Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Caitie Juels | Fitnut_health founder Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Fitness

Honestly, my main goals were wanting to be happy and do something I enjoy doing and to offer that to other people because for me, it helps with my stress, my sleep, my mood, and my daily activities. Which is why I think getting that daily hike or exercise, and the right Nutrition is so important! I wanted to help offer that to others around the globe. I was working in the medical field for quite some time and I’m now focusing on just fitness, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Coaching! I decided to name my company, Fitnut_health , for fitness, nutrition and health. Read more>>

Hannah Smith | Founder, Picnic Party Denver

Like many people over the last couple of years and throughout the pandemic, I did a lot of reflecting about my job and how I was spending my time. I was burnt out at work and felt like all I was doing was sending emails, rather than make anything tangible or have any creative outlets. It was also a time where we missed out on celebrations, milestones, and the little moments with friends. Read more>>

Daniel Kinzo | Professional Climber, Climbing Coach & Woodworker

The reason I think most people start their own business is to allow themselves to do what they want to do. Personaly I have tried to start multiple businesses and over time I have refined the answer to the question, “What do I love doing so much I could do for years, and be happy with my life. When you read business books or listen to successful people, they talk a lot about having passion for whatever it is you want to turn into a business. I think this is true but it’s very easy to get stuck, and you wind up questioning yourself. Do I have passion for wood work? Do I have passion for coffee? Read more>>

Q | Artist and Media Creator

My thought process behind starting my own business came from me understanding myself, and my passion. After working hard for so many others I told myself “why not work hard for myself”. Read more>>

Chris Thornton | Graphic/Web Designer

My mother was an artist, specifically focused on landscapes and working with oil paints. So growing up watching her work on canvas gained my attention from an early age. Spending K5-12 and later college, focused on nothing but art, I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else and truly being happy. After college I worked quite a few dead-end jobs, quickly realizing that when you work for someone else, you’re helping them achieve their goals and their dreams, not your own. So there was two major factors that kick-started things; I wanted to work for myself, and I wanted to make some cool art. Anything else just wasn’t going to cut it. Read more>>

Aimeé Leyva | Wife, Mother & Photographer

Snaps of Joy Photography was created at just the right time. I became a mother at the age of 20, therefore I had to pause many projects and ideas. I became a big procrastinator and I would constantly doubt myself and the ability to create my business. This year, I decided to JUST GO FOR IT! Snaps of Joy Photography allows me to capture the most precious moments for others, forever. I love that I get to meet so many people and I get to capture their most important life events, all this while still being able to be a stay at home mom. Read more>>

Jodi Tiahrt | Holistic health coach/Body Sculpting expert/model

I started my first business when I was 12. I started a gymnastics/tumbling program in my hometown. I grew up in a small town of 1200 people in South Dakota. Unfortunately we didn’t have anything like this for young children to participate in, so I used my skills and talent to coach others. Since then, I have started several other businesses including creating 15 flavors of protein bars that was nationally distributed and now currently owning a health coaching and body sculpting business. I’ve always had a entrepreneur mindset with the goal of providing a service to others to help them improve their life/lifestyle in a natural, holistic way. Read more>>

Shenika Carter | Co-CEO & Director

I decided to walk away completely from Corporate America in 2011 after years of being overlooked, underpaid and not valued. Starting a business takes faith and courage and believing in yourself more than imaginable. Read more>>

Joanne | Founder, Alpinistas

I am the founder of Alpinistas, a women’s outdoor brand that retails top outdoor apparel and gear name brands to women along with providing an educational community to support women outdoors. There are several key elements that had to come together in order for me to launch Alpinistas. My personal challenges with a corporate career, being a female in a male-dominated outdoor sports niche and being able to notice present gaps in the outdoor market but have the vision to drive future change. Read more>>

Jose Carmona | Food Truck Operator and Event Promoter

Ever since I can remember I wanted to own my own business. I started early say around 10 years old. I would help neighbors wash their vehicles and cut their grass. I collected sports cards and comic books. I would attend the card shows and somehow would come home with amazing deals. In my opinion that is what started my negotiating skills. After a 13 year career as a bailiff in criminal court in Miami Florida I decided I had enough of the private sector and government jobs that I started my company in 2012. The rest is history. Read more>>

Lauren Moore | The Lagree Method Studio Owner & Physician Assistant

I grew up surrounded by medicine. I never really had a choice when it came to my career path. After college, I attended physician assistant school. I worked as a physician assistant for about 6 years, and I liked my job but I didn’t love getting up every morning and getting to work and seeing patients for 9 hours. I was completely exhausted by the end of the night. I knew that most people did not love working or love their job. I always thought a job was something you do in order to make money. I never thought it could be something that people enjoyed or looked forward to doing. Read more>>

