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.

Zack Whitmer | Kettlebell Instructor/Nutrition Coach

We were tired of seeing people signing up for commercial gyms, do well for 2 months, then completely fall off because they weren’t seeing any results. So we wanted to build a training facility with elite level coaches that held members accountable to showing up and doing the work. We knew it couldn’t just be training, so we brought them high level nutrition coaching as well. Read more>>

Lauren Maloney | Realtor, Madison & Co. Properties

I’ve been in real estate marketing since I graduated from University of Northern Colorado in 2012 in one form or another–from large institutional real estate investment trusts (REITs) to small scrappy startups. At one point I found myself thinking about what I really wanted in my career. I was looking for a way to make a big impact on a business while furthering my passion for helping my community. Then it clicked… Why wouldn’t I use my experience in marketing and my drive to help to develop my own real estate business? Since then I’ve learned a million things and I’m more inspired than ever to provide great service to Colorado. Read more>>

Drewsilla (They, She, We) | Queer Witch, Educator, Coach and Consultant

Firstly, I’d like to say that “business” has (capitalistic) connotations that I don’t really vibe with – rather, I am simply pursuing my life’s work, my chosen life purpose or path. That said, I am really inspired by this quote from the great Dolly Parton: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” I first read this a few years ago, and started to ask myself, “Who am I, then? And how can I do that, how can I Be that in a purposeful way that sustains every part of my life?” It has taken some – okay, a lot – of internal work to get here, and I continue to do that work that allows me to live in my fullness of Being. Growing more confident every day, I know I am a gender-expansive goth alien witch healer from the future, which is right now! As a Lover of Life, an Intuitive Medium, a Queer Educator and a Personal Transformation Coach, I create safer and sacred spaces for healing and growth. Working with people in every time zone. Read more>>

Cara Jo Knapp | Wedding Stationery Designer

My business started as the hobby I didn’t know I needed in my life. I had been working in the technology industry as a web designer, developer, marketing manager, analytics person, and everything in between. If it had to do with websites, I did it. I was looking for a creative outlet that I could do after work that didn’t involve me writing tons of code or digging through data. I picked up calligraphy and started learning the art of calligraphy. It forced me to slow down, and take my time and get back into creating something handmade. For my entire life, I have been an artist – so this was the perfect outlet for me to disconnect from the day! Eventually, I started making stuff for others, and it kept growing and growing. Once I designed my wedding invitations, that was it, I was hooked on weddings. I didn’t realize that the wedding industry combined all the things I loved; creativity, love stories, motivated business owners, and beautiful decor! I decided to start my own business right after our honeymoon. Read more>>

Angela Fugate | Real Estate Brokerage Owner | Home Stager | Designer| Builder

I longed for an office where I had a real estate family, where we helped and pushed each other towards achieving our goals. I was tired of being measured by transactions. I wanted to give other agents a home… where we could have wild success, support and fun. We wanted a better quality of life for our agents and our clients so, we created it. The name was easy…. my husband and I wanted to name it after the thing most important to us, family! Our brokerage, Mackenzie Jackson Real Estate, is proudly named after our children. Read more>>

Daria Polenova | Founder

I am a first time mom and feeding my daughter healthy is one of my biggest concerns. Unfortunately majority of children’s food products in stores are full of sugar/preservatives/GMOs. On top of that we’re always on the go. From daycare, to the park, to the grocery store, a life with a toddler is always busy. I was buying products I knew she liked from grocery stores, simply because I had no time to research better food brands online or buy things in bulk we’ve never tried before. I finally found the time during the COVID lock down to learn about the food industry and started curating healthy snacks for me and my mom friends. The boxes became incredibly popular amongst my friends and have evolved into a full blown business. Read more>>

Lori Steenhoek | 3D Artist & jwelry Designer

I was always drawn to the idea of being my own boss and setting my own expectations. There’s the thrill of owning all your successful moments as yours, and that has always been a huge motivation for me. Read more>>

Colby Knepp | Men’s Health Coach

A couple of things – first, I was working way too hard making someone else wealthy. Second, the job I had wasn’t really impacting people’s lives the way that I knew I could. And third – I’m not a good employee. Haha, seriously. I’m way better running my own show. Read more>>

