In the summer of 2020, we talked to UC Irvine philosophy professor Aaron James about unexpected opportunities that might come from the pandemic. “Experiments with telecommuting and flextime were forced on businesses, and it’s working well for a lot of them,” he said then. “Work is being done well without compromising a lot of other values. … The pandemic is helping to refresh our idea of what contributes to society.”
We’ve all taken a closer look at life; I’ve certainly shifted priorities. Many people are more willing to take risks or want the freedom to work for goals beyond money. The folks we’re highlighting in this month’s cover story took chances and started their own companies for a variety of reasons: more autonomy, pursuing their passion (goats!), the chance to build relationships, and more. The quality that stands out in each is persistence. We were intrigued to discover what drives them and to learn about the surprises and challenges they experienced.
If you’re looking for motivation to forge a different path, we’ve got two more examples in O.C. entrepreneurs Andrea Galbreath and Leslie Nguyen. Galbreath shares the David vs. Goliath story of her small succulents business against Nike. Nguyen is a restaurateur extraordinaire who overcame addiction and is creating interesting spaces for O.C. foodies, including an impressive new location for Bosscat Kitchen & Libations in Irvine. Given the wild ride we’ve been on for the past few years, I’m eager for encouraging stories about inspirational and courageous people. We think you’ll find them in abundance in this issue!