Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Tahjai’ Jarrell | Licensed Esthetician, Model, & Entrepreneur

I’ve gone to places which were deemed as “luxury” and the atmosphere is always superb but I still left unsatisfied. It made me take a step back and figure out what as the consumer was I seeking? After thinking about what the missing piece was the word “experience” kept resurfacing in my head. Read more>>

Shawntinique Shepherd | Accountant & CFO

I started my business on the spur of the moment. I do not recommend this way, but that is just how it happened. I am in love with numbers, and at the time, I was in school getting my degrees in business development and accounting. So when I started my business, I wanted to stand out; I started my own virtual tax office in late 2018. My goal was to bring convenience to those who did not want to sit in a tax office all day. My other purpose was to educate my clients on why we file a tax return and to keep them IRS compliant the legal way. Read more>>

Olivia Hood | Photographer & Business Woman

I have always held an interest in photography ever since I was a kid. As I grew up, I took pictures with whatever I could, a disposable, point and shoot, and even iPods/iPhones. Though I held an interest I never thought to pursue it professionally. I went to college for Business Administration and basically expected to work in an office for my job. In 2017, I randomly entered an Instagram Giveaway. Someone I didn’t know tagged me in the comments for their entry, and I thought “Why not”, and ended up winning! Read more>>

Reginald Masters | President of Masters Home Mortgage

My thought process behind starting a business was a guarantee to myself to never be laid off from work again. Throughout my professional career, I experienced several layoffs in which I felt I had no control. The thought of being laid off and living off a savings until I found another job was not good feeling. I no longer wanted to put my fate in the hands of a company or another person. I never felt secure working a job. Read more>>

C’Lena Shumaker | Mixologist Mentor & CEO of Liquid Loud LLC

My thought process behind starting my own business was why not?!. I was working long hours on the bar, making money for the owner. I was doing all the hard work as if it was my business and getting no recognition. To the bar owners, I was just another employee, I already had the mindset so I just needed the push. For me, it was the only I had step left! Read more>>

Dr Nicholas Vernola | Owner of Atlanta Physical Therapy LLC (Suffix for name: Jr PT, DPT, SDN, PPSC, CAPP-Pelvic)

I had worked as a physical therapy pelvic floor and sports medicine specialist in three states, and many more physical therapy clinics, prior to opening my clinic. I developed a strong background in physical therapy specializing in pelvic health and sports medicine. All the places I worked the clinics came off as being oriented to appeasing the clinicians instead of the clientele. The people who were trusting their health, something innately sensitive, with the clinicians around me came off as impersonal and cold in the approach. Read more>>

Ashley Sharie | Brand Strategist & Creative Consultant

I’ve always been interested in the idea of creating my own business. I started my “first” business alongside my Athletic Director in high school. I was in IB Business Management class at the time, and I was hooked on the idea of being able to create something out of nothing. During the course, I identified a need, and ultimately we developed a wildly successful solution to meet it. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to do this again and again. Read more>>

Omar Altalib | Sociologist, international speaker and author, and classical liberal

I wanted to give back to my community. My teachers in my elementary school in Peoria, Illinois, taught me the basics of English and arithmetic. My teachers in my middle school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, taught me religion and the foundations of the Arabic language. My teachers in Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia, taught me psychology, algebra, and history. I wanted to share what my wonderful teachers have taught me with other people and other cultures. Read more>>

Terry & Tasha Swain | Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship has always been a part of my DNA… what I like to call (Dividend Netting Ability). Entrepreneurship is something that is inherently designed into the fabric of my being. From birth I was exposed to entrepreneurship from family members, who all had their own businesses, including my great grand parents, my parents, uncles and aunts. Entrepreneurship for me was caught more than taught. So there wasn’t really a thought process that went into starting my own businesses. It was more so inherently in me. It is a destiny that I had already been walking in, from a young age, without even realizing it. Read more>>