Ann Pollack | Birth Doula and Birth Doula Trainer

I was a stay at home mom of 5 children for about 20 years, very content and busy with my roles as wife, mother, daughter and friend. My husband, on the other hand plays hard and likes the adrenaline rush that comes with taking risks. One day, I got a call that the motorcycle he was riding much too fast on a curvy, dirt, mountain road got run over by a truck. Thankfully, he is a quick thinker and knew to drop and roll in the opposite direction. Once we knew he was going to be okay, I started thinking seriously of how I could raise these children on my own if he were to become permanently injured. I’m not an 8-5pm kind of girl. I knew if I were going to start working outside the home, it would need to be something I love and feel passionate about…. childbirth! I birthed most of my children at home, so I reached out to my midwife for guidance. Read more>>

Michele Friedmann | Michele Travels (Travel Agency)

Ever since I was young I’ve always been passionate about travel. My parents are big explorers and would take me on vacations as early as two. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in college (three times actually!) that I realized wow, I can have a great career in travel! The best decision I made in college was to take my studies overseas and see the world. It helped me grow in so many ways and shape the person I am today. I started my career working in Study Abroad- helping college students take the life-changing leap that I took by studying, interning and/or playing sports overseas. I continued to travel long after college both personally and for work. Currently, I’ve stepped foot in 60 countries and 7 continents (and going!) Naturally, people started reaching out and asking questions about where they should travel to and wanting some advice and support. I then realized I needed to start my travel agency. I love being my own boss, meeting new people, chatting travel and being creative! This business fits me perfectly. Read more>>

Sara Brown | Bakery Owner & Cake Artist

Starting my own business just kind of happened for me. It was gradual- I began my baking journey when I decided to make a beautiful cake for my grandmother for her birthday. I was able to produce something better than I could buy at the grocery store and it just snowballed from there with friends and family asking me to make cakes for them! When I decided I was actually in business, I knew I had to set boundaries for myself so that I would continue to enjoy the work I do. That was probably the most beneficial part of my thought process for me. I also played around with where I wanted my niche to be and I tried different things for a few years like an Etsy store selling my toppers, adding decorated cookies to my menu, and participating in the farmer’s market. Some of these things stuck around and some were things I decided I didn’t want to focus my energy on. Read more>>

Charisse Piros | Personal Blogger & Life Coach

I wanted to create a space that allowed women to support and open up to each other. My personal blog focuses on female empowerment, self care and relationship advice. I wanted to create a platform where women and men can strengthen and grow in their family relationships. Having strong relationships can lead to stronger self esteem, empowering men and women alike to grow in their personal lives. Read more>>

Becky Glaze | Healthy Living Educator + Advocate

I wanted flexibility with my hours and the ability to work on my own terms and in a way that could weave between the needs of my family. Read more>>

Brad Brown | Chief Jam Maker

I’m an inventor at heart. When I was a kid I was fascinated with Thomas Edison and really wanted “inventor” to be what my schooling was in. I grew up in the small town of Princeton, Illinois. I concluded that was a profession that I was too late for since nobody I knew had that title. I went to college and studied computer science because it was easy for me. Math was easy for me too. I invented so many things as a kid – no light bulbs or record players like Edison. I started a number of software companies, which I sold to companies much bigger than mine. I’ve always loved inventing software solutions that change the way people think about a topic. My wife and daughter own and operate Melrose and Madison (a women’s clothing store), which is at 1500 S. Pearl St in Denver. There is a farmers market every Sunday on Pearl Street. When they opened the store my wife asked if I could come set up the tent for them on Sundays. Read more>>

Laurel Hoyt | Illustrator of The Macabre & Beautiful

I have always been a creative, unique person. I’ve been creating for 16+ years now, but only about 4 of those years has been in pursuit of a professional career. All throughout school people would tell me how I couldn’t do it, how I would never be successful as an artist. Part of my goal was to prove them wrong but also to prove that you can be successful doing what you love & what you’re passion in life is. Your purpose is your passion & I am absolutely, incredibly, and fiercely passionate about art. Read more>>

Becky Pollard | Multidisciplinary Maker and Stylist

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and can remember brainstorming business ideas even at a young age. I knew I wanted to start my own business, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like. Growing up, I was continually drawing, painting, taking photographs, and exploring other visual arts, but never felt I could make a career out of it. I spent my twenties working several different jobs to get a sense of what I liked and invariably felt pulled back to the arts. I had always thought of art as a leisurely pursuit, but I felt most at home when I was honing my craft. I finally realized I should stop fighting it and began to devote myself to it full time. Read more>>

