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.

Shikha Singh: Lifestyle Blogger

.Although I was good enough in fashion and styling, I was not confident to run this hobby as a full-fledged business. I knew that to turn this into a business I need more skills apart from creativity. Before I even start, I proactively learned how to handle a camera, color theory, photo, and video editing. Once this is sorted out, I learned how these social media algorithms work. I spent months in training myself before posting a single post on social media. Read more>>

Melanie Mattis: Event Coordinator and Designer

In 2013 I began planning university and community events by being elected Vice President of External Affairs of the Student Government Association at my Alma Mater, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. At the time I didn’t know I had the passion for event planning until 7 years later, I realized that I was still coordinating events in my corporate role and a pandemic hit. The pandemic shook up my family, job and my wedding planning.  Read more>>

Romello Tilghman: All Natural Health & Beauty

Well my original thought process was to honor my grandmother who unfortunately lost her battle due to cancer. She had a love and passion for all natural skin care and hair care products and once I got older I started getting to as well . After seeing the benefits and the improvement in my skin I figure why not. That couple with the feed backs that I was getting from family and friends further my drive to move forward. Read more>>

Shelley and Shon Bullock: Entrepreneurs

My husband has always had the mind of an entrepreneur. He has been hustling and making things happen since I met him and that’s one thing that attracted me to him. He started his merch line when he was on the road traveling with his band. The thought process was having several streams of income. We always wanted to use our gifts and talents to expand and create lasting wealth. Read more>>

Kayla Luster: Braiding hair line owner

I was always very assertive and lead forward during my career and I really desired to be my own kind of boss while developing a bomb brand. Thoughts of creating my own narrative and creating an era of abundance for my tribe were the key driving forces behind starting Sassebeauti Read more>>

Ziarekenya Smith: Founder & Architect at Inpathy

It wasn’t the norm, I will say. I wasn’t sitting around, hanging with friends, or out somewhere when the idea came to me. I just graduated from Full Sail University in 2014, “the Harvard of creative schools,” with a bachelor’s degree in “Digital Arts & Design.” I decided not to follow the path of my peers to work for fortune 500 companies; I wanted to do things my way. Read more>>

Alesia Dawson: Brand Strategist & Purpose Coach

I just wanted to solve my problem. I was diagnosed with the silent plague of graduation and I needed a cure. I saw a common problem that no one warned us about but majority of people experienced. I graduated college with literally nothing but a degree and a desire to be great. It felt like I walked across the stage right into a brick wall. Read more>>

Azubuike Akunne

I started NeuBite to provide healthy meals to residents of food deserts. There are geographic areas across America where access to healthy, affordable food is not afforded to everyone. The sad part about this is that people in these communities are only left with unhealthy foods, which lead to the abundance of preventable diseases taking over communities. Read more>>

Tanisha Davis: Founder/Publisher

I’ve worked in media now for over 7 years and I felt it was time to create a platform that showcased the beauty of black culture! Often you see so much negativity and that tends to overshadow all the great things that some of our creatives are doing around the world. So during the pandemic I launched FEMI Magazine and decided to make the initial step to step away from just being a voice behind the computer and take the stage to open doors for those who deserved much needed recognition! Read more>>

Aja Elam: Entrepreneur

Freedom and full creativity to create and flourish in my own interests. A 9-5 five days a week just to be free for 48 hours limited my time to be creative and grow my businesses and my daughter’s business. The biggest issue was limiting my income. I realized early on that jobs have a cap. They can only pay you whats in their budget to pay you. In order to make money with no cap or limit to what you earn then you have to be in business for yourself.  Read more>>

Natalia Fuller: Medical Doctor & Sex therapist

Educating individuals on Sexual wellness and mental health has always been a passion of mine. I wanted women to learn to take charge of their own sexual journeys. To be open, honest and expressive about what they want inside and outside of the bedroom. More people don’t realize that your mental has to be right to have great sex! Mental health is so crucial in our everyday lives pertaining to all realms of life. Read more>>