Quanisha Jenkins | Recovery Babe Owner

When I came up with my business idea, I was recovering from having cosmetic surgery. I was having a hard time getting the materials I needed as well as getting around. Since cosmetic surgery is becoming popular, I came up with the idea to conveniently package the items so that when girls ( also guys) are preparing they will not have to bother going store to store. I provide just enough to cover the recovery process which can help the patient save money. Read more>>

Tawanna Bryant-Osborne | Accountant & Tax Strategist

I believe everyone who is responsible for taxes should have a business. As an accountant and tax strategist, I know that the US operates with two different tax systems, one for the W2 employee and the other for the business owner. The tax system for the W2 employee is structured such that you earn your money, pay taxes, and live off of what’s left. Whereas, the one for the business owner is designed for you to earn your money, use your money for expenses, and pay taxes on what’s left. Not only is the tax benefits what makes business ownership a must, Read more>>

Jillian Higgins | Wedding Planner

I opened Jillian Rose Events in November of 2020, I know a very strange time to open a business (especially one that revolved around social gatherings). However, I feel like the pandemic put everything into perspective for me. I spent years as a Wedding Sales Manager at a resort and was starting to feel the burnout at the beginning of 2020. I loved weddings but the hours spent on property between wedding days and office work was overwhelming. Read more>>

Alexia Mitchell | Therapist|CEO

My thought process behind starting my business was after my mother passed I had to make myself available to care for my family, my special needs brother as well as my grandmother. In addition to all of my new found responsibilities I wanted to provide people the tools on how to reset and heal. Read more>>

Sara Hollander | Luxury Travel Advisor

Becoming a Travel Advisor has been something I’ve thought about for years. The first time I used a Travel Advisor was for our month-long honeymoon in Bora Bora and Moorea. I loved the experience of working with a travel professional and thought it may be something I would not only excel at but really enjoy. At the time I was fully engrossed in my sales career and put the idea away. Read more>>

David Gorden | Visual Storyteller/Content Creator

I wanted an outlet for my art and my creative thoughts. I have a plethora of original characters and story ideas and doing it myself was the best way to present my creative ideas to the world. Read more>>

Rochelle Bannerman | Business professional | Entrepreneur

Ellefoodie matured from a personal outlet to an actual business during the pandemic. When everything was at a standstill. The artisans I frequently worked with were stranded. Lack of income, they had no fallback plans, and with no money saved. Thankfully I had my 9-5 job, was still employed and I could afford to reach out and provide assistance to those I worked with. I decided then, if not for me but for the people I worked with, I need to do a better job and put plans in place to create a sustainable business that could take care of itself and provide a steady income for the artisans. Read more>>

Big King 500 | Serial Entrepreneur

I worked hard for 10 years as a chef then one day I decided that I could work just as hard for myself if not harder. So I quit that job and went full time into business. Read more>>

Quadiyyah Monae | Business coach | Marketing Specialist

When i first started my own business i was first scared. Scared because it was something i wasn’t seeing a lot of around me at the time. Everyone was relying on jobs and here i am being bold. I knew i wanted freedom of working for myself but i couldn’t figure out how i would make a living off of something inconsistent. I was tired of working 9-5 jobs dealing with managers who could care less about me and my personal life. Read more>>

Wacera Kamawe | Registered Respiratory Therapist and Founder of Kastone Natural Beauty

Starting my business was definitely a very informal journey it I can call it that. I was creating natural skincare products for as long as I can remember for myself and my family. I never ever expected or planned to do it as a business. But the idea to start selling my products was mostly from on lookers who enjoyed my products and thought they were worth paying for. I can honestly say I just gave it a shot because I was doing it anyway for free just because I enjoyed it and also because I had a hard time finding non toxic, natural products that worked for me. Read more>>

Chelsey Miller | Confectioner & Hair Company Owner

My thought process behind my businesses was always “I’m tired of working for someone else”. Lol. I was so bored going to a job everyday. I even tried working from home but there was just no progression or freedom to spend time with my kids or show my real creativity. Read more>>

