How Did You Get the Confidence to Start Your Business?

Here’s a question for you: what has given you the confidence to start your business or decide to expand it?

Barry Moltz, author of “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success,” says that failing can give you confidence. Barry was this week’s guest on my radio show. He shared a litany of failures: he’s gone out of business; was kicked out of another business by his partners; and was fired from more than one job.

In Barry’s words, failure is part of the natural cycle of business. After failing he went on to start a successful business that he ultimately sold. He was able to draw confidence from failures, because, as he said, “I told myself the worst anyone can do to me is eat me, and that’s illegal.”

That brings me back to the question I posed at the start of this article.

I asked 5 experienced entrepreneurs, investors and business authorities the question:

“What has given you the confidence to start/grow your small business?”

Here are their responses:

confidence“Preparation” says Phillip Torrone, MAKE Magazine:

A couple years ago I started a laptop laser etching business (Adafruit Laser) with a friend. We have customers send us their art work. If it’s in the proper format and resolution we book an appointment. They then stop in and we etched their laptop.

I believe confidence in business comes out of preparation — if you believe in what you do and you’re OK with anyone inspecting your processes along the way you can get pretty far.

When we started this business idea, there wasn’t a user manual or information on how to etch the exotic materials laptops are made from – so we did a lot of testing, a lot of preparation and documented everything on our own (www.ladyada.net/resources/laser).

We were not competing with any other businesses, this was (and still mostly is) all very new – all we were interested in doing was the best job possible and documenting everything we could. Laptops aren’t cheap, we’ve never screwed one up with the powerful 35w laser — but there’s always a chance in everything. With enough preparation we became experts.

confidence“Experience and Passion” says Jacob Mullins, VentureBeat:

Starting VentureBeat was definitely a leap of faith, but it was the deep roots the editorial team had with leaders within the venture capital and technology communities that gave us the foundation upon which we could build a solid company. It has taken a great deal of determination and persistence. Creating a company is not an easy feat, but the team’s experience, along with passion about journalism and technology innovation, continues to help it overcome challenges on the business side.

The impetus for starting the company was realizing that we were providing a great product — information — and that no one was providing the same detail and focus. This provided a great deal of confidence. As we continue to expand, one writer at a time, we are careful to stay very close to our core ideals of integrity, objectivity, and quality of product.

By taking our time, and talking to the community in which we are involved, we are able to find our way and continue to grow.


confidence “Communication and Chemistry” says Scott Belsky, Behance.com:

In our experience at Behance, confidence in pursuing a small business has come from the incremental feedback we have received and the “chemistry” that has consistently improved in our team. The confidence was garnered in specific stages as we started and grew the business. If I were to “map out” the path we have taken to gain confidence in the early days of launching a business, I would focus on 5 distinct stages:

(1) Gathering the Panel: When you get a small group of like-minded individuals together to consider a new idea, one of two things happens: You either get more excited about the idea and decide to continue the discussion again , or you leave and lose interest. At Behance, the original “seed” ideas germinated and were developed by people that shared an interest to “organize the creative world.” Some ideas survived while others died. There is something nice about the darwinian approach to starting a new business… And, the panel often becomes (or helps you find) your dream team.

(2) Put Your Money (or Time) Where Your Mouth Is: When an idea starts gaining traction in your mind, it is time to “invest” something in it. Whether it is a period of time that you commit every week to research or an amount of money that you allocate for initial development – you need to invest something. Some companies start with a part-time employee that is being paid by the founder to “mock-up” an preliminary design, website, or concept. This is a great investment in the viability of the business.

(3) The Controlled Test: When the time is right, you will feel a rush of motivation to “test” your concept. Often times this is a controlled microcosm of the business you have in mind. Once you can “market” and gauge initial interest from potential customers, you can become more confident in your concept. Your business doesn’t need to be perfect or revenue-producing to generate confidence – it just needs to gain some traction. At Behance, we started with a blog featuring the interviews we were doing in the creative community. Just having a blog was enough for us to test the initial opportunity.

