In the history of entrepreneurship, there are countless stories that have inspired people to start their own businesses. These moments range from a person’s first job where they found a passion for their work, to a particular moment in time where someone decided to take a risk and start something new.
The inspirational business success stories are 11 moments that inspired entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
The majority of entrepreneurs begin their journey by falling in love with the solution rather than the issue.
That is, it is less frequent to come across someone who sat down and wondered, “What business should I start?” Rather, the vast majority of entrepreneurs identify a problem and create a company around a solution.
These little moments of “man, I wish that existed” frequently act as the spark that sparks a new company, whether it’s an issue they’ve personally encountered or something their friends, family, or colleagues in their present field wish they had access to.
I asked the Young Entrepreneur Council’s entrepreneurs to share the moments that spurred them to start their businesses. If you want to establish a small company but aren’t sure where to begin, keep an eye out for comparable events in your own life that may lead to the ideal business concept.
1. They scoffed at my suggestion.
Suneera Madhani got the concept for Fattmerchant, a subscription membership payment processing business, after she told her previous bosses about it and they laughed at her.
Madhani adds, “For years, I worked in the merchant services sector at a major bank.” “I found a better way to do business (without lying to company owners and charging an arm and a leg!) and told my superiors about it. They guffawed.”
Madhani knew that if she wanted to pursue her concept, she wouldn’t be able to do so in her present firm because it would upset the industry’s status quo. “I felt the market needed something fresh, a supplier that was there for the company owner,” she adds, “and their response only reinforced I had to do it myself.”
2. I had a severe case of acne.
Daisy Jing of Banish had an issue and couldn’t figure out how to solve it. “I had severe acne and tried everything I could to get rid of it,” Jing explains.
She didn’t offer her product straight immediately, however; instead, she established herself as an authority on the topic. She adds, “I’ve tested hundreds of various cosmetic products, then evaluated and shared them.”
“I then grew a YouTube following of over 50 million views and established myself as a reliable source of information.” I was able to create my own natural skin care brand at the time. My followers eventually noticed amazing improvements on my skin and pushed me to start my own company.”
3. Information about our most devoted fans was missing.
“I was dissatisfied as an artist manager for 12 years because we didn’t know who was in the crowd,” says Betsy McHugh of Hurdl, Inc., a platform that gathers and analyzes audience data from live events. “Even the world’s largest ticket sellers don’t know more than 20% of the individuals who attend an event.”
McHugh saw a tremendous potential to get a deeper understanding of her customers’ target market. “We were losing out on sales possibilities because you can’t advertise to strangers,” she explains. “I thought that involving the audience in the live-event experience would be the answer—and it is.”
4. I observed that the websites of legal firms were not well-designed.
Have you ever seen anything so badly done that you thought to yourself, “I could do it a lot better!” That’s how Peter Boyd, a lawyer, started PaperStreet Web Design as a response to the poor websites used by legal firms. He adds, “I created PaperStreet over 15 years ago because most legal firm websites were terrible.” “Actually, many legal firm websites are still terrible, but they’re improving overall.”
He set out to solve the issue on his own: “I began by building websites for legal businesses while still practicing law,” Boyd recalls. “At some point, I realized that creating websites was more fun than providing legal advice, so I decided to go full-time.”
5. I was enraged as a client.
Benjamin Berman’s journey into entrepreneurship was fueled by rage, which drove him to create Optimize For Growth, a company management tool.
“I was shocked at how businesses tripping over themselves to appear hip handled college student consumers in such a condescending manner.” My previous experience as a customer inspired me to go out and create a place where college kids are treated like real people and sold real goods, despite all the phony ‘dude, bro’ marketing and trashy goods marked up to the extreme.”
6. I was searching for a sense of liberation.
Bryce Welker viewed Crush Empire not just as a means to have greater control over his life by being his own boss, but also as a method to empower others in his profession when he came up with the concept. “While chained to my desk at an accounting company, I came up with my business concept,” Welker recalls. “I wanted the independence of owning a company, and I hoped that by launching my website, I would be able to offer future CPA exam test takers greater flexibility in their life.”
For Welker, it was a win-win situation: not only did he get to establish his own firm and work for himself, but his company also had the potential to enhance the industry as a whole. Welker says, “I understood how to disrupt an industry and recognized my expertise might assist others avoid my mistakes—a win for everyone.”
7. During a crisis, I saw stability—and opportunity.
It takes a terrible circumstance to emphasize the need for a solution, which is how Luigi Wewege came up with the concept for his company, Vivier Group.
“Due to their considerably stricter regulation, the financial crisis of 2007/08 had minimal impact on the New Zealand banking sector,” he adds. “After the crisis, I started to see an upsurge in individuals from all over the globe asking about the country’s excellent rates.” As a result, the concept of servicing these foreign depositors who wanted greater interest rates on their money was created.”
Of course, there’s a delicate line between profiting on a catastrophe and developing something to meet a genuine need. However, it’s wise to examine how you may be able to come up with a novel solution to an issue that has emerged as a result of a crisis.
8. I wanted to assist those who were in my situation.
If you’ve spent days, weeks, or months training yourself how to do something tough, you’d be the first to provide assistance if your buddy had any questions or was unsure where to begin. Leah Neaderthal founded Growthworks Solutions to share her vast sales expertise with other businesses that were uncertain how to approach the selling process.
“I didn’t know anything about sales or selling when I began my first company,” Leah Neaderthal explains. “It took me years of self-education, reading all I could, and experimenting with every method to truly create a selling style that worked and didn’t seem salesy.”
Neaderthal realized she wasn’t the only new business owner who didn’t know how to sell herself. “I know a lot of other business owners struggle with this, so my company teaches them what took me years to master so they can build their companies as well.”
9. I went to a charity concert.
“It began as a fraternity philanthropy event: I produced shirts to sell as a fundraiser and put on a performance,” Tony Poston recalls of College Hill Custom Threads’ beginnings.
Though selling t-shirts began as a means of raising funds for a particular event, Poston found that his new business concept allowed him to pursue his love for working with colleges while also allowing him to return to his college town. “I couldn’t be happier living the dream in a tiny community,” he adds.
10. I wanted to continue the Christmas spirit of giving.
You know how wonderful it feels to assist people in your community if you’ve ever donated to a family over the holidays. Daymaker’s Thomas Doochin wants to carry the spirit of giving even further: “We launched Daymaker as a side project in college to make our own families’ holiday adopt-a-family more connected and transparent,” he adds. “Three weeks after its debut, the website had been utilized by thousands of parents and children throughout the nation for Christmas gifting.”
The accomplishment was unexpected, but it provided Doochin with a chance to continue working to improve the lives of children in need. “We recognized the effect we might have if we tailored a donating experience around kids—specifically birthdays,” says the author.
11. A patient enquired about something.
If people in your business are often saying, “I wish you guys did XYZ!” it’s an indication that there’s a gap you can fill.
“The concept for Opternative originated from a previous patient who questioned, ‘Why can’t we perform this eye test at home?’” explains Opternative founder Steven Lee.
Lee saw how difficult it was for some of his patients to come into the clinic for eye examinations and sought to devise a solution. “My patient was a single mother who found it difficult to attend the clinic on a daily basis; she needed a lot of routine trips to check on the strength of her glasses prescription, and a system that she could use at home would make her life a lot simpler.”
What sparked the concept for your business? Let us know by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter, or by contacting me personally at @BrianaMorgaine!
The what inspires you about your company is a question that many entrepreneurs are asked. These 11 moments are what inspired some of the most successful entrepreneurs to start their own business.
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