Lucy Schultz | Destination Elopement Photographer

I wish I could say I had a business plan, or a grand scheme, or even an idea of where I wanted to be one day when I started. But the truth is that I actually resisted being hired for my photography services at first. I was a teenager – just 16. And while I loved photography, I didn’t think I wanted to be paid to do what I was enjoying as a hobby. I didn’t want to ruin the fun. And all the adults in my life told me the life of an artist would be immensely hard and discouraged me from pursuing it full time. Luckily for me, a few early supporters were relentless in their attempts to pay me for photography services. After completing a few portrait sessions, I needed a place to share the images, so I needed a website. Once the website was up, I started getting hired by more and more people and the business was born. Read more>>

Ashlee Nawrocki | Founder

For me it was about more than a business, starting Wear Love felt like a calling. In 2016 late one night in the Himalayan Red Light District I met my destiny face to face. If eyes were the windows to the souls all I could hear was a cry for help. I was met with a young girl no older than 8 years old who we become for the face of the 40 million women, men and children enslaved in the world today. From that day on starting Colorado’s first mobile boutique felt like a no brainer. My heart had been so broken this girl being my drive. Her name meaning “without darkness” would become my catalyst to make sure survivors, those in at risk situations, and those who are still being trafficked. We are so blessed to be a local global marketplace displaying beautiful creations with even more beautiful back stories. So our thoughts are that Wear Love and The Wear Love Wagon are a direct manifestation of our wildest dreams. Read more>>

Morgan Sandlin | Designer & Maker

My thought process behind starting my own business goes back to when I was in college studying graphic design and communication. I knew I wanted to use my creativity and love for design for something more than advertising, I wanted to work with others who had a lot of heart and passion in their own businesses. I was always doing something on my own time that was making money, I had a photography business, I would find ways to sell my art, I always had something I was pursuing and trying to make happen. It really hit me that I wanted to start my own business and be my own boss when I did my first internship. I hated waking up and going to work on someone else’s time. I hated the feeling of not being in charge of my own life, of having to ask permission to take a day or two off, and sitting at a desk doing tasks that didn’t excite me. I knew it wasn’t going to happen right away, and that I would need to spend SOME time working in the industry, trying different things and seeing what I liked and didn’t like. Read more>>

Melissa Stynski | Owner/Photographer – Life Photography By Melissa

I seem to get asked this question, more then I ever knew I would. When I was a kid, I had this family that I really looked up to. Both husband and wife worked from home, they had two beautiful daugthers, I was lucky enough to nanny for them. I watched this family and truly belived I wanted the life they had. The husband worked for a company from home and the mom owned her own business. She knew she could not afford daycare for her two kids, so she figured out a way to make an income that would allow her the flexibility to stay home with her girls. This was in the mid 90’s that I knew I wanted that same life for my kids one day. Well, as we all know, life does not always go as we hope, or dream. However, through several ups and downs, in 2010, a few years after having my own children, I realized what I wanted to do. What does nearly every first time mom do? They take photos of their babies right? Well, that is where I started for me, when I had my first baby in 2007. In 2011, I started my own photography business. Read more>>

Whitney Bartscher | Entrepreneur, Author & Mentor of Mindset training and The Law of Attraction

When I was considering starting this business, I wanted to provide something to others that would impact their lives in the most positive way possible. I sat down with it and thought about what was the most impactful thing in my life? What had made such a difference in my life that I could pinpoint every good thing back to this one? I looked around not only at my life but at the lives of those around me. While some people had quite lovely lives they were often so busy going through the motions that they weren’t really experiencing their lives fully. This stuck out to me because for many years I had lived in this way as well. Whether my life was abundant or lacking at the time, one thing was constant that I was just trying to keep up rather than truly living. The one thing that made the most impact on me was learning Mindset training and applying the tools of The Law of Attraction to my life. Through this I had become more present. I had more of the experiences in my life as well as with my friends and family that I had longed for. Read more>>

Julie Schumann | Creator & Visionary at PinPoint Networking

My thought process for starting my business, PinPoint Networking, began with the fact that starting a business is hard and costly. Keeping a business going, especially during a pandemic, is even harder. Jumping into business for one’s self and forging a self-directed path is one of the great American dreams. It’s a dream of monetary sufficiency, of working hard and succeeding (however that looks to you), of controlling how many hours a week you work, and when you can take vacations. If successful, your small business will turn fruitful and allow you to pay the bills and retire with ease. But then there is the reality that most small businesses do not survive 10 years. There are record numbers of people that identify with being a micro small business owner, whether that takes the form of a solopreneur, a shop owner, a direct sales associate, a freelancer, or a consultant. Before the pandemic, over 40 million people were working toward the micro small business life and dream. Read more>>

