Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Marshelle Johnston (MJ) | Owner & Master Trainer at MJ Fit

MJ Fit is a gym exclusively for women and children, with the mission of “inspiring women and children to be strong.” Because we have such a niche gym, we get to work with women who would not otherwise be comfortable in a gym, and those who appreciate being surrounded by other strong, empowered, and driven ladies! MJ Fit is vibrant and bold, both in personality and in ambiance, with teal, lime green, and black being our color scheme. All of our coaches hold nationally accredited certifications, and most of our team members also have a fitness-related degree. We require our coaches to get continuing education credits each year, and we provide support by reimbursing them for these educational opportunities. Read more>>

Micah Johnson | Editor and Co-Founder, Cannapages

Well over a decade after dispensaries opened in Colorado, Cannapages is one of few original “cannabis industry” media companies still standing for a few main reasons. The first, is that, during the inception of the industry, the sky was the limit for those with vision and resources. Many people get into an industry far into the evolution and have to work hard to carve a niche. The opposite was true for us, and it was easy to be big fish in a small pond, even with zero-to-little capital. The second piece, was that we leveraged every skill and service under the sun to co-brand and shamelessly self-promote for four years prior to printing magazines. We put our directory in other magazines, our logo, next to big-name brands, always striving to cement our place in the community. Read more>>

Joshwayy | Host/MC/DJ

To me, the most important factor behind my success so far, is the fact that I am TRULY people first in what I do. That is the reason why I even started on my journey in the first place. People love music, people are moved by music, and people’s live can be impacted in more ways you can imagine by music and I want to have a part in that experience. Yes of course money has it’s importance because I need to make a living of course haha, but it’s not my driving force. I have prices set a certain way (based on my experience level, equipment, time etc..) but I ALWAYS read every person/booking for what it is and if I feel to be lenient with a person’s budget I always do that. Because as I state earlier, I want to be a part of that experience that can possibly have a great impact on their life and I see myself as the best option to make that happen 🙂 I do this for the people, not for the popularity, and thats the “Josh..wayy” haha Read more>>

Carl Wrangel | Bar & Liquor Store Owner

The most important factor for our success would probably be that we are constantly looking to improve the concenpt. We have since the beginning had at least byweekly meetings with our staff to hear them out on what we can do better, regarding both service, the systems we have in place, drinks selection, cleaning, interior, how to handle guest in certain situations etc. We always believed the key to a successful bar lays in inclusion of both staff and guest. In the early days we let the guest shape the place as we were finding our feet. We looked at how our guest was using the bar, and adapted accordingly. Read more>>

Nolan Taft | Software Engineering Intern

I would argue that one of the most important factors behind my success is my drive to reach my goals. There are not many goals that I set, that I’m unable to achieve, so I will try my absolute hardest to achieve and surpass those goals! Doing so teaches me about my limitations and how to overcome those same limitations to become a better me. A better me leads to more success. The most important factor behind all success is realizing that you need to “make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens” – Epictetus; make the best of every situation you can apply yourself to. For example, I saw a position for a job someone of my age is more than likely to be scared off by, but instead of running I applied myself and ended up landing the job. I set a goal for me to learn a new language, and I will push and push and push myself until all of a sudden I find myself being able to speak that language. The only thing that stops you, is you; nothing stops me. Read more>>

Johnna Bronson | Boutique Owner

The most important factor behind lively’s success is our commitment to our mission statement: To give the friendliest service for each guest to have a personalized experience. We try our best to make every customer feel welcomed and important from the moment they walk in by our stylists whether they are looking for a special occasion dress or that perfect pair of jeans. Read more>>

Beth Knox Gomez | Body Worker, Yoga Teacher, Self Care Promoter, and Formulator and Crafter of Sun Mountain Bath Luxe Organic Bath and Body Products

As a business owner in a continually expanding and evolving world, I think it is essential to be flexible , open minded, and willing to educate yourself. The only thing that is constant is change – embracing and leaning into that is the foundation of having a business that can successfully respond and grow during fluctuations! That being said – I credit a couple of factors in growing my business… First to me was the quality of the products I am creating. I hand craft in small batches, using organic oils and butters, then blend with organic and/or wild harvested essential oils and cbd oil for benefit and scent. Read more>>

Lauren Joy | Musician – Neo Soul/Indie/Pop

I think sometimes in life we are given a pretty intense hand. What we do with that though is 100% left to us to decide and for me this meant finding a very neglected facet of self love, filling that void with growth and empathy, and in return being able to truly immerse myself into what I see as success in my life – The elevation of others. I want to help change the narratives that are hindering our quality of life, and replace them with momentum to be victorious over the difficulties or hardships we face. Success to me is collective, and I am inspired daily by the actions of those choosing to step into their alignment and create powerful vibrations for us all to pull from! Read more>>

To Be Astronauts | Denver Rock Band

Eric: We’ve put ourselves into the brand and that’s what’s helped make it more successful. Max is fun-loving and funny, which works well as a front person. Sal is bombastic during his videos on social media for the band, I play the “screw it, it doesn’t matter person.” We’ve dove into recording and wanted a certain sound and then we projected that with the skull astronauts and all the space aesthetic, we’ve really backed up a spacey, fast paced rock vibe. Read more>>

Douglas McAvity | Owner/Chef

The most important factor behind the success of Sunrise has been our community here in Minturn. The locals who we serve everyday, that feel like family after four years, are our bread and butter. In a Valley where seasonal tourism is a real factor for business it is important to be able to rely on our year round residents for support. We are very greatful for the support we get from our community and could not have been as successful without it. Read more>>

Michael Penhale | Full time tattooer, owner and founder of Curbside Skatepark, owner and founder of Churro Face,

For each one of the businesses I would say its relationship and community. I grew up in the mountains out here so I could only skate parking garages and shoveled parks if I was lucky. I have always been a skater and when I do it I still feel like I can grasp joy in the most tangible way. I feel like Im twelve on a board and want other people to feel it too so I just made it my goal better peoples lives through creating a sick space like Curbside where kids can skate, learn trades, and build their own community. Since I have been doing this for so long, I have known most of the kids that work for me since they were eight and still thought I was cool. Read more>>

Tawnya Fornerod | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

This is a great question! It is simply connection. Connecting with other in an authentic and personal way is how I have created successful businesses. In a world where everyone is trying to sell something I like to set myself apart. Asking questions about our customers and hearing their stories truly feed me. How did they get where they are? Where would they like to take their business? Then I see how I can fit into their lives and help them succeed. This may be by selling them our products or simply hopping on a call to share my years of business ideas. Selling is NOT always the point and it naturally comes down the road. Read more>>

Seth Yokel | Mandolin/Vocals in High Country Hustle

As a band, success comes from the dedication to the craft and the genuine belief in what we are creating. We pride ourselves in the work we put in to put forth the best quality product or performance when it comes to our music. Read more>>

Danielle Hull | The Hull Pack | Social Media Pet Infulencer

The most important factor behind my brand is honesty. I promote a natural/healthy lifestyle with four giant dogs. It hasn’t been an easy ride but I have found so many amazing products and brands along the way. I want others to know they can trust my advice and know that I would only share something because those products have truly made a difference. Read more>>