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.

Beth Godbey | Mom, counselor, rancher, founder

A lot of things went into the creation of Equine Empowerment! Working in the field of equine therapy has always been my passion. I love being a part of a team, and have had the opportunities to work with some amazing equine therapy programs who I learned a great deal from. However, when we moved to rural Colorado I felt that offering this work to my community was important…and Equine Empowerment was born. Another contributing factor was my family. My husband and I have three kids and also grow hay and raise cows, so having flexibility in my job was important. Being able to develop programming that worked with our busy lives allowed me to have the flexibility for my kids, my ranch work and to also passionately provide services I believe in. Effectively, I saw a need and took action to provide a unique service to help others. Read more>>

Tiffany Brown | Owner, CEO & Dog Lover

I think it is somewhat a part of everyone’s dream to “not work for the man” at some point in their lives, and be able to pursue a career in a field you love, where you can be your own boss. While I had paved out a pretty solid career path for myself over the years, I didn’t feel like I felt fulfilled, or that I really loved what I was going. When Covid happened, it was a big wake up call that life is very unpredictable and that it’s super important to do what you love, not take anything for granted, and to not be afraid to take risks to get there. While I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I ultimately decided to dive in head first and move forward with my business! I knew could combine my true love and passion for dogs with my proven marketing skills to ultimately grow my business into the company I am confident it will become. Read more>>

Michael Lovich | Chiropractic Functional Neurologist

There has been a dramatic shift in the administration of healthcare recently. Insurance and number crunchers in the corporate office are making crucial health decisions further and further from the patient who stands to gain and lose the most. Costs are cut by reducing patient-doctor time, packing schedules, passing off to more procedurally trained healthcare workers, and trying to find the best “one size fits all” approach box to fit each patient’s individual condition into. I opened my office designed to be as efficient as possible using current technology, without ever skimping on patient-doctor interaction time. I wanted to design an entire patient experience around the time spent between the doctor and the patient, and we have seen fantastic results because of it. Read more>>

Charkira McCall | Certified Life Coach

I started my business during my divorce in 2020. My divorce started shortly before COVID, but COVID definitely helped me stay in my apartment alone. I realized that all my life, I had been other people’s life coach around me but it wasn’t until I had to be my own life coach, that I realized it was what I was meant to do. My divorce led me to my passion. In less than 5 months, I was not fully healed in my divorce but spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally the best I had EVER felt in my entire life. I’ve lived a pretty hard life. In April of 2019, I was diagnosed with Chronic anxiety and depression. Flash forward to August of 2020, I transitioned from having anxiety attacks to having a love attack in front of my soon-to-be ex wife. My “love attack” is best described like this: My heart was filled with so much love, appreciation and gratefulness, that I boohoo cried tears of joy. You can imagine my wife felt a little awkward. Read more>>

Ariana & Jon Conlon | Van Builders

We lived in a van for 6 months following our Appalachian Trail through hike. As winter approached, we found out very quickly that we were in need of a heater, We spent weeks looking for a company to install one, but between the extremely high prices and long lead times, we decided to try our luck at installing our own. We got to thinking and decided we could combine our design/build experience with our skills we had learned working on our own van and start a van conversion business. Read more>>

Vanessa Gilbert | Farmer Florist

I think starting this business was spurred by wanting to do something that reduced my footprint and impact on the Earth. I wanted to do something beautiful but didn’t want to create waste or clutter. I love that flowers are like a temporary piece of art. You don’t have to lug them around every time you move. There is no guilt of having to keep them because someone special gave them to you (like say a cup or a framed picture) You enjoy them and they change and fade and then they can become compost. Read more>>

Matt Pickett | Owner & Operations Manager

When Ginger Beer started making a comeback about 10 years ago, we thought the offerings were poor. Most of the Ginger Beers made by commercial brands are made with chemicals and low quality sweeteners. We wanted to design a cocktail ingredient that stood out for it’s quality and taste. Read more>>

Jeremy Elder | Photographer & Director of Brand Partnerships at Boulder Media House

Boulder Media House was created because four college students wanted to film concerts together, that simple idea quickly grew into a full service production company. Our initial idea behind BMH was that 4 people would be able to work on bigger projects than a solo freelancer ever could. We also came from different backgrounds, Bailey was working in the commercial fashion realm, Riley was working in sports, Ben was working with corporate clients, and I was working in the music industry. We knew our networks and connections were all different and we could all bring something new and unique to the table, and that’s exactly what we did. Since then we have created sub brands, all under the BMH umbrella. Bch House, focused on the branding and identity of musical artists as well as concert and festival recaps. Read more>>

Brittani Chin | Wedding and Family Photographer

Honestly, I never thought I would own my own business. I never had a “business plan” or “business model” I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to actually take my passion for photography and create a business. Over time though It was one of those things that just started to make sense and feel right. Throughout the first few years of my photography journey I had family and friends who kept asking me what was holding me back from starting an official photography business, I was scared. I was terrified of the unknown. I doubted myself for a long time before I finally opened myself up to the idea of starting my business. But once I let go of a lot of those thoughts and feelings that were holding me back I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with it. I started to learn and grow from many influential people in the photography industry, The day I actually did the paperwork for my Business license and submitted everything I sat there and cried for a good 10-15 minutes because I finally felt like I was believing in myself and the experience that I know I can bring to people through my business. Read more>>

