Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy.  So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Dr. Charlene Lawson | Certified Personal Stylist

While working in Corporate America I met so many ambitious, accomplished, and brilliant women who were confident in their professional skills but struggling with professional style. Many of them were rapidly advancing in business but their image did not match their new level of success. Others wanted to express their personal style but didn’t want it to detract from their accomplishments or draw too much attention to themselves especially in male-dominated fields. As a fashion lover, I always showed up to work in a power suit or killer dress with heels. Read more>>

Corie Campbell | Certified Personal Trainer – ACE Nutrition Specialist – Corrective Exercise Specialist – PNL1 Nutrition Coach

Growing up I always wanted to own my own business. After working in the beauty industry throughout high school I pursued a business degree in University. I always dreamed of owning my own spa. Who doesn’t want to own a spa right? I spent over ten years in the beauty industry and after becoming a mom, and spending two years as a stay at home mom, I began to question my purpose. I spent a lot of time diving deep into what drives me. I asked myself questions like: What am I good at? What am I passionate about? What is my purpose beyond being a mom and a wife? I read the book “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren and it challenged me to consider the kinds of things I have been interested in my entire life. Read more>>

Jasmin Augustin | Digital Strategist

Growing up, I actually wanted nothing to do with entrepreneurship! I wasn’t your typical “child entrepreneur” selling juice and candy to the other kids. I rejected it because my dad was an entrepreneur and it looked scary to me – up and down and everything in between. But as I got older (and wiser), I became intrigued. I’ve actually owned 3 businesses in the past 7 years ( 2 of them are still open) and I LOVE the creation process. I truly enjoy creating something in my mind and then putting in the work to make it come to life. Read more>>

Shannon McGraw-Deitz | Mental Health Peer Specialist, Transformation Coach and Speaker

There was a need and I knew I had what it took to meet that need. Specifically with our mission at Hopeful Hearts Ministry, which is to aide in the long term recovery of adult survivors of abuse, I had been working with teenagers, sharing my own story of healing after abuse, and their parents would pull me aside, sharing their own stories and how they had never told anyone nor received any form of therapy to help with the healing process. Read more>>

Nikkie Hancock | Owner of Kingwood Moms

I started Kingwood Moms to help other Moms in the area have all resources they would need at their fingertips. But Kingwood Moms mission is to also support local businesses by offering advertising. Read more>>

Jerald Redmon | Owner of Redzone Training Center

My goal was to create an environment to help people get healthy inside and out!! Everyone is different so my goal was to create a culture that could work for everyone! We have helped numerous members overcome great obstacles from losing over 200lbs to helping someone overcome eating disorders. It starts mentally and we bring out the best in our clients! We have succeeded with that in a short time! We have an awesome staff and awesome members! Read more>>

Charlene Jones | Fine Art Portraiture Photographer

Photography started off as a hobby for me. I had no intentions of it becoming a business. It literally just happened. I went from photographing what I enjoyed at the time for free and the fun of it to being paid for my work. After that things started to fall in place according to what was needed per client. Before I knew it, my hobby was now a business. Read more>>

Carla Horton | Owner of Inherit Jewelry

My thought process behind starting my own business was to address my personal void of not being able to find clip on earrings that fit my personal style. Later on, I realized that I could help fill this void for other women like myself by making and selling my own jewelry designs. Read more>>

Jeremy and Amy Bivins | Pickle Makers

It was pretty simple…why not?! We loved our pickles and friends and family have enjoyed them for years, so it was just the next logical step in moving forward. Amy had left full time work to homeschool our kids – so it was a great outlet and way for us all to connect as a family. It is a bonus it brings in additional income too! Read more>>

Ritchie Johnson | Mother, Author, Registered Nurse, RMC Advocate

Approximately 8 years ago my youngest son, Chris was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma (RMC). Then, 15 months later, he was dead from this rare, aggressive and incurable kidney cancer that attacks the bodies of individuals with sickle cell trait. During the 15 month journey, I placed my nearly 40-year career as a registered nurse on hold while Chris was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. There was very little information available about RMC and the articles that we did find on the Internet were devastating; giving us little hope. Read more>>

