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Small Business Stories | We All Start Small | Get Started, Overcome Challenges, Find Success
46 minutes | Jun 9, 2017
2.15: Finding a Business Opportunity through Something you Enjoy with Jennifer Jones of Idaho Escape Rooms
If you've never heard of what an escape room is, you can watch one in action by Chris Evan, the real life Captain America, find it on YouTube. Jennifer Jones and her husband, Robert, first experienced an escape room while on vacation. At the time, they were in jobs and never really had entrepreneurial inclinations. Yet, they found themselves in a position where there were open to new ideas and new adventures. Jennifer shares how she and her husband got the business started and how they run things today. We discuss doing the market research, planning, getting customers, and working together as a couple.
52 minutes | Jun 1, 2017
2.14: Building a Yoga Business through Building Community with Kit and Rosie Volcano
When Kit & Rosie first tried Forrest Yoga, the experience transformed them. Yoga helped them get in tune with themselves and overcome personal barriers. The experience was so transformational that Kit decided to give up his successful hair salon in Chicago and dedicate himself to teaching others the same yoga exercises. Rosie felt the same way. She put aside her growing message therapy business. Together, they trained and prepared themselves for this new venture. As they were doing so, they saw a need for more connection between people in the yoga community. It's also what they wanted. So they started up a Facebook group, invited people they knew to join. The next thing they knew, they were on their way to Scotland at the beginning of a world tour teaching others their yoga techniques.
54 minutes | May 26, 2017
2.13: How to be Resourceful with Lori De La Cruz of Virtuoso Home Improvement
At the height of the economic recession, Lori's husband lost is electrical contracting job. With no other options, Lori and Anthony started Virtuoso Home Improvement as a way to try to make ends meet. Anthony did the marketing, sales, and field work while Lori handled the back office functions. Working together, Virtuoso has withstood the test of time. In this interview, Lori shares how she had to get resourceful to find solutions to issues that came up as the business progressed. Plus, she did all of this while working a full time job!
45 minutes | May 18, 2017
2:12: What it Means to Burn All Bridges and Leave No Retreat with Anthony De la Cruz of Virtuoso Home Improvement
Anthony's story provides a great example of what it really means to sink or swim. He lost his job as an electrical contractor when his boss committed suicide during the economic crash. No contractors were hiring and he had bills to pay. He had no choice but to either succeed in making money for himself or crashing and burning. He shares the steps he took to make his story a success. Anthony's experience reminds me of a suggestion in the landmark business book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Hill suggests that in order to be successful you must burn all bridges and leave no retreat in the pursuit of your objective. The idea is that this leaves you with no choice but to succeed.
57 minutes | May 11, 2017
2.11: One Key to Making Better Business Decisions
When I do an interview with a small business owner, there's usually some sort of theme that tends to stand out. In this case, I was impressed with Doug's knowledge of his market and customers. He really understood some of the unique characteristics and nuances that exist in his space. I assume that is one reason why Kauer Guitars has been able to withstand the test of time and grow a dedicated following. In fact, did you know that people come from all over the country to participate in his annual Kauerfest? It's a gathering where people show up, eat good food, drink good drinks, play good music, and just have a good time! It's happening June 10, 2017.
47 minutes | May 4, 2017
2.10 How to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Real Business
Starting a side business (or "Side Hustling") is something that seems to get a lot of attention now-a-days. There are a number of podcasts dedicated to it (ex: Side Hustle Nation with Nick Loper and Side Hustle School with Chris Guillebeau--who also wrote a book I love, $100 Startup). I think that's a good thing. However, you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish with a side hustle. Is your end goal just to have a little extra income or are you trying to turn it into something more. Steve Young, founder of AppMasters--a marketing agency for app creators, argues that you are not a real entrepreneur if you are just running a little side hustle. He should know because he side hustled for 10 years before he started on the real deal. There's nothing wrong with running a side hustle. But if you want to make it something more, you may find Steve's story helpful.