(4) Listen Listen Listen: The first realization you must have is that your business plan is (likely) wrong, and that the “needs” you first identified may differ from the actual needs and frustrations you must address among your potential customers. To identify the true market opportunity, you must listen. Gathering a small focus group of potential customers and asking questions is the best way to refine your marketing and product.

(5) Debate Toward Shared Conviction: As you incorporate the feedback you are getting and prepare to launch a real business, encourage debate among your team and advisors about the decisions you are making. As debate ensues, try to reach some level of shared conviction in your team. Remember that conviction does not necessarily mean consensus…just a mutual agreement to try a particular strategy. Of course, things will change – and if you continue to listen to the feedback – you can continue to tweak your strategy.

Confidence ultimately comes from data (feedback), honest communication, and a team with a shared commitment.

confidence“Setting Goals” says Andru Edwards, GearLive.com:

When I decided to start Gear Live, it was with the knowledge that I knew I could do it, and that I wanted to strive to be one of the best at what I did. I really do think it is all about drive. When it came to confidence, I was simply confident that I could not only do it, but do it very, very well. With that goal in mind, I forged ahead, and never took my eye off of that goal.

Starting a company on your own is tough, and there are a lot of moments where you are going to question whether it was the right move, or whether you should throw in the towel. I decided that I wouldn’t throw in the towel until I hit my goal. If my goal was to be one of the best, then I couldn’t stop until I got there

In my estimation, if you don’t have the desire to be the best, and would instead be happy with the status quo, then you are in the wrong business. Find something you are passionate about, something that you know you can always get behind, and something that you absolutely, without a doubt, want to achieve. Once you find that, your confidence will be more than enough to not only start a business, but having a very good chance of succeeding.

confidence“Seizing Opportunities” says John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing:

Not sure I can pin the answer to that down anymore as I started over 20 years ago. I do know that I have always felt starting a business wasn’t much of a risk. If you can come to realize that money, or more accurately making money, is a
pretty simple thing, then I believe that you can more fully let go of the how and look for opportunities to do something that you personally find remarkable.

I don’t take direction very well so having the ability to explore new ventures, adjust to new technology and serve in a way that energizes is me is what gives me the confidence and the passion to do what I do.

And finally, I’d like to share my own personal lesson … how I got the confidence to start and grow my current business here at Small Business Trends.

confidence“Persistence” says Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends:

Overnight successes are so rare. For most of us, success comes after years of hard work.

I made up my mind in 2003 when I started this site that I would stick with it through the rough patches. I told myself my business would still be around and thriving in 5 years. And guess what? It’s been almost exactly 5 years.

When I started this business, I continued doing consulting work for a long time. It was a drag to have to spend most of my workweek building other people’s businesses and only finding time for my own in the evenings and on weekends. But those consulting projects gave me cash flow. Cash flow enables you to stay in business through thick and thin. And the longer I managed to stay in business, the more confident I was that next year would be even better.

* * * * *

So, you’ve now heard from a total of 7 entrepreneurs about what gave us confidence to start or grow our businesses: failure; preparation; experience and passion; communication and chemistry; setting goals; seizing opportunities; and persistence.

Now we want to hear from you: What has given YOU the confidence to start in business?

Fess up in the comments below.

50 Comments ▼
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Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

50 Reactions

  1. Being that I just have a tiny home based business, the big confidence booster for me was my family’s support. Not financially but just emotionally. Knowing that I had unconditional support from not only my husband but some other close family members was priceless.

  2. Blind Faith!

    A “Just Do It” approach. That feeling of Why Not? I started a company with pretty much zero start-up costs so I had nothing to lose. Except this opportunity to do something that I’ve always wanted to do. So I went for it. And haven’t looked back! I know that there will always be jobs available and if something were to happen, I could always go back to a normal life. But that thought creates more fear in me than the thought of my business failing, lol!

  3. My answer isn’t very inspirational, however, “necessity” was the real motivating factor for me. It just HAD to happen and I was determined to make it happen. And I was so focused during that time, that failures became little speed bumps in the road. I bounced over them without really stopping to look and see what I had hit -and floored the gas again. That may not be the best tactic, but it kept me going and it worked for me.

