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29 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 entrepreneurship and brand.

We asked some entrepreneurs and business owners, why they started their businesses:

#1- After the birth of my daughter

Photo Credit: Lisa Cash Hanson

I created Snuggwugg Travel Pillow shortly after my daughter was born. Believe it or not diaper changes and traveling with toddlers can sometimes become very frustrating. So Snuggwugg was invented. I had no idea we would be featured on Steve Harvey, Fox and so many other outlets. And I was blessed to receive many awards for our product too. I want business owners to remember that this journey of being anentrepreneur is almost never a straight climb to the top. There are valleys and a lot of ditches. But if you keep going your business will succeed and you will be an inspiration to others along their way.

Thanks to Lisa Cash Hanson, Mompreneur Mogul!

#2- Several employment opportunity rejections

Photo Credit: Dinesh Agarwal

I was not determined to start a business. I was a Ph.D. student working towards becoming a research scientist with a large R&D lab. My research was valuable enough for a large corporation that is known for creating a popular operating system 🙂 to give us about $250K in funding. However, I was denied an internship at their R&D lab closely related to my research work. Similarly, I had another chance where I was selected as one of the top 10 finalists among 117,000 registered participants. That usually means you get a job at that company, but again I was refused a job. I realized I was unemployable and hence there was no point in getting rejections left and right. I come from a business family so starting a business was not an unexplored territory for me.

Thanks to Dinesh Agarwal, Recur Post Inc!

#3- Three key reasons

Photo Credit: Sharon Rowe

I started my business, Eco-Bags Products in 1989 for three key reasons. I didn’t want to make compromises, professionally and personally. I wanted my work to work for me not the other way around. I set out to address the environmental hazard of single use plastic bags and all the waste they were (and still are) by introducing a better solution, ECOBAGS®, to the market; a reusable bag made both ethically and sustainably. I started a movement! I wanted to be in charge of my own time so I prioritized family first creating a schedule that didn’t bleed or drain me which meant no business after hours (weekends and evenings). And, I created the business to build both an income stream and asset for my family.

Thanks to Sharon Rowe, Eco-Bags Products!

#4- To fill societal touch needs

Photo Credit: Adam Lippin

Our society is suffering from chronic touch deprivation and, to make matters worse, we have also sexualized touch. Touch deprivation is linked to anxiety, depression, aggression, stress, violent behavior, impulsiveness, low job performance, poor relational skills, and so on. Sadly, many people in our society come from communities where they were never, or rarely, touched by their parents, family members, or friends or only experience touch through sex. There’s a better way. Cuddling provides safe, non-sexual, mutually beneficial touch that many of us never received in the past or currently do not experience in the present. Much like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, professional therapeutic touch is healing and transformative.

Thanks to Adam Lippin, Cuddlist!

#5- From a negative experience with insurance

Photo Credit: Matt Schmidt

Diabetes Life Solutions was started, after my family personally had difficulties obtaining life insurance for my Father, who has Diabetes. With over 30 million people in the USA having this chronic disease, we were one of millions of people who were receiving incorrect information about Life Insurance and Diabetes. After going thru such a negative experience, we now try and provide people who have Diabetes a positive experience, when applying for Life Insurance. As the only life insurance agency who ONLY works with the Diabetes community, it’s our mission to share accurate information and help the millions of families out there who are impacted by Diabetes.

Thanks to Matt Schmidt, Diabetes Life Solutions!

#6- Flexibility, ownership and to help others

Photo Credit: Emily Mazza

We are a group who support mental health practitioners with office management and administrative tasks remotely. I started my business to be able to have a more flexible schedule and have something of my own. Through nicheing out to work with mental health professionals I have found it to be more than just helping myself but helping mental health professionals grow their business as well and in turn allowing more time and more patients to be seen in an industry where many are being failed by insurance and finding the help that they need.

Thanks to Emily Mazza, Mazza Virtual Assistants!

