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.

Sarah Martin | Wedding Photographer

I started my business after my own wedding, where my very own wedding photographer too my money and NEVER showed to my wedding. All my life I have been a very creative person and funny enough at a wedding my husband and I went to before we were married I told him “my dream job was to be a wedding photographer”. So when my own wedding was disrupted from not having my wedding photographer I took friends and family pictures and tried to stich together some type of memory and was inspired to become a photographer. Read more>>

Chris Johnson | CEO

I knew it was a high risk high reward proposition. Honestly if you look objectively at the risk side of start ups it is hard to rationalize why to start objectively, but balance that out with something you are passionate about and feel has tremendous upside for not just you but those who would be impacted by your business and the thought process goes from “What if” to “When do I start”. Anyone who has experienced starting their own business can relate on an almost visceral level with the ultimate highs and lows you experience. It’s a wild ride! Read more>>

Matt Makens | Atmospheric Scientist & Communicator

While working in broadcast television as a weather anchor for nearly 20 years, the accuracy and science of weather reporting became less important in my job descriptions over time. This is particularly true in the Denver market. Being entertaining is more valuable than being knowledgeable. As the marketplace has changed, we see that local news viewership has dropped significantly with a dilution of that product into social media and digital properties as well as an abundance of competitors. In most cases, the weather presenter isn’t airing or publishing actionable details to a viewer. Read more>>

Adam Schroeder | Actor, Realtor, Interior Designer

I started real estate in NYC because I am an actor and I wanted to have a parallel career that could be sustainable and flexible. Real estate affords me the time and resources to take acting gigs when they arise and not worry about scheduling or finances. When I moved to Denver in 2021 I decided to get my license here too because I wanted that same flexibility and financial freedom. I also opened a home staging and interior design business called Schross Haus and it has been thriving in the Denver market! As an entrepreneur I make the rules for when and how I work. I also control the quality of my work, I can give the best care and attention to my clients because I’m in charge. Read more>>

Andrew Ybarra | International Speaker, DJ, & Event Expert

When I started Lifted AV Productions, I had 2 things on my mind. First, I wanted to do things my way, I had been a part of the audio-visual industry for over 10 years and saw how things can be improved from the bottom up. Secondly, I wanted freedom. I wanted to be able to build something for myself, to live on my own terms, and to be responsible for myself and my own success. Read more>>

Valerie Burke | Elopement Photographer

When I was younger I never really had the desire to work for myself and be my own boss. Once I knew photography was what I wanted to do, I never imagined starting a business. I always thought I’d work for someone. Ironically, when I was in college, my mom told me I should look into an entrepreneur certificate and take some classes knowing that a lot of photographers end up owning their own business (Mom does always know best). I took one class and quickly decided it wasn’t for me. After graduating, I worked for multiple photography companies. At one point I was working two traveling photo jobs at the same time and I loved it. Although I was rarely home during this time, I loved the opportunity to travel and explore new places. Read more>>