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15 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Business

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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 and brand.

#1 – Because of Overcharging

Photo Credit: Brandon Howard

Photo Credit: Brandon Howard

I started my business because I was sick and tired of web designers charging thousands of dollars and then not responding to calls/emails, taking forever to update things, and eventually disappearing never to be heard from again. It’s a huge problem in the web design industry and it happens all too often. Most of the customers we get have had these bad experiences and then end up staying on board with us for years. In short, we’ve found a way to provide the same level of custom website building for a subscription fee instead of people spending thousands up front. It’s easier to businesses to handle a monthly subscription and it ends up making us enough money in the long run to cater to their every need.

Thanks to Brandon Howard, All My Web Needs

#2 – A Genuine Void

Photo Credit: John C Hayes

Photo Credit: John C Hayes

There was a genuine void that needed to be filled. The tennis industry is an antiquated industry in that people would either go and play at the local a club in or hear about a coach from a friend. If you were to search for a tennis coach online only just five years ago, you would have come across either sketchy pros on Craigslist or outdated websites for tennis clubs that often never even picked up the phone. No one was catering to the thousands of parents that were taking to the internet instead of the yellow pages or your neighbor’s recommendation. We knew there was an opportunity to be at the forefront of an online tennis marketplace so we created MyTennisLessons.com, a place where people looking for tennis lessons could connect with a coach in their area.

Thanks to John C Hayes, MyTennisLessons

#3 – Building a Tool I Needed

Photo Credit: Anastasiia Demydenko

Photo Credit: Anastasiia Demydenko

I’m an addicted online shopper. I liked to buy things online because of endless variety of products available on the web. But here’s a trick, having a wide choice of items makes it harder to decide what is better to buy. To make my final decision I was asking my husband and friends to help me. I was spamming them with emails and messages that included links to products I was choosing from. Finally, I decided that there should be an easier way to be able to compare items online and to get people’s opinions. I searched online and explored an app store on my phone. When I couldn’t find a tool I built one. I believe that if you spend your money on something you should at least enjoy your experience. We built Bonapick to make online shopping more fun.

Thanks to Anastasiia Demydenko, Bonapick

#4 – Walk My Talk

Photo Credit: Annie Kip

Photo Credit: Annie Kip

Running my own business allows me to walk my talk. Making sure that who you are on the inside, lines up with and shows on the outside, is the most satisfying thing I know! I give men the tools they need (style advice and personal coaching) to have a strong personal presence – which really comes down to being themselves in the most genuine, comfortable, confident way. This requires that they take a look at what other people are seeing – and make sure that they look and act in a way that is consistent with how they want to be seen. It is important work for everyone to do and makes every aspect of their lives better. I am doing this same work on myself every day that I deliver this info to my guys. I have to make sure I am being honest. I have to present myself the way I want to be seen. I can really empathize with how hard this is to do and I also know how big the reward is when you are finally seen accurately. Having my own business allows me to really be myself, and be paid to say what I really think and share the insights that make me unique!

Thanks to Annie Kip

#5 – Following My Vision

Photo Credit: J.K. Roberts

Photo Credit: J.K. Roberts

I’ve worked in the finance for over 12 years. It wasn’t the industry I planned on working in when I was younger. I wanted to make a difference and help people out. Early on, one of my managers noticed my knack for helping clients out. My company enrolled me in a program that would eventually earn me my first professional designation. As soon as I obtained the Certified Financial Planner designation, I went out and started working with firms that focused on financial planning. Or so I thought. I quickly realized that the industry was full of self-serving sharks. I kept my head down and put several years of my life into learning all I could from the companies, but I never really fit in. I had this revolutionary idea that clients should be treated like people rather than a paycheck. When the time came, I decided that I wanted to create a company that followed my vision. I decided that I wanted to take the opposite approach the big banks were taking. My goal is simple; financial planning for the people, not Wall Street.

