Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Dan Ampudia | Photographer & Editor

For my business, it actually came as both a type of recovery method and a suggestion from my primary doctor. I was involved in a nasty car accident in May of 2017. The driver hit me on my passenger side and sent me and my car down an embankment and a barb wired fence brought me to a stop in a grass field. On top of it all, it was sleeting that day, so it wasn’t exactly the best driving conditions out there. What frightened me the most from that experience was when the paramedics and police came and examined the scene. They informed me that there were a few rocks embedded into the incline part of the hill and had my back tires hit those rocks, my car would have easily rolled and I could have died. Thankfully that wasn’t case and by July 2017, I was in for a post accident exam with my doctor and she suggested a few activities/hobbies to take my mind off of the accident and she happened to name photography. Read more>>

Becky Lauridsen | LPC & Founder of IOME

“What’s stopping you?” These three words are what changed it all. I remember thinking to myself, I want to offer more, I want to overcome the mental health stigma, I want to create Guilt Free Self Care for everyone! After processing these desires out loud to one of my mentors, she listened quietly and simply asked me, “What’s stopping you?”. That night I tossed in bed and realized the answer was, nothing. Nothing was stopping me and I knew I had to do something. It was that same night that IOME came into fruition. It’s an I Owe Me instead of an I Owe You. Offering Guilt Free Self Care by partnering with local businesses to provide quality mental health and self care services/products at a discount. Read more>>

Whitney Frost | Maternal Mental Health Therapist

After working for many years in community mental health, I saw first hand that there were very few resources for women living with mental health concerns while they were pregnant or newly postpartum; especially women that did not have insurance or were on Medicaid. Read more>>

Carrie Donatelli | Owner, Peak Business Group, LLC

One thing I learned while being a stay at home mom was that I needed interaction with other adults. I needed to use my mind, be constructive and use my skills to help others. Helping people has always been something I’m passionate about. As my daughter started becoming more independent, I knew it was the right time to get started. I started writing my business plan during the Summer before I launched my business, so I could get the groundwork laid to start strong. I mapped out what I needed to do to start, costs associated and a created a plan for marketing myself and my business. Then, when my daughter started attending school full time, I executed my plan and got started! Read more>>

Joel Mays III | Chef Entrepreneur

My business started with the idea to help people. To help people gain, lose and maintain their weight. The driving force was to be self employed, independent and cooking without any restrictions. Having the freedom to make what I wanted to make for clients each and everyday. Read more>>

Jessica Fitzgerald | Dance Director and mom of two

My dream has always been to start my own dance studio. When the time actually came to start it was a lot more planning and developing than I had imagined. My thought process was simple to create a place where dancers of all ages could learn the art and craft of technical dance. From a personal stand point my thought process was to start a business so that I could have my hours and family time be on my terms. I wanted to be able to pick my son up from school or go on school field trips and that seemed hard to request when you are an employee and someone is counting on you for their own expectations. Read more>>

Juanita Vasquez | Makeup Enthusiast/Makeup Saleswoman

I wanted to provide a fun, safe environment for my followers to interact with each other & enjoy makeup as much as I do. Read more>>

Gary Miller | Actor, Writer, Filmmaker, & Entrepreneur

I wanted to own my art and not have any excuses. It was always a dream to own a production company and be independent. Read more>>