Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Teara Reshard | Eyelash Technician & Instructor

My thought process about starting my own business was I’ll never work for anyone again. Another one of my thoughts was, I don’t think I’ll have enough clientele I thought nobody would believe in me. Read more>>

Safhari Dixon | Publicist, Owner & Content Creator

Well I have a few incomes of my own. I always knew I didn’t want to work for anyone so I already planned to start incomes of my own, especially after a guest speaker came to one of my classes and told us that 7 incomes is the goal to become a millionaire. Hearing that made me want to go harder and I’ve been doing so ever since. I’m in school for Public Relations at Clark Atlanta University so that was my first income of my own, becoming a Publicist. I was blessed with my first client before graduating. A year later I came up with my clothing line called iRoyal Clothing. iRoyal Clothing is a brand I dedicated to a great friend of mine India Aaliyah Royal that was murdered January 13, 2017 due to gun violence. India loved to dance so partial proceeds from iRoyal Clothing are going towards a dance scholarship. Next I have SD Designs. Read more>>

Dede Wells, MBA | Accountant

While I was working on my undergrad degree, I worked for a local CPA that did both Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation. It was there that I fell in love with the industry and the day to day tasks associated with my field. Accounting and Taxation are composed of basic mathematics but the regulations and actions that take place requires knowledge and comprehension. It’s the best of both worlds. And to add to that, the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss was very appealing to someone such as myself that never appreciated the glass ceiling placed on us in Corporate America. Read more>>

Elizabeth Peeple | Nonprofit Consultant & Strategist

The thought process behind starting my own business was so that I could help Nonprofits build an infrastructure that would allow them to create stable and sustainable strategies for growth. Growing up as a participant and volunteer for local organizations, I saw first hand how important organizations were to the family unit, school system and community as a whole. By starting my business, I have helped form and develop many organizations and set them on a path to be a staple in the community they serve. Read more>>

Ketpha G.W. Casimir | Medical Student & Owner

I was super scared!! I had no idea how people would respond. Only a selected few knew that side of me. So I was afraid I would be rejected. Plus I am in medical school, I mean girl doing too much?? Lol! I was not sure I would be able to balance my life as a full time student and entrepreneur. I had to learn how to prioritize. School first, then business. Some days are better than others. But I am learning a little bit at a time goes a long way. Read more>>

Toni Baldwin | Influencer & Creative Director

Well I wanted a $10,000 website at 9 years old and my mom said no so I started building playing around with coding. From there, I grew to doing music, songwriting, creative direction, and influencing. I knew that I wanted to be creative and in a way, live the life that I wanted to live for a living. Read more>>

JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM | Veterinarian & Freelance Medical Writer

After working for several years at medical communication agencies, I realized that writing for primarily academic and pharmaceutical audiences was not a good fit. Thinking back to veterinary school, when our professors emphasized the importance of communicating with pet owners with clarity and compassion, it became clear to me that consumer education was the ideal medical writing specialty for me. I decided to specialize even further and focus on pet owner education. Starting my own business was the best way for me to pursue pet owner education writing. However, because I didn’t think that I would strike out on my own as a freelance medical writer until I had at least 10 years’ medical writing experience, I didn’t feel like I was ready to start a business with less than 3 years’ experience. Read more>>

Marqis Anderson | CEO & Founder

Initially, my thought was to spread love. I love cooking, and I love when people enjoy what I love. Of course, an an entrepreneur, to monetize the concept of love was poetic to me. Also, I wanted to provide the market with a premium product that, in all honesty, has not been represented well across all platforms. Marq’s Mac fills in that void by providing deliciousness with intent and grace. The success of Marq’s Mac is based on the love conveyed, and the vessel is our product. Read more>>

Kendra Crew | Founder

MAKING A DIFFERENCE! Growing up in South Bend, IN, I witnessed firsthand the plague of violence in our community. Wanting to change the trajectory of my life, I immediately knew EDUCATION would be my “ticket” to living a quality life. Thus, my mother and educators vowed to challenge me academically, and provide me exposure to places outside my community. I’m a firm believer that the love, support and accountability given to me should be given to minority students daily. Furthermore, considering the dire state minority students are in, regarding access to equal and quality education – it was critical that I created School 1st. Read more>>

Majidah Muhammad | Entrepreneur & Educator

Starting my own business was a MUST for me. I was always raised to “Do for Self”. This means creating something for yourself, your family, and your community. The first love is self-love. I know that true power is in ownership. So I had to own my own business. I was hesitant and overthinking with the first business I started. In 2018, I started momi swap to make it easy for moms to swap child care for child care. I was nervous about how people would receive the business and if others would support the business. Having the momi swap platform, made it easier for me to pivot my business during COVID. I began posting about using the Elevated Learning Binder on the momi swap Instagram page and moms loved it! Read more>>