Jania Feracho: Crafty Mom

My thought process behind starting my own business was, I can literally do what I want when I want on my time without having someone managing me! I can eliminate a lot of stress and do what makes me happy and get paid for it. I also knew if I started my own business, it would free up time to spend with my family. Read more>>

Kandie Martin: Multi Media Strategist

My initial thought about starting my own business was to have another stream of income and have a way to work with my children. However it ended up changing to trying to create a way to help small business owners succeed. When you are the sole proprietor everything falls on you. You have to do all things and try to do them well. It can put you in a bad place as you can overlook somethings and not give a great product or service. So I wanted to be the helper for small businesses. Read more>>

Jennifer Crute: Wellness Juice Provider

ZenJen Juices was ignited in 2015 when my grandparents was suffering from “small gut syndrome”. For those who don’t know, ” small gut syndrome” is a disease you develop from poor eating habits which causes bowel blockages. Theirs was so bad that each time they had to get a major part of their intestines taken out. So as you can see my written is on the wall. Read more>>

Lilly’s Shea: Home of The Home Made Hug in a Jar


Lilly’s Shea was birthed out of a need to relieve eczema and help the skin retain moisture. Our founder, Alexis D, experienced a major eczema flare up on her face and from there decided to make her own products with natural ingredients. In the birthing of our ‘Bounce Back Butta’, she was able to clear he breakout. Lilly’s Shea is in a mission to help others heal on their skin care journey. This is the thought process behind our business. Read more>>

Jamie Mayes: Author, Orator & Owner of Jamie Mayes Educational Consulting & Literacy Services, LLC.

I started my own business because I felt there was not enough focus on literacy and supporting children who need special intervention. I also realized there was a relationship gap between parents and schools and that many teachers were struggling to perform well in their classrooms due to feelings of being overwhelmed. I sought to bring these researched conversations to school districts where I worked. Read more>>

Brian Post: Owner/Big Frog

I’ve always wanted to work for myself. Growing up and watching my mother start her own business has always been the biggest push in my life. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and never gave up on my dream. In 2017 it finally became a reality and I couldn’t have been happier. I think when we are kids we have these hopes and dreams of being a astronaut or something (looking back at it now) outrageous. I always wanted to be self employed and set my own standards in life. Read more>>

Lauren Lee: Marketer & Mom turned Florist

My dream of owning a flower or garden shop started back when I was in high school, after working at a local florist. In addition to learning a lot of the basics, it ignited my inherited love of flowers. Over the years, I would arrange flowers for myself or dear friends (hence the name) and always thought of it as a passion/hobby. Having a career background in Marketing, I always felt I would need a clear problem to solve or differentiating factor to truly act on my dream. Read more>>

Asheena Davis: Owner

Everyone loves candles, wax melts, air freshener, etc. I thought, ‘the store bought ones, don’t last long enough for me, so I know they’re not lasting for anyone else.’ I had to make something worth the money. I also thought, ‘I’d rather work for myself, anyway.’ Lol. Read more>>

Jerrell aka Rell Young: caterer

When I decided to start my own company, I was already making my employer close to 300k a year. It was at that moment when I realized I could do the same with my own company. Read more>>

Kenyatta Ashford: Chef & Owner Of Neutral Ground Chattanooga

The pandemic didn’t leave me with a long period of time for thinking about my business but I was fortunate to have a clear vision when the hospitality world was essentially shut down in March of 2020. My primary thought was, “how do I build a business that supports my family and builds a better world all at the same time?” Fusing together my New Orleans upbringing, my time at the Culinary Institute of America and my learnings from the kitchens of great chefs, Read more>>

