small business

Small business owners come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to success, and that’s good news for anyone planning to start or grow their business in 2019. Small business is big business. In fact, 99.7% of all businesses in the United States actually count as small businesses. That’s a big slice of a big pie.

Even some of the most famous success stories don’t always start as we think. It’s easy to assume most small business owners always had a knack for business, or that everything aligned perfectly for them since the start. In reality, that’s rarely the case. As you know, starting a business is hard work. It isn’t always an easy road, but it’s one you can pave for yourself if you’re willing to try hard enough.

Still not convinced? Let’s explore these small business owner’s stories to see how they got their start in their industry. Odds are they’ll surprise you.

Tara Gentile of CoCommercial

If you’ve listened to Tara Gentile’s podcast What Works, you’d likely think she had an MBA and years of experience in her field. In fact, she stumbled into business consulting pretty much on accident. She doesn’t have any formal business education. She actually studied religion in college, and this drives her passion for understanding how people behave.

Tara started her small business CoCommercial after her daughter was born. She was inspired to start a website and build a community after she found herself overlooked for a promotion at her day job because she was pregnant. Luckily, this was the right move for her.

Within a short period of time, Tara learned she had a knack for online business. She grew her website and started making more money than she did at her previous day job. Now, she’s a leading instructor for other small business owners at CreativeLive, and she helps clients scale their businesses across the country.

Tara McMullin

Screenshot via @Tara_McMullin on Instagram

Mei Pak of Tiny Hands Jewelry

Tiny Hands was started by Mei Pak in 2006, and it’s an online store that features miniature food jewelry that even smells like yummy food. Mei Pak found her way in such a niche market because of her passion for following her own dreams. She describes herself as a creator through and through, and that’s why Tiny Hands was born.

At first, Tiny Hands wasn’t a success. Mei Pak started her business only making $9,000 a year in sales. She was struggling to pay the bills and didn’t know how to make her business work. She was forced to rework her entire business plan, and that’s how she created A Sale a Day business community.

Today, she makes over $200,000 a year selling handmade products, and her products are in over 100 stores. She now helps other business owners produce and promote their own products in a way that works.

Mei Park

Screenshots via @TinyHandsJewelry and @CreativeHiveCo on Instagram

Leroy Bautista of Nic & Luc

Leroy Bautista scaled down for his first business and it paid off in a big way. He got his start in the culinary field, working in high-end restaurants as a chef. When the market crashed in 2008, he was laid off. With over 25 years of restaurant experience, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Leroy took some of the advice of his friends and family and turned his favorite homemade sauces and vinaigrettes into his business Nic & Luc. He started by selling just a few flavors at his local market in Longwood, Florida, but it quickly grew. His sauces are all made fresh, and they’re full of local, organic ingredients.

In 2018, Leroy took his business a step further. Now, Nic & Luc is a local restaurant open daily in the Longwood community. By simplifying to the basics, Leroy was able to build a company worth being proud of.


Screenshots via @Nic.Luc on Instagram

Find Your Own Small Business Start

Finding your own small business start is easier than you think. As you can see above, there’s no need for a fancy degree or formal training as long as you have the passion and drive to work hard. Check out The Complete Guide to Small Business Marketing—Wave Blog for more tips on getting your business off the ground.

There is no perfect path to success. In this day and age, you need to build your own success from the ground up. Define what that means to you and get to work today.

How Small Business Owners Got Their Start
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