58 minutes | Feb 9, 2017
2.09 Starting a Business from a Blog -- Tyson and Danielle Davis of Mom Blog School
In 2013 Danielle started blogging about her experience with infertility and motherhood on her blog Today's the Best Day. Tyson saw what she was doing and was inspired by the message she was sharing. Danielle attended blogger conferences and continued to blog and Tyson implemented some of the business concepts he was learning in school. Together, they have built a huge community of "Besties" who are striving to make every day the best day. Now, they have opened Mom Blog School to help others learn how to create and connect with their own community through blogging. (P.S. I'm trying to convince my wife to enroll. She blogs about the goings-on in our lives at www.foxinthefarm.com).
43 minutes | Feb 2, 2017
2.08 Brooke Eliason of FemaleFoodie.com gained over 10,000 Instagram followers in one year and catapulted her business to success
In 2010, Brooke started blogging about food and photography as a hobby. She spent a summer going from restaurant to restaurant in West Yellowstone, taking pictures of her food, and writing about her experiences. Although she kept at it and expanded her geography, she wasn't doing it with any particular business objective in mind. She just enjoyed connecting with people and sharing her thoughts. She was also gaining a following doing it. One day her husband suggested that what she was doing had some business opportunities. She thought he was right so she doubled down on her efforts. A few years later she has a crew of bloggers that have joined her cause, she's earning an income, and connecting with and serving even more. She has recently launched FemaleFoodie Elite, a program that teaches others how to develop their own blog and following! Brooke also shares 3 tips that every person should follow if they are going to build social media following.
59 minutes | Jan 27, 2017
2.07: A Contract to Myself
Hey Good People of the Internet! I spent last weekend at a business conference in San Diego by Nick Unsworth and his team at Life on Fire. It was such an amazing experience that I decided to venture away from my typical program to share some of the things I learned and discovered with you. I also announce how you can win $150 towards a new program Life on Fire is launching in the near future. Just follow me on Instagram @SMBstories for more deets. This is something everyone needs to experience.
52 minutes | Jan 19, 2017
2.06: David Faux of El Squanto Beards
David founded El Squanto Beards first out of necessity and then out of opportunity. He started growing a beard and experienced some discomfort and irritation. He was unable to find any products on the market that helped. So he made his own. Then he found that other people wanted his product too. He saw an opportunity to make a business out of it. He started with $50 and sleepless nights and now he is at a point where he can start focusing his business on the future, introducing more products, and incorporating more of his passion projects--motorcycle builds. El Squanto Beards helps you forge a better beard. Listening to David's story will also help you forge a better business. He's doing all of this on the side of his day job. If you've ever considered launching something on the side, you'll want to hear how Dave has done it.
58 minutes | Jan 13, 2017
2.05: Nick Wester of Find Fakes
Nick was working as a manager for a successful corporation in China. In case you've not heard, China has a reputation for pollution (sorry China, but you can be kind of gross in that way). Unfortunately, Nick's son started having some health complications as a result of pollution and so his family decided it was time to go. He used his savings to move back to the US and started a business of his own. A few months later he was down to his last $3,000 and contemplated giving up the business and taking a job he was offered. Instead, he put in even more work to making his business succeed. Six months in, he broke even and determined that his business could make it. It's now been a little over three years and Nick's business is going great. Find Fakes helps people take down counterfeit products that are being sold online. He's developed software, teams, and systems to help him do it. One of my favorite lines from his interview: "Coming up with a solution that can protect them [his clients] while not making them go broke is an awesome opportunity." Nick shares some of the challenges he's had to overcome and his favorite successes. He also provides insights on what other can or should do to get their business up and running.