Breonna Barnes | Rental Manager & Transaction Coordinator

I lost my job during Covid and found it extremely hard to find a property management position that fit my lifestyle and worth. A thought popped in my head “you know what to do, start your own”. I dismissed this at first because who me?? But the more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself to take a leap. After actually having an Airbnb experience, I was convinced that I would start a short-term rental management company. I recently added transaction coordination as a new service for agents and brokers! Read more>>

Syncere Evans-Jefferson | Ceo of Emperial Music Group LLC

My thought process was to create an empire to pass down from generation to generation, Also to create a platform that Independent Artists music can be seen and heard. Read more>>

Maronica Nash | Entrepreneur owner Mk organic hair Products

My thought process was very long. I thought about it every chance I got. I even dream about it. Some night I couldn’t sleep. That’s how I knew this was for me. Read more>>

Mei Dunlop | Creativepreneur & Market Producer

In 2008, I was laid off from my previous job of 6 years. Around that time I wanted to start my own business but didn’t know how to start or what to do. So when I was laid off I took it as a sign that I needed to start my own business regardless of whether I knew which direction I was going to go. I did take a self employment program so I can learn the ropes and the rest was history. Read more>>

Keisa Moss | Consultant & Business Owner

I started my business because I enjoy all faucets of wine. I enjoy a glass absolutely!!! I also appreciate the process of wine from the grape to the bottle. Wine is no different from the process of life, it’s a form of art and I want to share more of that aspect with the world. Read more>>

Chyna Baker | Jewelry Designer

I wanted to find something that initially was fun for me to do while generating an extra form of income, but I also wanted it to incorporate making people feel good at the same time. Read more>>

Brianna Barrow | Online Business Coach & Founder of The Ecom Maven

I always knew I wanted to do something more with my life, but I didn’t quite know it meant becoming an online e-commerce coach or founding an online business school. I was in search of freedom, but I wanted purpose driven work, and I wanted to make an impact using my God given abilities. Read more>>

Fabrice Armand | Co-Founder of the Creole Food Festival

The thought process behind starting the Creole Food Festival was that we wanted to educate people about Creole Cuisine and its origins. This is important because most people only know New Orleans or Haiti to possess Creole food. We realized that there was a large educational component missing which is Creole, Kreyol, Kriol, Criollo, and Crioulo food is found in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, South America, and the Southern United States, and it is all connected. Read more>>

Nik Arielle | Web Developer and Digital Marketer

I have always been considered a “creative” for years and never acted on my creativity until I realized this is truly my passion and my purpose after tons of people were always telling me how out of the box my ideas were and how much I’ve always had a niche to perfect everything. I worked as a marketing associate in my most recent years and I have always felt that I could do it on my own and I knew it would be a great success. I decided to take a leap of faith during the pandemic and start my own digital marketing business and business has been booming ever since. I can honestly say I turned my passion into profit. Read more>>

Jarrett Kirby | Event Coordinator

I knew as I was preparing to graduate college that if I couldn’t find a job in events, and still being a huge part of my community, I would never be fully happy. I had to find time to build something on the side and still get the event planning I’d been doing that entire time, out into the world. I pulled the trigger in April of 2017 and haven’t looked back since. Read more>>

Ngohile Yakubu | Curator & Founder Of Leyla’s Kloset Vintage

I had an idea that needed to be shared with the world. Something that comes natural for me and a skill most don’t have so I decided to take the leap and do it Read more>>

Cleopatra Boswell | Owner and President of No angels left behind non profit & Ceo of Smokin Mirrors Cannabis Company

In 2017 my friend died in a car crash. She left behind 4 kids and her oldest daughter was turning 18 a couple weeks after she passed. She was left to care for her twin brothers and sister. At the time when this happened, I didn’t really know what to do. I started wondering, what happens to other kids in the world that doesn’t have a good support system when they their caregivers are no longer around. Ive always had a passion to help others and give back to my community and I had plans on starting a non profit in 2012, but I was unsure where to start. Read more>>

