Deciding to start a business is an unusual decision. It’s often considered irrational and yet for many it’s the best decision they’ve ever made. So we asked folks to think back to when they were starting their businesses and to tell us about their decision making process.

Curtis Trammell: Photographer

Behind starting my own business I was very skeptical at first because I was afraid of failing or depending on other people for help. I was always told to take the leap of faith and just do it, but I remained on my job until I just couldn’t do it anymore. That’s when I finally took the leap and worked my business as I went and I can say it’s become too be the best thing I’ve ever done ! Read more>>

Andre Lacey: PGA Teaching Professional

I wanted to make more minorities, especially kids, aware of all the beneficial business opportunities golf can provide. Read more>>

Freddie Hart: Digital Media and Political Strategist

I believe that the way to have control of your time is to work for yourself. My grandfather has been his own boss for 54 years, and my father for 12. I have seen the benefit of having your own business through them, and I wanted to do the same! Read more>>

G-Wade: Executive Producer

The process behind starting Wade Works Studios was to simply provide a platform for creatives to showcase their gifts & talents. Our client-base has grown exponentially over the past five years and plans to purchase our own facility is now in the works. What started out as a drawing on a piece of paper in 1998, has now transformed itself into a brick & mortar reality. Read more>>

Bea Rutledge: Life Coach, Resume Writer, Recruiter & Owner of BeaHired LLC

My thought process with starting a business was recognizing that I thrive when giving complete autonomy and I’m a natural born leader. Those key elements made me confident in my ability to be successful entrepreneur. As a Life/Career Coach and Recruiter I saw a gap in the industry decided to create BeaHired in attempt to bridge the gap. Read more>>

Charlene Assam: Founder & Creator of TheMigrantHope

Absolutely, TheMigrantHope was started with the intention of sharing information on personal finance and self-development for young professionals. I have always been very passionate about financial literacy especially considering some mistakes I had made of my own, so I wanted to use this opportunity to help others not make the same mistakes. More importantly, we wanted to make this information as easy and palatable considering finances can be daunting. Read more>>

Stephanie Johnson: Entrepreneur/Creative Director

My thought process behind starting my own business was really me just wanting to create a brand that stood for something more than just clothing. I wanted to incorporate positivity and realness within my business and not just produce clothing that was like any other brand. Read more>>

Henry Scales. (aka) SKE: producer and business owner

My toughest thought process was can I do this turn it into a lucrative business and quit my job and still be able to take care of my family. Read more>>

Deseri Rice: Photographer & Studio/Gallery Owner

I never really saw myself working for someone else. Applying to creative based jobs were always a hassle. I either didn’t have the experience or didn’t know the right people to get my foot in the door. It wasn’t until I got my first adult corporate job that I really took starting my own business seriously. I struggled with fitting in non creative spaces and it was like no matter the effort or energy I gave, I was replaceable. So my only answer was to start my own. Read more>>

Dihanah Joseph: Branding photographer & lifestyle blogger

Well along with being a photographer I am also a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Constantly taking pictures is a huge component of blogging and since I was a little girl Ive always LOVED taking pictures. I’m very left brain and naturally creative. Last March when the world shut down I purchased my first DSLR camera, what started as a hobby and me sharpening my skills to elevate my blogging brand quickly grew into something bigger than I could ever imagine. Read more>>

Alissa Mitchell: Farmer & Cottage Food Operator

When Eric and I got married, homesteading and farming were not in our immediate plans. However, after having children, we knew we wanted out of the hustle and bustle of busy town living and wanted to share the love of animals and country living with our children. Once we found our perfect farm in Cave Spring, God put everything else into place. Read more>>

Malika Edwards: Health and wellness

When I started my business I really didn’t put much thought into it. My friend called me with a opportunity in network marketing. I had no clue what I was doing but I knew I loved helping people and the products she was selling actually was making a difference in people lives. I was always on the heavy side and got sick with stomach ulcers to were I couldn’t eat.  Read more>>

Monica Marie Jones: Personal and Executive Coach

Shortly after entering what I call, “The Real Job Life”, I knew that it wasn’t for me. I found it challenging to get into office culture and I craved freedom and flexibility. It also didn’t make sense to me that no matter how long, or how hard you worked, your salary was capped at a certain amount. I knew that I could be of highest and best service to the world and my own mental health by leaving the traditional work world. Read more>>

Michael Smalls: Spoken word artist

Im actually still in the process but one of the major things was figuring out the product that I had which was poetry and the market that I would be selling to which would be an audience. Read more>>

Keon Mitchell: Actor

As an actor, I thought to myself, “Technically, I am a business and a brand. So why have you not became an LLC.” I began expanding and developing a team to go on the journey with me. It became essential that I need to operate as a business, including establishing business accounts and to working with management and public relations team, in order to really put a stamp on that my career is, indeed, a business. Read more>>

Giovanni Gonzalez: Transformational Leadership Coach

The first book that made an impact in terms of whether to have a business or work for a company was “Reach dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. That short but captivating story laid the foundation to understand the world of an entrepreneur and the one of an employee in a very stimulating way. In a nutshell, from that book I got that an entrepreneur takes on many risks but most importantly there is no ceiling to one’s financial growth. Read more>>

Alfreda Boney: HR/Consultant/Business Strategist

While working in the Workforce Development environment, I realized that there was a great disparity between those seeking employment and the Employers seeking candidates: neither were actually communicating to understand the other. We assume that all jobs , and job descriptions are created equal. I took my background in Talent Acquisitions, Sourcing and HR Development and started my company in order to educate and connect businesses and non profits with the candidates they need as well as train them in relative skills that make them more retentive to the organization. Read more>>

