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.

Inna Aracri | Entrepreneur and Health Enthusiast

In my mid-twenties, I began to understand the value of nutrition and developed a passion for a healthy lifestyle. I started applying what I was learning to my own life because I wasn’t feeling as healthy as I should. I found myself feeling fatigued and drained on a regular basis, and I didn’t enjoy those phases. I knew that I had to finetune my mind and body in order to maintain my health; therefore, my goal became to align my positive thoughts with nourishing foods. The more time I invested into my efforts, the more I understood that I wanted to pursue this long term. Creating a food product was a way of giving my passion the creative outlet it needed, as well as granting my entrepreneurial curiosity a chance. Read more>>

Stacy Caridi | Graphic Artist, Photographer, Cake Designer

I chose communication design as my major in college with the idea to eventually work from home. I knew I wanted to be a mom. I knew I wanted to raise my kids at home, and I knew I wanted to work – I enjoy the additional purpose and challenge that work provides. I worked for 10 years as a graphic designer and art department manager, while keeping my foot in the door with freelance work at home. With the birth of my second baby, and thanks to the hard work of my husband; I was able to securely leave my full-time job. There is so much I love to do, and I wanted to combine my talents. Though Revelation ID was originally just a graphic design freelance job, it has expanded into a “one stop shop” for many event needs. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but memories are so very special. I love that I can use all of my artistic talents to help make an event or occasion that much more memorable. There’s a long way to go, more plans to implement and there’s always more to learn – I’m loving it all and look forward to the future. Read more>>

Fred Weary | Youth Character, Leadership Development, and Sports Performance

MADLINEMAN strongly believes the majority of all football games are won or lost from battles, IN THE TRENCHES. However, In the Trenches of Life, we are losing the majority of the battles our youth face in inner city communities from: high dropout rates, childhood obesity problems, and poor funding for youth and high school football programs. Throughout my Collegiate/NFL career, I have seen firsthand that some of the finest athletes come from all walks of life. As a former student-athlete and NFL lineman, I want to communicate the importance of character development, leadership skills, health/fitness, and most importantly; scholastic goal setting/achievement. The MADLINEMAN primary initiative stems from personal experiences throughout, my youth and NFL career. Read more>>

Hector Reyes | Entrepreneur & Landscaper

I wanted to be able to have control. Unlike a regular 9-5 job, having my own business would allow me to make my own decisions, scheduling, time management, etc. Wanted to built something and more than a thought, it was a dream I wanted to make into reality. Read more>>

Timothy Oyedele | Owner of Juzy

My biggest motivations behind starting Juzy was both a deep love for health and wellness and a great dismay for relying on other people to sign my paychecks for the rest of my life. I had the concept for Juzy long before I brought it to fruition, but it took getting laid off from my job to push me to pursue my idea seriously. I wanted to be able to do what I love full time while also making a positive impact on my community. Read more>>

Juan Antonio Maldonado | CEO-Personal Fitness Trainer-Online Fitness Coach

Results. It comes down to one of my favorite phrases, “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. In short, we provide affordable programs, help our clients understand what it will take to be successful in our or any other program, and follow through with everything we promised to deliver. Read more>>

Kevin Barnett | Founder | Brand Strategists

Hardwork – as defined by Webster means a great deal of effort or endurance. This meaning holds true when as it relates to being called a father, a “Blue Collar Father” who is committed to seeking a generational shift, in the communities in which I came from and leaving a legacy behind for all children, specifically black and brown ones and those of minority to be able to soar like eagles from. Throughout my career, I noticed that I outworked everyone in the room, to only receive the same incentive as my counterpart. My thrive for greatness meant that I needed more, I needed to become my own brand, an owner and controller of my own destiny. Having the determination and will, were easy but identifying my purpose, was something I had to search for. I realized that I had a passion for people, specifically identifying connecting similar strengths to forward a mission. Read more>>

Kaitee Villarreal | Cosmetologist & Entrepreneur

I always knew I wanted to work for myself but had no idea what I would be doing. After years of suffering with cystic acne I caved and bought an airbrush makeup machine. After a year of practicing, I serviced my first bride and fell in love with it. Making a living helping other people look and feel good just made sense. Read more>>

