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.

Libby Slife | Owner & Creator – Aurora Blush

Being an independent hair stylist, I am familiar with the basics of running a business. I was working behind the chair one day, having a conversation with a client & I kind of just created this idea. “I wish I could work in the wedding industry but I really love doing hair….. Why couldn’t I do both?” From there, I just starting dreaming up a business plan and creating a team. My brain went into over drive in creating this concept and it has really turned out to be something I am so proud of. Read more>>

Amy Martin | Singer/Songwriter

I had the thought this past summer, “you might as well knock because everyone else is.” For the longest time, I had these preconceived thoughts — mostly made up in my own mind — about what it took or what I thought my music career should look like first before pursuing certain opportunities in my music business. Then I realized what had really been going on was that I had been in line to knock but was letting other folks take their turn in front of me. I just had this vision of a flood of folks walking by me, knocking and walking through. Once I decided that I was worthy, I started knocking and folks like Chance McCoy started answering. I won’t ever stop knocking now. Read more>>

Victoria Lockhart | Barber and Hairdresser

The main reason I wanted to start my own business was so I could have a more flexible schedule for my clientele, as well as provide all the services I enjoy! I didn’t have full creative control or the ability to do all that I wanted in past barber shops and salons. There Is so much in the hair industry I love and am now able to do it all. Read more>>

AJ Ranasinghe | Down To Earth Founder

I am an active participant in Colorado’s car scene. I have met many dear friends through cars and even advanced my professional career through lessons I have learned within the community. I was frequenting auto shows in Colorado and quickly recognized that it was not (always) a place where you’d want to bring your family. There was a lot of drama, some fights, and everyone seemed very bitter about the experience. Read more>>

Kendall Bennett | CEO & Owner of Flex-infinity

When I started Flex-infinity I was frustrated by Covid, but more importantly angry about the murder of Breonna Taylor. Her and so many others. I found myself looking for a place to put my money. Putting my money where my mouth right? I don’t want to just donate to organizations. I wanted to know more about all the black women owned businesses. Sadly, I found it really difficult to find these companies. I had to use hashtags on Instagram, look at the about me page on each site. Read more>>

Kayley Vogel | Owner and Lead Wedding Planner – Sparked Weddings and Events

I’ve always liked to build things. Whether it was a fort as a young child or helping my dad fix or build items around the house – I loved to see everything start from just materials and transform into the final product. The same could be said for why I wanted to start my own business. The value and happiness that comes from building something from nothing and watching it grow will always be exciting to me. Read more>>

Charlene Janke | Lash Artist & Waxing Specialist

I am an entrepreneur, I always have been. I started lemonade stands at a young age. I could sell a paper bag to anyone. I guess that’s why I thrived as a bartender in the food industry for so long. I knew I wanted to be a household name. My original dream career was to be a performer. I loved the stage and the spotlight, and this idea to have all the lights on me. Now I get to turn the spotlight to my beautiful clients. I get to make women feel like they are their most beautiful selves. I love seeing the confidence a set of lashes can bring to somebody; they just glow! I wanted to build a space where women not only feel completely comfortable, but also have them feeling beautiful and confident in their own skin after receiving a service. Read more>>

Tev Johnson | Owner, Designer

The thought process behind starting OPEN was really to make a brand that I can wear for myself and others like me, a lot of the streetwear brands I liked at that time wasn’t really putting out anything I really liked. My pops always told me since I liked clothes so much I should just make it…so I did. Read more>>

Noelia Kronopia” Forte | Content Creator & esports host/caster/analyst”

It’s a funny history to be honest. I have never intended to be a fulltime Content Creator and esport worker. It was 2018 and was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This was a life changing event, becuase the cause of it all was my formal office job. I had to choose my carrer or my mental health, and that meant also quit on my economic stability too. Read more>>

Carolina Sobrino and Sergi Penalba | Production House and Creative Agency

We have always been very creative people in need to put our work and ideas out there. We saw a place were we could not only inspire and add value, but help out other creatives along the way, and didn’t think twice to do so. Read more>>

Monica Curiel | Mexican American Contemporary Abstract Artist

I would say that I was raised to be an entrepreneur. My father immigrated to the U.S. without a higher-level education and has been the embodiment of someone who has attained and pursued the American dream. I grew up working alongside my parents, who are day laborers. I think when you’re exposed to that kind of environment at an early age you organically become instilled with a certain work ethic. Having accompanied my parents in both of their jobs, I realized early on, I wanted to work smarter, so it was important for me to receive higher education. I did not want to pursue the harsh environments my parents were exposed to. Read more>>

Courtney Bussard | Life & Business Coach + Podcaster

I never thought I would own my own business. I always wrote it off as something I wasn’t capable of. It all changed in 2020 for me. In August of 2019 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. The next few months were rock bottom for me. I was living alone working 3 jobs to afford my apartment & barely getting by- financially as well as health wise. I was overworking myself for other people’s dreams because I was a hardcore people pleaser. My health was suffering because of all the pressure & stress I had. How was I working so much but still barely getting by? Read more>>

Brad Miles | Entrepreneur

Starting your own business can be daunting. I’ve always loved coming up with ideas for businesses and products since I was young, but I never took that extra step to actually start a company. However, when we came up with the idea behind the product we currently sell at LEVER Movement (a body weight support device that allows people to take stress and pounding off their body while exercising on a treadmill), we knew we needed to start this company because the product would have the opportunity to help so many people around the world. It was out of this deep desire to satisfy a massive gap in the market and help people that we immediately took the next steps in creating the company. From Olympic athletes (including a few Gold medalists), to runners, triathletes, High schools/College teams, and even Physios and the medical world, we are on our way to fulfilling our mission by helping so many people around the world. Read more>>

Allison Grandits | Independent Educational Consultant

During my fourth year as a public high school counselor, I knew I needed to make a change. I had 400-450 students on my caseload and supported them through their academic, social/emotional, and college and career challenges. Even though college planning was my passion, I spent most of my days dealing with scheduling, Dual Enrollment coordinating, and mental health crises. I loved days when I got to talk about college, but it was often in short bursts. I would have a 15-minute conversation with a Junior and never see them again. Most of the support I gave to my Seniors was by writing their recommendation letters and sending their transcripts. Read more>>

Jaz Hendrick | Muttly Madness Master

During our work at various shelters, my cofounder and I noticed that a large population of animals were being surrendered because their families were going through turbulent life events. The complications brought about by these events resulted in the owners being unable to provide homes for their pets, in the short term. Although these situations were temporary and the owners would be able to care for their pets again in the near future, their only option for them was to surrender their animals. Read more>>

Michael President Anderson | Entrepreneur, Kingdom Builder, CEO, Hip-Hop Mogul

They say if you want to go fast, go alone… But if you want to go far, bring others. I wanted to bring my people into the types of opportunities and access hard work & perseverance brought me…to democratize access to capital, contracts, and a better life. We were not content with self-serving careers on Wall Street, Sports & Entertainment, Tech, or Venture Capital. MPAC is comprised of multi-faceted social impact professionals, utilizing their talents to give the hood access to the American entrepreneurial dream. Read more>>