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- Solve inefficiency in real estate
I started my business to help people and educate them on how to more efficiently do real state and construction. Growing up around my parents’ company, I saw firsthand the inefficiency within these industries and decided that it was my obligation to use my experience to educate people on how to run properly and save money. This resulted in The Chambers Organization, a full-service real estate, construction, and financial education solution that brings efficiency and transparency to the industry.
Thanks to Spencer Chambers
#2- Educate and offer products
My story goes back to when I was around 21, my grandmother had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We found out that her weight gain had nothing to do with the fact that she loved to eat, it was actually the tumors growing in and around her stomach. Once my grandmother passed, we found out she didn’t have any life insurance, it was devastating for my family. Along with being in major grief, myself, my dad and his sisters all came together to buy my grandmother. The burial was pretty expensive, especially when everyone was certain that she had life insurance; so there was no time to prepare. This situation put me on the path to selling life insurance, and I started Simply Insurance with the goal in mind to Educate consumers first and then offer them some solid products to protect their family.
Thanks to JC Matthews, Simply Insurance!
#3- Two reasons
I started my business because I wanted a challenge. I wanted something more out of life. I wanted to dictate what my success would look like, not someone else. I have also wanted to be my own boss and wanted to live life on my terms.
Thanks to Kamil Faizi, IDShield!
#4- Help people and have better life
I started my coaching business because I had the burning desire to help people, and at the same time to create a better life for myself and my son. I am an entrepreneur by heart but it has taken me quite some time to find the right business that fit my style, and was in alignment with my purpose. Going through a lot of challenges after leaving Germany to move to Texas, I had to deal with a whole lot of inner gremlins which sabotaged my success over and over again, until I found a way to break free from my gremlins, and this is when I decided to become a Business and Mindset Coach, to help other entrepreneurs who too have that burning desire to make a difference in the world but also want to have more freedom in their own life, to break free from their inner gremlins that are sabotaging their own success.
Thanks to Kay Sanders, Kay Sanders Coaching!
Starting my VR business more than a decade ago wasn’t about making piles of money. It wasn’t ego. It wasn’t security. It was freedom. The ability to run hard as I can at one direction and win or fail on my own terms. Nobody sticking their nose in your face telling my idea and research was a horrible idea or stupid. Its been ten years now and I’m financially better off today than where I was ten years ago. The sleepless nights, begging clients to pay their bills on time and saying “ no” to jobs and clients that we don’t want is freedom means for me. You know you’ve arrived when Entrepreneur Media calls you and says: Congratulations! Your company is ranked #238 on Entrepreneur’s list of BEST COMPANIES in America. I got that call two weeks ago. Wow. Hard work does indeed, pays off. I remember reading a magazine interview with Steve Jobs where the editor called him an overnight success. Steve said: It just took him ten years to get there. I appear to be in good company. It took me ten years, too.
Thanks to Bart Wilson, VPiX!
It’s funny, I honestly started my business because I almost felt compelled to do it. Even when I had no time, I found that sharing my knowledge and point of view through my blog was a necessity. Even if at first I didn’t reach a wide audience, I kept on blogging, the only thing in my mind was that if someone out there needed help and I could help them, that was worth it for me.
Thanks to Geraldine Orentas, The Lifestyle Insider!
#7- Shopping with kids is insanely difficult
Every time I went grocery shopping with my toddler and newborn, I left feeling completely defeated. Either my newborn had just been buried alive by groceries, or my toddler had emptied the entire lower shelf on aisle two. I knew there had to be a better way and I wanted to be the person to figure it out. After several years of living with a shopping cart in my kitchen and tinkering away late at night, I created the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock. It is exactly what it sounds like: a hammock in a shopping cart for your baby. It provides your little one with the most convenient, safe and comfortable seat in the store while still allowing room for a toddler and groceries, so you can seriously grocery shop like a champ. The patented hammock holds up to 50 pounds, quickly and easily clips onto most carts, hangs elevated so you have plenty of room for groceries, then simply rolls up to fit in your purse or diaper bag when finished. Most infant car seats sit snugly inside the Shopping Cart Hammock as well and can be secured using the included safety strap.
Thanks to Lisa Pinnell, Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock!
#8- Scale beyond myself
I started Lead Cookie because I wanted to create freedom in my life and scale a company beyond myself. For years I had been consulting which was great, but I knew that I would always be limited to only generating revenue while I was working. I knew I was capable of something bigger, and so I set out to launch a productized service that could scale beyond myself. The core driver behind all of that is freedom. The real reason I am an entrepreneur and constantly strive to build bigger and better things is so that I can experience more personal and financial freedom in life.
Thanks to Jake Jorgovan, LeadCookie.com!
#9- Be in control
I started my business out of frustration with start-ups. All the companies I had worked at had such complex products. I wanted to sell something that was simple, tangible and real. And what is more immediate and intimate than lingerie? I used my passion for lingerie and turned it into a service that helps men find sexy but luxurious lingerie gifts for their wives or girlfriends.
Thanks to Antonia Townsend, Enclosed!
The impetus for starting my business 10 years ago was a need to work from home, but the deeper reason was knowing that my strong work ethic would probably give me higher earning power as an entrepreneur. If I’m going to work really hard, why not do it for myself? I also knew I had an opportunity to do work I truly enjoy every day, while being in charge of day-to-day management and long-term vision.
Thanks to Kelly Donovan, Kelly Donovan & Associates!