Kristiana Remee: Stylist, Designer, & Creative Director

The process behind of starting my business was because I couldn’t never find my size in anything. So I started to create 1 of 1 (1 self made product) getting inspiration from Vogue Runway, Tumblr, & the Underground Scene in Atlanta putting it into 1 piece. After creating my pieces alot of people ask me where i got them. When i told people that i made it myself, they were willing to pay me to make them these pieces . I did a test run of 40 hats & sold out within a 12 hours. That when I knew I needed to start my own business. Read more>>

Alexandra and Arturo Hernandez: Eloteros

There really wasn’t a plan behind creating El Elote. The whole concept started while husband and wife, Alexandra and Arturo, were sitting on the beach in Veracruz, Mexico. “We sat there, watching the locals sell their shrimp and homemade food. It was so humbling. All these people put so much love into what they were selling.” And that’s where the conversation started. Read more>>

Anthony Moon: Accountant

My thought process behind starting ACM Accounting was to serve my community. In helping my local community, we at ACM educate our individuals and business owners on accounting and tax, empowering them to bring more money into their households or profits in their business. Read more>>

Jacqueline Bowman Snow: Interior Designer & Lifestyle Curator

To be honest, I never thought about starting a business, nonetheless an interior design business until my mom brought it up after she saw how I transformed my first house, a late 1960s split-level that I still miss dearly. Even then, I brushed it off. Who has time for that? LOL. I had a great engineering career with a global company that allowed me to see the world and I was steadily moving up the ladder. In 2010, I bought my first house after living abroad in France for this company. Read more>>

Myles Faulkner: Clothing Designer

My thought process behind starting my own business was becoming independent. When I say independent, meaning being able to do what I liked to do & enjoy doing what I do. I felt that I was always better off working for myself. Read more>>

Alexis Hodges: Organic Formulation Chemist

I came up with the name for Natural State of Mind in Fall 2018 while working for a holistic spa but it wasn’t until April of 2019 that I decided to focus on skincare. I just gotten out of the hospital after having severe complications with Crohn’s Disease. My skin was severely damaged and I needed a natural to heal my body from the inside out. Read more>>

Shadaya Hardy: Creator & CEO

At the time of me starting my business, I was placed on bed rest , due to being injured on a prior job. During this time , the pandemic took place and we were all on lock down. I kept running to the store stocking up on candles, until one day I stated to myself , ” I want to learn how to make candles”. Shortly after I started to educate myself on the candle making process. I decided to invest into myself and started my business. Read more>>

Brandon Reece: Actor and Photographer

I started my headshot photography business because I had been on the other side of the camera as an actor so many times and I knew all of the things I did and didn’t love about the process. I knew I could bring a fresh perspective and a better understanding of what the actor is experiencing. A headshot is more than a photograph and I understand exactly what it needs to convey. Being an actor AND a photographer makes me and my business unique in the industry. Read more>>

Evangela Gibson: EntreprenuHer

Honestly, my thought process wasn’t clear initially. Starting my own business had not been something I thought about or envisioned myself doing. At the start of the pandemic I was actually laid off my job on my birthday. I knew I wasn’t going to feel comfortable going into someone’s work place any time soon. I began to brainstorm what I could do to make money and would also enjoy. When I made the decision to do this I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I just had to get started and learn as I go. The last thing I told myself I would do all I can to remain positive throughout this journey. Read more>>

Nakeisha Westbrook: Event & Floral Designer

I have always been a very independent individual, so after graduating high school it was always a dream of mine to become a business owner. After having 2 amazing children, that pushed me even more to want to own my own business so that not only my children could benefit from it (by not having to work for anyone), they children will as well. Read more>>

Tamra Peters: Principal Lead Designer, CEO

The whole reason I started House of Design so I could be in control of my own destiny. I didn’t want to be bottled up in corporate America where I felt my creativity was put on the back burner. Starting my own company alone was a massive risk and undertaking. Stepping out of my comfort zone and the security the corporate world had offered, I knew it would be challenging. But what I will say is I did it not only for myself but I did it for my family too. Read more>>