Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Autumn Smith | Holistic Nutritionist & Co-founder

I was a fitness trainer with the Tracy Anderson Method and I looked very fit, but I wasn’t well. I had digestive issues, breakouts and anxiety that plagued me daily. It wasn’t until I ditched processed foods and discovered the healing power of whole foods that I truly felt vibrant. Our businesses, Paleovalley and Wild Pastures, were founded with the goal of inspiring others to find their radiance and to provide the organic whole food products that would make it possible and realistic in our busy, modern world. Read more>>

Mike Simpson | CEO & Founder

When I began HERO Kids Sports, my thought process was to bring fun, affordable, organized sports programming to preschools and elementary schools. In particular, for schools or areas in our community that do not or are unable to provide sports programming or physical education to kids ages 2-12 years old. The values I learned from my experience in participating in sports growing up were life changing – from the physical skill aspect, to the mentorship I received from coaches and the camaraderie with my teammates. I believe all kids should be provided the opportunity to learn and play sports in an encouraging, fun, safe environment. This is the belief that I created HERO. Read more>>

Hazel’s Roots Photography Megan Murray | Natural Light Photographer

The number one thing that I try to do with my business, and maybe more importantly with my life, is to stay true to myself. I don’t want to be distracted by what other photographers are doing, the presets they are using, or the photoshop “effects” floating around out there. The science of photography has never really appealed to me. All the extra gear, the fancy lights, the computers and the apps, that’s not my thing. It’s the art that draws me in. So I try to stay in my lane and seek out the things that I find beautiful. I believe that when you love what you are photographing, it shows up in your photos. I’m drawn to wild, open spaces, beautiful sunsets, movement and maybe most importantly, the love that exists within families. I think I do my best work, when I’m using my camera to study those things that draw me in. If I let what works for other photographers creep into my work, I know I will lose myself, and my work will suffer. Read more>>

Sheina Lopes | Life Coach

My business started out as a blog with the intention to motivate females who long for a community of loyal women who are telling them they can still dream and accomplish what they set out to achieve. That turned into my passion to help the community of females through coaching. Read more>>