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.

Daniel Daughtridge | Owner of Watership Studios & Atlanta Podcast Recording

So a little backstory as to how I got to that point. I had been working at a studio here in town for about 8 years. I absolutely loved it. I started out as an intern and worked my way up and eventually got hired on full time. The studio became a second home to me and the people there became like family. I had multiple roles there from managing daily operations, to IT, to being a house engineer running sessions. I love that I got to be involved in all those different roles because it gave me insight to all of the workings of a professional studio. Unfortunately the studio got to a point where it was no longer going to continue to operate. Fortunately for me, I was in the right place at the right time. I was presented with the opportunity to take over the lease on the building and attempt to run my own business out of the studio. Read more>>

Rose Gordon | Entrepreneur/Philanthropist

The thought process behind starting my own business was the sense of building a legacy for my kids. Read more>>

Jeral Clyde II | Film Producer & Editor

My thought process about starting my own business was surrounded by being a product of myself and not my environment. As a young man growing up in the inner city of Atlanta I sold everything I could get my hands on. I sold candy, fire crackers, movies, cds, and more. I always wanted to turn my hustle professional. Going to college taught me a lot which expanded my mindset about people. Starting a business is a simple process, the real work comes in when you promote your business, maintain your business and financing your business. Going the old fashion way with business don’t work for some people. Some people have to disrupt their environment before disrupting the business world. Read more>>

Katja Lauterbach | Principal Designer & Owner of Duett Design

I was scared of working in the corporate world because I thought my language skills are not good enough to do so. I majored in entrepreneurship during my MBA in Germany and thought creating my own company is an easier thing to do because I can do it on my own terms. With the encouragement of my former business partner and a deep love for designing livable spaces that tell the story of the people living in them Duett Design was born in 2013. Read more>>

George Bass | Marketing Consultant and Certified Public Accountant

The Mesa Consulting Group was doing great until Covid. Over night all of our clients closed and no one was hiring our services. My wife had been running for nearly 20 years and had been growing it organically at a very slow rate. The demand for her services were overwhelming in these shut-down times so Mesa dedicated 100% of our efforts towards managing her operations and marketing her CPA firm. The thought process involved meeting what our customers demanded and not what we wanted to offer so the two companies merged and now is growing at a record pace and will soon be hiring more bookkeepers and accountants to handle the increased volume. Read more>>

Alexis Williams | MBA, Hair Loss Specialist & Entrepreneur

The spirit of entrepreneurship has always been in me. Once I learned what the word meant, that you can create a business and lifestyle around your dreams and visions, it seemed like the only thing I wanted to do. Throughout my early adulthood, I had to navigate the economic recession of 2008-10, and knew that financial security only came to those who worked for it. My passion for cosmology and hair allowed me to explore my entrepreneurship dreams while enjoying what I do everyday. This became my foundation for how I operated my salon spaces and eventually led to opening Head Quarters Hair Clinic. My hair clinic has been a labor of love for over 8 years, planning, learning, strategizing and so much more to make this a reality. I was blessed with the opportunity to create the job of my dreams, that fit me perfectly. Read more>>

Billy Hume | Music Producer and Composer

When I was a little kid I asked my mom, “What do you want me to be when I grow up?” and her answer was, “I just want you to be happy”. I took that to heart and because of that I can’t say that there was ever any thought process involved in starting my own business, because that’s not how I looked at it. I saw my life path as pursuing the things I loved. I knew from the time that I was 13 years old that I wanted to live my life in music whether it be as a performer, writer, producer, studio owner, or all of these things. In fact I was 30 years old before it ever occurred to my that music was my career and only because someone in the studio referred to my work as my career. I know that this is not how most people approach a business, they look at numbers while I’m looking at goals, dreams, achievements, and listening to that little voice that speaks to my soul. Read more>>

Lauren Flagg | Fashion Designer/Illustrator

My thought process behind Obviously Vintage aka OV, basically started with how I like to dress comfortably but still fresh af. Haha, I love oversized clothes, like wearing your favorite hoodie that happens to be your boyfriends. I wanted to create a brand that Women and Men could appreciate, starting with comfort/style to quality and fit. My designs are inspired by late 80s to 90s fashion trends, with a Modern twist. Those two are my favorite era and I see a lot of creatives and individuals inspired by that era as well. So why not give the people what they want, but give it a Modern twist! Read more>>

Lorrie Dixson Griggs | Promotional, PR, Advertising & Social Media Agency Owner

I was working for CNN in live news production. I often was on call or working weekends so was looking for something to do during the weekdays while everyone else was at work. I started freelancing for an advertising company. I didn’t like the way they ran their company and had already made all of the necessary contacts and decided I should start my own business. Read more>>

