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21 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Business


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 be the same. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each and brand.

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

#1- Support families

Photo Credit: BJ Nickol

My father and I started the business back in 2002 with the following dream: “our mission is to support USA families and jobs by producing high-quality clothing, in the USA, at an affordable price. We care about our country and the people in it; if we were only in it for money we would move our production overseas. We will NOT trade USA jobs for foreign profits…”

Thanks to  BJ Nickol, All American Clothing Co.!

#2- Out of necessity

Photo Credit: Mike Catania

I started PromotionCode.org as an online spreadsheet of coupon codes for teachers out of necessity ten years ago with no idea it would eventually become a business. Like many surprise entrepreneurs, I had struck upon a market that hadn’t been previously acknowledged–coupons. It’s hard to believe that a time ever existed without the multitude of offers that now permeate every aspect of our lives, but it should provide some level of hope for budding entrepreneurs without business experience that their ideas can still bear fruit, even though there is more competition in the world of start-ups than ever.

Thanks to Mike Catania, PromotionCode.org!

#3- Tired of my then job

Photo Credit: Ollie Smith

Being honest I’m not sure I chose to be a business owner, it was literally the only thing on the table that would let me live my life in a way I wanted too. I had a job once briefly and just could not compute the logic of sitting in that office, like some of the people there had done, for thirty years or more for virtually no money, reward or appreciation. My body just wouldn’t let me do it, I’d wake up late, sank into a mild a depression, lost all motivation and was the worst 3 weeks of my life. After starting my first business everything felt electric, I literally felt more alive and that I could make a real difference. I have never for one second looked back and am thankful every day.

Thanks to Ollie Smith, ExpertSure!

#4- Be efficient

Photo Credit: Carlos Williams

I started DBC because I found something to be able to work as efficiently as possible, without the corporate hierarchy of managers of managers. No matter what industry I was working in before, I disliked having layers of approvals above me to affect change. Now, if we have an idea, we test and launch that idea. It ultimately benefits our clients because we’re always on the cutting edge of processes and techniques. If you like to change things for the better, do it yourself.

Thanks to Carlos Williams, DBC!

#5 -Three reasons

To work with people I like, gain valuable skills and control my financial destiny. After having a few jobs I noticed a bad company environment and some coworkers didn’t treat others well, starting a business allowed me to remedy that. Gaining valuable skills such as sales and marketing can be applied to every single business and leveraged to build your own. As I like to say bad marketing companies go out of business because by default they can’t do what they claim. Lastly, controlling my financial destiny I feel is important, I need the freedom, I love to challenge myself and having a job doesn’t let me put in as much effort as I’d desire.

Thanks to Vladimir Mkrtumyan, Logic Inbound!

#6- Need for fulfillment

Photo Credit: Liat Tzoubari

Before I started my company, I had been working as a lawyer for 5 years. I have always been a hard worker and was working very long hours. I decided that if I was going to work evenings and weekends, I wanted to do so for my own business in order to build something I could be proud of and feel fulfilled. I still work long hours (probably even longer than before), but I feel that I am working towards a goal I can be proud of and can consistently measure my progress. My business fulfills me as I am constantly learning and growing, and I have also created opportunities for small businesses as well as local and remote communities to better provide for their families which is incredibly rewarding.

Thanks to Liat Tzoubari, Sevensmith!

#7- Solve marketing problems

Photo Credit: RJ Martino

I’ve always been ambitious and curious, which is really what gave me the push to talk to successful people to find out how they became successful in the first place. They all started with some issue or problem and they needed help resolving those issues before they could move forward. As I started talking to people who were in healthcare organizations, patient care and retention came up over and over. I knew that I could help with those issues with what I knew about marketing. If you can marry a solution to a problem, you’ve got the essence of starting a business. Often the problem wasn’t that these individuals didn’t know how to fix their issues, or weren’t willing to learn, it was that they didn’t have the time to fix them and be a physician or a practice manager or whatever position they held at the same time. I’m a huge proponent of focusing on your strengths and letting others pick up where you might be a little weaker or faltering. That’s what my business does: we focus on the marketing so the healthcare pros can focus on the healing.

