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Why Did You Start Your Business? Week of May 19th

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Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a Goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project. Each story is different though the reasons may remain the same. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each entrepreneurship and brand.

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To help small companies turn ideas into action

I started Pixel Prose Media in 2010 to help start-ups and small companies turn ideas into action and inspiration into impact. It’s no secret that marketing, while incredibly important, is one of the most costly components of building and running a viable business in today’s global marketplace. As a result, many end up overextending themselves to the point of exhaustion and without ever really accomplishing basic communications needs that are critical to establishing and growing their brand. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Through Pixel Prose Media, I am able to provide quality, cost-effective options for entrepreneurs to realize their marketing goals and attract solid customers. The existence of low-cost digital and content marketing tools has made it more possible than ever for start-ups to successfully articulate their vision, focus their efforts, and achieve their business goals. I am grateful every day to be in a position to help make that possible.

Thanks to Janet A. Dickerson, Pixel Prose Media, LLC

Related Post: Launching a Campaign

 

To give people real answers to their health problems

My approach to health and injury prevention is science based and evidence based. Knowing how healthy you are inside and out will help you better understand your body and what you can do to improve your lifestyle. The fact is that 80% of diseases today are brought on by poor lifestyle choices ­poor nutrition, poor posture, physical inactivity, high stress and low hydration levels. Many of these factors are under your control. By better understanding what your body needs to thrive, we can create an individual health and wellness plan to reduce your risk factors for disease. At MaxHealth LA, our research-based care begins with an initial health assessment. This evaluation includes diagnostic testing, such as x-rays, blood test, cell analysis, lean muscle analysis, body fat and more. This evidence-based approach gives you a compete look at your health. We break your score down into four different health categories; 1) Functional Fitness, 2) Functional Nutrition, 3) General Health, and 4) Neuro-Spinal Health, and then combine these scores to give you an overall wellness score.. We can all relate to a grade and we all know that an ³A² is better than a ³B² and a ³D² is not very good. Using these grades, we can devise a plan to help you make the needed changes in your daily lifestyle. We place such an emphasis on technology at MaxHealth LA because the bottom line is the more questions we can answer through scientific objective data, the better we can be as your doctors of wellness and the healthier lives our patients can lead.

Thanks to Dr. Rob Pomahac, MaxHealth LA

 

To share the importance of play in all forms for children

I had no choice to start my business because it was a path I had been on since a young preteen in working as a tutor and a camp counselor. As a teacher, nanny and children’s museum educator of over ten years, I began to understand what it meant for children to learn through play. I had learned all the “tricks” and methods in how to prepare and care for young children in a multitude of settings. I also began to see how not only my employers valued me, but also how parents confided in me with how I guided their children. I wanted to tell parents, preachers, other teachers, doctors, fire fighters and whomever else would listen about the importance of play (in all forms) in early childhood learning. So I started my business of in home play groups, toddler enrichment classes and more that included parents in the process of watching learning through play unfold. I serve as a facilitator in showing parents new ways of creative play with their children and watching it all come together. I loved being a trusted resource and friend to so many people with my work.

Thanks to Ashley Jefferson, My Play with Ashley

Related Post: Balancing Children and Business

 

Because I saw a drastic gap in the modeling industry

I started my business because I saw a drastic gap in the Modeling Industry. A hole of sorts that aspiring models would fall in to and either not make it or simply be scammed until they no longer wanted to pursue their dream. I wanted a way to fill that gap for models on a consistent basis. Too many stories ended in they didn’t get the job but shelled out thousands of dollars for head shots and a fake opportunity. I wanted to create a real platform where brands that need models and want to choose from real faces, and real people aspiring to be models could connect in one place. It has been extremely successful, a lot of hard work , but i would do it all over again.

Thanks to Bill Staniford, ModelLauncher.com

 

To help members of the local community on their path to wholeness and peace

I wanted to use my gifts and skills in counseling/therapy and spirituality to help members of the local community on their path to wholeness and peace. While making money was a goal, perhaps different than most companies started in Manhattan, finances were not the primary motivator nor judge of its success. In fact, the idea of training and developing other mental health professionals while continuing to provide quality care for Harlem and Washington Heights continues to be the motivation behind the companies.

Thanks to The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, Seeking Shalom

To stop living someone else’s dream

Once, I thought I had everything figured out – work hard, get an education, find a job, collect a paycheck for thirty odd years, and retire happily. But something was always missing. At work, I was perpetually unchallenged, bored, and, most of all, unsatisfied. Then, one day it hit me: this wasn’t my dream. Finally opening my eyes to opportunities long ignored, I started a lifestyle business built around my true passion: travel. Drawing upon my own adventures (and more misadventures than I’d like to admit), I help people to experience more of the world with less and step beyond their comfort zones by publishing practical – and at times, unconventional – travel planning, language learning, and travel photography tips. Getting started with entrepreneurship is never easy, but even with the countless hours spent building, learning, and refining your craft, there’s a certain intrinsic satisfaction in knowing you can now live life by your own rules and set your own boundaries. At that one moment when you finally realize that work can be meaningful and that a life beyond mediocrity is within reach, nothing will ever be the same.