Thanks to J.K. Roberts, Phoenician Financial Planning, LLC

#6 – Help People Talk Sports

Photo Credit: Jane Wu Brower

Photo Credit: Jane Wu Brower

Earlier this year, I decided to start Goalposte, a daily newsletter that summarizes the big stories in sports, in a fun and accessible way. I developed the idea for Goalposte during my time as an attorney working on a case defending Major League Baseball. Throughout the course of the lawsuit I was expected to interact with high-level baseball executives and attend sports business development events. All the while, I was anxious because I barely followed baseball and couldn’t keep up with the conversations around me. From speaking with friends, I discovered that many of them had faced similar situations in client settings, during interviews, or with colleagues and friends. I thought that there should be a way to obtain summarized sports news in a way that is fun and easy for busy sports fans and sports novices alike.

Thanks to Jane Wu Brower, Goalposte LLP

#7 – Out of Necessity

Photo Credit: Dawn Martinello

Photo Credit: Dawn Martinello

I started my company in 2009 out of pure necessity. My husband was always out of work, I had a toddler to take care of and a mortgage to pay. I had already left my good paying job when my son was born in 2007 so failure was not an option. I sold Avon for awhile and was really good at building businesses and teaching people how to do the same. When my son was too old to bring around to the different events, I started my virtual assistance company so I could be at home full time to take care of him and earn money for my family. Everything took a nose dive in 2010 and my profitable business was only making about $300. I divorced my husband and put my health and business on the fast track. Now, I’m running a hugely successful company making nearly 6 figures.

Thanks to Dawn Martinello

#8 – Creating a Better Way

Photo Credit: Tanner Rankin

Photo Credit: Tanner Rankin

I started Source Approach Inc. because I knew there was a better way to integrate growth services into businesses to yield a far bigger ROI. For example, ater working with a handful of small businesses, I realized buzz words like “SEO” were often thrown about as a way to generate revenue, but few knew how to make them work for their business. What if your website doesn’t convert traffic into leads, into customers? Then that SEO service is pointless. Our mission at Source Approach Inc. is to identify the goals of a company, make a plan to achieve them, and then deploy the targeted revenue generating services they need to get there.

Thanks to Tanner Rankin, Source Approach Inc.

#9 – An Informative Platform

Photo Credit: Manick Bhan

Photo Credit: Manick Bhan

Prior to founding Rukkus, I was a quantitative analyst at Goldman Sachs where I was a member of the advisory team for the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger as well as the Groupon IPO. During this time, I took a special interest in the market dynamics of the live entertainment ticketing industry. I am also an avid music fan and concert go-er. Anyone who’s attended a concert, musical, or sports event knows that buying a ticket is often the most dramatic part of the entire enterprise. Fees pile up, websites falter, and it’s hard to tell if you’ll be able to download the ticket to your phone or if you’ll have to track down a printer. And good luck if you try to circumvent this system. After leaving Goldman in 2012, I began building the first iteration of Rukkus based on his belief that there was a need for a more transparent and informative ticketing platform.

Thanks to Manick Bhan, Rukkus

#10 – Loving What I Do

Photo Credit: Lisa Parmley

Photo Credit: Lisa Parmley

Like so many people, I graduated from college I got a great job in my field. While I realized I should have felt lucky, I just wasn’t all that fulfilled, so I searched for and got hired at another job after about 7 months. I immediately felt the same way about my new job so after about 6 months I found my third job in the field. This third job was better, but I still didn’t feel fulfilled so I started working on my ‘exit plan’ which was starting a publishing business. I chose publishing because at the time, the Internet was pretty new and I could see the potential for it.  I’ve always been the person people came to for career advice like resume help, figuring out a career path, etc … so I naturally gravitated toward helping people in the career field. I’ve started three different publishing companies over the last 15 years and really love what I do. For me, my perfect career path was becoming an entrepreneur, but it’s different for everyone and I love the idea of helping other people start something new and fulfilling for them.