#7- To prioritizes employee and client retention

Photo Credit: Steven Randall

I have been working with my Partners since November 2000. We admire, trust, and respect each other and have a great working chemistry. The company that employed us began putting profits above people and new sales above client retention. It was becoming a business model destined to fail. The three of us had the exact opposite mentality and created a company that prioritizes employee and client retention. We treat employees with respect, reward them for a job well done, provide them with new opportunities, and challenge them with exciting projects. The result is high morale and retention.We invest ourselves into the service of our clients, doing so in a manner that suits each individual relationship. This customized approach allows us to maintain a steady presence, ready to support their business when needs arise. The result is a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship that typically transcends business.

Thanks to Steven Randall, Vonya Global!

#8-Provide high-quality personalized marketing

Photo Credit: Sebastian Ravitz

I started my entrepreneurial career working as an initial team member of a fashion start-up. However, as most entrepreneurs will experience, when equity and pay come into play, relationships tend to warp. I left the company energized, not resentful. I had not only gained the experience I needed to start my own company, but I had also found the necessary confidence in myself to do so. Agencies often work in a sort of ‘churn and burn’ fashion in the digital marketing space, which is totally fine. They recognize the average lifespan of a client is 3-6 months, so they implement a strong sales team to consistently search for new clients. I started Loudley in an effort to provide high quality, personalized marketing to our clients in a way where they feel as though we’ve joined their team – their success is our success, and neither of us succeeds without the other’s drive towards strong results.

Thanks to Sebastian Ravitz, Loudley!

#9- Provide better way to do e-commerce

Photo Credit:Olivia Skuza

Back in 2010, we were running a digital agency in Los Angeles for premium fashion brands when they came upon the idea for NuORDER. We were witnessing, firsthand, the dramatic shifts in B2C e-commerce, and the resulting incredible experiences and benefits brands were delivering their retail consumers. At the same time, we walked the halls of the large fashion trade shows, where many of our agency customers conducted their wholesale businesses, and noticed just how antiquated and broken the process there was. The differences between B2C and B2B within the same brands were staggering! The entire wholesale process was antiquated — brands were using printed catalogs and line sheets to merchandise their products. Buyers were using pen, paper and fax machines to place orders. Nobody was leveraging digital, e-commerce or mobile. We saw just how much this was hindering sales and hurting the businesses of both brands as well as retail buyers and knew we could provide them with a better way.

Thanks to Olivia Skuza, NuORDER!

#10-Passion

Photo Credit: Olin Downs

I’ve always had a strong passion for online marketing. I started out working for various agencies and eventually I was recruited to work in-house for a Fortune 500 company doing SEO and PPC work. While I had previous experience with many various aspects of online marketing such as web design, email marketing, etc., what I really liked about SEO and PPC was that it was involved with everything related to online marketing. How the design and structure of the website played a role in usability as well as search engine rankings, working with the outreach team to create great content that would help build valuable links, making sure emails matched the style of the optimized landing pages, and so much more. I enjoyed it so much that I started doing work on the side before and after my full-time job. Eventually, the company I worked for moved it’s offices and that was my sign to go all in and start my own company. It’s been the best decision I’ve made so far.

Thanks to  Olin Downs, Social Shark Media!

#11-Dream of creating something clean, healthy and fast

Photo Credit: Lisa Schulte

Quarks had started out as a dream of my husband, Adam, many years ago. Life had us living nothing closely related to running a restaurant but it was always something he had talked about. Something that kept pulling on him.  Eventually, our lives took a turn and catapulted us in the direction of creating our own concept that was simple yet flavorful. We were very passionate about creating something that was healthy, clean and fast. There isn’t much in the midwest that provides healthy fast food and that became the real why to his dream. Almost two and a half years into it we have  converted some of the biggest burger fans into Quarks fans and have seen people with allergies/gluten intolerances break down into tears because they finally have a safe option for dining out. It’s been an incredible journey and we aim to make this a nationwide concept. Still dreaming…

Thanks to Lisa Schulte, Quarks American Bento!

