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.

Dustin/Cora Bailey/Cook | Local Food Movers and Growers

We were working in the restaurant industry when the pandemic closed restaurants and the farmers markets. We realized local farmers and small scale producers had no way to sell their products because of the closures so we bought a short school bus and turned it into a mobile farmers market. We reached out to local organic farms, bakers, ranchers, mushroom growers, beekeepers, pasta makers, and any other producers that needed another income stream and we drove through Boulder neighborhoods like an ice cream truck slinging vegetables. We really started this business for the local producers to help keep them afloat during the uneasy times of the pandemic. Read more>>

Sheryl Crawford | Photographer & Creative Director

I based my photography business around happiness, creating a business meant I could strive to do the thing I love to support myself and then have the privilege of doing it every day. The soul of it to me is being able to pave my own path, work with great people and create along the way. That is happiness and my thoughts on that are, all the work it takes to run a business is worth it and so I started. Read more>>

Gemma Aguayo-Murphy | Blogger and Recipe Creator

When creating my blog,, I wanted a place where I could record and pay tribute to my family’s stories, our recipes, and traditions. It is an expression of my passions, trying to be the best mother, wife and daughter I can possibly be and at the same time a place where I can share my experiences in hopes they can benefit, inspire and help others. Read more>>

Marlys Woods | Board Certified Music Therapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Both my parents were in sales – they either owned their own business or worked for a company where you basically ran your own business, so it felt natural for me to start my own as well, and I liked the lifestyle that accompanied that. I loved the idea of creating my own schedule. I also knew with my personality that I could not do a desk job. I needed constant change to keep my attention. I needed what my business coach calls flexible structure. Read more>>

Megan Trask | CEO + Founder + Mom

Megan: So many thoughts! I’ve always wanted to own my own business, from lemonade stands and even rock stands (so weird, right?) as a little kid to many new business dreams from there. But, as an adult, I was always a little too afraid to take the risk. Until TULA. TULA was 100% something I needed in my own life and the more burnt out and totally over my corporate job I became the more comfortable I got with taking the risk… Read more>>

Alyssa Barreras | Small Business Owner & Artist

I started Nomad Made Apparel Co. during my pregnancy with my second child. I’ve always been a really creative individual and with baby number two on the way, I finally decided to take the jump and do something where I could work on my own terms. I wanted to fuel my creativity, do work that’s good for my soul, and most of all, I wanted to be able to be home with my kids. Read more>>

Brooke Murray | Co Founder of WildKind LLC and a non profit called The WildKind Closet

Getting outdoors with kids can feel intimidating. I was a single mom shortly after my oldest was born, and even though I was an outdoor athlete, I quickly became intimately familiar with some of the limiting factors that parents face when they want to get outside with kids: cost of gear, knowing how to safely adapt outdoor adventure to acclimate children, and community support. Read more>>

Jeff Scaman | Co-Founder

I started DUBL along with two good friends, Brad Cooke and Tiffany Cooke. We came up with an idea for a dual-camera dashcam app that would record both cameras and could be used for teen driving, insurance and more. Since the idea had never been done before we were motivated to take a risk and start DUBL Development, LLC to develop a dual camera app. Read more>>

Aja Ottero | Salon Owner & Custom Color/Extensions Specialist

My dream started with, well, the short answer is a strong desire to reinvent both parts of the salon. Starting with the Client experience and then the stylist experience as well. After working in salons in Denver and South Korea for 8 years, I constantly felt like something was missing. I wanted more, more responsibility over my career and the potential it had. The salons I worked for controlled most aspects of my business. Read more>>

Molly Spitler | floral artist

I had been in the wedding industry as a floral designer for a few years and felt that there was room for more adventure, soul, and environmental responsibility in floral design. I wanted to create a business that focused on those three aspects above all else and put my clients in a position where they felt comfortable to be who they were both as individuals and as a couple. Read more>>

Priscilla Luckhurst | Wellness Business Consultant

I started my own wellness consulting business after I witnessed many studio owners, fitness professionals, and yoga teachers struggle with how to elevate their own business. It brings me joy to see people thrive! Therefore I decided to do project based support to help others grow! Read more>>

Emma Nemechek | Pastry Chef/Owner

I was working at a resort and spa hotel in Broomfield, CO when Covid-19 came and I was furloughed from my job as the pastry chef. I started making cookies and cakes from home and began posting photos online. When I started getting orders mostly from friends and former co-workers, I thought it might not be a bad idea to turn it into a business for the moment and see where it leads. Baking and pastry is my passion so it was an easy decision. Read more>>