Thanks to Ryan O’Rourke, Treksplorer.com

 

Because I had nothing to lose

My marriage was over and as far as I was concerned my life was too. After being married for three years and being in that relationship for six years, it was all over. My future look bleak and I made a decision that I was confident was the best – I tried to take my own life. This attempted suicide enabled me to appreciate just how precious life is. I realised that I had lived on planet earth for 26 years but I had never truly lived. As a result I wanted to do something incredible. I had nothing to fear and a blank canvas in front of me. I created a business called tribewanted.com. I leased a 200 acre island in Fiji and enabled people from around the world to register to become a ‘tribe member’. Tribewanted gained world-wide media attention and was featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show and the South China Morning Post. Tribewanted was filmed for 18 months and became a TV show that aired in the UK, Australia and America. I started a business because the possibility of going bankrupt could not have been any worse than trying to take my own life. I started a business because I had nothing to lose. What would you do if you knew that you had nothing to lose?

Thanks to Mark Bowness, Tribewanted

 

Because we wanted to save lives

I started SoapBox with my best friend because we wanted to save lives. Specifically, we started SoapBox to empower customers with the ability to make the world a better place through everyday, simple purchases.

Thanks to David Simnick, SoapBox

 

Because I wanted to reach out and help women change their health

I started my business because I want to reach out and help women to change their health and life in the same way that I did. I spent over 20 years dieting, feeling guilty about food and exercise, never really doing the right things because I found it too hard. Then I gave up the guilt, stopped dieting and lost all the weight, gained energy and changed my health and life dramatically. I want to reach out to women and support them to change their life so that they don’t have to diet and deprive themselves, that you can be fit, healthy, the size that you want to be and eat the food that you enjoy. I feel like I am living my lifes purpose and I just adore helping women to make positive change in their life.

Thanks to Jenny Wright, Hello Great Health

Related Post: How Women Can Assert Themselves in Business

 

Because I felt I had something unique to offer

I started my business because I felt I had something unique to offer. I’m a very creative person and I didn’t like the restraints of having a boss watching over my shoulder and be told what I can or can’t do. My vision of supplying products and service has always been to provide customers what they want and not what they need. My philosophy has always been to project my personality and integrity through my business. That is to give my client a great experience so that they want to come back again and again and always deliver on my promise no matter what!

Thanks to Salvatore Avati, Black Jack Merchandising

 

Because I wanted to create the job I wanted

I started my business in 2010 because the economy was in bad shape and there weren’t any desirable jobs in my field. I knew that the only way to have the job that I wanted was to create it myself. So, I started Fox Granite and have been growing the business ever since. It wasn’t an easy road beginning is such a poor economy. I had to make profit from day one in order to grow the business with my own capital considering lending institutions were not lending at the time. The best advice I could give someone is if there isn’t the right job out there for you, then create it yourself. Working for someone else is risky right now and the benefits just aren’t there anymore. I believe that entrepreneurship is the best route to creating a desirable future. They say that it takes 2-3 years to become profitable as a new business, but I believe that you should be making a profit three months in and if not, definitely make adjustments right away.

Thanks to Greg Fox, Fox Granite

 

A business started for two reasons

I started my law firm for 2 reasons. First, the job market for new attorneys was rough when I graduated, and I reasoned that the greatest job security would come from starting my own law practice. I also wanted to focus on working with small business owners, and realized it may be hard to find a position with a firm doing just that. Second, I wanted to build a new law firm business model that focuses on using technology to improve the efficiency of a law practice. Some law firms are slow to adapt new technology, and I wanted to start a firm that bucked that trend.

Thanks to Andrew Legrand, Andrew Legrand Law, LLC

 

To help healthcare stakeholders grow their business

I suppose my story is not too different than most others: I saw a need in the marketplace so I filled it. For me, this means helping stakeholders in healthcare grow their business and contribute to a healthier nation. After 15 years in public relations and advertising, I recognized that there were too many healthcare clients that wanted to increase their brand visibility and attract new sales leads, but they just didn’t fit into the traditional agency formula. Because of their tight margins and ambitious growth goals, agency retainer structures proved to be too restrictive by nature and as a result, many healthcare innovations couldn’t be effectively positioned nor receive the exposure they deserved. When I started Anderson Interactive Marcom, I made a conscious effort to shape my business so it could to meet the budgets and individual needs of each client. But more important, I designed account structures to allow for a very fast turnaround of results, so each client quickly achieves the visibility they need to grow their business and do their part in contributing to a stronger healthcare system.