#12- Provide more freedom

I thrive off being well organized. And a huge part of that is using good old fashioned pen and paper. In particular, the humble paper diary has always helped me keep organised. With that said, I’ve always found the level of choice limiting. As consumers, we’ve been largely constrained to the traditional 12-month January or mid-year start. And so, I wanted to develop a company that could solve this problem head-on. With TOAD we offer customers the ability to choose everything about their planner product; be that size, cover-design, start-end dates and format. Ultimately, I wanted to provide people with the freedom to choose their ideal product. One that will suit *their* life, and not have to make do with whatever was available.

Thanks to Tim Grinsdale, TOAD Diaries!

#13- I had no other choice

Photo Credit: Anita O’Malley

When I began my company 5+ years ago, it was not really a choice. My entire staff had been laid off due to an acquisition by an aggressive v.c. firm. After our initial shock ended, we decided that we were doing some of the best marketing in the technology channel and wanted to take it to other companies like ours. My boss, myself and several of my former staff members joined forces, incorporated and called everyone we knew. The business came slowly, but steadily and here we are today, a successful venture that has helped hundreds of technology companies across the U.S. increase not only brand share but also revenue.

Thanks to Anita O’Malley, Leadarati!

#14- A number of reasons

Photo Credit: Brad M. Shaw

I started my business because I wanted more freedom. I wanted to have a job wherein I can be flexible, but still be able to do things I like. I also realized that having your own business is a great way to gain new networks. You are exposed to a lot of new things, which makes it easier to gain more clients in the future.

Thanks to Brad M. Shaw, Dallas Web Design Inc!

#15- From a  deep experience

Photo Credit: Grant Gordon

Navigating the cumbersome processes associated with my father’s tragic cancer diagnosis and treatments, I drew on my deep experience in design, user research, software engineering and data analysis and turned my entrepreneurial attention to healthcare. My goal was to help evolve the way the industry was delivering and using data around employee benefits to ensure access to better benefits for not only employees but their families too. As a result, I cofounded Artemis Health, a company that offers a benefit optimization data platform for employers. I truly believe that aiming to improve the healthcare industry has been the most meaningful application of my skills and background to date and remain passionate about empowering employers to fix healthcare through data access and analytics.

Thanks to Grant Gordon, Artemis Health!

#15- Create a solution

Photo Credit: Xavier Parkhouse Parker

Have you ever done a job and the entire time you’re thinking ‘Is this really how this works?’. When I was working in recruitment for a large multinational, I realised that almost everything about this industry was wrong. I only managed a few months there before leaving to create a solution. I had a few friends that had the same experiences that I did so we decided to build a solution that solved all of these problems. We were lucky in our timing because PLATO started alongside the rise of AI. This new technology held the solution for all of the time wasting, conflicts of interest and bias that we found in the recruitment industry.

Thanks to Xavier Parkhouse Parker, PLATO Intelligence!

#16- To make the life of everyday salespeople more efficient

Photo Credit: Mikko Honkanen

We had the idea to build a SaaS sales intelligence platform that would leverage open data on companies to create this kind of sales wizard for sales teams. We wanted to help make the life of the everyday sales person more efficient, make their sales calls more targeted and precise. Sales can be really hard and frustrating at times — so, any way that we could effectively help them find the most targeted leads was something we wanted to develop. Back to this meeting from above — when we heard the term Vainu used it all clicked; we had a kind of a-ha moment. We would name our sales intelligence company Vainu. That’s why to this day our logo includes a dog’s nose. We help sales people find the right scents on their hunt for the best sales prospects.

Thanks to Mikko Honkanen, Vainu!

#17- To help start-ups

Photo Credit: Stephen Gibson

I started my PR and marketing firm since I love startups and want to give them a chance to grow. I’ve blogged about them since 2009 and so many of the companies I’ve featured have come and gone. In many cases they had great products but they just didn’t reach their audience effectively enough to stay in business. Now we have the opportunity to help them beyond what we can do in a single blog post about them.

Thanks to Stephen Gibson, Vyteo.com!