    I was able to go like that for a while – living off that drive to survive and the passion that was incited within me – the necessity pushed me into a period of fierce determination and an unwillingness to fail (even if just to prove others wrong :-)

    And as strange as this may sound, sometimes someone telling you that you CAN’T do something – becomes the reason that you CAN do it.

    So for everyone whose ever told me that I couldn’t do it – that it wouldn’t work – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Because I DID do it and it DID work. Strange advice, I know.

    But just have someone tell you that you can’t do something – and watch what happens :-)

  4. My failures provided me with this insight: Confidence is best boosted by those things that can be deposited in a bank. Or, it’s best to start a business when you have a customer or client committed to buying whatever it is you plan on selling.

  5. I’m trying a very slow, deliberate, experimental approach to starting my computer support business. Since I have no experience, still work full-time, and don’t want to be above my eye-balls in debt before I’m sure Ihave what it takes to be successful, I think my test-drive approach is the best way for me to go. That way, I have the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them before I take this part-time passion to a full-time company!

  6. Oh this is a good question. What gave me the confidence to start my business? Nothing short of insanity.

  7. There were four factors that gave me the confidence to launch the Hire Insight Group

    Frustration (recognizing a problem)

    The initial driving force was frustration. Not in a negative sense, but in terms of knowing that others were suffering unnecessarily, when there was a better way.

    In my case, I had been working for HR consulting firms for over seven years, developing and administering sophisticated hiring programs for mostly large organizations. At one point, I even had the opportunity to watch high-level UN representatives manage mock catastrophes like mudslides in a third-world country. Needless to say, it was quite interesting to see how they dealt with the pressures of their future jobs (and you thought YOUR Monday mornings were stressful!).

    The work was interesting and paid very well, but I was bothered that more small businesses weren’t benefiting from such techniques, either because they were unaware that the methods existed or because the programs were too expensive for less established companies.

    Research

    The second boost of confidence came from performing necessary research, trying to develop hiring programs that were just as effective, but better met the needs and limitations of SMBs. The studies I read and discussions I had clearly showed that there were powerful selection methods available that weren’t being used by smaller companies.

    Testing

    The third, testing. To this point, all of my confidence had been of the “I think” or “I believe” varietyas in “I think there’s a better way for SMBs to hire and I believe they would use such a service.” However, after testing, that confidence evolved into “I know that this works and that it is just as effective as more time-intensive and expensive options.”

    Feedback

    Finally, the positive feedback that I received from the first clients and candidates was enough to assure me that this was the right path to take. I would say that I wasn’t entirely sure that it would work to this point but that the experience of gathering feedback was enough to make me truly confident in the future of the business.

    If I were asked to give any advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, I would say to make sure that you go through the same process – identifying your and others’ frustrations (passion might not be enough), doing research and preparation, testing your idea, and getting feedback to ensure that your business is meeting a need and will continue to be big success.

    All the best,

    -Chad

    PS. We’re still trying to learn all we can about SMB hiring frustrations, and develop more helpful resources and programs as a result. If you’d like to help, please feel free to complete a short survey at http://www.hireinsightgroup.com/survey.html . Your insights are greatly appreciated!

  8. I will chew these comments, insights and answers and then come back to my response later on… :)

  9. First, research, research, and more research on HOW to start, build, and operate my own business.

    Second, having years of experience in the same field in which I have a passion.

    The experience gave me plenty of confidence to DO the job, but HOW to actually start and operate a business took some study to build my level of confidence in that area.

    I’m a perfectionist and wanted to nip as many chances of failure in the bud as possible beforehand. That’s not to say I haven’t had any failures, just that I believe I have them more under control so as not to lose a lot of resources in the process of learning as my business grows.

  10. I think all the authors hit the spot but I can relate most to Anita’s view: persistence. Few businesses are overnight successes. As a matter of fact, many can be “failures” for a number of their very early years until they “suddenly” turn the corner and grow. Most owners are cultivating valuable experience and knowledge during those not so good years until they reach the point where it all starts working and producing the desired result.

    This is likely to happen *many* times for a business during its life-cycle as it starts growing and the challenges change.

