Storytelling

Why Did You Start Your Business? Week of December 23rd

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

To Make Life Easier

The Beauty Butler was born when I grabbed a scrap of plastic and some Velcro to organize my casting bag at work. This makeshift tray kept all my tools easily accessible. No more digging to the bottom of my bag and I no longer left things behind after I finished casting. My scissors, tape measure and other supplies stayed neat and in order. It was easy to get them out to use and easy to put them away. I was sick of digging and constantly searching for that elusive eyeliner at the bottom of my bag. The constant tumbling that caused eye shadows to crumble and blushes to become broken. I even lost lipsticks. What a difference it made, I didn’t realize how much time I wasted sorting through makeup. My friends were impressed too and would ask, “Where did you get that?” I told them I made it. The next question was “When are you going to make one for me?” Now I’m making them for all my friends and for you too! I’m making the world a better place one makeup bag at a time, and it feels great!

Thanks to Danielle Smith, Beauty Butler!

To Help With Transitions

I started my business to help people through life’s transitions. The KC Auction Company was founded with the goal of liquidating personal property and assets effortlessly, efficiently and effectively. We use the traditional auction method to sell antiques, estate items, coins, art and furniture. By focusing on the needs of our clients we have been able to expand our business, purchase a building, employ several employees and give back to the community by volunteering our auction services to many not for profit organizations.

Thanks to Jason R. Roske, The KC Auction Company!

To Help People Life Eco-Friendly Lives

Photo Credit: Laurie Morse Dell
Photo Credit: Laurie Morse Dell

I started my business because I saw a need. As someone who tries to live a “green” lifestyle, I started to notice that my dogs weren’t really living an eco-friendly life and started researching what I could do to change that. Turns out that eco-friendly and non-toxic dog products are few and far between so I started collecting a list of products I felt comfortable supporting and then decided to make it easier on other people who may have the same desire to help their dogs live a healthier and greener life. My blog educates people on why choosing eco-friendly products is important and my website features the best products we have found. I would encourage anyone who has a passion about something and sees a need to step up and do something about it, don’t wait for someone else to live your dream!

Thanks to Laurie Morse-Dell, Pups Place!

To Start A Movement

Photo Credit: Amie Darboe
Photo Credit: Amie Darboe

I remember Oprah once said, “Women are going to change the face of Africa. “I’ve thought about that statement since I first heard it and have come to believe that women can change the face of this world–for the better. Although I meet incredible women often, I also see, hear about, and meet women who have the potential to be amazing but have yet to realize it. Thus, I decided to start my business, The Flairist–an online magazine and career portal for ambitious, young women–to help women work toward accomplish their dreams. To do this, I find it necessary to start a movement to remove the shame associated with female ambition. My business provides career and lifestyle resources that show women that it’s possible to achieve whatever they want to achieve.

Thanks to Amie Darboe, The Flairist!

To Get A Vacation With My Dogs

Photo Credit: Janice Costa
Photo Credit: Janice Costa

I started my business because I needed a vacation — and I didn’t want to leave my dogs behind. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of great vacation options where my two large dogs would be welcome — and I didn’t just want a place that allowed them, I wanted a place where there would be lots of fun things we could do together. I created Canine Camp Getaway of NY  for my dogs, and for others who love the idea of spending their vacation celebrating the special bond that they share with their dog. Located in beautiful Lake George, NY, our twice-annual vacation getaways offer a host of dog-friendly activities (hiking, agility, frisbee, swimming, flyball, scent detection, lure coursing, canine freestyle dancing), classes (Canine CPR, Therapy Dog and Canine Good Citizen preparation and testing, “Barks & Crafts”) and seminars by top veterinarians, trainers and dog nutrition experts. Best of all, dogs are welcome everywhere — from the swimming pool to the lounge at “Yappy Hour.” Now I get to enjoy a much needed vacation — and my dogs look forward to it as much as I do!

Thanks to Janice Costa, Canine Camp Getaway of NY!

To Give Back True Art
With digital cameras making photography easy for everyone, the artistic quality of the average photograph has declined. I was seeing people pay for crappy photographs and knew I had the skill and talent to produce much better work. I started Shutter Sweet Photography with the goal of giving people artwork for their home and telling their story in a creative and artistic way whether through weddings, portraits or other life events. We focus on the customer experience and providing the best quality products that people can cherish for a lifetime. Through our Photography Gives Back program, we donate a percentage back from every print sold to a non-profit cause of the client’s choice.