#18- Need for something more than I was doing

Photo Credit: Alison Tedford

After over a decade in the federal public service working in criminal justice, I decided to start my business. I wanted to create more flexibility for my family and to become location independent to allow for more travel. I was looking for new problems to solve, to work with a broader variety of clients and to be able to spend more time being creative. I wanted to write more and help other entrepreneurs and small businesses reach their goals. Self-employment has been the key to achieving better work life balance and finding time to create more memories while doing work that’s fulfilling and exciting. I was looking for a way to use the transferrable skills I obtained through traditional employment like project management, strategic planning, information product creation and put them to work in the private sector. Now, I write, edit and virtual assist full-time and after a year of being full time in my business, I’m so glad I did.

Thanks to Alison Tedford, Sparkly Shoes Creative!

#19- Out of necessity

Photo Credit: Bret Bonnet

Since the ripe age of 16, the promotional products industry has been EXTREMELY good to me; I even owned my own house during my freshman year of college. Unfortunately, the company I was working for at the time and I parted ways shortly after I bought my house. If I wanted to continue living the lifestyle I had grown used to, I needed to start my own business! So as a result, out of the basement of my house with NO money and only a hand-me-down laptop, cell phone, and borrowed internet connection from my neighbor, my business partner and I created Quality Logo Products. Fortunately, we don’t work out of my basement anymore! 14 years later, our company is 110+ employees strong, housed in TWO buildings in the Chicago suburbs, and we’re continuing to challenge the status quo  in the promo products industry, just like we’ve been doing since day one!

Thanks to Bret Bonnet, Quality Logo Products!

#20- Change in my family’s needs

Photo Credit: Meg Brunson

When I worked at Facebook, I worked with a variety of businesses and ad agencies that were advertising on the Facebook platform. It was my responsibility to consult with my assigned selection of businesses to ensure they were following best practices and implementing the newest features optimally. I love social media, and helping business owners discover how to leverage Facebook for their unique goals. When my family’s needs changed, requiring that I leave my amazing job, I knew I wanted to build a business I could run from home to supplement our family income, and continue to help business owners like I did at Facebook. In 2017 I founded EIEIO Marketing – a Facebook-focused marketing agency that helps a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs find success with Facebook Marketing!

Thanks to Meg Brunson, EIEIOMarketing!

#21- To clear up shopping confusion for electricity customers

Photo Credit:  Kelly Bedrich

We live in Texas, one of the 14 deregulated energy states in the US and one of the most successful states in terms of support for electricity choice by customers. However, the pricing structure and legal fine print of the various electricity plans in Texas tends to confuse customers and lure them into plans that may not be in their best interest. We created a site that provides an apples-to-apples comparison between plans and lets users accurately price their choices for electricity. Our response has been very favorable and we’ve expanded into Ohio and Connecticut in addition to launching a related site for comparison shopping for residential natural gas.

Thanks to Kelly Bedrich, ElectricityPlans.com!

#22- Help people do what I do

Photo Credit: Stephanie Foster

I started my business, HomeWithTheKids.com, because I was asked by so many people how they could work at home too. I was a medical transcriptionist at the time. It was a pretty decent job that I could do from home, but every time the subject of what do you do came up, people would ask me how they could do the same. I decided that it made sense to start a website to help people learn about the different ways you can successfully work at home, how to avoid work at home scams, and so forth, and things took off from there.

Thanks to Stephanie Foster, Home With The Kids!

#23- Trying to fulfill an ambition

Photo Credit: Vaclav Muchna

It was in year 2000 and my friend and I were young and ambitious. We wanted to be our own bosses and to be rich and famous. After the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, the idea of being an entrepreneur was new. In fact, the word entrepreneur had a negative association. Being an entrepreneur was more like borrowing money and if you failed it was as if you were a criminal (Luckily that perception has changed today.) We really didn’t have a vision of what we would do, only that we wanted to be successful. We tried many ventures, some failed or were modestly successful. It was the 5th one that took off. Today we have 16 offices around the world and work with some of the world’s largest companies to manage their print, copy and scan services and help them become more digital with automated scan workflows.

Thanks to Vaclav Muchna, Y Soft Corporation!

