I started my business in 2013!

Why these five entrepreneurs finally took the plunge.

A scary jump for a young marketer

kate finley entrepreneurs 2013 business launch
  • Name: Kate Finley, 28
  • Company: Belle Communications, Columbus, Ohio
  • Why now: Realized she had the skills and passion for small business

In January, I launched Belle Communications, a public relations, social media and marketing company that works with specialty food brands and start-ups. I spent the past year re-evaluating what I wanted to do after leaving the hectic agency world for a marketing job with a state association.

I had already spent a lot of time investing in my social media and professional networks, and gathering a potential client base. It all just clicked.

After I gave my notice I was looking at profiles on LinkedIn and seeing people with 15 or 20 years of experience who didn't have their own businesses. I had been in the industry for six years, and I remember thinking 'What am I doing?' I had a few people tell me I should wait until I had more experience.

But I think you have to follow your gut. I've definitely learned a lot in the past four months about negotiation, writing contracts and making sure that you get a deposit for work. My current clients include a vegan, gluten-free dessert company, a gluten-free cereal company and a tech start up. I'm providing PR and securing media placements, helping with their social media strategies and writing content for their websites and newsletters. The upside: I'm already exceeding the income I was making at my agency job.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated May 13 2013 02:00 PM ET

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