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.

Brian Kirk | CEO

I can’t say I set out to start a business. It’s more like I was struck by an exciting idea, and felt compelled to act on it. Exciting ideas have a tendency to drive me crazy if I don’t do something about them, so acting on these ideas helps bring me peace of mind. It’s also what provides my life with purpose. Read more>>

Marisa Scott | Creative Director

My thought process for starting my own business came from my grandparents. They always instilled self reliance, resourcefulness and resilience in our family and it’s been like an ethos for how I work and create. I’ve always wanted to work in fashion and design but there weren’t a ton of opportunities for that in the South so I decided to venture out on my own and create something that spoke to what I love about fashion and the point of view I could contribute to the growing fashion industry in the South East. Read more>>

Ginette Nean | Salon Owner & Teacher

when I decided to open my salon, I wanted a place that was relaxing and inviting. I wanted clients to have a option to be versatile with their natural texture hair. Read more>>

Carole Kaboya | Casting Associate & Acting Coach

The greatest thing to ever happen to me was getting let go for the first time in my life. I was in my early 20s, quite the over-achiever (that hasn’t changed much), and had a great paying job. The problem was, it wasn’t the job I wanted. At the time financial stability was more important to me than feeding my soul creatively. However, I didn’t expect the calm that came over me when I was told my job had been terminated due to downsizing. I realized at that moment that if they hadn’t let me go, I probably would still be working there today instead of having my own business. That day I decided two things: 1) I needed to do a job I actually LOVED and 2) no one would ever have that kind of financial power over my life. So, I picked up a camera, and thus CMK Photography was born. Then came a slew of other amazing producing and writing opportunities I’ve been fortunate to have which led me to become a Casting Associate for Warner Brothers and an Acting Coach and Industry Consultant. Read more>>

Lindsey Bradshaw | Event Planner & Lifestyle Family Photographer

Since I can remember, I was fascinated with photography and event planning. Every birthday I had, I was so excited to plan. Every holiday was decked out. It was in my blood to go all out and I always found a reason to throw a party. My camera was always attached to my hand taking pictures of whatever I could. In high school, I started taking photography classes and my love continued to grow. In my early 20’s I worked for a large event company in Atlanta that expanded my marketing, advertising and promoting skills. I would coordinate, plan and execute around 20 events a month. The first wedding I planned was my very own, 7 years ago. I planned and coordinated from out of state start to finish. What started out as a hobby was evolving into a career. So, with the 13 years of experience, I knew I wanted my own business. I knew I did not want to go back to a corporate job. I didn’t want to miss out on my kid’s childhood working 9-5. It just wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Dean Charles Anthony II | Photographer

When it came to starting my own business, I always knew it would happen. I always kept a hustle throughout my life, whether as the candy man in high school or selling chick plates in college, so when I was able to buy my first camera, I just knew it would grow into something bigger. I found a tool that allowed me to harness my creativity and increase my income. I believe starting a business reflects your desire to create an opportunity for yourself and affirm that your dreams or plans are attainable. For me, my photography business is part of a much bigger dream, and the foundation of that dream. Read more>>

Talik Johnson | Owner, Stylist & Influencer

The thought process behind starting my business, was to generally be my own boss. Working for myself and creating a business that could create generational wealth. I’ve always dreamed of owning my own store, so once I was put in the position to actually make that dream come true I had too. I plan to grow my business so big that It can be passed down from generations to generations. Read more>>

DOPENORTERIA LLC | Music Producers

Our thought process for starting a business was very natural. Since a child we new that we were going to peruse music as a career. Read more>>

Georgii Speakman | Founder & Creator

(At the time of starting my own business) I noticed two extremes in the talent market: Traditional talent that wasn’t being serviced properly in the digital, brand and other creative opportunity arena, and then at the other end; YouTubers and other related influencers competing in an oversaturated marketplace. I wanted to work with the micro influencers that had a genuine foot print in culture and a fierce creative skill set to accompany that, along with a healthy and highly engaged social following. Moving forward, the goal on the talent side of things would be to eventually work with more digital influencers and fewer humans because whilst we’ll always need a ‘human skill set’; I believe the future lies in ultra-digital. OUT.LI.ER Records was established post a serendipitous couple of meetings at SXSW in 2019. Several months later, the label was born. Read more>>

Missy Kulik | Artist, Cartoonist & Surface Designer

I started out as a teenager making and trading zines through my network of pen pals. Many of the zines and comics I read revolved around personal journals and indie music, which I still am interested in today. Through my creating art, comics and zines, it seemed natural to progress into the digital age over the years. Read more>>

Chantill Goree | Fashion Style & Owner

When I started my business it was solely to give mothers the tools to style themselves in 30 minutes or less but to the outside world look as though they spent hours. After becoming a mother I seen how easy it was for us (as women) to lose ourselves. I also understood how important it is for us to remain true to who we are without feeling guilty about it. Read more>>

Jason Von Stein

I want to share my father, Jim Von Stein’s, music. He has written music all of his life. It is a true honor to share his wonderful music. I’ve been very lucky to work with many talented friends along the way. Read more>>

Marife Arrazcaeta | Cook & Restaurant Owner

The tough about starting my own business is one the everyone has experience ” necessity”. We were moving to a new state, no work and small children. I think the mind set was to survive and make it. I star researching about opening a deli but I didn’t have enough money to open one from scratch. I star looking at renting a place that had the equipment that’s how we open in 2007 Nanis Deli and More. We every challenges our mind set was on to learn while we adapt. At first solve problems as we go. Then you start seeing a bigger picture. So your process change to what a bigger picture of going from deli to a full seating Restaurant with our own equipment. After few months of working we open the Nani’s Restaurant with 40 seats. After that we decided to have our line of products took another 4 months. Read more>>

Christopher Allen | Author, Publisher, Mentor, Speaker, Actor, Song Writer & Public Figure

My thought process to start my own business did not happen overnight. It was the culmination of my upbringing, frustrations, and the yearning to do something greater than myself that led me to become a business owner. I learned how to become a publisher and offer custom publishing services, because major publishing companies were not able to meet me where I was in the publishing process. Between 2013 and 2014, these companies consistently ignored and minimized my requests as a customer to individualize their packages and pricing to help me become an author. Out of frustration, I began researching what I needed to do to finalize my own project and become my own publisher. Read more>>