Thanks to Dave Anderson, Anderson Interactive Marcom

 

In conscious pursuit of my purpose

My first entrepreneurial instincts happened as a junior in college when I believed my purpose was to be a social worker. I remember listening to the professor talk about poverty and thought, “If I really want to make a difference, I need to be the boss and positioned to make a difference.” From that point forward, I actively pursued leadership opportunities … and with each opportunity, I noticed the significant impact leaders had on the achievement of business outcomes. Additionally, I noticed how difficult the profession of leadership was for people because most were not properly prepared for this important responsibility. These observations combined with personal leadership experiences prompted an idea that I “incubated” – simply thought about and created in my head for ten years before I acted on it. The idea was to create a private sector profit-making company solely dedicated to helping emerging and established leaders become confident, competent, courageous and calm. In 2008, I incorporated Gwen, Inc. – a company that does just that. The conscious pursuit of my purpose enabled me to incorporate a company that provides leadership development services to hundreds of leaders each year.

Thanks to Gwen Webber McLeod, Gwen, Inc

 

Falling into business

I fell into my business really. As a student I was doing some freelance Public Relations and online communications work for two small businesses, when one of them asked me to invoice them. I got home and applied for an ABN and thought “hey, I could probably do this” and so Crowes Nest Communications was born. There are some aspects of PR that I don’t enjoy, and I wanted to stick to doing what I was passionate about and so starting my own business was the perfect choice.

Thanks to Samantha Crowe, Crowes Nest Communications

 

Encouragement from a professor

I did the business plan to my business as my final project in my entrepreneur class in college. My professor loved it so much, he told me I should make it happen and he’d give me the seed money. I followed his advice and started the business 17 years ago right out of college. I was originally going to be an attorney but am so happy I listened to my professor and work for myself.

Thanks to Shannen Tanabe, A Sight for Sport Eyes

Related Post: Preparing for Management Through Education

 

To skew the work/life balance in our favor

We stopped working for someone else when our youngest child started school. Being our own bosses meant we often worked late into the night, but we could help out in classrooms, take a walk while the sun’s out and meet the kids at the bus stop. After 17 years, the kids are grown and launched, but we couldn’t possibly go back to work for someone else. As web developers, our office is virtual with colleagues in California, Illinois and Arizona and we all can work from the road when we’re traveling. Yes, the days can be long but the hours are ours to plan as we wish. Most likely we’ll work well past retirement age, but we envision years of semi-retirement working with interesting projects while enjoying all life has to offer.

Thanks to Don and Kate Gingold, Sprocket Websites

 

To help aspiring first-time entrepreneurs

I started my business because I wanted to help aspiring first-time entrepreneurs wade through all of the difficulties that come with launching a company and achieve their dreams. I realized that I wasn’t able to do this in a complete and compelling way at the organizations I was working with because so many current and potential clients kept asking me for services that the organization didn’t allow me to provide. Starting my own company allowed me to better meet the needs of the clients with whom I most wanted to work and also came with amazing perks, like the freedom and flexibility to travel. Now I am better able to serve both my clients and myself because I am in control of the company’s direction.

Thanks to Cate Costa, Venture Catalyst Consulting

 

To give bed and breakfast owners/innkeepers some relief

After spending thirty years in the busy corporate and business world of Los Angeles, my wife and I decided to followed a dream we had and purchased a Bed & Breakfast in Manitou Springs. We dramatically grew the business, but after ten years we felt that it was time to sell the B&B and move into a quieter time or our life. However, we were not ready to move into a sedentary senior life style. Since we were seasoned Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers, we decided to become Bed & Breakfast Interim Innkeepers (also called Inn Sitters). We formed our company Inn Caring , had a website written and started marketing our services to bed and breakfast owners across the country. We now travel the country, from coast to coast, as relief inn keepers. Sometimes the assignment is just for a weekend, sometimes a week or two, and occasionally three months or longer. In addition to helping out inn owners serving as Interim Innkeepers, we also conduct intensive, hands on classes for aspiring inn keepers and aspiring interim innkeepers. In addition, we utilize our 19 years of experience as Bed and Breakfast Consultants. We work about six months out of the year. The remainder of the year we rejuvenate at home and travel to California to visit our daughter and her family. We love the bed and breakfast industry and are pleased that we can continue to be vital members of this community.

Thanks to Howard & Lynda Lerner, Inn Caring

 

Sparked by my personal frustrations

The idea for Nestivity was sparked by my personal frustration that too many brands treat Twitter as a broadcast channel, and they end up either spamming their followers or ignoring them. Others using Twitter to instigate a one-to-one conversation move Twitter discussions to email or other social networks, wasting time and losing conversation threads in the process. With Nestivity, we’ve built a community layer on top of Twitter to enable brands to form communities and host meaningful discussions directly on the platform they – and their fans – are already using. From day one, the design and build of Nestivity was informed by the real world: we listened to your needs as Twitter users; and your stories and feedback fueled our momentum. It’s been a fast, furious and exhilarating journey – and it’s only just beginning! Market response to Nestivity’s Beta program has been exceptional, with over 3,700 signups to date, including top brands and global influencers.

Thanks to Henry Min, Nestivity

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of Gresham Harkless Jr.
Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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