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.

Leslie Epstein | President of Your Tanning Bar INC

I knew at a young age, entrepreneurship was something I was very passionate about. My grandfather ran his own automotive shop for decades following in his father’s footsteps. My grandmother ran her own daycare for years and was one extremely strong businesswoman. My brother was involved in numerous business adventures he created from the ground up at a very young age. I saw Entrepreneurship ran in my blood and I was surrounded by it daily. Read more>>

Emily Fleur | Bigfoot Researcher & explorer

When it comes to Bigfoot research and merchandise, I knew there was a gap in the market, which inspired me to start my organization. I became interested in Bigfoot when I was just a young girl, and I did everything I could to learn about this subject. I read scientific journals, collected books on the subject, and watched every documentary I could find. However, as a young woman, I found it difficult to understand the scientific language used in resources supporting the existence of this animal, as well as the field gear necessary to search for evidence. Read more>>

Louise Cutler | Artist and Founder of the Beauty of Blackness Fine Art Show

Follow your passion It’s risky, most opportunity to evolve and grow are. Starting my own business just kind of happened, it wasn’t something that was planned. Art has always been my passion, it has been one of my interests since an early age; as a result, I always knew that it would be a major part of my life. However, not everyone looks at it as a profession, so becoming a professional artist was quite the risk, but it was well worth it. Read more>>

Marta Tomtas | Mindset & Habit Coach, Whole30 Certified Coach, Podcast Host

My coaching business, Elevating Wellness Coaching, completely started from my own personal transformation. My whole life, I had really struggled with my weight, lots of limiting beliefs, and people-pleasing. From that, I didn’t know how to put myself first, how to follow through with the promises I kept making myself and kept feeling like I was stuck both mentally and physically. I had discovered Whole30 and my entire life changed. Read more>>

David Riggs | Founder, Pneuma

Truthfully, my goal was to build something that allowed me to have a choice on how to go about each day. Money, status, etc., all came second to me, and still do. I’m happiest and most energized when I can wake up each morning with the option to pivot or change my plans on how to go about the day, how to scale the business, etc. Read more>>

Dr. Nicole Gurash | Owner & Psychotherapist

I have been in private practice since 2013. Last year, in 2021, I changed the name of my business to Spectrum Connections Therapy, PLLC. to reflect the relational and behavioral work I do supporting individuals, couples, and families living with Autism Spectrum, OCD Spectrum, Trauma, ADHD, and Anxiety. For me, the idea of starting my business almost a decade ago was sparked as a newly certified BCBA living in Eagle County where there weren’t any services for individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum. Read more>>

Miranda Savage | 3D Interior Designer & Artist

I have always been very driven and self motivated, I put my all into my work and because of that I am very passionate about what I produce. This created problems for me in work environments where I answered to someone. If they were displeased with anything, I took it personally. I recognized this was a problem and rather than changing myself, I wanted to create a work environment that suited me. I began doing a lot of self reflection to determine what brought me the most fulfillment and happiness while working, taking my greatest skill sets, education, and background into consideration. Read more>>

Kyle Ng | Founder, Designer, Adventurer

The business grew very organically and I’m happy it happened that way. When I started making bags, they intention wasn’t to sell them. It was to use them. I had some design ideas that weren’t available at the time. I wanted these specific designs with me in the wild, and that was my inspiration. Not sales or quotas or making a living. After the designs gained some recognition from friends and industry people, Read more>>

Kinsey Sarian | Founder and Lead Designer at Right as Rayne Events

The idea of starting my own business was honestly, decided for me. I was working for a small wedding planning company in NM, and the owner and I decided I would open a branch of her company in Denver once I graduated college. A few months before I planned to leave, she found out she was pregnant. She came to me and said, ” Read more>>

Isabella Clark | Watercolor artist & Bodypainter

The main thought that stuck with me was that I didn’t want to spend most of my life doing something that I didn’t enjoy. So then I started looking for things that I not only had some expertise in, but were A, purposeful, B, that I enjoyed doing, and C, that I could do from anywhere in the world. I wanted to have complete freedom in how I chose to use my time and didn’t want to have to answer to anybody. Read more>>

Marshall Pampkin | Spoken Word Artist, Filmmaker, Army Veteran

It’s been mostly a chaotic drive of blending artistic expression, a desire to connect and uplift, and a general sense of there being something “more” on the horizon begging to be discovered. Not just for myself, but in the hopes that I can make a positive, lasting impact on those around me. In my early years as a spoken word artist and event emcee, I just wanted people to believe in themselves. I couldn’t stand seeing people, friends & total strangers alike, succumbing to the same self-doubt, confusion, insecurity, and sense of loneliness that I often struggled with. Read more>>

James Ruehmann | President, Colorado Federation of Teen Republicans

We started the Colorado Federation of Teen Republicans as a way to expand political diversity in Colorado’s schools, and to provide an outlet for conservative students wishing to become interested in politics. We understood that if we wanted things to change, we had to do it ourselves; and that’s why we are a 100% student-run organization. Read more>>

Caiden Boyt | Fly Fishing Guide and Owner of Find A Fly Fishing Guide LLC.

Find A Fly Fishing Guide LLC has been an idea of mine for the last several years. I have been guiding in the fly fishing industry for the last six years and I wanted to help bridge a gap that has been missing. I wanted clients to be able to reach out and talk to guides and outfitters before ever hitting the water. Read more>>

Tycho Dwelis | Artist, Author, and Self-Publishing Consultant

As soon as I entered the field of art and writing, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy working under someone else, unless on a freelance basis. In the field of illustration, there are very few positions to begin with that require an artist to work under someone else, so that was an easy choice. I made a decision early on while I was still attending art school that I wanted to be a freelance illustrator that helped bring creatives’ comics, books, and dreams to life. That was an easy choice, and fortunately, because so many other artists already do it, I had a very clear roadmap on how to do it — I just had to get to the destination. Read more>>

Elle Shanley | Life & Relationship Coach/Writer/Creator

I wanted to start a business doing what I loved, which is helping people live better lives and have better relationships with themselves and the people they care about. After attending University and then Grad school, I realized I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I wanted the freedom to create my own schedule and create a unique business that changed and grew as I did. I wanted to have creative freedom and decide how I spent my time and where I would like to focus my energy on any given day. And I didn’t want to have to answer to anyone, except for the people that I serve. Read more>>