    –Marco

  11. This is a HUGE question and I love all the answers I see! For me, it was knowing that I didn’t have to be the expert at everything (especially things I wasn’t good at – and didn’t want to be good at).

  12. In my case it was fear. The slow failure of my 15 year freelancing career left me with the choice of either getting a full time job or pushing very hard to grow the slowly germinating seeds I had planted months and years ago. Like the author, the freelancing gigs had financed the seed planting, but when the gigs dried up (my best clients were real estate developers and home builders, yikes!) it became a now or never moment. The failure of my freelancing career turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I don’t think I’d have had the guts to make the jump otherwise (kids and house payments make people financially cautious). Now things are booming and there’s no looking back except to say “why didn’t I do this years ago!”

  13. Hi Anita,

    What a great question! I was DRIVEN to start my business by the fact that nothing else in my life was working out. I had left my seven-year full-time job as a copywriter for a Fortune 500 company and moved to a new town. Thought I’d slip into the side door of pharmaceutical copywriting… took some temp gigs, and suddenly I was “the new kid in town” everywhere I went, and quite humbled and displaced by the whole thing.

    Then a friend of a friend pulled me into a dot-com venture which lasted about 8 months before the team disbanded due to lack of funds to keep it going. The woman who I had been working for was also a coach who encouraged me to make a go of it on my own.

    But the CONFIDENCE, I feel, came from a different place than the motivation. I was MOTIVATED by dissatisfaction, but I was EMPOWERED by the fact that I had all the education, the experience, the portfolio, track record, and endorsements to prove my worth.

    Anita, where do you feel that YOUR confidence sprang forth from when just starting out with your business? I’d love to hear your story as well.

  14. The fear of spending the rest of my life in a cubicle… and sitting in atlanta traffic twice a day on my way to that cubicle…

  15. The fear of getting canned someday to make somebody else’s bottom line look better. I’d rather be in control.

  16. I just wanted to pass my story along to you and hope it interests and entertains others. Thanks! Tony

    Make Green By Going Green.
    I had to write this article to let other entrepreneurs know what exciting possibilities there are out there in this new ‘Green” world. If you haven’t been paying attention there is a world wide phenomenon going on that is called Green or Eco-friendly. If you are not steering your business that way or if you are not looking to get into this green business juggernaut you are missing out on a huge pay day and/or a long time rewarding business experience.
    Not only will you help reduce your own carbon foot print but you will attract more customers because people are looking for eco friendly businesses. By going green, my business in just over one year, went from $7,000 per month to $75,000 per month. I went from 30 customers to well over 300 customers with more climbing on the green wagon every day.
    I have even been approached to franchise my concept all over the world. Going green apparently rewards you with more green.

    It is truly amazing how my life has changed this past year. I got involved with starting an eco-friendly cleaning company and as a result of going green I have watched in awe as my revenue grows month after month. It has not only changed my life financially but it has positively impacted the health and lives of thousands of people as well. I went into this business, not having a lot of money to invest, but wanting to do something that was good for the environment as well as good for the planet and other people. I know that cleaning homes and businesses with non hazardous chemicals will help add years to the lives of our customers, their children and pets, our workers and help heal the environment too.
    The Green Mop (my business) afforded me the opportunity to move from a cramped apartment, where I also ran the business, to a beautiful new 4700 square foot home that last year was priced at $1.1 million (got it for $800,000 in this current market environment). I also bought a brand new SUV Hybrid with cash and I see no end in sight for the growth and expansion of my eco-friendly green enterprise.
    What I did you can do too by steering your existing or new business in a green direction.
    I have seen the proof that if you do right for people, the environment, and yourself by focusing on being good stewards of the earth, the floodgates of green prosperity will open up to you.

    So, lesson your foot print, enrich the lives of others, steer your business green and watch your prosperity grow.

    The Green Mop, Inc
    Tony Gallina, President
    http://www.thegreenmop.com
    (703) 508-8082

  17. I have 2 reasons. The first was belief – in the business idea (which was then confirmed with research) and belief in our abilities to make it successful, especially when we risked our own money as we used our savings to develop the product and for living expenses during the 18 months of development and initial months of the launch.