Sarah Crawford | PMU artist and Entrepeneur

I attended Savannah college of art and Design like plenty of kids without a clear direction, I had hope of turning my talent and passion into an actual career. During my senior year and after graduating taking care of my mother who had stage 4 cancer left me feeling lost and stressed. I wasn’t happy with the direction of my life. I was a freelance illustrator for Flaunt Magazine & a newly formed cosmetic brand Nude Envie before I decided I wanted to serve my passion in a way that was meaningful and personal. Read more>>

Thomas Kolicko | Owner, Founder, and Filmmaker

The thought process to start Traverse Image was largely motivated by a curiosity to create a sustainable digital cinema production company, inspired by the outdoors that would specialize in the craft of documentary filmmaking. At that time between 2012 – 2014, I was largely doing freelance producing and directing for a variety of projects. Most of the work that was doing paid the bills, but the type of work didn’t fulfill my creative, filmmaker side. And so, d this nagging curiosity to one day pursue starting this company, pursuing this dream, was always in the back of the mind at the end of reach day. Read more>>

Zag Chapelle | CEO of 925 Grind Media and Host of Talent You Should Know Podcast

My thought process behind starting my own business was showcasing talent in the forefront and also behind the scenes. As a creative myself, I know that there is so much more that goes on before an artist hits the screen or stage and I wanted to really go into the talented teams that create with some of your favorite artists. I also that it was important to show those who are not only established but those who are up and coming. There are some brilliant people who have yet to be discovered. Read more>>

Laura Homann | Founder & Herbalist

Honestly, there was never much of a thought process to it! Growing up, my father ran his own business and I’ve always known that I wanted to do the same. For me, it wasn’t a matter of *if* I would start my own business, it was more a question of when. Read more>>

Annie Wardle | CEO & Founder

When I started my own business I truly just wanted to be in charge of my own success. I was tired of someone else dictating how much money I made, what hours I worked, how much time off I got, etc. Read more>>

Sarah and Joe Caston and Denny | Owners of Luminous Hair Studio

Luminous Hair Studio started as a conversation between Joe and Sarah one night when they were discussing what changes to the typical salon they would make if they could. and how they wanted to create a community that felt like family and that made people feel at home. What started as a simple conversation quickly picked up steam and then they started to wonder if this could actually be a possibility. They had been looking for a new challenge and a way to grow in their career beyond where they were and opening their own salon proved a worthy challenge. Read more>>

Tori Kornhaas | Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Retreat Chef

I like to say I’m a recovering corporate ladder climber. Starting my career in finance for a large energy company in Tulsa, OK, I dreamed of working my way up from Analyst to Director to Vice President. I romanticized a pencil skirt, crisp shirt and power pumps. Then somewhere along the way I realized I wasn’t meant to be told what to do or when to do it. I saw Tom Bilyeu speak at a conference and he said something to the effect of, “The only person who controls my time is me.” I wrote it in bold letters in my notebook. Read more>>

Michael Rosenzweig | Marketing Leatherman

There is a huge gap between companies that can afford expensive marketing agencies and those trying to figure things out themselves. Some small business owners simply need to refresh their digital presence, some updates to their website, or some advice and a push in the right direction. I try to fill the space between a full-service agency and a marketing coach. Read more>>

Christine Rohde | Co-Owner, Artistic Director, Teacher of reVel dance center LLC

My business partner, Doug Luers and I, decided to start reVel dance center LLC in 2018 because of my passion for teaching and dance over the past 20 some years. After having completed my Masters in Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography at CU Boulder and dancing professionally for 20 years, it seemed absolutely fitting to start my own educational environment. Read more>>

Euda K. Best | Healer, Intuitive, TV Show Host/DJ, Meditation/Yoga

My process was completely haphazard. LoL. Not much thinking involved at all. One of my offerings is reading “regular” playing cards and I am the 7♠️ or the card of “fearlessness/faith.” In other words, most of my life and my art is just about going with the flow aka following my instincts even when it doesn’t make “sense.” In tarot-spreak, I am the fool. That being said, I started all my businesses because I was already doing something in my life until there came a time when it just made since to start doing it as a business. Read more>>