Dominique Webb | Founder of Cult Creative Agency

I started my business out of necessity. I was freshly laid off, in between jobs and I needed money. I started what was formally The Writer’s Block Creative and Professional Writing Services in August 2017. I wrote resumes, personal statements for pre-professional programs, and sales copy for brand’s websites. I began spreading the word about my business by designing my own flyers, printing them and going to every local coffee shop in the city and handing out my business cards. It was very humble beginnings and it taught me a lot about perseverance and dedication. I did everything by myself and relied on word-of-mouth as my marketing tool. Read more>>

GM | Hip Artist & Business owner

I wanted to expand I’m an artist but I’m Also a businessman and as a artist these days it’s imperative that you have your business handled accordingly. Read more>>

Quentin Pullen | Fitness Trainer/Movement Therapist

I cannot say that there was a thought “Process” to starting my business. When I first started coaching I was in college working on my engineering degree. I had been in to fitness many years but never thought about it as a business until I started working part-time as a fitness trainer. If I’m being honest it was like I started dating the industry and the more deeply I went into it, the more I fell in love. Read more>>

Tatiana Smith | Custom Wig Maker, Licensed Cosmetologist, Entrepreneur

My thought process on starting my own business came from many different things. I’m currently as a math teacher, licensed cosmetologist and a wig maker. I’ve been a licensed cosmetologist since 2012. I’ve been working for myself for over 6 years and I always wanted to grow in the beauty industry further than just selling premade units, so that’s when I decided to start making custom units. Towards the end of 2017, I was going through a lot of depression because my career wasn’t deemed “essential” so of course I didn’t have as much income coming in from me switching from job to job. Read more>>

Sasha Mitchell | Career Advisor & Mentor

Work Sis is the safe space often lacking in Corporate America for women. I created this platform to fill that void by helping women get clarity on their goals to thrive in the boardroom without sacrificing their unique selves. Early in my career journey, I stumbled my way through trying to figure “it” (Corporate America) out. I thought I needed to fit the corporate mold and be something that I wasn’t. Read more>>

Stoner JAYs | Rap Artist & Entrepreneur

I wanted to position myself to be my own boss & work on my own terms. Start generation wealth for my family and share my blessings with others. Being able to service people of need and helping out is a blessing itself. Read more>>

Audrianna Wakefield | Community Advocacy

There are so many needs in every community, it literally starts with one person; with fire and desire to make a change, it ignites everyone around you. Read more>>

Akesha Quashie | Nightlight Connoisseur

I relocated from Boston to Georgia back in 2016. During Covid while most cities were closed, a lot of my friends were reaching out wanting know where to go when visiting Atlanta. The calls got so overwhelming that I decided to start a personal itinerary business. Read more>>

Taty Chaffee | Jewelry Designer & Maker

Like many, I find that a nice pair of earrings can really elevate your outfit, but more importantly – your mood! If I wasn’t feeling cute BAM I would put on a pair of earrings and get that extra boost I needed. So as my earring collection grew, I thought that I could get my hands dirty as well and make things that I would like to wear too. So I went to Michaels and walked through every aisle until I found a medium that I thought could be fun. Read more>>

David C. Cephus | Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

I have always lived by two of Fredrick Douglass’s famous quotes: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” and “A man’s character takes its hues, more or less from the form and color of things about him.” Both statements have shape and molded me into the man I am today. I’ve always been told I was smart but, I didn’t like school. In fact, I’ve always struggled with exceling in school. I’m not sure of the reason but, I overheard my father even mentioned to my mother once that I would never finish when I was only five years old. Read more>>

Barbara Jones | Principal

Starting Earth & Field Salt Company was born from my need to create safe seasoning blends for my son who was diagnosed with severe food allergies at 7 months old. After over 10 years of practice for my family, I decided to step out and transition it into a business. I believed that we weren’t the only ones experiencing food allergies. I felt we could really help others enjoy eating good food safely. Read more>>