Laura Brown | Intuitive Lifestylist and Quantum Healer

When I first began my business it was from a place of my own inner healing. I had significant work on myself that I had to do in order to be capable of changing my own thought patterns, emotions, and energetic alignment so that I could turn my life around. This led me down a rabbit hole of both conventional and spiritual practices that ultimately not only allowed me to turn my life around but take it to new heights. Before I began to blend the conventional with the spiritual practices I discovered, I struggled for so long to make lasting and sustainable change and progress. Yet, once I began to work with these practices. the progress, success, and turnaround I ached for came effortlessly. As I reflected on this, it made the decision to begin offering these modalities to others became a no-brainer. I knew so many people close to me and that collectively many around the world were settling and struggling to improve themselves and their lives. Read more>>

Leith McHugh | Emotional Wellness Coach

I started my business because one of my daughter’s died when she was 12. I had been her full-time caregiver and Certified Nurses Aide due to her severe special needs. My other two children were 15 & 9 at the time and did not need me as much as they did when they were little. I was trying to figure out what to do with myself after she died. I kept leaning into the question “What makes me come alive?”. Supporting women in moving forward in their lives and not staying stuck really makes me come alive. Read more>>

Matilda & Enzo Lucas | Bakers, Young Entrepreneurs and Future Restaurant Owners

Enzo: I chose it because of the freedom you have to express yourself the way you would like rather than following someone else’s dream or ideas. Matilda: I chose to pursue an artist career for the continuous excitement and freedom that is has to offer. Everyday is a new experience and you are able to continuously exercise your creative liberty and grow with it. You are not confined to a boring routine or boring procedures. We chose to pursue an artist career for the continuous excitement and freedom you have to express yourself the way you would like. Everyday is a new experience and you are able to constantly exercise your creative liberty and grow with it. You are not confined to a boring routine or pursuing someone else’s idea. Your business is constantly increasing and growing with your creative path. Everyday there are new challenges, which allow you to get creative in problem solving. Thats the beauty and freedom of owning your own business. Read more>>

Karlee Phippen | Wedding Venue Owner, Event Planner, Motel Owner

I grew up around entrepreneurs, so there was never a question of if it was possible. Both of my parents had their own businesses, my grandpa had his own world-wide businesses, and grandmother had articles written about her success in being a female business owner and entrepreneur- so you can say it runs in the family! Log River Ranch has been a dream of mine for many, many years. In my teen years, I decided I wanted to be an event planner. I started my career in other facets of event planning- large scale events and concerts, corporate events, you name it. I worked under many different wonderful managers and companies, but there was always something in the back of my mind pushing me to do more- I knew I wanted to own my own business, it came naturally with my family history! Then in my late college years and post college, I had fallen in love with the idea to have my own venue. The first picture that came into my head was the ranch. I grew up visiting my grandfather’s property in Chama, NM and absolutely fell in love with it. Read more>>

Briana Wiles

It was me studying herbs, and making way too much of everything I was testing out! Then I got the idea to start a farmers market booth–this is when the inspiration for a brick and mortar came about. Within a few years of doing weekend summer markets, I saw the need and want for herbal remedies, and organic skincare in our area. I was amazed at how much we would take home from 4 hours at a farmers market, and could see how this could be a valuable business plan if we did it full-time, and we were so right on. Read more>>

Cari Faye Antonovich | Portrait Photographer

The thought process behind starting my own business came from the fact my father started his own business. After I graduated college, it just made sense to me to open a photography studio. Read more>>

Colleen Williamson | Artist & Creative Consultant

I wanted to create a life for myself that allowed me to be my own boss, make my own schedule, delve into my creative passions while still being able to spend time with my family. Life is precious and I didn’t want to look back and see all the years I wasted working towards someone else’s dream and working on someone else’s schedule. Read more>>

Francis Schneeweiss | Volcan Azul Founder

I had always dreamed of being involved in the food and entertainment business. As a child, I saw myself being a Taquera in Mexico City, where I come from. As an adult, along with being a professional educator, I have worked on and off in restaurants and food businesses. I came up with the idea of doing a catering company that combines the love that I feel for teaching my Mexican culture and the love that I have for preparing and eating good food. Volcan Azul focuses on bringing the Mercado Experience to your events. Thus, allowing participants, guests to feel like they are in a Mexican Mercado. Where colorful booths, each with a server preparing food right in front of your eyes, engages you in an experience of seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting the dishes being made. Furthermore, I want this catering company to become a Cooperativa (Cooperative). Like the mercados in Mexico, this idea incorporates shared ownership with all it’s workers. Read more>>