Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Crystal Clark | Master Hair Artist

The thought process behind me starting this business was that it was mine and I was my own boss. Plus I was gonna be able to work with my best friend, my mom. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard and taxing at times and very stressful but I absolutely love what I do with a passion and i don’t see it as a job. I have also loved serving others and helping others and hair just fell into place. I grew up in a salon, first as a shampoo tech at the age of 14 because my mom was a nail tech and I always loved playing with hair and makeup and doing every ones hair when we had places to go and occasions. So I knew one day I would have my own salon and hopefully it would be with my mother. Now 5 years later this October the dream is real!! Read more>>

LaTonia Taylor | Fix My Life Coach & Spiritual Psychology Educator

When I started my own Coaching, Consulting and Education company, my thoughts were about freedom, service and answering a call to create a legacy of liberation for women challenge norms imposed upon them. Read more>>

Lauren King | CEO & Founder

I’ve had always envision myself mentoring teenage girls since college. I felt as though I could relate with young ladies who grew up as I had and experienced the same or any trauma in which I could support. With that being said, the thought process of starting this phenomenal nonprofit organization began off personal experiences of wishing of the support and resources given from Whats In Your Hands, Inc. , back in college. I would like to be an inspiration to young women not to give up on your dreams, providing tools to succeed in life, and be a reminder you may fall but its okay to readjust your crown. Read more>>

Ericka Ajanae’ | Influencer, Entrepreneur & Model

I’ve always taken care of not only my face but my body and received compliments from people around me which made me want to create a natural skincare line. Women and men want their skin to stay hydrated, soft to feel, aromas that are breathtaking and glowy clear skin and I wanted to contribute to it. I remember staying up late researching and studying about different skin types and products. When I would fall asleep God would show me exactly what I wanted so I know I have no choice but to dive into my vision. I chose to name my company Embodypearl because who wouldn’t want to embody a pearl they are so delicate and rare especially the natural pearls. Read more>>

Kaci Pedersen | PR Professional

Starting my own business stemmed from years of working full-time corporate jobs and not feeling fulfilled. I worked hard studying full time at KSU while also clocking in 40+ hours a week, sometimes juggling 2-4 jobs at a time to not only “get by,” but to also keep busy. Overtime I realized I was working harder, not smarter. After 5+ years of being full-time in the workforce, I wanted to be my own boss and define my own job description and eventually just WENT FOR IT. Read more>>

Tamika Stewart | Owner

I’ve always been passionate about traveling. Whether it was small weekend trips with my cousin and her family growing up or my very first time in New York during my internship with Sports Illustrated or my more recent travels exploring Iceland, Switzerland and Paris, I’ve always been super excited about each and every trip. For me, going on vacation means exploring a new world and discovering little gems that you never knew existed. Each time I’m going on a trip, I get more and more excited about the endless possibilities of uncharted territory and new memories that I’ll make for a lifetime. Read more>>

Chelsea Ollie | Blogger & Personal Shopper

I genuinely enjoy shopping, in creating DoseofStyle, a personal shopping service, I wanted to cater my services to people who do not enjoy shopping or don’t have the time to shop. After creating my business my thought process centered around reaching my audience. And then came COVID-19 which forced me to revamp my strategies. I went back to the drawing board and decided to make DoseofStyle more than a shopping service, but a brand. My motivation behind creating a business in fashion has always been to push confidence through style. My thought process continues to center around reaching my audience. After cultivating the meaning behind my brand, I know now to push the brand not the service. Read more>>

Bryant Grant | Entrepreneur & Motivational Speaker

After working in the retail industry for almost 10 years exceeding and accomplishing career goals, I found myself going home after a long day still feeling empty. There were times I felt so stagnant. I had a conversation with a dear friend of mines about reinventing myself and making a change for the better. I deleted all of the content that existed on my social media platforms and converted them over to business pages, that’s when I started blogging and doing motivational speaking. I have always had a passion for fashion, so I used my platform to inspire others through my creative and unique of style of dressing. Read more>>

Shante Ferguson | Licensed Nail Technician & Nail Studio Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was pretty simple really.. I was wanting my life and career to feel rewarding (which it was not at that time). I wanted things to be on my terms. The frustrations of not receiving the earnings for the hard work I was putting in as an employee was starting to weigh on me heavily. I was no longer willing to have an income cap base on what someone else determined my “worth” (salary wise) was to a company. All the while adding more responsibilities with very little to no salary increase. I wanted the freedom of being UN-BOSSED. I had found a passion that I enjoyed doing, and could see myself doing it full time on my own terms. Read more>>

Leah Abucayan | Tape Artist & Graphic Designer

Honestly, there was no thought process at first; it fell into my lap just by doing what I enjoyed most. I started my first little business when I was 11. I used to make duct tape wallets and bags for fun. My work had a great reaction, and people wanted a piece, so throughout middle school and high school, I created a website and sold custom duct tape art pieces globally. I would handcraft these duct tape pieces and design them with custom images made from tape as well. I had this little side hustle that just evolved from a hobby, which allowed me to explore the realm of design and find my passion in making. Read more>>

Rachael Schultz | Artist, Photographer & Curator

‘Pretty Art Egos’ (PAE) was started by me and my friend/collaborative partner Makenna Groover. For that reason, I wanted to have not only perspective from me but from her as well, so I will be quoting her thoughts throughout this interview. “For me, I never imagined starting a business in my lifetime, but during college I met Rachael who became one of my closest friends and we shared the same interest in life. We wanted more out of this life than just the average 9-5 job, which there is nothing wrong with, but it’s just not what we wanted.” -Makenna When Makenna and I first thought of the idea of ‘Pretty Art Egos’, we did not really have a plan to make it into a business, I had always had the idea that one day I wanted to have my own art show and make it a show that no one had never seen before. Read more>>

Shaudy Prince | CFO/CEO

My thought process behind creating Hood Royalty Empire derived from wanting to really just boss up on the people who doubted me. Not just talking about it, but being about it! I wanted to own myself. Most of my life I been surrounded people who think (keyword think) they got more than you in life. So they turn they nose up at you. Worse they try to hold they nuts on you. So I told myself I have to figure out how to get it on my own. That’s where “Hood Royalty” comes from. There’s people out there who think they’re better than you, They feel you don’t deserve to live a life of lavish simply because of the environment you came from, or how you look. Your “social status” so to speak. Read more>>

Shāna “Lyiness” Salyer | Creator/Muse

I go above and Beyond in any job that I work I’m there early I work late I do things to make it look better I work way too hard to work for someone else at my previous job the work I did was meaningful and at the same time unappreciative after a colleague took her life the business handled it so callously that I knew I meant nothing to them as well That was the moment I decided I have to work for myself I have to put in all this effort for what I WANT to do every day. Read more>>