Aaron and Jessica Harsch | Owners

We needed an awesome way to support our not for profit! Read more>>

Alyssa Carpenter | Wedding & Elopement Photographer

My story of how I ended up as a professional wedding and elopement photographer is a little untraditional. I always envy my peers who have that story of getting their first camera as a child, being into photography from a young age, and dreaming of this job. I’ve always been creative at heart, but kind of fell into it with no background in photography at all, falling in love with it very quickly after. Read more>>

Sun Coaching Centre Kat and Bodhi | Leadership and Business Coaches

We are inspired to be of service and have more meaningful impact in the community. Living through the pandemic showed us the importance of connecting with others for our mental and emotional health. Leveraging our skillsets in leadership and business management was the impetus to start our business. Our friendship, passion for growth, and overcoming burnout is the foundation of our services. Read more>>

Kristina Robbins | Multimedia / Design / Education

When I first started my business, I knew two things, I wanted to be creative professionally and work for myself, Second, I knew in order to do that, I needed to establish an identity and a competitive portfolio of professional work. When I thought about my business, I was all over the place. I was entering the field as a designer, working in a variety of areas in multimedia, video production, and graphic arts. Read more>>

Lizzy Beerman | Photographer

When I was in college my major was Fine Art with an emphasis in photography and I almost never shot with people unless I had to. It was much more of a solo pursuit, focusing mostly on landscapes. I was living in Salt Lake City at the time so I would just hop in my car and decide to go either West towards the desert or East towards the mountains and shoot along the way.  Read more>>

David Liban | Filmmaker & Chair, Film & TV Dept at CU Denver

As a filmmaker, it’s expected that when you make a film that it is associated with a business entity. Every movie starts with a logo of this type of company. In addition, it’s good business sense to separate the commerce associated with the film from personal accounts. Also, it is common to set up a new business entity for each film project, so I currently have two: Tinyfist Films and for my new film, Publish or Perish Movie, LLC. Read more>>

Morgan Kohler | RN, BSN

I have always sought out to find a profession where I could combine science and art. As a nurse, I found that within the medical aesthetics field. I am extremely passionate about skincare and aesthetics, and want to make it simple and approachable for everyone! This is where I began to realize the need for a more personalized and specialized approach to facial aesthetics. Read more>>

Cavell (EBONY) Webster | Owner

It’s was nerve wrecking initially but once I bite the bullet and went forth and started it became easy Read more>>

Brooke Floerke | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

I have been in practice as a registered dietitian nutritionist since 2011 and have loved the progression of my career. Most of these years in practice were spent working for a health system and while I loved my job and my team, I was ready to do something more autonomous with my passion for nutrition. My favorite type of client or patient are those with autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders or gut issues, as I deal with all of these myself. Read more>>

Nikki Dorn | Founder of Nurse Nikki’s Plant Medicine

I would have to say that it all happened very organically. I was working as an ICU nurse and began to feel dissatisfied. I was becoming disenchanted with the way I was participating in helping people with their chronic illnesses. I was witnessing firsthand how our modern medical system of healthcare was failing people over and over again. We were ignoring the root cause of illness and essentially promoting dependency on pharmaceuticals. Read more>>

Janet Clark | Cake and Cookie Decorator

I had skills and a product that was in demand, but I was also raising two little girls. I had limited windows of free time and couldn’t work traditional bakery hours. Making custom cakes from home was the the best way for me to meet the needs of my customers, grow and learn as a decorator, and earn income. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Adams | Wedding and Portrait Photographer

My whole thought process of starting my own business was freedom for my life, achieving my long time goals and lastly to beat the intrusive thoughts in my mind that I could not do it. Read more>>

Rowan Steger | Owner/CEO

I have always had a mind for entrepreneurship, ever since I was a kid doodling inventions in my “ontreprenur journal”. This has carried over to me starting many businesses, some successful, some unsuccessful. In middle school me and Colin started a business called Fidget Widgets which sold various fidget toys. So when myself, Carter, and Colin sat down one day wanting to make an impact on the community, starting a business seemed like an obvious choice!  Read more>>

Rose and Trevor Haakenson | #1 Purveyors of everything sweet or #2 Custom Cakes and Desserts – Creators & Business Owners

We started with Chocolate covered Strawberries. We loved them so much it was something we would bring to parties and gatherings. Friends and Family started to place orders and word spread soon after other people outside of our circle started to place orders and that’s when we had the Ah-ha moment to start a business. Read more>>