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.

Ashley Watkins, NCRW, NCOPE | Job Search Coach & Nationally Certified Resume Writer

In 2012, I decided to launch a resume writing business following a fundraising campaign at a large-scale healthcare nonprofit. At the time, I was a corporate recruiter and part of my job was to raise $1,200 annually to support the fight against cancer. To meet my goal, I offered to edit resumes for donations. Needless to say, I exceeded that goal because so many people needed my help. Later, I learned that a great deal of the people I’d helped went on to secure jobs — many landing higher-paying roles in their target industry. A lightbulb of sorts went off, and I knew I could do more. Since I was a toddler, I was obsessed with shoes. I collected shoe figurines, art, and etc. Without a second thought, I incorporated a shoe into my logo design. My business still needed a name. On the drive home from a long day’s work, Write Step Resumes was born. Read more>>

B Rxb | Director, DP, Editor

I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, so that it wouldn’t feel like working. I always loved videography and photography as a kid, so it makes things come full circle that I created a media company. Read more>>

Amy Rader | Artist and Graphic Designer

I attended the Art Institute of Atlanta with a full scholarship and graduated with the best portfolio award. My vision of being a successful artist has evolved over time as I have gained work and life experience. When I started out, I was so young and felt like a 9-to-5 design agency position was my destiny. I did that for several years and throughout the dot com boom era. I loved those jobs for many reasons. I gained valuable experience and relationships. Most importantly, I learned how to be resilient when that job market crashed. Relying on my ability to quickly pivot, my unique skill set for art and graphic design and the invaluable relationships I made, I was able to form and grow my brand as a freelance artist and designer. Read more>>

Christina Bjorn | National Award Winning Cake Artist and Cookbook Author

The thought process behind starting my own business was basically wanting to do things right. What I mean when I say that is right for myself but especially right for the people I serve. I no longer wanted to work extremely hard for a company who did not value their client base or their employees. Instead I wanted to create a company that I could work extremely hard for and cultivate a standard of excellence in my industry. Plus it is truly amazing to have people pay you for doing something you really love. Read more>>

Jamie Gray | Just a Black girl buying Black (& Founder of Black Girl Buying)

To be honest, there was very little thought on my part. When I knew that I wanted to create a space for my friends to be able to see which Black-owned companies I was supporting, I thought an Instagram page would suffice. But my best friend encouraged me to take it a step further and start a blog which would allow me to share why I chose to support those businesses and what I like about them. Once I saw that people were looking for Black businesses and needed help finding what they were looking for, I started thinking about Black Girl Buying a little less as just something for my friends and a little more as a business to put out into the world. Read more>>

Labrina Watkins | Handmade Clay Earring Designer

The thought process behind starting my own business was that I simply wanted to be my own boss. I realized through working for various companies that I thrive better when I am free and independent. In working for other companies with different values and beliefs, I noticed that my values and beliefs were strong and did not fit well into a conventional work environment. I wanted to be able to create and earn a living without walls . I wanted the freedom to be myself and create art that others would appreciate. I wanted to be able to create a legacy that my children would be proud of. Read more>>

Jasmine Paul | Author, Podcast Host & Start-Up Founder

The thought process behind starting my business was answering the pain point I had. Debt! I didn’t understand how it would take me years to pay off a degree that took 3.5 years to accomplish. After years of giving free advice through blogs and consultations, I launched CreateFinStew (short for Creative Financial Stewardship). We’re on a mission to transform 10,000 wallets one heart, one mind, one dollar at a time. Read more>>

Teresa Adams | Owner/Photographer

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I’ve always loved photography. When my boss of 25 years retired in 2017 and closed her medical practice, I started thinking very seriously about my next adventure. With lots of prayer and the encouragement of family and friends, especially my ever supportive husband, I began pursuing my love of photography more seriously and contemplating how to turn what was mostly a hobby, into a vocation. First, I displayed my photography at local shops, art shows and expos. As things progressed I added commissioned work and service photography, such as event, portrait and family photography. Read more>>

SADIETOU CARATHIMAS | Tennis Professional and Bikini Athlete

As a tennis professional and body builder (bikini body builder) , I am in the business of promoting great health, great mind, great nutrition , fun activities and staying active for a better lifestyle. The idea of starting a business was to help promote a healthy lifestyle. We can all testify of the unlimited benefits of a healthy lifestyle in our communities. We all want to be healthy for different reasons: some for their children, other for their health etc.. I provide products that will help people live a better lifestyle: my waist shaper that comes with a basic diet plan, my Self Love slimming tea and sliming cream help women and men start a healthy journey where they can see results in 1 month. I am working on many more products that will help people start a healthy journey. Read more>>

Ian Cohen | Educator & Entrepreneur

I started my career as a high school social studies teacher in Atlanta. Despite never really growing up with an interest in education, I grew to appreciate the fundamental role that both education and learning in general plays in our society and the way we live our lives. I myself have grown to love learning more than pretty much anything else. But we all know the education system is far from effective – and it has almost nothing to do with any of the people who work within it – it is the structure and system itself that is no longer relevant. That is what led me to want to create things that could solve some of today’s problems while providing me with the platform and experience to start designing a new education system for the future. TARA was born out of a real need to help teachers and schools better coordinate and plan for students. Read more>>