Thanks to RJ Martino, iProv!

#8- Help people become and stay tobacco-free

Photo Credit: Tony Mandarano

I started my business to help people become and stay tobacco-free. After personally quitting cigarettes by making the switch to vaping, I then helped my brother kick the habit after 20 years of smoking. ZampleBox was created to make it fun, easy, and affordable for people to make the switch and start a new, healthier chapter in their lives. Everyday I am proud of the work our team does and of the success our customers have had making the change.

Thanks to Tony Mandarano, ZampleBox!

#9- Out of Necessity

Photo Credit: Jessica Arman

When my daughter was little, she suffered from severe problems with her enamel and tooth sensitivity. After years of trying to find something to help her, with no success, I realized it was up to me to create a natural home remedy that would finally offer relief. She was so happy with the results, which included sensitivity relief and teeth whitening benefits, that she posted a before/after picture to my Facebook. When the photo quickly sparked interest, my husband and I realized that there were others who would benefit from my product and our business was born. What started as a local farmers market stand is now the fastest selling natural oral care brand in the United States. Necessity is truly the mother of invention! I believe that when a woman embraces her creative spirit she may discover her power and make the world a better place.

Thanks to Jessica Arman, My Magic Mud!

#10- Save lives

Post-Hurricane Andrew and  I saw the need for more safe rooms so designed built the safe dome a backyard shed that can save your life. 8 tons transportable dome capable of withstanding 200 or more mph winds due to its shape and design. Always evolving I now am offering 2/2 indestructible homes Northport, Florida for as little as 15k down 1k a month for 10 years NO homeowners insurance.

Thanks to David Pressler, Safe dooms!

#11- The city needed my expertise

Photo Credit: Candice Simons

I was a veteran in the outdoor advertising industry in chicago and decided to move back to my roots in Detroit and support/build the local economy in the city that made me. I didn’t know what I’d be coming home to or just what I was going to do until starting the business chose me. The city needed what i’d been working so hard on in all other cities – revenue and advertisers. This is what started Brooklyn Outdoor. It chose me and I haven’t looked back since.

Thanks to Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor!

#12- Childhood experiences

Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Robin

I started my chiropractic practice because I was a kid at risk who got hurt and my chiropractor cared enough about me that it changed my life forever. When I was 15, I was injured while playing basketball. My mom took me to a chiropractor and it completely changed my life because my chiropractor made me part of his family. When I was choosing my career path, I wanted to pay it forward by helping and healing other people. I expanded my practice into Your Wellness Connection in 2005, because I could see that people needed a place where they could easily meet with a variety of healthcare practitioners from a variety of different modalities. Your Wellness Connection is now a successful integrative healing center. My clients are able to come to the office and receive chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling, coaching, counseling, Chinese medicine, and they can practice yoga.

Thanks to  Dr. Michelle Robin

#13- Deliver Genuine Growth for other Businesses

Photo Credit: Jennifer Garcia

We started our businesses because we want to help people. We think we have ideas, solutions and theories that will help others be successful. That at least is the driver for me in my work. I have always enjoyed standing on the sideline and watching the success of my team, my boss and now my clients. It gives me such great satisfaction.

Thanks to Jennifer Garcia, Red Bamboo Marketing!

#14- Fun and game

I started my business back in 2015 with my brother after I tried a really fun escape room for the first time. For those unfamiliar with escape rooms, it’s a real-life game where you and your friends get locked into a themed room with 45 minutes counting down on the clock. Before the countdown gets to zero, you have to solve the puzzles and put together the clues needed to complete your objective. Being a gamer at heart, I fell in love with the concept. The idea that I could make a career by writing, designing and creating my own live adventure games was thrilling to me, and that’s how Jigsaw Escape Rooms was born. We currently have two locations and hope to open more in the future.

Thanks to Matthew Prendergast, Jigsaw Escape Rooms!

