The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Jordan Roman | Owner of 50 Sports Company

At this point in my life being a business owner means everything to me. It brings me great satisfaction leading my company and knowing that we are providing valuable information to impact our community. Our goal is to ultimately help change the mindset of athletes all over the world in a positive way. 50 Sports Company inspires our athletes to be more than just an athlete. 50 Sports Company was inspired by my personal experience. After my time on the football field was finish I felt lost, because football had been my life for so long. I wondered if I was alone in my struggles or if other athletes shared a similar story. Read more>>

Neriah Kharece | Cinematographer and Video Editor

My thought process for starting my own business was that I wanted to be in full control of my life. I had been in a life-altering situation. A company laid me off a month after having my daughter, which led to my being evicted, losing my car, and so much more. Another thing I considered was no matter how hard I work at a 9-5 desk job, there will always be a ceiling. I can never make more than my boss makes unless I take their role, which doesn’t happen often. Also, I worked in corporate America for years, and there is so much power in other people’s hands that ultimately dictate my future. Hence, my main driving force was to put myself in a situation where I can thrive. Read more>>

VRoK Fitness | Virtual and Mobile Fitness and Health

My thought process stems from my childhood of dealing with obesity throughout my adulthood and being bullied and judged for it. I have been told by teachers, supervisors, and mentors what I CANNOT do and I became sick of it. As I approached the young age of 23, I began to gain weight again and now my joints and other ailments began. Now, depression has set in, so I’m wondering what to do. I decided to take charge of my health and make it permanent this time by constantly reminding myself of what I CAN do! As I saw the new “me”, I then took on a passion to help others, but I didn’t know how to start. Read more>>

Julillian Davis | Owner, Cocoa Crew LLC

I started Cocoa Crew because I wanted to provide Black children with school supplies that have characters that look like them. I’m an educator. I see Black students at school everyday, and their book bags or notebooks have superheroes, princesses… but all of them are White. The idea of Cocoa Crew is an answer to the ongoing problem of under representation. I decided to aid in the solution that the Black community has started by partnering Black culture with education. Read more>>

Ash Wheeler | Astrophysics Student + Artist

The conception of the idea of my business Dust & Ash Co. was simple and lighthearted at first- it came to mind in 2015 and evolved A LOT before it actually turned into something. I’m always dreaming and a lot of the ideas I have don’t end up sticking- I’ll dismiss them before bed. But the idea of Dust & Ash Co. was something I could. not. get out of my head. It always came back to me and was in the back of my mind. It started with just the artwork which then turned into an entire life change: a career change, a job change, a life mission. Read more>>

Alexis Cierra | Founder & Business Strategy Coach of My Boss Circle

There were so many platforms that told women to leave their jobs and work for themselves, but no one ever shared the hidden truth about what that actually means when you do that. I wished that someone had a road map to give me before I started my first business in insurance that became wildly successful in record time but not without bumps in the road. This is actually my 2nd business venture. I had left the retail industry and stepped into the insurance industry because I wanted to make an impact on the world and leave a legacy for my child, that could be passed on for generations to come. Read more>>

Bernadette Birch | Owner and Event Designer | Over & B’yond Events

I pride myself on having a great sense of southern hospitality and have always possessed the passion for planning events, whether it has been planning a trip abroad, baby showers, birthday parties, and even special events for clubs and organizations. I always dreamed of one day owning my own business and because of my love of all things fabulous, I experienced my Oprah “A-ha” moment, after planning numerous special events for family and friends at no cost. It was then that I realized I had discovered my true passion in event planning! Read more>>

Claudia Garay | Makeup Artist & Brow Specialist

My thought process in beginning my own business rooted from the simple fact that I wanted to have in a way a “sanctuary”. Just a space where you can come in, treat yourself with some self care whether it’s a brow service, makeup application or a brow tint, and unwind from the daily demands of the world. This desire was not just for my clients, but also for myself. I absolutely love what I do, i love interacting with people on a one on one basis, and naturally I’m a very empathetic person. Therefore, when i was finally building up enough courage to go off on my own, I have made it my mission to make it just that ; A judgement-free beauty space where all are welcome! Read more>>

Latricia Taylor | Philanthropist/Author/Entrepreneur

The thought process behind starting my own business was the desire to build something for my kids. I want to build an empire that will produce a entrepreneur spirit in my kids, grandkids and great grandkids. In addition, while providing financial freedom for myself as well. Although, my corporate career has been rewarding and successful, I want to do more of what I love so it does not feel like work. Read more>>

Dr. Marissa Layton | Corporate Consultant & Business Coach

I truly wanted to make a difference! I own two businesses – a global business management company and a coaching business. Both of those businesses are service based and both of those businesses give me the chance to truly make an impact. With my company, my team and I provide strategic solutions to companies around the world who need assistance in operational effectiveness, organizational development, or leadership training. We do consulting differently by sticking around from strategy creation to implementation to execution. We don’t see ourselves as just problem solvers, we see ourselves as a part of the team – committed to our clients whether they are stepping a step or a leap to the Next Level. Read more>>

Aaliyah Parks | Atlanta Event Planner

My thought process behind starting my own business was to create exposure. I wanted to do all kinds of events not just birthday parties or baby showers. I wanted to branch off into conferences & proms. Read more>>

LaKisha James | Corporate Event Planner

I have always wanted to be a business owner. The question I had was, what type of business would I start? My thought process was difficult. There were many things that would suffer if I started a business. For one, I just had a new baby and I was on maternity leave. Secondly, my eldest daughter was on her way to college. Thirdly, there was only one income coming into my household. All of these things I had to consider. And I did. I decided to start my business because I no longer wanted to be an employee but an employer. I wanted to be the one that employed individuals. I knew I was created to be a leader and I could not be that going into a 9-5 job. Read more>>

Chanel Scott | Relationship Enthusiast

Almost five years ago, I created CheMinistry, a relationship platform because of my inability to sustain healthy relationship with a man. At the time, I’d just turned 41, I was single, never married and I had no children. I had questions about dating, and I’d been celibate for 8 years (for me that meant no dating) and I was starting to date again. I noticed a pattern of what I now call “Dating Discouragement” prior to my 8-year period of celibacy. I would go out on a date, meet someone that I’d really like, we’d talk on the phone and everything would be going well. Read more>>

Hicks | Chef Owner of Nikki’s Kitchen

Honestly my thought process was knowing that couldn’t work for anyone else. I’ve had at least 30 different jobs in my lifetime, and I’ve only gotten fired from one of them. That means I’ve quit 99% of the jobs I’ve had. I knew that if I wanted to provide for my daughter long term AND be happy at a job, that I had to start my own business. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! Read more>>