Jessica Wright | Owner and Massage Therapist of Majestic Therapy

My thought process behind starting my own business began with the question, “How is my future self going to be set up by the actions my current self is taking?” That right there was the million dollar question! I listen to a lot of podcasts and one in particular stood out to me. They were talking about how successful this man is and what he credited to his success and his response was, “I credit my 30 year old self for all of his hard work, because without his hard work and dedication my 40 year old self would not be where I am today.” Read more>>

Celia Ramirez | Sweet Treat Maker/ Treat Instructor

Starting a small business requires dedication and sacrifice. There are many risks and self doubts that come with it. Am I good enough? Will people enjoy what I offer? Is this even the path I am trying to take? I’ve always had that little voice letting me know keep pushing, and you will achieve much success, by having faith and believing in yourself. Having the support of my family, and knowing deep down inside it will be my time to shine. Read more>>

Karen DeGuzman | Cake Aritst & Small Business Owner

My thought process in starting my own business was that I wanted to satisfy this need to create something entirely mine. My husband was actually the person to convince me to quit my job and jump into this business. I thought to myself, if I could use everything I’ve learned from being a pastry chef to a general manager of a bakery, and apply it to my own business, I could definitely make this work. I thought about what customer base I wanted, the outline of my menu, developing my menu and what brand I wanted everyone to know me by. Read more>>

Christine Miller | Esthetician

Having worked for a franchise for 6 years I knew from the inside out that the first objective was dollar signs and second came the client. As an Esthetician that was simply unacceptable. Yes I need to make a living, but the line of work I am in demands I put the clients health, safety and needs first and foremost and that is why I stepped out and started my business Savvy Waxing. Read more>>

Jan Pomeroy | Mixed Media Artist

When I was in junior high I had an art teacher Mr Rooney that really inspired me. From that time I couldn’t think of anything but to become an artist. I was an art major in college and continued to take various art classes to develop my skills and apprenticed under several artists to learn cloissone’ enamaling, fiber art techniques and mixed media techniques. It was just a natural progression for me to make it a business since it was my passion and desire to develop and grow as an artist. Read more>>

Stephanie Dobos | The Butter Stick Bakery Owner/Pastry Chef

Starting The Butter Stick Bakery was kind of a no brainer for me. I always loved the idea of being able to work for myself and not have a specific schedule I have to stick to. It makes it a little easier to be able to balance work life and personal life when you have the luxury of making your own hours. I have also always been very creative so being able to implement my own ideas without having to run it through several other people first has definitely been an advantage I’ve been able to use to grow my business throughout the years. Read more>>

Avier Whitfield | Creator and Sun glass Influencer for Shop Avier

I cant take full responsibility behind starting my own business. My family played a major role behind really putting everything together to start my business. I’ve always enjoyed fashion, even as a little girl. I particularly always loved different and unique eye wear. I would always get asked “Where did you get your sunglasses?” So, after a family trip to the Dominican republic a few years ago, my family encouraged me to start, what is now known as “Shop Avier.” Read more>>

Shearrhea Fletcher | Independent Child Advocate, Licensed Clinical Christian Therapist, Board Certified Christian Counselor, and Professional Supervised Visitation Monitor

As a Child Advocate volunteer for many years, I felt that my time and efforts to help each child I was assigned to was limited with the amount of help I can provide. I saw so many children in dire need of additional help that only Children Protective Services (CPS) were providing, but with so many cases assigned to caseworkers, some were possibly falling through the cracks. It was so many barriers between me as a volunteer and the caseworkers. For instance, I may have a child in placement that required all kinds of services or immediately needed to be placed for safety reasons, but because of the caseworkers’ caseload, it would get pushed back and/or delayed from several weeks to several months. Read more>>