The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business.  They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business.  Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Amy Fregoso | Photographer, Founder & Creative

I always knew I wanted to have my own business, something that I could call my own and showcase my creative side. I started college majoring in Psychology but quickly changed my major to Photography because I realized when I was in high school taking photography classes, I had a real passion for it.. I knew this could be a business that was all my own, that spoke to my creative side. I started small, I created a brand, business cards, took on a small number of clients while I held a job as a portrait photographer for a larger company. It was about a year after working for that company that I decided I could do it on my own; I had more knowledge from college and hands on experience from the on location shooting; I felt confident that I was ready. I started advertising I focused on shooting portraits and families, and really growing my name. Read more>>

Larry and Kyndra Georgeson

We started GeorgesonStyle so we could gain greater control of our work/life balance- from managing the daily, creative design/build business to being able to spend quality time with our 2 kids. We love the flexibility of owning our own business- we work hard and a lot of weekends and late nights, but we can also decide when to take a random day off to hang out, go skiing, or head out on a 3-day weekend. Read more>>

James Eichner | Co-founder & CSO

Ron and I started Sana Packaging as a class project when we were pursuing our MBAs at CU-Boulder because along with all the positivity we saw legalization bring to the world of cannabis, we were frustrated at the amount of packaging waste the legal industry was producing. We knew there had to be a better way. Our goal is to transition cannabis packaging away from the linear “take-make-dispose” economic model and towards a circular economic model that’s meant to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate our natural systems. Read more>>

Megan Pendley Pickett | Career Empowerment Coach

I had never thought about being an entrepreneur before, but I needed a major change in my life. Taking a hard look at my career at the time, I made a list of the things that I truly loved and wanted to keep doing, and those that I would rather poke my eye out than do. It was important for me to take back control over my own career and my life. How I was spending my time, making time for my family, volunteer opportunities and simply time to chill out became important to me in a way that it had not been before. Providing a safe space for people to be seen and heard, empowering them to reclaim their story and view their experiences through a different perspective, helping them and giving them new ideas to look into were all things I knew I wanted to do with my professional life. Coaching, specifically Career Empowerment Coaching, checked all of the boxes of what I was looking for in my next career, including working for myself. Read more>>

Jordan Rock | Family and Wedding Photographer

I LOVED taking photos for a hobby and looking back on them and just smiling. I found myself asking friends more and more if I could take photos of them and next thing you know I decided that I would be better off starting a business and making money doing what I love to do! Read more>>

Kristina Corcoran | Denver Free Fun Owner

They say that every great achievement comes with struggle, adversity and pain, but Denver Free Fun and Find Free Fun started with this. I got divorced at a time when the economy was crashing and ended up losing everything including my career in marketing and all my money. I stumbled into financial planning and was good at it for several years, but it was not a passion for me. In an effort to pull away from the financial industry, I went to work for someone who had previously been in mortgage and was looking to get into rentals and fix-and-flips. I negotiated a salary and benefits and went to work, finding renters, potential homes, contractors and realtors to facilitate the process. With five homes under contract and renters lined up, I had still not received the promised salary and there were always excuses for why. Read more>>

Thomas Murry | Custom Creator, Caterer & Private Chef

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own food business. I have been in the restaurant industry since I was 16 and having my own restaurant or serving my food somehow was something I had always thought about. I was inspired one day by seeing some local sauce brands here in Denver. It hit me that I had a handful of recipes for sauces that I had already developed and I started researching the world of food manufacturing. I spent the majority of 2018 researching, getting licencing in order, getting the necessary education certificates, getting recipes approved, and making a business plan to launch. Winter 2018 I launched and began getting the brand out to the public. I started off with my Jerk Sauce and BBQ Sauce. From there I released a Red Salsa. Took those to the 2019 BBQ Festival in Frisco and my BBQ placed top 25 and salsa top 10. Read more>>

Caitlin & Thomas Brome | Restaurant Owners

In the world of hospitality you have to be a hustler by nature! You’re either hustling for your dreams or someone else’s. Either way you’re putting in the work. Working the odd hours, behind the scenes, around the clock to pull it all off. After years of learning from the successes and failures for others in our field, we made the choice to build our own dreams. Read more>>

Hannah Perri | Owner & Creator

Now or never, as cliche as it sounds. Prior to starting my candle business, I worked full-time in recruiting. Making candles was a fun hobby at first. My husband and I talked about my future career. If I was going to make a drastic change, it was important that I did something exciting, fulfilling, and that would allow me to be hands on and creative. I did not start my business with a grandiose plan. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I had money set aside that I used for testing, design, and marketing. I knew I had a lot of research ahead of me so I could make a product I was proud of. After two years, I am finally starting to feel like I have my footing! Read more>>