Querrell Thompson: Rapper & CEO of Gimme Quality Records

I’ve always waanted to start my own business to be in control of my own destiny instead of leaving it up to another business owner who’s going to put a cap on how much money I can make. I believe every man should have a business whether it be a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship. That’s why I started my record label, Gimme Quality Records. My main goal in music has always been to have complete ownership of my work and build a catalog that will attract potential investors. Read more>>

Justin & Keshia Richardson: Serial Entrepreneurs

This is a very great question. Since our last interview a few things have changed. We’ve went ahead and launched our short term rental business. We started in Atlanta and have since expanded to Houston, TX. We market our properties on short term rental platforms like AirBnb, VRBO,, PeerSpace, and several others. Read more>>

Kierra Grier: Baker

My thought process behind starting my own business was to do something that I love to do… baking. As I nurse I care for people’s health holistically. As a baker I am able to cater to people’s emotional health. Bring joy through creating beautifully customized and tasty desserts. I wanted to create a second string of income to increase my saving and sense of security as a single mother and create a business/legacy that I can leave for my son. I also want to inspire people, especially women, that although life has its obstacles you can reach your goals and live your dreams. Read more>>

Bria Waldron: entrepreneur

When I first started Rude Gyal’s Kitchen in college it was just to make money after quitting my job that I hated. I wanted income when I wanted it and I hated working on another person’s time. Cooking was also a passion of mine and I used to jokingly tell my father that we should open a restaurant when I was younger not knowing that I was foreshadowing a career path for myself. Read more>>

camil. williams: Barber & Artist

My family’s legacy plays an important role in my life and in my decision to be a business owner. My grandparents were among the African Americans that traveled north to work in the factories and hotels during the Great Migration, where they were able to secure middle class stability for their family. As a result, my parents became the first in their family to obtain college degrees and opportunities to work in corporate America. Read more>>

James McDonald: Model, Actor, & Entrepreneur

I knew that I needed to express my creative side. I knew I had to release my alter ego “Jay.” So for me, my journey as a creative was spiritual. I always knew I was never meant to work for someone else. Money could never provide me what I really needed. I could’ve been a millionaire and have still felt empty and incomplete. I needed to create something! At the time, I never knew what that something would be. Read more>>

KEISHAUN WILSON: Braided/Nail tech

I started my own business with regards to EVERYBODY no matter how old or young you are and your financial status. I strive to be welcoming, loving, and equal to everyone. Growing up I always wanted to keep my hair and nails done and my mom did the best she could as a single mother , but there were times she just didn’t have it I want to provide THE BEST quality at an affordable price so that everyone feels special and beautiful. Read more>>

Isha Metzger: Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Owner

Starting my own business happened out of necessity and demand. I’m a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and my work focuses on helping Black families navigate and heal from interpersonal and racial stressors. Cultural Concepts, LLC was born in the summer of 2020 following the callous murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. Read more>>

Marko Danial and Adam Meskouri: Owners of Genfluencer

We began working on Genfluencer together in August. With both of us being social media specialists who’d spent years on the platform, we knew that telling the stories of other online influencers and entrepreneurs could make for some great news stories. The rest is history. We’ve so far used Genfluencer to talk about digital media trends but plan on creating a variety of expansions in the future. We can’t wait to see where this brand goes! Read more>>

Donavan Jehiel: Fashion Stylist & Jeweler

My thought process was primarily that I wanted to create something that would allow me to do more than just work for others. Then I thought about what I was actually good at and realized I’m really good at changing up aesthetics and styles for myself and others! First it started with clothing via styling and now I’m taking on jewelry as well. Read more>>

MZ RYME: Music Artist, Songwriter & Producer

Well starting my own business “Radical Müzik Entertainment”, I had to think about what services artists need in the music industry and I came up with an idea that signing people to recording contracts was not the route I want to go because of the amount of money artists can lose with 360 deals and other recording contracts. Read more>>

Nicole Jackson: Speaker | Coach | Trainer

I wanted more than what I was getting on my 9-5. I knew there was way more to life than what my job offered. And I knew I couldn’t get there by continuing to work for someone else. They dictate how much they pay you, when you go to lunch, when you clock in and out and when you can take vacation. As much as I like structure I didn’t like other people having control over my life. I had to do the inner work and discover me and what I wanted to do with my life that would also generate a lot of revenue. All of that led me to starting my own business. Read more>>

Latrisha Anderson: VISIONful Founder, Business Developer, & Wealth Distributor

When I started my business, VISIONful Solutions, LLC in 2015 I was definitely taking a risk on myself. As I would go into my 9-5 every day, I kept feeling like I was created to do more and created to be more. From that point, all I had to do was build up the boldness to let my supervisor know that it was time for me to go in a different direction. I had a Director level position and I had raised almost $1,000,000 in grants for the organization in less than 9 months. Read more>>

Jarrett Milton: Creator | The Better Black Man Company

Back in 2019, when people we actually working in offices, I was at my desk at my then job, with a coworker/friend of mine discussing her success in her business, which is a thriving t-shirt brand geared towards Christian women. I told her that I’ve considered doing a t-shirt brand before, but couldn’t pinpoint where I wanted to market. Simultaneously, I was having an argument with another friend in the office. Read more>>

Lavonna Heath: Cosmetics

I always wondered how do they make lip gloss but I never looked it up until I was 26. When I saw that it was easy I knew then I wanted to make my own lipgloss but better and to start selling. Read more>>