Yael Trusch | Podcast Host, International Speaker & Money Coach

The thought process was finding a pain point for women that I knew I had a unique way of helping with – a passion for and a unique voice and perspective. As an blogger, podcast host and international speaker, I was always infusing Jewish wisdom in my content. But, the more I talked to women the more I realized that there was one particular pain point – their financial lives- which was hardly ever spoken about and in which I had much to say both from my own practical and personal experience, as well as from the Jewish wisdom that I knew impacted my financial life. So, I decided to use my role as an influencer and start focusing on money and personal finance from a Jewish perspective. The more I talked about it, the more I saw how much thirst there was and the need was validated. By the time I opened my first online course, women had already been begging me to launch something. Read more>>

Lakiesha Thomas | Author & Speaker

Having my own business was always a life goal of mine, never to work for anyone else for the rest of my life. However, how, when and where to get started took me sometime to get there. It took for my husband and I to go through a really rough time In our marriage for me to get to a place to say I’m ready to get started now. No more time to put it off, so I presented my plans and goals to my baby sister and my mother and August 2014 La’Shaes was born. Read more>>

NaTroya Harper | Clothing Boutique and Hair Extensions Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was wanting to be able to spend all the time I wanted with my family plus do something that I love. My husband was definitely my biggest supporter with starting my own business. I remember the first time he told me to just focus on the business and he would handle everything else. Right then and there I knew what I wanted to do and that was to make women feel beautiful in the clothes and hair extensions that I was going to offer to them. That is where Troya Denise and Candy Tresses was born. Read more>>

Tina Hatcher | Founder and Executive Director of Hope Impacts. A Homeless non profit

When I began our non profit (Hope Impacts) that serve the homeless it was because no one else in our community was addressing such an important issue and I felt that it was an social injustice concern that someone needed to do something about. I acknowledge that homeless can happen to anyone, at any time for a multitude of reasons. The fact that we live in a time where there are no long term solutions to the problem of homelessness stirred up a dedication to address the problem, at least, in my neighborhood. We can be part of a solution or part of a problem. My goal is to create solutions and advocate for those that may not be able to advocate for themselves. I believe everyone should be “seen” and ” heard” and stigmas associated with homelessness are demoralizing and demeaning to the people affected- both situationally and chronically. Read more>>

Moni Burgin & Rachel Horesovsky | Co Owners

I think we both just got tired of having other jobs. We spent some time working together at a dessert shop in Washington, D.C. while we were in college, and had always talked about how amazing it would be to start our own, so we decided to go for it. We both also had experience working on food trucks and were somewhat familiar with the paperwork involved. So, we ran a Kickstarter campaign to see if we’d get enough support. We did, and here we are! Read more>>

Ricquel Madison | Interior|bonique Cosmetics

My Thought Process of starting My Own Business Was To Keep Me Working Keep Me Busy And Especially Having Something I Can Call Mine & Owning My Own Brand Something That Motivate Me As Well. Read more>>

Destiny Davis | CEO, BarbieFaceBoutique

Since the age of 15, I’ve always worked. If I told you how many jobs I’ve had, you’d swear I was lying to you. It didn’t take me long to realize that working an “average job” wasn’t for me. Being a minority I knew that It would take a lot for me to climb up the corporate ladder, despite what I brought to the table. Employers knew my worth before I really did. Why would I allow someone to use me, my knowledge and innovative ideas to help them make billions ? This was the question I asked myself that finally made me realize if I don’t work for myself, I’m cheating myself! I knew starting a business would take a lot. Brainstorming ideas, financial investing, sacrifices, budgeting and patience, yet I was still determined and excited. I was passionate and every successful person will tell you that, “if you don’t have passion, you will become frustrated and fail”. Read more>>

Felicha Jones | Owner/Founder – Smart Scholars Foundation, Academy & University

When I first opened my business, I thought I would just start a childcare center and keep it small and do this for the rest of my life. Boy was I wrong. I started my childcare business and within a year’s time I officially started my nonprofit organization. From there the windows of opportunity and the doors that have opened for me have been simply amazing. Read more>>

Giset King | Educator, Psychologists, Author , Fitness Instructor and Autism Advocate

I wanted to inspire women of all sizes and backgrounds. Nowadays media is focusing on a specific body type to promote health. Health is energy, strength, resting well and other components. Health can’t be measured merely by a number in the scale. I wanted to inspire women to be healthy for the right reasons. I wanted to show others that you can be anybody type and still be healthy. Even skinny girls are photoshoped in magazines and this messes up with women’s visions of health and with life expectations. Read more>>