Thanks to Lisa Parmley, CareerToolkit

#11 – A Fashionable Leap

Photo Credit: Danni Marie Mangione

Photo Credit: Danni Marie Mangione

Funny as it is, my business started during a casual conversation with my sister. She knew my love for fashion, shopping and most of all bargain hunting. She suggested selling part-time on eBay for extra spending money. I began with 3 handbags on eBay in 2009. With determination, hard work, constant re-investment and innovation, I soon realized my part time venture could be a successful business. After careful consideration, I made the decision to take a leap and end my career in insurance risk management and pursue my love for fashion full-time. The Bagtique was born. Since then, we moved our storefront to Amazon and our own eCommerce website. We currently carry over 2000 products from more than 50 designers and have served over 30,000 happy customers. I don’t think I could have ever been happier or more full-filled in a career as The Bagtique has provided.

Thanks to Danni Marie Mangione, The Bagtique

#12 – To Help Make A Difference

Photo Credit: Cam Ford Finley

Photo Credit: Cam Ford Finley

I started Home Is Where The Jobs Are – your guide to real work from home jobs, home businesses, and extra cash online – because people need to know that there are legitimate home-based jobs and opportunities out there. Since I’ve been researching home jobs and working from home since 2008, I chose to start a blog to share information about the ever-growing number of companies that hire a home-based workforce. Some people simply want an alternative to a commute and a cubicle, but many people actually NEED to earn money from home. The possibility of working at home can be life changing for stay at home parents, caregivers, people who have injuries that prevent them from working outside their homes, and others who are home-bound for much of the day. Spreading the word about telecommute-friendly companies, and helping people expand their employment options is my mission.

Thanks to Cam Ford Finley, Home Is Where The Jobs Are

#13 – Finding a Work-Life Balance

Photo Credit: Matthew Clarke

Photo Credit: Matthew Clarke

I started Resurrection Video 4 years ago after I got fed up of not having a decent work/life balance. I was working in the film, TV and commercial industry, and I’d had enough of never knowing if I was going to be getting out of work in time to put my kids to bed, plus the 90 minute commute each way was taking away even more precious time with them. So I quit my job and set up Resurrection Video, working from home transferring peoples old home movies to digital formats so they could enjoy them again, plus be able to share their old memories with a whole new generation. It’s far more rewarding seeing the joy people get from being able to watch their old movies again, than churning out TV commercials and primetime shows. It’s the best decision I ever made.

Thanks to Matthew Clarke, Resurrection Video

#14 – Couldn’t Find a Job

Photo Credit: Karen Dombrowski-Sobel

Photo Credit: Karen Dombrowski-Sobel

I started my own business as a direct response copywriter because I couldn’t find a J-O-B. It was 1988 and Colorado was in a recession. Everywhere I went looking for work I repeatedly heard, “Debra, we’re not hiring. We’re laying people off right now.” I was petrified back then. How was I going to pay my bills, not to mention my mortgage? But then, it struck me like a lightning bolt. Because, in addition to “We’re laying people off,” many of the people who interviewed me also said, “Debra, we can’t hire you as an employee, but if you were to freelance, we could use your services.” This was my opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and start my own business. I had always said that I wanted my own business, but I never knew what that business was going to be. So I made a decision and opened my own copywriting business. On January 1, 1989, The Write Direction was born.

Thanks to Debra Jason, The Write Direction

 #15 – Give Everyone a Doctor

Photo Credit: Jeffery Khoury

Photo Credit: Jeffery Khoury

I believe that everyone—no matter what their ethnicity or religion is, no matter from what country they come from— should always have the right to feel like they have a Doctor in their Pocket. Everyone should have the opportunity to connect to our greatly experienced and highly regarded Medical Doctors on board; MDs from reputable Medical Schools such as: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, McGill, and many others. Having a specialist who is easily available and accessible—a Doctor in your Pocket, who would always give a valuable advice, who would always listen to you—could really make a huge difference.

Thanks to Jeffery Khoury, Doctor Pocket

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