16 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Businesses
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 entrepreneur and brand.
1) Impacting Every Decision & Action
I am one of the founders of OkMyOutfit, a personal styling and shopping company. I had been working on Wall Street for over 8 years, and aside from the pay, was unhappy with most of it. While exciting, I was never able to see the impact of my decisions or “achievements” other than slight movements of red or green on a Bloomberg screen. Starting my own company was my way of having an impact, tangible impact, on every decision and action I made. Its been a little over a year since I made the decision to leave and I couldn't be happier.
Thanks to Diana Melencio, OkMyOutfit!
2) A Sense of Loss & Multiple Sides of A Story
In July, 2014, my dad died. Although I was lucky enough to have spent two weeks with him before his death, I wasn’t wise enough to record any of the stories he shared during that last visit. Dad was an engaging and entertaining storyteller but he’d never tell family stories when Mom was around, since her memory of events was often different from his. My belief is that the story of a family event has to include all of the different, sometimes conflicting, experiences; that it’s only through the weaving together of each person’s story that we can see the fabric of the family. From that thinking, and the sense of loss at having missed the chance to capture my dad’s side of my own family’s story, MemWow! was born. I help people create event-based memoirs with more energy, enthusiasm, innovation, novelty and fun than your traditional memoir. In other words, memoirs that have a serious ‘Wow!’ factor.
Thanks to Donna Barker, Chief MemWow!
3) Fulfilling an Need
The crossroads of a unique product with commercial potential and addressing a social issue met with The Multiples. Our product line was created to encourage children with early learning math which remains an urgent need in the US. And our Everyone Can Do Math initiative allows our customers to get involved; every time our product is purchased we donate product to a child in need. Having an opportunity to build a sustainable business that has a positive social impact and gives back to the communities was the number 1
Thanks to Brooks Addington, Realtimes Products LLC!
4) To Achieve Global Reach
I started Harborly to achieve global reach for finance 2.0. Currently Bitcoin – the digital currency to date – is ironically local. Much to the disadvantage of Bitcoin's true beneficiaries, access to this supposedly borderless innovation is very much confined within western and developed nations; a fact that jars violently with the core principals of Bitcoin. That's where Harborly steps in – 2015, the year of true digital currency globalization.
Thanks to Connor Black, Haborly!
5) Creating the Feeling of a Yoga Class
We all know how challenging it is to work at a computer- poor posture, muscle tension, tightness and pain, headaches, etc. So I developed the Salute the Desk app- which delivers mini yoga classes and meditation sessions via your iPhone! My aim with the Salute the Desk app is to enable people to feel more comfortable about stretching, moving and meditating in the workplace. I wanted to create the feeling of being in a yoga class- where appropriate guidance through a single pose allows you to experience something different each time. Regular practice should result in a seated posture you can take genuine pride in. You can use the app as a tutorial, and go back to it when you want to further explore and deepen your body awareness. I chose Salute the Desk as the name to highlight the link to yoga (Salute the Sun) but also to honor our workspace as a place of creativity. I hope that use of the app can bring unity and wholeness to people's working day.
Thanks to Fiona Patterson, Salute the Desk!
The main reason I set up my business and can never to back to working for others is the word ‘Vision' Vison drives activity and one of the main reason companies have staffing issues and do not reach their goals is they fail to get everyone to buy into the company vision. There are a wide range of factors in different industries and companies. From my experience vision is missing and employee's either don't have access to information, understand their roles in the ultimate vision or goal and can not function to the best of their ability.
Thanks to Ian Taylor, Ian Taylor Trekking!
I’d been running a small ‘lifestyle’ indoor archery club for about 5 years. The club does well on its own terms but I was painfully aware of its many limitations. The worst one being location dependence – we operate out of other people’s venues in London and we are constantly at risk of them changing policies or disasters befalling them. After getting married to a free-spirited Californian we constantly talked about how we could get free of this. We spent many many hours talking and dreaming and finally we made the leap. We moved to beautiful Monterey California in 2013 where we now rent amazing ‘glamping’ truck campers with fabulous interiors. As they’re literally on wheels we couldn’t have come up with anything more mobile and flexible if we’d tried.
Thanks to Heidi & Asher, Silver Ash Campers!
8) 2 Reasons
I started my business for two main reasons, one selfish and the other not. The selfish part of me wanted to find a way that would allow me to continue living a nontraditional lifestyle, specifically constant traveling and living abroad, as well as to take advantage of my unique experience. The better part of me wanted to have a lasting impact on society through educating kids about world cultures and inspiring them to embrace the world and the people in it. It is my firm belief that the more kids know about the way other people think and live their lives, the better off they will be as adults. The result is The Adventurous Mailbox, which sends stylish packages of adventure books from abroad, including a secret code kids can use to join our online community of kid explorers learning about the world and having fun.