    The second was our determination to overcome any challenges we would face and keep moving forward towards our goals.

  18. Well I think confidence might have been lacking… I started my business 7 years ago after the company I worked for was bought out and a number of people were laid off (me included). I had worked for that company for more than 20 years so it was a shock.

    After I took some time to think things through, I decided that I wanted to work for myself, not for someone else. It took a lot of time, including some blood, sweat and tears, and I love running my own small business! Yes, I work for customers instead of for a company and now I do have a choice in terms of who I work with.

    I feel that makes me better at what I do.

  19. I am just starting my own business in mobile pet grooming. I was turned down for an SBA loan because of too much existing debt, oh well (a speed bump). I have been a successful groomer at a boarding and grooming facility in So. Cal. for over 13 years and as a manager for over 11 years I have seen and heard what customers want! Quality, Customer service that makes them feel important, Experience that allows you to follow through with their expectations, and how about with a kindness. I decided to leave my current employer and work for myself out of FRUSTRATION (managing employees), PASSION-I LOVE what I do, EXPERIENCE and CONFIDENCE I gain knowing my current customers want ONLY ME to groom their beloved pets, word of mouth is very under rated in my line of business, it can really make a business successful faster than large scale advertising (and less expensive).
    I BELIEVE I will be successful and expect little speed bump failures and will not be deterred by them, they will make me stronger and more deterrmined. OH Yes! and the green concept is absolutly right on, only natural products used for better health and less irritation to skin and coats, CUSTOMER REQUESTS!

  20. Hi,

    In my case – the desire to offer a better living for my family :) I HAVE to be confidence if I want to achieve that!

    Cheers!

  21. I started my own business together with some individuals after we had been having several meetings, discussions, brainstorming session etc. We saw a common thread and need for a physical meeting place and then we created one by ourselves. In one way the start-up failed because we had to close the café & business center due to high costs, but during this period of time, we have created a great network of business contacts that have lead to new business ideas and opportunities. The next step will be to arrange business activities at already established businesses, like coffee houses, incubators, office spaces, etc.

    I have to end this comment by a quote that gave me confidence to start a business:

    “That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

  22. My personal finance guide- MoneyLIFE, India’s topmost personal finance magazine is giving me support and cofidence to have my own business.

    Taking this opportunity to thank Moneylife.
    Everyone should get benefited from my MoneyLIFE.
    http://www.moneylife.in

  23. I started as a blogger in 2006. Everybody around me told me it is not worthed. It has no future. Still, I ended up becoming a blogger. I enjoy blogging. I dream to build up a successful blog.

  24. I was in a depredate condition and I needed to find some work in 2006. I was 31 years old at that time and suddenly, I was in a situation that I had to find something in Internet. So, I started writing in my two personal blogs (hosted by Blogspot). Nothing happened at first but then, I got hired by a blog network.

  25. As a human being everybody has a fear in his mind, is doing this wrong or right. In this type of situation you a need a person who encourage you. Ellie Drake, a mastermind can you to built a confidence in you mind that you can do your best and keeps you positive. She is giving this lecture in the form of videos, which more easier than reading on internet. watch here totally free.

  26. From my own experience: see the real value from your own products and conservative financial planning.

  27. Desperation. I did not want to be working for a boss anymore – I hated the job I had and I desperately wanted to be home with my children. I knew I had good skills but I didn’t know if I could make a good business. I read a lot, asked a lot of questions of anyone I could speak to and tried a lot of things. It’s now over 14 years down the track and I’m still in business so I must have done something right. I guess the fear of failure might have had something to do with it too.

  28. I have a small corperation and I cannot make a living. I consulted for small home builders doing their purchasing of all needed to build a house and I cannot find any building today using my sevices. So the economy has retired my services just when I need to make money before retirement. I am 55 and I need to retire by 66 (as 65 is not available for my birth year). So what will anyone do about that? I don’t think Obama will react and do what is needed, so I am not for him. I am for McCain, but I don’t know he will do anything either. So what do we do when we feel like our government is not taking care of our problems and issues? A close to retired person, not happy about our choices.