Marie-Noelle Metseye | Real Estate Broker

I had a well-paid IT corporate job, and I was climbing the corporate ladder. At the same time, I felt that the fuel inside me was slowly dying, because I was not developing my full potential as a multi-faceted individual. I love my young kids, and I wanted to be supportive of them in school and their other activities. I also am passionate about advocating for children with special needs. I wanted to be able to pursue these personal goals, as well as have a challenging career. So, I wondered how my tech industry strengths and skills could transfer to something more meaningful. My Master’s in Computer Engineering shaped analytical thinking. I understand numbers, statistics, facts and figures. Additionally, I’m outgoing, and I love working directly with people. On top of that, I love home designs. Read more>>

Eric Johnson | Master of Electrons & Amperage Handler

It’s not like I just decided one day to start a business, I think I just never liked the idea of working for someone else. For all of my adult life I have been self employed and I don’t think I could hold a real job if I tried. Of course I had the usual fast food and telemarketing jobs as a teenager to buy the things that a teenager needs but then realized that I could provide a job for myself and be much happier. It started off as odd jobs, went to a fairly successful window cleaning business and on to web design, programming and window cleaning. None of this was my true calling, I wanted to fix things! That’s when I stumbled on to the obscure industry of Laser Printer and Copier Repair. I was really good at it and it was a great business for a while until the market for repair of office machines became uneconomical because of the falling cost of these devices. Read more>>

Samantha Miller | Owner & Founder

I saw a problem and instantly became inspired to create a solution! And that is how my business got started. I was working as a server at a local golf resort and on Saturdays, I would sell honey at the farmer’s market. Each week, my co-workers would ask me if I could pick them up some peaches, or some honey or whatever was fresh that week from the market. I quickly realized that it wasn’t just my co-workers who couldn’t make it to the market, but SOOO many people were also having to miss out on the market due to conflicting work schedules, weekend adventures/activities, etc. I saw a problem and decided to create a solution! And All The Good Stuff was born! Truthfully, I did not know the first thing about starting a business but I had the passion and a vision and I knew that if I just put one foot in front of the other, I could turn this dream of mine into a reality! And that’s exactly what I did. Read more>>

Afton Bryant | Registered Nurse & Entrepreneur

After being in the medical field for over a decade, I realized that I could help people stay out of the hospital. I was getting burnt out on treating patients after they were already very sick. We would save their lives and in two weeks they would be back; I wanted a way to treat them preventatively and keep them healthy. I knew I couldn’t do this alone. I started Specialty Dripps by Afton to help people get the vitamins and nutrients their body needs to heal itself. With my business model, I have created a platform for nurses who might be burnt out as well, to join my mission in truly helping others. When we are in nursing school, we have the idea that we will be able to help people, and when we enter the hospital setting, that idea rarely comes to fruition. Rarely are we able to make the impact we want to. I have been able to give nurses their voice in helping people in a way that we are able to have the most impact on their long-term health. Read more>>

Gina Brascetta | Personal Trainer & Wellness Coach

I’d always been independent, especially financially independent. And I’ve always had a “work” focused mind. Through school, I was the one to always have three jobs while being competitive in sports and focusing on my education. It’s all I knew, and I absolutely thrived off of it. But I also had the dream to one day be able to stay home with my kids when the time came. And so when it did, I absolutely took advantage. I love being home with my kids more than anything, but I also missed the grind of the workplace. After some time, I began to lose myself a bit to the title of “mom”. Everything I did was for them, for our house, for our family. And I needed more. But, the thought of going back to a 9-5 and losing this time with my family was so discouraging… really not even an option. Read more>>

Kristin Christian | Lifestyle Photographer

I dreamed up Colorado Lifestyle Photography the year my daughter was born in 2012, with the intention of documenting our family and our love for Colorado. My husband and I are originally from Michigan, and we moved here 13 years ago to create a new lifestyle. Every day I wake up and see the mountains, and I marvel at their beauty. After my son was born in 2015, my love of photography spread to friends and grew into the business I have today. I officially launched my website in the fall of 2016, and I have been sharing my love of the Colorado lifestyle and collecting moments ever since. Read more>>

Brynn Hays | Creative Ninja

I became a mom in 2011 and again in 2016. I worked a full time 9-5 and was missing so much of them growing up that I realized that I didn’t have to do the 9-5 grind, being a mom is my number one priority and love and I needed to find a way to stay home with them. I have always been drawn to the arts from music to theater, so I decided to put that love out there and try to create things that other people would love too. I made a couple of mugs and a couple of wood signs and put them out into the world of Facebook and the reaction from people was amazing, thus, Stella Presley Designs was born. Read more>>

Debra Mastic | Inventor

My pug was having difficulty eating from traditional pet feeders. I hated watching him struggle so I decided to try to create a better feeder because there was nothing on the market that met his needs. When I came up with the idea and made a prototype, I learned that many other pet parents were interested in using my feeder idea for their pets. It made me feel great, but I was overwhelmed and clueless with how to start the process of manufacturing and distributing a new product. I spent months researching the process and talking myself into spending all of my savings on starting a new business. The first thing I did was learn how to start the process of patenting the product because I knew it was important to long-term success and protecting my investment and idea. Next, I started researching the manufacturing process. Read more>>