70 minutes | Jan 5, 2017
2.04: Davis Smith of Cotopaxi
Davis read a newspaper article about an entrepreneur who used his skills and knowledge to help the less fortunate. Davis clipped the article and carried it with him. Later, Davis was at a conference and saw this entrepreneur getting on an elevator down the hall. Davis literally chased him down and got in the elevator. This entrepreneur counseled Davis that if he wanted to help others, he needed to start his own successful business. At that time, Davis committed himself to starting his own successful business. He started with PoolTables.com and then started up a baby products business in Brazil. Now, he's running Cotopaxi, which provides outdoor Gear for Good and is a certified Benefit Corporation. The goal of Cotopaxi is to make great gear and help alleviate poverty.
57 minutes | Dec 15, 2016
2.03: Jake Fackrell of Landvoice
Landvoice by Domega provides sales leads to various industries--with an emphasis in real estate--by aggregating information scattered throughout the web and packaging it into useful and digestible formats. Jake started as an employee of Landvoice. When customers started asking for certain services which Landvoice didn't want to provide, Jake started his own successful small business. Jake's story came full circle when he later purchased Landvoice.
51 minutes | Dec 8, 2016
2.02: Spencer Quinn of FiberFix
It's BYU month at SMBstories. Spencer was at BYU to become a doctor but the entrepreneur bug got to him. In the summer of 2012, Spencer and his cousin met a doctor who repaired an ATV with medical casting tape. This gave them the idea that they could start up a business making an actual repair wrap. That fall, they used $500 raised from family and friends to create some packaging and participate in a local trade show to exhibit their product. That experience taught them that they were on the right track. Spencer appeared on Shark Tank in 2014 and FiberFix has been off to the races.
23 minutes | Nov 24, 2016
2.01: Small Business Stories Relaunch
Hi Everyone! It's been a while but I'm happy to announce that I'm bringing the show back. In this episode, I talk about where I've been and my plans for the future. I also ask myself the same questions I ask my guests--how I got started, challenges I've faced, and successes. Thanks for listening! (Assuming you do).
48 minutes | Mar 5, 2014
21: Rob Soerens went from an employee to a franchisee and is now an Entrepreneur starting his own business from scratch
Rob started his career as an attorney in a big law firm where all the business end was figured out for him. As a lawyer, he worked with clients in the franchise world. Working with these client inspired him to jump into the franchise world himself. He found an opportunity to become a franchisee with Comfort Keepers. He grew this business from $0 to over $1.5 million in sales before selling his interest. Now, Rob has taken the leap to starting a business of his own from scratch as an entrepreneur.
46 minutes | Feb 19, 2014
20. Edmund McMillan trekked the long journey to overnight success. He’s sold over 1 million copies of his hit game.
You may recognize him as the designer of the hit game Super Meat Boy or from the award winning documentary Indie Game: the Movie(available on Netflix). Edmund McMillan is a game designer and was passionate about his art. Making a living developing video games wasn’t an easy road to take. After abandoning the idea, he jumped back in and designed Super Meat Boy as his personal magnum opus.
45 minutes | Feb 12, 2014
19. From Zero (or less) to Success: Nick Ruiz has Done it Twice.
Nick Ruiz started his real estate business from scratch at 19 and had massive success. Then the market crashed and he lost everything. But he was able to take the lessons he learned from this experience and bounced back even stronger. What you’ll hear: The basics of Wholesaling Real Estate Why hitting rock-bottom was the best thing to happened to him Why starting a side business might not work What’s the boss of success The ultimate entrepreneurship hack
34 minutes | Feb 5, 2014
18: Beardbrand fosters style for the Urban Beardsman
Eric Bandholz and his team are building Beardbrand from the ground up by bootstrapping their business. They've found success in reaching their unique target market. Eric shares how the business got to where it is today and how you can get your own business going.
37 minutes | Jan 29, 2014
17. Senior Living Recruiter - Brad Wachter
Brad Wachter completely replaced his corporate executive income within one year of starting his own recruiting business. He wants you to know that you can do that too. Some of the things you'll hear are: What made him want to leave the corporate world Why buying an existing business didn't work for him How a recruiter business works How developing a niche can help you succeed Tips for getting started connecting with people on Linkedin
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