#11- Make moving to self-storage hassle free
I created Closetbox when my wife, Katy, became pregnant with twins (surprise!) and we quickly needed to make room for our growing family. After loading, hauling, and moving all our dining room furniture and boxes of children’s clothes on our own into a not-so-secure storage unit miles away from our home, I imagined a better way to deal with the hassle of moving into a self-storage unit. Not too long after, during one particularly late night holding babies, we created Closetbox. Closetbox was founded to free you from the hassle of loading, hauling, and moving into storage. We provide full-service, concierge storage with a pickup at your door and on-demand return delivery for the cost of a traditional self-storage unit.
Thanks to Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox!
#12- Help people during construction
I don’t think I ever had a dream of being a business owner. The idea of owning my own company developed gradually. I’ve always liked working in the construction business. But many people don’t really care about the client and simply sells the most expensive thing whether the client needs it or not. I didn’t want to be one of them. My goal is to help people as much as I can and choose the best construction decisions for them individually. So when I got the opportunity to actually have my own clients and make my own decisions, I went for it. Being a business owner, I can focus more on helping people than just getting the job done.
Thanks to Val Slajus, VIS Exterior!
#13-Utilise my skills
As a young man, I spent several years in the construction industry and did a great job installing roofing and siding on new homes. I then transitioned into a non-construction-related job with a non-profit for a number of years. As that work came to a close I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. A home-builder friend of mine asked if I would be interested in working for them as a sub-contractor installing roofing and siding. And so Eby Exteriors began. I chose to do it because it provided a way to use the skills that I already had and enabled me to earn a good living doing something I enjoyed. There were minimal start-up costs or risks. And I loved the independence that being self-employed provides (and I still do).
Thanks to Phil Eby, Eby Exteriors!
#14- Two specific reasons
One was a primal and ingrained desire to make something of myself. I recognized from an early age that the only way to find true success in this world was to build something of your own – otherwise, essentially, you’re living someone else’s dream. Secondly, I wanted to provide personal care products that were truly all-natural and promoted the importance of chemical-free formulation. This is a passion of mine and it is important to me – the fact that I get to work on this sort of business on a day-to-day basis is an honor.
Thanks to Nate Masterson, Maple Holistics!
#15- Fill an existing gap
We started our business because we ourselves were customers and felt that normal stores didn’t offer all of the products and the products they had were quite high. We saw a potential for the sunglasses-business to go online and we wanted to be a part of that transition and journey. Many stories of how businesses first got started usually is that the founder(s) saw a lack of something in the market and saw the potential for it, then just gave it all and went for it.
Thanks to David Menning, SmartBuyGlasses Optical Group!
#16- I turned from customer to vendor
After failing to find a reliable Virtual Assistant through online platforms I went directly to source. I realized I needed a VA closer to home, with similar cultural values and with whom I could communicate easily. I went through a local recruiter in Serbia, trained someone to be my VA and the results were so good I did the same for a friend. Then I figured everyone should have a chance to enjoy the increased productivity I did!
Thanks to Thomas Smallwood, HD Outsourcing!
#17- Serve women with value products
Women are an important part of school pride and campus life. Yet, they are often underrepresented with product and there’s been limited, if anything, made for women with women in mind. I created Stepforward to serve this need with a brand and product line informed by our core values of shape, color, and craftsmanship – values we believe are important to women.
Thanks to Jesse Erin, Stepforward!
#18- So all children could see themselves in a storybook
When I offhandedly mentioned to my parents that I enjoyed writing blog posts to promote my freelance translation business more than I enjoyed translating. Their response was, “You should write a book!” Shortly thereafter, I found myself telling a bedtime story to my niece and nephew and saw their faces light up when they heard their names upon realizing that they were the stars of the story; that experience convinced me I should write a personalized children’s book. While developing the storyline, I remembered how I struggled to find books written in Spanish to read to my half-Latino children when they were young. I imagined that finding books written in other languages had to be even more of a challenge. As a result, I penned my first storybook in English and Spanish and had it translated into French, Italian, and Portuguese as well. With the manuscript completed, I began to wonder what the characters might look like and decided that the only way to convince children that they were the stars of my books would be to allow them to select their book’s cast and customize the appearance of each character in their book. With all of the customization that I wanted to offer in my picture books, I feared that no publisher would even consider my project. So I decided to publish my (award-winning) books myself! And that is how I decided to found my bilingual personalized children’s book company!
Thanks to Jill Barletti, Snowflake Stories, LLC!
#19- Passion for my clients and control over my life
My first business was a chimney sweep business in a box. I found a local sweep and trained, and after months of struggle found that I really didn’t have the business skills that I needed to be successful. Seventeen years later, I chose to leave the comfort of a job to start another business – a consulting business. My WHY was initially about me, wanting control over my life after becoming a parent, being an administrator of a residential program on call 24 hours a day had become too much. It was a need for control over my own time. Now, having been in business for fifteen years, I love the control of being an entrepreneur, but my WHY has shifted and my passion is now about my clients — under-performing small businesses. As a marketing coach, I love seeing business owners, turn around their business to one that is thriving. Businesses are the foundation of our economy and country. When an under-performing business succeeds it not only impacts that business owner, but the entire community and it is inspiring.
Thanks to Donna Price, Compass Rose Consulting, LLC!
#20- Flexibility and growth
I started my business as a plan to stay out of corporate and work from home. Key targets: flexibility, work from anywhere, write my own paycheck. I’ve loved the opportunity to learn so much about ecommerce– that wasn’t part of the initial plan. Continuing to learn and grow is key for me. As someone once told me, ‘the worst day working for yourself is better than any day working for someone else.’
Thanks to Vickie MacFadden, PROMOrx!