Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Portia Landry | Homemade Cookie Baker

Thankful to God that was fortunate enough to grow up in a loving household with y parents and siblings. My mother always made sure we had homecooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and some nights she would even make homemade treats from scratch like cookies, cake, cinnamon rolls, candy apples, pies etc and I would be in the Kitchen along side of her helping and that grew into love and wanting to share one of my gifts with the world. Read more>>

Dawn Aisha | Pro Makeup Artist

Doing makeup is my passion and I love making people feel beautiful . I also love teaching makeup lessons, showing individuals how to enhance their beauty. Read more>>

Michelle Hlavinka | Gourmet Cake Baker & Artist

After being in the corporate world for several years, I found myself dreading the monotony of a 9-5. As I delved deeper into my baking hobby I found that it could be a legitimate business. A few years later and Cake 4 Dinner is going strong. Read more>>

Alexis Jones | Graphic Designer | Branding Strategist | Yoga and Fitness Trainer

It started with wanting to help my friends launch their dream businesses. At the time, I had my BFA in graphic design and was working for a book publishing company that made children’s books. While I was getting to use my creativity there, I always loved building brand identities and all aspects of branding in school. I had studied advertising as a minor for 3 years before switching majors and just felt a calling to help small businesses in that way. We live in a world where generic branding and logo designs are at your fingertips for a cheap price online. My passion lies in helping small businesses build their dream brand — something uniquely theirs that feels aligned with their business and attracts the right kind of consumers for their growth. There is so much passion in partnering with entrepreneurs and small business owners, and I truly enjoy brainstorming with them creatively. I found myself freelancing on the side for a friend’s start up and one thing led to another and eventually was able to build a clientele. Read more>>

Kristan Pedesclaux | Certified Event Planner

I turned my passion for helping people create their dream day, into a business when I lost my corporate job of 18 years. My company had a large layoff, to include many senior executives- including me. For years I’ve planned big events for friends and family and decided to turn my passion into a business. Read more>>