Kristen Moon | Independent College Counselor

I have always been entrepreneurial. Going to work with a lunchbox in hand was never for me. I could also care less about job titles or climbing the corporate ladder. I wanted a career that impacted peoples’ lives, gave my work a purpose, and allowed me to spend time with my children. Read more>>

Dwayna Williams | Digital Brand Strategist & Publicist

The journey of entrepreneurship has been one heck of a ride. I’ve learned so much throughout this process, which allowed me to be where I am today. Being a business owner isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of sweat, tears, mistakes, and victories that come with it. Sharing my journey and process will show other women that they too can do it. I’ve literally started my business with little “know-how” and no money. However, my work ethic has allowed me to flourish and grow my business to where it is today. Since undergrad at North Carolina Central University, I knew that I wanted to work in the creative space, however, I didn’t know exactly what that would look like. After graduating in 2013, I had one of the most interesting and toughest years of my career; I honestly had no clue what was in store for me. Read more>>

Mack Story | Blue-Collar Leadership®

I discovered personal growth and leadership development books in 2008. I had been working in the manufacturing industry for 20 years at that time. However, no leader had ever invested a single penny or a single minute introducing or teaching me what I discovered. I quickly developed the habit of daily reading in 2008 and have been reading every day since. As I began to share what I was learning with others, I quickly discovered there were many like me in blue-collar industries who hadn’t been exposed to the principles I was beginning to learn. I also found there were many others who had an interest in learning what I was learning, so I decided to take the principles typically reserved for white-collar executives and mix them with my blue-collar experiences, .my stories, and the lessons I had learned along the way to create my Blue-Collar Leadership® Series of books and my Blue-Collar Leadership® brand. Read more>>

Ashley Johnson | Food/Travel Blogger & Educator

I initially started the Little Bite Kitchen in the fall of 2017 as a food photography page where I shared places that I visited and my home recipes. While I greatly enjoyed this, that summer I began to think about some sort of business model based on the things I frequently got questions on- “Ashley, how do you grocery shop for one?” I didn’t realize that so many people struggled with grocery shopping efficiently and meal planning for their week, leading to ridiculous takeout and delivery fees. That thought process of “well what do people ask me about a lot?” has been the driving piece to how I manage LBK business initiatives. Any idea that I have/sale-driven initiative is based on how I answer that question. Read more>>

Shateece Taylor | Graphic Artist

I had a vision to start Taylored Arts to showcase my artwork, I wanted to also help others with their businesses by creating graphic arts to represent their vision. And to be able to create an income for myself and my children. Read more>>

Mary Ritz | Owner and Founder

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Read more>>

Adarius Davis | Low Voltage Tech & C.E.O.

I wanted to start a business that was natural in my life. Also that can benefit others and make dreams become a reality. Read more>>

Marilyn Viruet | Founder of Skin Candy Bath & Body LLC Skin Care Line

It was really a journey that started with me seeking ways to tap into a better version of myself. I was on a wellness journey. Once I started to slowly change my lifestyle by eating healthier and looking for ways or things to exercise a healthy mind. I came to the realization that I needed to change other areas of my life. So, it was a progressive change towards a never-ending goal which included healthy eating, healthy choices, healthy living. As I continued my journey; I started to navigate in self-care for personal reason not for business. But, once I shared my creations with family and friends, I noticed that people gravitated to these handmade self-care products. There seemed to be a niche in the market for these types of products. I started to create different formulas and by me being a customer I noticed these soaps and body butters yield amazing results. Read more>>

Chasittie Tanner | Entrepreneur

This has actually been a dream that’s coming true. My husband and I have always enjoyed cooking and baking together. So to receive so much love and support from Atlanta has been amazing. We started our business on January 30, 2020 and we have been grinding hard and networking all year to reach our goals. We deliver every Saturday around the metro Atlanta areas and we specialize in our homemade cheesecake stuffed in a juicy strawberry. We also have wicked candied grapes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and so much more. We’re looking forward to moving back home opening up our shop here in Atlanta, Ga. Our customers in Georgia are the best always supporting and encouraging us to follow our dreams. We’ve been meeting so many wonderful people along our journey and I’m so thankful for every opportunity that’s put before my husband and I. Read more>>

Cynthia Parks | Professional Organizer

I wanted to do my own thing on my own terms. I wanted to have time for family, fun and friends. I also wanted to pursue my passion and do what would make me happy. Read more>>