  29. I wanted more control over my life after experiencing layoffs and restructures at every company I had ever worked for. Only one ended my employment but it was devastating to watch co-workers lose jobs and eventually even homes and cars for some.

  30. I was tired of putting more money into the pockets of the owners of the corporate giants I worked for. Now it’s my turn and I’m loving every minute of it! Also, I am finally able to take care of my employees as if they were my own family (which is the way it should be). It’s me living my dream come true! :-)

  31. I know its very cliche but it really came down to: “Just do it!”

  32. I am not sure that it was confidence I needed to ‘start’ my business, but it certainly was confidence to continue my business.

  33. I came from Mexico 25 years ago live in the streets of Austin , in a garage in Houston , pick cans in Hwy 35 and eat winners at night from a shamrock dumpster when i talk about my past they don’t believe my history’s they think i am making it up but to me is all I need to no wish this for my sons and family , thanks to 2 guys at Taco bell who teach me all I know about restaurants i am being working and living from many of them , thanks to those corporations that in the past gave good bonus I save and today i work and my wife run a small Deli named Wicho”S here in San antonio has being hard and still i want to expand i don’t have a real menu but my costumers don’t complain , my business is word of mouth i expect to do better , this is a dream into reality but nothing is free all you need is Faith in God and you .

  34. It’s been said that when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will effect change. That’s what happened to me. I never considered having confidence because I was fueled by the frustration of having to punch a clock and make money for other companies when I could’ve been doing it for myself. Add to the fire, the office politics, the fake “Good Mornings”, and the MMN factor (many meetings about nothing) – I needed no confidence. I had the alternative staring me in the face, so I acted on it.

    Like Nike, “Just do it.”

  35. I was retired , but not ready to quit. I did work professionally for years. So I simply did my work with people who have problems by appointment only in my home that I selected. I see no dropins, and do not take any mental patients.I have done this for 15 years and dont know when to stop!!!!! I have clients from all over the world contact me. I enjoy it so much. ..and my prices are so reasonable so it is not about money. I am a licensed business called Problems in Everyday Living…and really only a common sense chat and fix service.

  36. My former boss went out of business after me supporting my family and his and his two worthless sons who got a check the size of mine for doing nothing. He finally couldn’t keep that up anymore and took bankruptcy. I had worked for him for 15 years with him telling me every single move to make. I almost had a nervous breakdown until my wife sat me down and said we will talk. She told me I had been the sole support of the business for 15 years, we live in a small town so everyone kinew I was the electrician anyway. She told me she would get my office set up and the only difference is I would be getting all the money instead of about 13%. I didn’t think I could do it but with her encouragement and constant reassurance I did it. I am very proud of my business and proud that she thought I was good enough to do it all. She handles the office and I do the rest.

  37. A few things. First off, I’ve seen a need, and knowing that I’ve been successful in this industry before (home business), I know that I can help others get on the right path. What gives me that confidence is knowing that I was able to succeed before despite all of the odds against me. I want to be able to transfer that mindset to others.

    Next, the home business industry gets a bad rap in most cases, but it really isn’t all bad. There is a lot of good – folks are able to earn an income despite our failing economy. I’m on a mission to help the world see that home business isn’t all about scams and fluffy dreams. We don’t all become millionaires, but quite a few of us succeed enough to truly work from home.

    Last, I have a problem with authority, lol. I have tasted what it’s like not to have to work for someone else and make them rich, and I want that to continue throughout the rest of my life. I enjoy being self-sufficient, not worrying about losing a job because of the economy and not worrying about racking up a crazy amount of debt. I can enjoy getting out of town on a moment’s notice, vacations without asking for time off, and when we’re ready to have kids, we can both be home with them! Keeping that vision in front of me is what keeps me going in my current business and our new venture. Whenever I get down or frustrated or feel like giving up, I think of losing all that we’ve gained so far, and it makes me push on.