Thanks to Ashley Jones, Shutter Sweet Photography!

Because I Wanted To Rule The World
I started my business because when I was little, I told people that I would rule the world. I figure this is a good stepping stone. I wanted to help business owners gain traction and expand their reach in a tepid economy. There were way too many scams floating around for SEO work, and businesses were getting the run round. What use is a beautifully designed website if no one can find you in Google? It’s like trying to look for a swan eating marshmallows in a snow storm; pretty hopeless. I have always liked chess and mind puzzles. Working with businesses to increase their exposure and sales is like getting to work on endless puzzles for a living.

Thanks to Joel Gross, Coalition Technologies!

To Help Other Professionals
I am Laurie Erdman the Get More Energy Expert and Chronic Wellness Superhero. I have helped many people go from fatigued to fabulous, starting with myself.  My business really started when I sat in the doctor’s office. I was living a high stress, caffeine and sugar fueled life as a lawyer and corporate vice president. But here the doctor was telling me I had multiple sclerosis. I realized this was a wakeup call and transformed my life from the inside out. After overcoming multiple sclerosis, losing 40 pounds, turning back the aging clock and doubling my energy, people were clamoring to know how I did this so easily and quickly. I felt as if I was being called to help others and thus launched Chronic Wellness Coaching in 2010 to help others overcome burnout, fatigue and illness.

Thanks to Laurie Erdman, Chronic Wellness Coaching!

To Make Social Media Easier For Others

I started The Social Networking Navigator to help baby boomers embrace social media without feeling intimidated. As a relative latecomer to social media marketing, (2009) I learned how to forward my business online by researching and taking numerous online seminars and webinars to figure out how to put together a marketing plan that worked. Making social media easy for others is my number one goal. I have a Social Media Made Simple membership group for entrepreneurs which is a safe-haven for like-minded people who can openly ask questions they have about the bare bones basics of social networking and get educated at their pace. Having been in the corporate world for 26 years, and then diving into entrepreneurship in 1998, I have learned that one does not need to be “everywhere” online to use social media effectively. I took my years of customer service and training knowledge, my business and marketing acumen and combined the two to provide a simple, no-nonsense approach to social media marketing. Celebrating our one year anniversary December 5, 2012, The Social Networking Navigator’s mission of helping the baby-boomer population to overcome their overwhelm is going strong!

Thanks to Laurie Hurley, The Social Networking Navigator!

Because Of Family

This is usually the reason most people do NOT go in to business, however, it was our love of family that drove us to start Vimily. Myself and Katrin (my business partner) both live in Sydney, a far cry from our families in the UK and Germany, and unfortunately when you only see family once a year, you can’t help notice the speed at which they start ageing. We were working on another project at the time when my Uncle was suddenly taken ill, and unfortunately swiftly deteriorated. When someone passes away you suddenly realize how fragile life is, and I remember thinking that there was so much I had never asked him, or knew about his life. Why had I not taken the time to do this? Talking to others at the time, we found that many people shared similar circumstances, and rather than risk this happening again, we decided to find a really simple way for people to record a loved one’s lessons and knowledge. Vimily was the result, a simple, do it yourself interview kit for families to film the life stories of one another. Our own families now all have their own stories saved and treasured away, and we are directing our resources to help as many others as we can.

Thanks to Matthew Barnett & Katrin Suess, Vimily!

To Take A Leap Of Faith
I believe that some of us are called to certain aspirations because of innate talents and a set experiences that usher us in a particular direction. The decision to start my own business is a culmination of both. The starting point to taking that leap of faith was to identify whose needs I can meet, whose problems I can solve. The next inquiry required me to identify the point of difference that a business of my choosing would impart. Spending some time to understand the relative needs and custom designing solutions to meet those needs gave me the motivation that I needed to start a consulting firm. Every satisfied client reaffirms my decision and renews my desire to continually provide value solutions to the individual clients and the targeted industries that Delcin Consulting Group serves.

Thanks to Catherine Declin, Delcin Consulting Group!