Adri Loughmiller | Wedding & Special Events Planner, Owner and Lead Experience Designer at Luxe + Love

Even though I have a business degree, I didn’t have an entrepreneur mindset to begin with. After finishing college, I’ve worked for a big resort for 9 years. My husband and I moved to another state due to his military career, and life has taken a tragic turn. I became a widowed single parent with a young baby girl. Working full time just wasn’t the right fit in that situation. As a part of my healing journey, I did a lot of personal development and self-care work. Attending the Gary Barnes Breakthrough Business Mastery Bootcamp a few times and being around other small business owners sparked my interest in starting my own business. My priority is spending time with my daughter as she is growing up. I realized that being an entrepreneur is the best way to ensure that I can be there for my family, have a flexible schedule, and have control over my calendar while I am able to do what I love to do – plan weddings and special events. Read more>>

Rachel Schultz | Ceramic Artist

For years I had made pottery as a way to express my own creativity and as a source of personal joy. I always preferred to give away my creations because I love people. In the midst of Covid I was faced with more time alone and less time with people and far more time to create. As my friends and family urged me to start a business and sell my pottery I was hesitant at first. It’s a vulnerable thing to put your art out there to be scrutinized. And I still really valued the idea of simply blessing people with my work. My husband was influential in encouraging me that I could still bless people with my creative work even if they paid for it. So I took the plunge and launched my business at the beginning of 2021 and it has been exciting, overwhelming, and a significant learning curve. The thing I love about it is that I get to be the influencer and creative Director behind the pieces that I sell. I love that I don’t have to be hemmed into a particular style but can maintain unique and diverse work. It has been a real gift to pursue. Read more>>

Kirsti Logan | The Sleepy Turtle Coffee Co

Ever since I was little, I knew I was going to open up a restaurant or coffee shop. It’s been a dream for as long as I could remember! Born in Denver, I grew up in Melbourne, Florida. My friends and I used to play “restaurant” at The Sleepy Turtle and I was Chef Kirsti from a young age. I got my degree in Hospitality Management in Orlando and learned everything I needed to know about the industry. My first job was as a line cook in Yellowstone National Park and I did a semester abroad in the café capital of the world: Vienna, Austria. When I graduated, I managed the highest grossing Bubba Gump Shrimp, Co in the world for about three years until my brother asked me to move back to Colorado with him. Read more>>

Lauren Rickard | Interior Designer

Being able to have the flexibility and wanting the feeling that I accomplished something big. Read more>>

Ashleigh Owens | Nail Artist

Starting my own business came from the desire to design my life how I wanted. While working for others, I found that I didn’t like following rules that made my life harder. I usually am generous and I go above and beyond what I’m asked to do, and I figured I should do that for myself. Read more>>

Kristin Battenfield | Owner of KBat Communications

It actually came out of a joke that I would make at work … I had sold almost every type of advertising in Denver (outdoor, newspaper, digital, large format printing and television) so I would joke that I should start my own ad agency since I know all of the mediums so well. And then one day about five years ago, I realized that it would be a great idea to actually put my punchline in to practice! I feel very strongly about helping my clients and not wasting their time or money so it’s a perfect fit for me to have my own business and work with fantastic clients. Read more>>

Jennifer, Simone Motolenich Torres, Egwu | Founder/CEO of SimplyLeadLLC, Co-Founder Chief Strategy Officer

Simone: Jen and I met through work in D.C. — over our first few conversations we quickly learned that we shared a passion for diversity and inclusion — and more than that, equity and anti-racism. Prior to starting Simply Lead, Jen spent years in education systems and I worked in social impact consulting. Being queer women of color, we had not only seen but personally experienced the challenges of succeeding in a white supremacist work culture. We started Simply Lead to work with organizations to unlearn systemic racism, unpack unconscious bias, dismantle legacy systems, and most importantly co-design new ways of existing in the workplace that center those at the margins. Our ultimate aim is to empower future black and brown leaders to harness their power, intelligence and creativity to make change. Read more>>

Patrick Kane McGregor | Artist

I started Esoteric Art back in 1990 with my friend Jerry Inscoe. We worked for Tower records and we had a side hustle making foam board signs for a few clothing companies (Tribal and Third Rail) it was fleeting and didn’t last long but the name stuck so when I moved back to Denver and was ready to start a new art movement and company with my son painting murals and signs I brought it back in 2012. Read more>>

Kaleigh Wiese | Branding & Design Consultant

I was born an entrepreneur. As a child I would rent books from the library about starting businesses – I wanted to help others and saw I could gain momentum on my own terms. I have launched many successful creative and tech businesses through the years, and the imprint of each of those on my life have gotten me to where I am today in my self employment journey. These days, I help creative solopreneurs and small business owners find their visual brand and stand out in their communities through marketing, branding and design techniques. I offer consulting, courses and a membership to help them stand out. And it fulfills me deeply seeing their growth. Read more>>

Lesley Pech | Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Dyslexia Diagnostician and Interventionist

I knew there was a demand in Denver for Speech-Language Pathologists with a specialty in Dyslexia. Literacy rates in our country are staggeringly poor and students who fail to learn to read face a life of struggle, often with greatly diminished educational and work options. First and foremost, I wanted to serve these families and support these kids. I really wanted to work in a setting in which I had autonomy, so I took a leap and decided to build my own practice. Read more>>