Tessa Gamble | Bee Product Entrepreneur

My brother, Oliver Gamble, and I, Tessa Gamble, started the Gamble Family Apiary in the fall of 2020. Together, and as a family, we have been keeping bees for 8 years. The Gamble Family Apiary, as a business, came to fruition after I created some body care products as gifts for the rest of the family. I created a lip balm and a lotion bar out of the bees wax harvested from our hives. As a family of entrepreneurial thinkers, everyone decided that we need manufacture more of the product and start selling it. Read more>>

Erica McLemore | Bookkeeping Professional and Quickbooks ProAdvisor

To explain the thought process behind starting my own business, I have to start with “Why”. I was tired, burned out, and frustrated and I felt lost for the first time in my life. For 15 years I worked/served in ministry; I knew that was my calling, my identity was wrapped up in it, and I felt like I was making a difference. I didn’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t doing that. But I hit a wall and began to question if what I was doing was actually making a difference. I was tired of fighting, tired of striving, and just plain tired. Enter the life changing trip to Costa Rica and the decision that would begin my career as an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Jessica Winnie | Licensed esthetician, anxious entrepreneur & tired mom

If I had relied on my thought process, I probably would have flaked out on starting Skin by Winnie. Life works strangely though and I ended up getting fired from my “dream job”, unexpectedly. After a 24 hour meltdown, my first ever panic attack that put me in the ER, and a good friend telling my I should “do something with that license you got”, I took the leap and rented out a small room in South Pasadena. Skin by Winnie was born into an empty room with just an empty bed, a squeaky stool, a dinner tray for product to sit on, and a hand me down steamer off Craigslist. Read more>>

Sierra Thomas | Digital Marketing Strategist & Artist

Siehorse Fine Art started because something ended. I was fresh into my career at a small agency with huge demands for new hires – not at all unfamiliar to those in advertising. I don’t think I handled my early 20s well at all. I had moved out of state to California right after graduating university, took the first job I got, and bam: was thrown into the real world real quick. As an artist, the rigidity of corporate life and monotony of working Monday through Friday just to live for the weekend took a toll on my creative spirit. Read more>>

Karen Blackwood | Eagle Eye Safaris photography safari guide, conservationist, award-winning wildlife photographer

I’ve been a traveler and photographer my entire life, and an airline pilot for the past 21 years. I fell in love with the continent of Africa on my first wildlife safari in 2013. I’d organized the safari and all of the logistics for myself and a friend. I went back with another friend a few months later, and I organized that trip as well. Suddenly it seemed everyone I knew wanted to go on safari, so I organized more trips, keeping them affordable while still staying at quality accommodations and seeing incredible wildlife, including not only the Big 5, but also endangered species. Read more>>

James Kennedy | Solar Energy Broker

I started working right out of college as a financial advisor, working in New York City, building my book of business. Not long after the financial collapse of 2008 hit, and five years of hard work was literally wiped out. This experience taught me that in order for me to control my own destiny, I had to work for myself. So I started my own financial management practice, which floundered due to the global financial crisis. This was a tough time for me and I struggled until I found my calling in renewable energy (solar specifically). Read more>>

Madison VanderKolk | Creator & Owner of Made By Mads

If I’m being candid, I never saw myself having my own business. It was quite the opposite actually. When I graduated college, I immediately went into a corporate sales job, thinking it was what I was “supposed” to do. I quickly realized that the typical 9-5 job lacks the sincerity that I so craved in my everyday life. I am a very social and honest person by nature, and I felt as if my personality and my morals were being put on the back burner. Once the pandemic started, I found myself unemployed, newly engaged, and at a total loss for what to do with my life.  Read more>>

Deidra Tafoya | Strength & Conditioning Coach-Sports Performance

The thought process behind starting my own business was a random process, but I would always say, for the past 3-5 years, “someday I would like to have my own business!”. I think getting into technical terms for the thought process, the initial first thought and question I had was, “what environment or location could I do this in?” My main concern was always, would I be allowed to have a small gym space to train athletes and would it be affordable but also, functional. Read more>>

KEVIN EASSA | Adventure + Landscape Photographer, & Filmmaker

In the beginning when I was getting started out, I never thought of it as starting my own business. It was mainly a point in my life where I knew what I loved- traveling and the outdoors. After having a camera for a few months and not having a clue as to how it worked, I just kind of decided to myself that I wanted to see if it was possible to make a living just through my camera. I’ve always been a hard worker, and I’m the youngest in my family, everyone already had a bunch going for them. So I decided, if I was going to make this outlandish choice to pursue photography and/ or filmmaking, then I needed to give it my all. Read more>>

Kerttu Veske | Pilates Studio Owner

I had never dreamed about owning my own pilates studio. However, when I moved from New York to Colorado, my style of teaching and programming – athletic yet form focused – resonated with a lot of people here. These people pushed me and inspired me to open my own pilates practice offering a style that embodies both a healthy fitness routine as well as being mindful of each individual’s injuries and possible need for modifications. There are so many ways our bodies move and one way does not work for everyone. Read more>>