Photo Credit: Dhenu Savla
Photo Credit: Dhenu Savla

To Honor Immigrants And Their Journey
An immigrant at age 10, I was thrown into a new world and culture before I could understand how significant of a change it was. Born in India, having never seen snow, I landed foot in America with my family dreaming of snow and American chocolates. I knew nothing about the challenges my family would face or the culture shock I would have to overcome. I remember feeling totally vulnerable and confused when a lady screamed “Go back to your country!” to my mother, whom I so deeply respected. One nagging question remained in my young mind: Why?  I remember learning to ignore the hurtful words, thank those who extended a helpful hand and more than anything, work very hard and get good grades. Good grades and good fortune brought me to study Philosophy at Tufts University and later Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Somewhere inside of me, I knew my immigrant past would bring me back to help other brave souls who decide to she’d the past and the world they know for an opportunity for their families. A deep understanding of the immigrant struggle and the fantastic transformation a culture-shock brings makes me respect and honor immigrants. So I chose to be an immigration attorney. However, to my disappointment I saw many immigration attorneys who further disenfranchised or on the flip side underestimated immigrants. I knew I wanted a law firm that firmly honored and respected immigrants. A place where differences were welcome. I named my law firm SwagatUSA. “Swagat” means “Welcome” in Sanskrit.

Thanks to Dhenu Savla, Swagat USA!

To Help Care For The Ones You Love Most
I thought my parents were having some trouble with their memories – and the call I got two years ago asking me how to get money on the bank confirmed it. My parents were both diagnosed with “moderate” dementia (Alzheimer’s is just one type of dementia). It was difficult to keep track of my own family of four – now I needed to be able to know and manage the financial, personal, medical, online and household details for my parents. I created an organization system to help me – and that I could share with my siblings when they would visit to give me a break. So many colleagues and friends asked for it, I turned the book into a commercial product, the MemoryBanc Register. Today, most of my clients are 35 – 60 year olds who want to make sure their loved ones know how to help them if they were ever incapacitated, if even temporarily. Our lives are so much more complicated today, and this book covers all the practical matters that need to be managed.

Thanks to Kay Bransford, Memory Banc!

To Help Connect Job Seekers With Employers

Photo Credit: Matt Hendrickson
Photo Credit: Matt Hendrickson

As a 20-year veteran of the recruiting industry, I knew that there just had to be a better way for job seekers to connect with employers. First, there was newspaper advertising, then job boards, then social media, but none of these tactics avoided the complicated 45-minute, 9-step application process, that often resulted in no response, leaving job seekers wondering “Did they even read my resume?”. Ascendify solves this problem by turning a corporate career site into an active talent community where job seekers can join in 60-seconds, and easily communicate with employers in a more social way.

Thanks to Matt Hendrickson,  Ascendify!

To Bridge The Gap Of Care
I started my business while I was a hospital Registered Nurse when a colleague was injured and I could not find anyone to provide the home care she required. >The social workers said there was a middle class gap…only the very poor and very rich could have nurses at home. As soon as I got her well, we created the first Independent Nursing Practice Free standing Clinic Corporation in the USA. We pioneered this company prototype and found a huge need for discharged patients, home care patients, work injury follow-ups and insurance physicals. We also became First Aid Nurses on major motion pictures and television series and commercials. We provided Nurses to many occupational health and legal setting and convention centers as well. The company became a successful health care company.

Thanks to Karon Gibson, AmericaNurse!

To Find More Freedom
I started my business for the simple fact of having freedom. There is nothing like being your own boss. The fact that I can use my creativity and produce a product that has my name on it is very fulfilling. I started my business a few months before I graduated from college in May 2012, and I am determined to make it to the top. Although it is a lot of work, I know that it will pay off in the long run. I would advise anybody that if you have a dream and passion for something do not let that dream be deferred. Make those dreams a reality, and just remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks to Adrena Martin, CreationZ From A Dove!

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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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One Comment

  1. One of my favorite responses is, “Because I want to rule the world”. I liked it a lot, and when I got to the end and saw who wrote it, I smiled: Joel, from Coalition Technologies. They’re working on my website (www.charliedogandfriends) right this second! Love it, and what a surprise. (They do a swift and magnificent job, by the way!)

  2. One of my favorite responses is, “Because I want to rule the world”. I liked it a lot, and when I got to the end and saw who wrote it, I smiled: Joel, from Coalition Technologies. They’re working on my website (www.charliedogandfriends) right this second! Love it, and what a surprise. (They do a swift and magnificent job, by the way!)

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