industry. The events we were putting on were beyond amazing and we were all genuinely loving our careers. We had somehow cracked the code to having successful careers and amazing home lives and we weren’t sacrificing everything in order to do so. The day I decided to launch my business was the day a friend of mine called and told me he was going through a divorce. I had known him for years and watched him work extremely hard in our industry to provide the best for his family. But along the way, he neglected his family. Read more>>

Austin Byler | Major League University Founder & High Performance Coach

In March of 2018, I was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Real life hit. The childhood dream that I had been relentlessly pursuing for 20 years finally came to an end. But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. As a former NCAA All-American and professional baseball player, I experienced my struggles with mental health featuring anxiety and depression. Here is someone who in the worlds eyes has it all figured out, but internally I was broken. During my athletic career I would mask my physical and emotional pain with prescription medications, leading to a deeper and darker depression. As I was approaching the 2018 season, I was introduced to an incredible mentor at a High School Baseball camp that I was helping out at. He is the director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit organization here in the valley. Matt invited me to a bible study that Friday morning and I looked at him like he was crazy. Who? Me? Does this guy know how broken I am? There is no way God can save this broken soul. Read more>>

Ramzi Arikat | Designer and Business Owner

Starting our own business was always a goal of ours from the time that we got married. We knew we wanted to incorporate some thing with our combined backgrounds of finance and design. When we moved to Arizona almost 3 1/2 years ago the idea of starting Zedan Concepts as a landscape design company sort of fell into our laps. We each had our day jobs but we’re craving away two to fufill the goal of being small business owners. Ramzi started playing around with designing our own backyard on the computer and the idea grew from there. We discussed it with family and friends and found that there was such a big market for landscape design in our area and with our family’s contacts through real estate we already had a Rolodex of clients ready for us!. Read more>>

Bruce Lev | Patent Agent & Inventor

After working for the government and then for companies in the private sector in the field of Intellectual Property (patents) I decided that working for myself was possible for me and had many advantages. For one, I could work from home saving myself the stress, strains, and costs of commuting, avoid the need to buy suits and ties, and avoid the costs of eating lunch out every day. Further, I could set my own schedule and thereby help my wife and kids at a moments notice whenever necessary. Read more>>

Andrew Steinkohl | Owner – Destination Dog Training

Having worked for several other companies in the industry for several years, I simply wanted to create something better. While, there were a ton of really good things happening in those places, there were also some issues that continued to pop up over and over again; so much so that they almost seemed predetermined. With little desire from the owners to innovate or adapt to these issues, it became clear to me that I had to branch off on my own to create the best version of the business possible. With the ability to structure to things to my liking, I aimed to offer a service that was better for my clients (first and foremost), but also better for me and those who would ultimately be a part of my team. Read more>>

Trick Kenger | Men’s Personal Stylist

I knew early on that I wanted to do my own thing. Being a bit rebellious and wanting to help others is a classic recipe for entrepreneurship. I tried a few different ventures, but nothing took. I remember spending countless hours trying to start a t-shirt company with my younger brother, but it flopped. The only time the doors opened up for me was when I looked at what I had that could help others, not what I wanted for myself. When I focused on what I was best and how that could profoundly improve people, things took off. I had a unique skillset – men’s style & fashion – that I could use to change lives. I coupled that with insanely hard work and an entrepreneurial mindset, and that was it. If you focus on giving something unique and helpful to the world, the world rewards you. We don’t need another t-shirt brand. Read more>>

Rick DeBruhl | Master of Communication

I’ve been fortunate to have several great careers. The one thing that I’ve enjoyed about my working life is that it’s always had a lot of variety. When I decided to launch my communication consulting company, it was to give me the opportunity to work with different kinds of people in new areas. Each business or organization has its unique challenges, but ultimately some of their problems are the same. The ability to look at their problems from a fresh perspective is what brings value. It also gives me the chance to grow and learn. I walk in the door with specific expertise, but I have to decide how my experience will work in a new environment. So, while making money is an important part of my business, enjoying the variety and new challenges is what keeps me going. Read more>>

Breanna and Bonnie | Co-Owners at Inspired Sugar

We met at a local cake decorating club and in 2011 we decided to team up to build a 6-foot tall cake for an event at San Tan Mall. Through that process, we discovered that it was a whole lot more fun to work together than on our own. At the time Bonnie had a business called Inspired Occasions and Breanna had one called Sugar Dreams, so we combined the two to form Inspired Sugar. Through the years what started out as a shared interest in cake decorating, turned into a deep friendship that has helped us through the ups and downs of life as well as the stress of owning a small business. One of the biggest dreams we had for our business was to someday compete on a cake decorating show, and a couple of years ago we were able to fulfill that dream on Netflix’s Sugar Rush. We were on the very first episode of season one and it was definitely a challenging but exciting experience. Read more>>

Jacob Ramirez | Artist/ Graphic Designer

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to work for myself. I choose who I want to work with and when I want to work. The dream has always been to wake up and not feel like you’re actually going to work because I’m doing something that I enjoy. Ultimate freedom. You get out of it exactly what you are willing to put into it. Read more>>

Graham Greytak | CEO

I wanted to help build a thriving business in our community that gives back. Read more>>

Teresa Calderon Rouse | Lash Artist

I started my business to provide a place where lash health was priority. Not always will a client be able to have exactly what they want, natural lashes play a huge role in what the lash can and can’t handle. When I explain things I am very honest and go into detail with my reasoning as to what I feel is best for their lashes. Aftercare is just as important. Following proper aftercare also ensures the health of your lashes. I am very humbled and grateful for the loyalty of my clients. They are what keeps my business open. The trust they have given me to ensure their lashes stay healthy for the past 3 1/2 years goes without saying. This is such a fun industry, the smile I see on women’s faces is so rewarding. Lashing is very easily my passion. Read more>>

George HOWARD | Artist

Do what I love to do. Read more>>

FranChella La’Fon | Lash Artist|Author|CEO

My thought process when coming up with Haus Of La’Fon Beauty Vault. Was to think of all things beauty. Of course we all want to work for ourselves at some point, but do we really have the motivation to stick to it? I didn’t just start my business because I knew it would make funds or because it was the “popular” thing to do. It was more me having a passion for something and really stepping out on faith to see it through. Prayer, affirmation, and motivation. Three key steps to success. Read more>>