Thomas Wages | Designer

I started the company because I wanted to answer something that was missing from the market – exceptional fitting, extraordinary quality, and ethically made clothing. Prior to clothing, I designed homes and businesses. After moving to clothing during the recession, I’ve continued to dabble in architectural design, and added landscape and furniture design. With the purchase of the new loft space, I view our business moving forward as a multidisciplinary design studio. I look forward to designing timeless clothing and unique spaces for living and commerce for years to come. Read more>>

Majeedah Giddens | Aesthetician

I’ve always known that entrepreneurship was for me. I remember being a kid living in Compton, California. I would try to sell avocados from my avocado tree to the people in my neighborhood. I knew at a very young age that being in control of my own financial future was necessary for me to truly be successful. As a single mother of two daughters, having a traditional 9-5 was very difficult and honestly didn’t make much sense for me. I could never find a job that paid decently that didn’t require me to work long hours away from my children. Finding consistent childcare that didn’t cost a good majority of my paycheck was equally difficult as well. I was terminated on a few occasions due to schools closing for inclement weather or my kids being sick, causing me to call out of work at the last minute. Jobs never cared about what “real life, single mother” issues I was experiencing. Read more>>

Velvet Lenae | Erotic Photographer & Author

My thought process wasn’t necessarily about initially starting my own business. It was about being a Creative. An Artist with a FREEDOM outlet. That later turned into a business of creating my own lane. A lane that is dominated by men… Read more>>

Dr. Ali Griffith | Strategist & Startup Business Coach

My thought process when I started my very own business, was that it was time. I spent so many years giving my personal intellect, unique gifts and expertise to others companies. I watched others benefit from my genius. I remember one day thinking to myself, what can I show for the work that I do. I mean what will last beyond my physical existence while working for others, besides being another notch in their belt. That was my pivotal moment where I began to first appreciate my very own intellectual property, appreciate the value of how starting a business, can allow me to monetize my uniqueness and expertise and to create an everlasting impactful legacy that can benefit my future generations. Read more>>

Tomas Ponce | Visual Artist

I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone. It really doesn’t sync with my personality. I also really want to leave something precious behind, and art is just what captures my soul. Read more>>

Nancy Cramer | Owner

Life Labs offers “Do-It-Together” workshops for date nights, ladies’ nights out, parties, showers, and team building.  Workshops like flower arranging, chunky blanket knitting, wine tastings, cookie and cake decorating, candle and jewelry making and so much more! We provide experiences that allow for authentic connection and creativity. Even before COVID, I realized that many people feel isolated or stagnate in their daily lives. They haven’t been able to find friends outside of work. They go to work, come home, rinse, and repeat. It’s friendships, family, and connections that make life fulfilling. I’ve been to other craft workshops, like BYOB painting or clay workshops. I left there not learning anything and honestly, the project I created looked horrible. I enjoyed my time, though, because I got to spend it with my friends, and sometimes even make new ones. Read more>>

Wesley Bloeme | Owner

I honestly never intended to start a real business. I was just looking for a way to make some extra money while home for the Summer in between my Freshman and Sophomore year’s of college in 2014. One of my childhood best friends, Ryan Francis, and I already had part time jobs, but wanted to collaborate to earn extra income. I thought that pressure washing might be a good option for us to start because our customers wouldn’t need us when we went back to school until the next Summer. This was especially important because we both went to out of state colleges. It wasn’t until the end of that first Summer when I saw pressure washing as a legitimate way for me to pay for my college tuition. Ryan and I decided that I would take the next step of legitimizing the company on my own. Read more>>

Asheena Davis | Owner

My initial thought was ‘I want to work for myself and create opportunities for people who have a difficult time finding a job.’ However, it now includes, ‘I can now leave something for my kids to grow into and call their own one day; or inspire them to begin their own.’ Read more>>

Tre & Lanell Dozier | COO & CEO

A unique way to shed light on the glory of God. We want to minister to people all around the world through faith-based apparel. One day Lanell & I were talking about revelation and insight that we had received from God. I was listening to a song that really touched my life. At the time we were going through a crisis, (or so we thought), and God took me to Luke 8:48 where there was the woman with the issue of blood. Here Jesus says, “…Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace”. Instantly we were able to take solace in knowing that everything we had been concerned about would be handled. As long as we trusted God and didn’t allow our faith to waiver, God would always be there, even in the midst of what we perceived to be a storm. We realized that our deliverance would not come by anything we’d done, but “It’s A God Thang!” Have your ever asked yourself… How did I bounce back? How did I survive that tragedy? How did I not lose my mind? How did I get healed? HOW DID I MAKE IT? IT’S A GOD THANG! Read more>>