Starting a business is often a life-altering decision.  It can affect you in so many ways beyond just financially.  We asked some of the smartest entrepreneurs we know about their thought-process around starting their own businesses.

Vincent Alberico | Business Owner

1. It’s in my blood. Small family run businesses were where I spent my childhood. I never thought twice about driving around with my grandfather to his meetings, assembling furniture in my mother’s mattress store, or cleaning the kitchen of my uncle’s pizzeria. I was taught hard work from a young age. My mother, Rebecca opened Sleepworld, a traditional mattress shop in Asheville, NC in 2002 and I assisted her in growing her business. Over the years, I flirted with the idea of taking a corporate job, but the ability to help my family and contribute to the business won out. Read more>>

ShaVonda Lawson | Business Owner

I wanted to share an a recipe that my grandmother taught me, And once I started making them, everyone started asking me to make them one. Overnight I started planning to make this a business, and I love to cook so it was a perfect plan for me. Big Momma Crab Pie’s and Entrees has a unique taste of it’s own. There are many crab pies, but only one “Big Momma Crab Pie’s”. Every bowl I mix I can see my grandmother preparing this Bea signature dish. I guarantee my customers a unique lunch with a southern taste. Read more>>

Jordan Rhodes | Graphic & Web Designer

When thinking through wanting to really venture into freelance work as much as possible, my bottom line was always that I wanted to create something from scratch. I wanted to see my work, skills, and client relationships grow in every way possible and truly and deeply feel that personal satisfaction with each successful – and even unsuccessful – project. Another incredible aspect of my own business for me is the flexibility to craft my own environment and schedule. Read more>>

Sharon (BEE) Schaefer | Metal Artist & Jewelry Designer

My business came about when I needed to find a creative outlet for my time. I researched on how to find my passion. I have always been creative and studied different mediums. Oil painting, ceramics, fashion design are just a few. I found an article about metal clay. I took a workshop working with Silver Metal Clay. Doing more research I found Bronze metal clay. There were no workshops for that medium. I taught myself how to work in the Bronze. Read more>>

Michael Tran | Chef

It’s very scary when starting your own business. There are so many risks and doubts that comes with it. You question yourself. People you know question you. But, in the end, it’s all about taking a risk and believing in yourself that you can do it. It’s a leap of faith. Of course it helps to do your research and have experience in the industry, too. Read more>>

Lateefah Smith | Owner of The Veggie Connection

I knew in the 6th grade I wanted to own my own business. Back then the business I wanted to own was a clothing line. So I figured after high school I would go to college and major in Business Administration Emphasis in Management. This way I would learn how to manage/operate my business instead of going to school to be a fashion designer. Since I already had good fashion sense and I knew what I wanted my clothing line to look like I could just hire a team to make it happen. Read more>>