Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Aaron Blea | Business Developer & Small Business Owner

Well, I actually had no intentions to start up a business, Covid pretty much forced my hand. I was working in corporate America for the last twenty years, which I hated every moment of it… but it paid the bills and took care of me and the wife. Read more>>

Carisa Findley | Trainer, Speaker and Best-Selling Author

One day, I was looking at my vision board (if you know, you know….) and I got really pissed off! I had a lot of images on there that had been up for a very long time and I knew I was no where near having those things in my life. Honestly, I was frustrated, overwhelmed and just disappointed. Read more>>

Vanessa Sidara | Surgical operations supervisor/Baker

My thought process of starting my own business was on the whim. Believe it or not, I baked my first cake for my husbands birthday and posted it to social media. Immediately after, I had an outpour of requests for the same cake. I was so scared to put my work out there for the world to see and try. After about a week, my husband convinced me during the middle of a pandemic to utilize what I had and start up. Read more>>

Eric Sanchez | Paddleboard Brand Founder & Project Engineer

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? The timing is just not right. I’m not ready. Is this something I’m passionate about? These were the type of thoughts that plagued my mind and stopped me from pursuing my goal of starting a business. Read more>>

Carmen Pacheco-Borden | Engineering Lecturer and Food Entrepreneur

I was born in Mexico, and I am part of a large extended family. I am the oldest of four children, with two brothers and one sister. While in Mexico, my father was an electronic technician, and my mother was a hairdresser. In search for better jobs and educational opportunities for us, my parents immigrated to the United States in the summer of 1988. Read more>>

Brenda Sturgeleski | Executive Director, Founder and Child Life/Rec Therapist, Educator

~I believe in the value of content, but have always felt a calling to step beyond the edges of the box and put a bow on top. I still remember writing reports in early grade school days and spending more time on the picture on the cover of a report than the write-up. Read more>>

Lindsey Morris | Entrepreneur & Wedding Planner

I grew up lucky enough to watch my dad start his own businesses! I watched him fail and I watched him succeed. I saw the passion he had for what he was doing, and I knew the reasons he was doing it. It motivated me! I didn’t go the entrepreneur route at first! Read more>>

Isabel Ehrich | Founder & Owner

I have a love for design and culture. Jabulani Creations is rooted in my admiration of Africa, it’s cultures, people and art. I wanted to be able to share stories of the artisans and some of their diverse cultural beauty as a way to connect the world and spread kindness. Read more>>

Ana Martinez Chamorro | Photographer

I enjoyed the process of making photographs, originally developing my own film in a dark room. The more I did it, the more I became intrigued in storytelling, which led me to photograph for my college newspaper, The Towerlight. That’s when I began photographing senior portraits for friends, which led to photographing their weddings. Read more>>

David Lopez | CEO at Gritly

I come from a low-income, single-mother household. I had to overcome a multitude of obstacles just to make it to college. The cost of tuition became my largest barrier, not only for me but also for many of my deserving classmates. Read more>>

Krysta Jones | Cannabis Consultant

When I first started my own business I was in my early 20s, and cannabis had just legalized. I saw an open opportunity to be able to fill a void in the industry that everyone was scared of, which was talking about cannabis. While I was building my Portfolio and career in the industry I took a leap into building my own company and marketing team called the THC Girls. In the begging I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew it had to be done. Read more>>

Michelle Kohler | Portrait Artist and CEO

You know how you get these random ideas of “Hey, that would be a pretty neat product?” Or “Man, I wish they would have made it in this color?”. Well I decided to start designing my own products because the ideas just kept flowing and thus “The Kohler Brand” was born. I have always wanted to be a product designer and now I am one. Read more>>

Alex Beyers | Holistic Wellness Consultant

When I started Eating At Altitude, I started it as a hobby. As someone who spent too many years in diet mode: restricting, binging and compensating for food with crazy fitness regiments. I finally saw the light in 2014 after I ditched diet culture and learned how to feed my body in a way that fuels it without restriction or guilt, Eating in a holistic way completely reframed how I viewed food, and what I viewed as healthy. Read more>>

Bethany Tran | Founder + CEO

I spent some time in a slum in Guatemala and realized that so many nonprofits were focusing on education, which is necessary, but I wondered if maybe we weren’t looking at poverty alleviation backwards…. maybe we needed to be focusing on the parents instead. What if the parents had access to a job so that they didn’t need charity? That made so much sense to me. Read more>>

Mark Gillilan | Co-founder Kyoto Botanicals

With a long career in marketing working at extremely large corporations as well as small startups, it was evident that there just generally seems to be a focus on profits over people, even at organizations that talked the talk. Read more>>

Sarah Swanty | Executive Director & Co-Founder

15 years ago I cofounded Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic which has since become Animal Friends Alliance after merging with Animal House Rescue & Grooming. In 2005 I was working on my undergraduate degree in Zoology with the idea of applying for veterinary school. Read more>>