#24- From my personal motto

Photo Credit: Nate Burlando

My inspiration for starting my own business was my personal motto of wanting to do things the right way. If I was my own boss, I wouldn’t be forced to cut corners or provide a sub-standard service in the name of shaving a few dollars off the bottom line. I wanted to set the standard for quality and customer care, and I was only really able to do that as a business owner. I am now able to lead by example and make sure every customer receives a safe, high-quality product that will satisfy all of their home comfort needs.

Thanks to Nate Burlando, Distinct HVAC!

#25- Love for video production

Photo Credit: Leon Bailey

I started my video production company after being on set of a local artists’ music video shoot. I lent a hand when needed and fell in love with the video production process once again. I took TV production for 3 years in high school but stopped producing videos once I graduated as I did not have any  camera equipment. After the music video, I decided that video production would become the next chapter in my life that I wanted to embark on. I made the leap and started Lasting Blueprint Productions.

Thanks to  Leon Bailey, Lasting Blueprint!

#26- Need for something to call my own

Photo Credit:  Brian Corsetti

I’ve interviewed hundreds of celebrities and attended dozens of movie premieres, but something felt missing from my career. I wanted to create something of my own that I truly felt passionate about. While I loved hosting on television, I loved cars even more. I was working on a national television show in Phoenix when I saw a for sale sign on an FJ 60 Land Cruiser. I’d always been an admirer of Land Cruisers and what they stand for, especially the 60 series. I took a chance and bought it that day! After spending weeks learning how to restore it back to its original beauty, I realized this could be a business. I quickly bought 3 more, started a website and people started calling asking me to restore their classic cars for them. Now, I have over 50k followers on social media, a business that I’m proud of and customers that keep coming back. I love waking up every day knowing that I’m my own boss and that I control my future. There’s no better feeling when you follow your passion!

Thanks to Brian Corsetti, CorsettiCruisers.com!

#27- I Play Outside the Lines

Photo Credit: Allana Pratt

People tell me things they haven’t told anyone else… in the grocery store line, furniture shopping or Lord help me on a 6 hr flight! I don’t just listen like a traditional therapist. I see energy, I know shit that I ought not to know. I am vulnerable. I share where I’m wobbly, too. I LOVE my clients like family. As their Intimacy Coach, I put my identity aside and miracles happen by Grace. I swear like a sailor, pole dance for pleasure and navigated a decade long custody battle. Traditional therapy or even coaching institutions feel too confined for me. Being an entrepreneur works. It’s challenging in that I have to learn business, marketing AND healing skills… yet having my own delicious business allows me to be unapologetically perfectly imperfect ME and inspire my clients to celebrate their authentic sacred truths as well.

Thanks to Allana Pratt, Intimacy Expert & Coach!

#28- Multiple factors

When it came to starting our own business, there wasn’t just one factor, but multiple. The key factor would have to be flexibility though as we are based from home, we can stop and give the children the attention they deserve and make up the lost time while they are in bed later in the evening. Another key factor is being able to use your own ideas and systems within the business. Sometimes using other peoples systems can be frustrated especially when you have ideas that work better, so this can help to alleviate stress. The third major factor is pride. The pride in growing the business day by day is something that is very rewarding over a long period. To see where we are now compared to a year ago, is a great feeling. There is also many other minor factors in why we started our business, however these would have to be the major ones.

Thanks to  Paul Purczel, Ace Business!

#29- Charge for my demanded free services

Photo Credit: Dan Biederman

In New York City, I had transformed a dangerous and drug-ridden space, Bryant Park, and set up the nation’s largest complex of Business Improvement District at the Grand Central and Penn Station neighborhoods, but people, including the Mayor at that time, were beginning to resent the scope and growth of my little empire.. But I was getting a huge number of visits from the rest of the 49 states asking how to do the same in their cities, so instead of constantly giving out my secrets for free, I decided there was a business, resulting in my small consulting firm, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures.

Thanks to Dan Biederman, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation!

Why did you start your business? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. 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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