  38. i didnt, even though a CNA i still work through an agency. That way, i will have them line me up with work, instead of having to worry to find clients

  39. There were several factors;
    – Belief in my produce
    – A good partner to share in the work
    – Support of family
    – Support from Flagship Enterprise Center, new business start up incubator
    – An excellent support network
    – Read the book “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived” by Steven Scott

  40. the desire to be creative and live life the way i always dreamed…. wats the point of living if you cant use the gifts you were given???

  41. A small bit of frustration and a whole lot of insanity.

  42. A business model that could launch on $1700 and spare time.

  43. Most of my life that little voice in my head was always telling me to do my own thing. I tried, and failed, at a lot of things until I found my calling. Every job I have ever had, I always gave it my all and tried to be the best. Once I finally found the thing I knew I was meant to do, it was a great feeling because I know if I do my best, I will succeed. Its a lot of work, and its not easy starting your own business, but I feel much better working hard for myself than to work hard to make someone else rich. The most important thing is to keep your chin up and think positive when times are tough. If you think you will fail…you will. If you are willing to work your butt off when things are down, In the end it will pay off.

  44. Funny reading my story from now more than a year ago! We are now at $100,000 per month with a profit margin of 40+%. Not bad through these rough economic times! Tony

    I just wanted to pass my story along to you and hope it interests and entertains others. Thanks! Tony

    Make Green By Going Green.
    I had to write this article to let other entrepreneurs know what exciting possibilities there are out there in this new ‘Green” world. If you haven’t been paying attention there is a world wide phenomenon going on that is called Green or Eco-friendly. If you are not steering your business that way or if you are not looking to get into this green business juggernaut you are missing out on a huge pay day and/or a long time rewarding business experience.
    Not only will you help reduce your own carbon foot print but you will attract more customers because people are looking for eco friendly businesses. By going green, my business in just over one year, went from $7,000 per month to $75,000 per month. I went from 30 customers to well over 300 customers with more climbing on the green wagon every day.
    I have even been approached to franchise my concept all over the world. Going green apparently rewards you with more green.

    It is truly amazing how my life has changed this past year. I got involved with starting an eco-friendly cleaning company and as a result of going green I have watched in awe as my revenue grows month after month. It has not only changed my life financially but it has positively impacted the health and lives of thousands of people as well. I went into this business, not having a lot of money to invest, but wanting to do something that was good for the environment as well as good for the planet and other people. I know that cleaning homes and businesses with non hazardous chemicals will help add years to the lives of our customers, their children and pets, our workers and help heal the environment too.
    The Green Mop (my business) afforded me the opportunity to move from a cramped apartment, where I also ran the business, to a beautiful new 4700 square foot home that last year was priced at $1.1 million (got it for $800,000 in this current market environment). I also bought a brand new SUV Hybrid with cash and I see no end in sight for the growth and expansion of my eco-friendly green enterprise.
    What I did you can do too by steering your existing or new business in a green direction.
    I have seen the proof that if you do right for people, the environment, and yourself by focusing on being good stewards of the earth, the floodgates of green prosperity will open up to you.

    So, lesson your foot print, enrich the lives of others, steer your business green and watch your prosperity grow.

    The Green Mop, Inc
    Tony Gallina, President
    http://www.thegreenmop.com
    (703) 508-8082

  45. I just felt that I didn’t use my full potential as a regular employee and set my mind into what I really wanted to accomplish.

    The confidence is all mindset, JUST DO IT and believe in yourself. To do that you need to ask the right questions such as, what do I need to do to make this happen. Avoid questioning yourself in a doubtful way.

  46. Many people who decide to start their businesses face many challenges, and many people fail. The sad thing is that after failing once, many people simply give up on their dream of having their own business.

    Thank you Anita for compiling this. It helps to learn what other successful entrepreneurs have gone through

    • Hi Nikki, Persistence is crucial! How can one reap the benefits of a business without giving it a chance to get out of childhood and the teenage years, and become an adult? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      - Anita

  47. You are right, failing is one key aspect that will give us the right confidence to make our business work. Sometimes, stressing out will bring the best in us. I just watches a good video that relates to your post about confidence. This woman also gained her success through taking risks and doing what she was afraid to do. Those things gave her enough confidence and placed her on top. http://marieforleo.com/2011/01/gain-selfconfidence-business/

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