#15- Freedom and accomplishment

Photo Credit: Grant van der Harst

When you start your own business, you are able to play a part in every aspect of that business. You decide on what your logo looks like, you choose the tone of voice, which is important for any company, no matter what the industry. You have the autonomy to do what you believe is best for your company, which ranges from who you think your first members of staff should be, to where you want your premises to be based. While there are many stresses and strains that come with being the boss – and not every decision you make will always be right – the feeling of accomplishment that comes when your business succeeds as a result of your instincts makes it all worthwhile.”

Thanks to Grant van der Harst, Anglo Liners!

#16- Fill the void in sustainable and ethical market

I started virtue + vice with one goal: to give a voice to the people behind our clothing. I hope that by putting a face and story to the cotton farmers, fabric weavers, and sewing machine operators we will all feel more connected to the hands that made our clothing possible. I noticed a void in the sustainable and ethical market that has been  dominated by big companies greenwashing products, or small startups who have no experience or any idea how the fashion industry really operates. virtue + vice is uniquely positioned to arm the consumer with the knowledge to make their own educated purchasing decisions. Because that is how real change happens when consumers begin to ask for and demand better products.

Thanks to Melanie DiSalvo, shopvirtueandvice.com!

#17-Inspired by my new digital nomad lifestyle

Photo Credit: Bryan Sarlitt

After selling my former tech company in late 2014, I was in need of a long-overdue break. So I sold all of my personal belongings, packed a carry-on suitcase and solo-traveled through SE Asia for 8 months. It felt liberating to travel with everything I owned and to leave all my first-world worries behind. Inspired by my new digital nomad lifestyle and wanting to pursue something I was passionate about for my next business, I decided to start a physical products brand focused on making travel easier and more enjoyable. Since portable hydration was a personal area of frustration while traveling, I decided to create a product that solved this problem. Enter the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.

Thanks to Bryan Sarlitt, Nomader LLC!

#18- Help people feel at home

Photo Credit: Ajay Yadav

I started Roomi after living in NYC and seeing how difficult it was to search for flexible shared housing. Once I rushed into living with someone without really knowing them or having any way to verify their background and was robbed of my all belongings and security deposit. I knew there had to be a better way to rent. I decided to create Roomi to help anyone move anywhere and feel at home, by making it safer and easier to find a great roommate and an affordable room to rent.

Thanks to Ajay Yadav, Roomi!

#19- Employment frustrations

Photo Credit: Walter Wise

I started my first business when I was let go by my employer. They brought me on to help generate more revenue and to rebuild their non-existent pipeline. In 6 months it was done and we were on our way. Then they decided to release all the high priced staff.  In a few months, they were sold. I sent out over 2000 resumes over about 3 months and got nothing. So I decided to start a sales and marketing business and have never looked back.  That was 2006 and still going strong at the start of 2018.

Thanks to Walter Wise, BPI Strategy Group!

#20- Serve more people

Photo Credit: Kim &  Kalee Sorey

We started our online business as a mother-daughter team to be able toserve more people. As former high school teachers, we chose to educate people about healthy living. Our business has given us the freedom to schedule our work hours and work with those clients that really need and want our help. Plus, our healthy living business allows us to continue to learn each day about a topic that we’re passionate about!

Thanks to Kalee Sorey, Sorey Fitness!

#21-Help the millions of women who suffer from pelvic pain

Photo Credit: Tara Langdale-Schmidt

For more than four years, I suffered the excruciating pain of Vulvodynia. After numerous doctor visits that failed to diagnose my problem, and undergoing several surgeries, I decided to take action and do something about it. I founded my startup company dedicated to helping the estimated one-in-seven women in the US who suffer from pelvic, vulvar pain. We invented a medical device that has proven to relieve pelvic pain and sexual discomfort and has improved the lives of women seeking sexual normalcy. It’s been an amazing, highly rewarding and very successful experience.

Thanks to Tara Langdale-Schmidt, VuVatech!

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

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