Thanks to Andrew Bliss, The Adventurous Mailbox!
9) Saw a Need
I started my business because I saw a true need for investment education in the Forex market, I was looking for some reliable business that could teach others trading but the more I searched the more I realized that this was a real need. In addition to filling a need in the investing industry I also wanted to be able to make more money, set my own schedule and be free to travel. It has been a lot of hard work and ups and downs but I have truly been able to accomplish all of the things I set out to do.
Thanks to Casey Stubbs, Winners Edge Trading!
10) Everyone's Story Deserves to be Remembered
I started this business because I believe everyone's life story deserves to be remembered. Each and every day we achieve great successes, endure great hardships, and create incredible memories that last us a lifetime. But the reality is simple: one day we will say goodbye. And when we do, we are leaving behind a legacy that will soon be forgotten. That is why I decided it was time to build AmericasFootprints.com. Because regardless of fame or status, we all have a story to tell. And more importantly, we have a story that deserves to be remembered in America's history. So I am now proud to give people a way to privately build a digital memoir that will continue to tell their story to their future ancestors, long after they say goodbye.”
Thanks to Joe Fiduccia, America's Footprints, LLC!
11) Laid Off
I started my company because I was laid off. Worse, I was asked to lay-off my entire team of 30+ people—all of whom had worked hard to make the business a success. And while the layoff and shutdown of our division was the most painful thing I’ve done, starting my business has been the opposite. It has been difficult, challenging, and frustrating at times, but it has been incredibly rewarding and provided me with experiences I couldn’t have had without it. Looking back, getting laid off was the best thing to happen to me. And starting my business is the second best.
Thanks to Rob Marsh, Logomarker.com!
12) Fulfill a Need
I always wondered why in an age when people can use the Internet to buy and sell virtually anything from cars to iPhones, there was no safe, secure vehicle for watch owners to sell their valuable watches? Individuals looking to sell a luxury watch had three terrible options: Ebay, Craigslist or their local jeweler. Unfortunately, selling on Ebay is difficult unless you have a high seller ranking, Craigslist is simply dangerous, and most local jewelers aren't equipped to evaluate high end watches – the result of which is a safe, low offer. These three poor options are the reason Crown & Caliber was created. Sellers can now easily and safely sell their luxury watch in a way never before offered.
Thanks to Hamilton Powell, Crown & Caliber!
13) Solving a Problem
I saw a cultural and pending environmental problem and decided to tackle it by building a business that offered thoughtful, alternative choices. Pointed to as pioneers in the reusable bag movement since 1989, we believe in conscious business as a driving ( and profitable ) social force for good.
Thanks to Sharon Rowe, Eco-
14) Needed a Change
I was extremely respected, ran a department with a budget of $30 million and was restless. Eleven years earlier, I had joined a company which consisted of six partners. I was the first employee. The company was now on the verge of going public. As company had grown, my job had changed. Instead of brainstorming ideas, I was spending my day in meetings. Instead of my ideas leading to double digit or even triple digit annual revenue growth, it took a huge amount of effort to generate a few percentage points of change. The business was no longer exciting and interesting for me. I needed a change. One of the major reasons that I started my own business was I wanted to be able implement my ideas and be able to measure a major impact afterwards.
Thanks to Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business!
15) To Improve the World by Leveraging the Power of Business
I started my business to help employees volunteer and donate in the communities in which they work and live… To leverage the assets of the companies in which they work to improve the world. And to show companies that giving back is not just a good thing to do, its makes good business sense. Because employee driven corporate philanthropy helps a company retain its employees, recruit new ones and improves its image to its stakeholders, I saw business reasons that would convince companies to increase the money and talent being driven to social causes. In creating a better software and service experience to facilitate that, Causecast has been able to help many companies, big and small, improve how they give back to the world.
Thanks to Ryan Scott, CAUSECAST!
16) Spreading a Unique Practice
During my education in Naturopathy and Yogic Science back in India, I learned yoga as therapy to cure chronic conditions such as hypertension, back pain, depression and others. After I moved to US, I continued teaching yoga as therapy. I was thrilled to see the my students reaping benefits of this. I had my students come to me and say that even though they did yoga earlier, general yoga as we can name it, they could not get the same result as they got with my way of teaching. Every individual is unique and in Yoga as therapy, programs are tailored to every individual. So I wanted to spread this unique practice. Yogamihi, personalized yoga therapist was created with same intention on the basis of research I put in for teaching yoga as therapy.
Thanks to Dr. Rathna Noojibail, YogaMihi!