Justin Kase | Celebrity Photographer

After being a radio personality on and off since high school and working as a ballboy for the NBA, I always knew entertainment was where my heart was. Being on the radio for so long and doing radio shows like Zaytoven Radio I had a change of heart and picked a camera up and starting shooting pictures. I actually had my neighbor meet me at the shoots and get my camera adjusted properly and I would run out and do the shoot. 😄 🤣 😂. I appreciate Jeremy so much for that. Once the pandemic hit, I studied the camera, Read more>>

Maxx Pain | Artist/Producer/Movie Producer/Actor

When you start to develop a brand in the beginning stages it’s hard to get opportunities, upon starting my own Record label and my own Film Production Company I was able to Put my brand at the forefront of opportunities I created thru networking. Read more>>

Amel Rachedi | Presenter, Producer and Channel founder

It was during the pandemic, i wanted to create a platform to allow people to be heard and seen across the world from different countries. What was really important for me too was showing people you can create your own brand and do things independently and that it is possible no matter how hard it may be! being SELF MADE is possible. You dont have to live by old school society and only work for or under someones brand start your own! just the same way all those established brands have become known how did they do it? by getting up and starting. I am consistent with it and constantly thinking out of the box. Read more>>

Jessica Chambers | Nutrition Coach & Zumba Instructor

Growing up, I was always passionate about health and fitness. Working out was always a priority for me, sometimes getting up at 5 am to make it happen. Despite being active, I had no idea how to fuel my body properly. So I set myself the goal of learning about nutrition. With the knowledge I gained from years of studying and researching, I was finally in a place where I felt confident, healthy, and strong. Because I found success, I loved the idea of helping other women find success as well. Being my boss and having complete control over my life was another thing I was looking forward to. Read more>>

Jolanda Gooden | Owner, Loft 94

When I became a Stay at Home Mom I started to feel stagnant and wanted to contribute more. That kind of lit a fire behind actually starting my business. I bought my website domain and all the legal things in 2018, which was a whole two years before I launched. It was my first year in Atlanta and I was working two jobs at the time. I was saving up money to start correctly. Life got in the way and I kept pushing the launch date back. It was my boyfriend who supported and pushed me to start. Now I’m here, taking entrepreneurship one day at a time. Read more>>

Latoya Becton | Hairstylist & lash technician

Growing up in atlanta, always had that glow. Once I got to a certain age to learn about hustle & I did just that! I started from a job to working shifts a clubs in which I’m around ladies who are in high demand of getting pampered. After years of trying to figure out what it is that I wanted to do I decided to start school at Paul Mitchell Atlanta to peruse a career at doing hair. I naturally know how to do hair coming from upstate New York, I’m from Rochester NY. Read more>>

Sara Higdon | Digital Creator (Youtube, Instagram, Twitter), and Public Speaker

I have always been interested in running my own business, and being able to work for myself. I have also been interested in philanthropy, and wish I could do more to help people. So I started my business selling clothes online, and at least 10% of all profits would go to charity. At the beginning of Covid we had a special line, where 100% of the profits went to local food banks. Read more>>

Kaytlin Butler | Black tips, black advice, mental health awareness

Umm, I wanted to discuss ongoing topics pivotal to the black community to bring awareness… I understand how deep generational trauma is Read more>>

Ann-Isabelle (Annie) Joachim | Entrepreneur & Designer

I’ve always found it difficult to find a vendor in Canada that offered all these wonderful products sold on international websites at an affordable price. I have two daughters and want them to grow up knowing, appreciating and being proud of their cultural background and thought there are likely others who share this sentiment. With touches of colour and authenticity, we are merging the love of our roots, and traditions with our surroundings. We hope to bring a piece of our home to yours by creating modern gifts and accessories styled in African Print fabrics. Read more>>

Sanaa Malik | An Influencer & Entreprenuer

I am a Mom Influencer and an Entreprenuer (Event Planner) and i love what I do because both of them helps me to connect with people and spread happiness around . My biggest thought process behind being an Influencer was to inspire Women and let them know their strength.Being a wife or a Mom should not let them stop from doing what they want to do. Taking out time for oneself,being Socially active,following your passion while managing our roles of a Mom/wife is the message i want to give out to each and every Women out there. Read more>>