The profiles that follow are of people who found their business close to home. They looked at the struggles, challenges, and frustrations they had and build businesses out of them.
When it comes to looking for a business to get into, the saying that grass is not always green on the other side of the fence holds true.
The Best Knowledge Is Hidden Right Within and Around You
There is an old India story in which two gods were discussing where to hide man’s most important knowledge. The conversation went something like this.
god #1: Babaji, where shalt we hide the human’s most important knowledge?
god #2: Oh that’s easy. Let’s hide it within the human being herself.
god #1: Babaji, within the human herself really?
god #2: Trust me. She won’t look there.
god #1: Oh Babaji, thou art ever so wise.
And so it was…
Our greatest knowledge, the knowledge of the self was hidden right within us. Yet, as you know, humankind has created all manner of religious and spiritual paths to find the knowledge of herself.
Now, what does all this have to do with you finding the best business idea for you?
Well, it has everything to do with it.
Everything that you have gone through in life up to this point has prepared you for your next phase of growth.
If you really have the itch to start a business, there is a high probability it’s that center of knowledge and power within you that is nudging you to step into your next phase.
The phase of business ownership.
Or, if you have a running business already, the phase of taking your current business to the next level.
Where exactly to step into is the question of what business idea to get into or where exactly to take your current business.
Ask The Look Within Questions
Here are profiles of people who looked within and around themselves and came out with answers that ave them business profitable ideas.
#1: Nagina Abdullah
Nagina struggled with her weight and finding great tasting food after she gave birth to her two kids.
A high powered corporate consultant, Nagina traveled frequently. Her main struggle was finding great food that would also help with her weight loss.
She couldn’t find anything on the market that suited her busy schedule or that tasted great.
The other struggle that Nagina was having was of guilt.
She wanted to spend more time with her family, something that was impossible to do given her corporate job.
Thus was surfaced the itch to start a business that would allow her to lose weight, have great tasting meals while at the same time have more time with her family.
This struggle led her to create her own recipes that not only busted her weight but that were also great tasting.
The Journey Within
For her weight and great tasting food struggles, Nagina looked at her native dishes and started making her own recipes.
When she started losing weight she realized that many other professional women were having the same struggles she had just conquered.
#2: Mary Shenouda
Mary’s health struggles started from the 2nd grade till she was about 25.Why did it take so long?
Because the doctors she saw could not figure out exactly what was the problem until late into young adulthood.Mary says she has had a…
“lifetime of battling pain and illness while doctor after doctor told me it was all in my head and completely psychosomatic. I’ve been prescribed every medication and coping pain killer under the sun. I‘ve had so many blood samples drawn that I speculate I was actually keeping a small town of vampires alive.”
Finally, Mary found out that she was a Celiac.
Mary decided to take matters into her own hands and started making dishes that helped her manage the disease. According to Mary…
“Once I began regaining my health, sharing my story, and reinventing favorite dishes from my childhood the requests from well-known personalities and professional athletes for private chefing and coaching came rolling in. During this time, I was also a working the Corporate Grind at a tech job that I loved but I decided to go all in with my journey to becoming Mary, The Paleo Chef since I was living proof of the power that real food has when it comes to health and vitality.”
#3: Michael Winchell & Anthony Ostlan
Mike and Tony are two buddies who were super frustrated with the lack of real food bars that did not contain added sugar and weird ingredients they couldn’t pronounce.
Looking at the options on the market and being frustrated with not finding what they wanted, they took matters into their own hands.
According to sidehustleschool.com…
Mike and Tony started prototyping bars in their kitchen at home, from organic ingredients they bought at the store, like sprouted nuts, coconut, dates and egg white protein. Their friends and family loved what they were making so much that they had to borrow more and more Cuisinart mixers. By the time they got to five Cuisinarts in their home kitchen, they realized that maybe they had enough demand to consider a larger scale kitchen.
As you can see, Mike and Tony did not to heaven and back to find the business that they can build. They looked at their situation.
Their frustration was the opportunity they were not looking for, but which became their diamond mine.
To date, Mike and Tony have built Mammoth Bars into a business that does well over $25K in revenues monthly.
Isn’t that sick or is that sick?
#4: Sarah Hannington
Sarah was looking for a very simple product for the marketing company where she worked.
She was looking for Valentine’s Day heart candy.
What however made Sarah’s candy different is that she wanted custom-printed classic hearts. She had a really hard time finding it.
According to shopify.com,
After a fruitless bout of Googling, she called around and found one company willing to print on the candy. They didn’t have an ecommerce presence and didn’t advertise online. When she realized that others might be looking for the same service, she threw up a quick WordPress site.
She started drop shipping from the company that she had found that had agreed to do her custom printed candy. The only problem is that the company was not able to fulfill all her orders resulting in loss of business for Sarah.
Long story short, Sarah went through the hoops to buy her own machines and today mycustomcandy.com ships products all over the world to celebrities, influencers and other who is who’s.
#5: Stacey Schlaman
Since infancy, Stacey’s daughter never digested food correctly and was covered in eczema. Initially diagnosed with celiac disease, and later psoriasis, Stacey’s daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.
That is a real-life struggle for parent and child.
Stacey says that she removed gluten, eliminated dairy, nightshades, colors, and preservatives but things never improved much.
Stacey and her husband saw her daughter improve dramatically after reading “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall and trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
After finding something that actually worked, Stacey’s struggle was finding foods with the right ingredients.
According to Stacey,
For folks with dietary restrictions or for those wanting to eat “clean” for health benefits, an average grocery store can seem like a field littered with land mines. Ingredients can be hard to find or expensive, and most convenience foods are out of the question. You’ve got to cook everything yourself – a feat that’s not always easy with a busy family and multiple schedules to plan around.
Stacey wished she could purchase even a few of the foods her daughter could eat. She started looking around and found an online community of parents who felt the same way.
And thus the idea to get into business was born.
According to liberatedspecialtyfoods.com,
One day, after a busy week where she had spent all day in the kitchen preparing food to take on vacation, she resolved to find a way to make it possible for others to be able to eat the way their body needed them to, and be able to live a “normal” life. “I was in tears. Not only are the ingredients expensive and hard to find at many grocery stores, but when you have to cook everything from scratch yourself, it is incredibly time consuming. I remember thinking about how I wished there was somewhere I could go to just buy this stuff…at least once in a while! I found some comfort through online groups and found hundreds of mothers just like myself all feeling the same way. After much prayer and meditation, I knew that this was my calling.”
As you can see, the business that Stacey has built was born out of the life challenge that her family had.
Today, Liberated Specialty Foods ships to every corner of the United States.
#6: Jon Sherman
Jon has always been a gold enthusiast.
An accomplished amateur golfer, Jon spent hundreds of hours going through golfing websites, blogs and participated in online forums.
What disappointed Jon with the online forums, blogs and websites is that the advice they contained was not given with helping golfers in mind.
It was written by golfing instructors looking to boost their authority, not by golfers for golfers. This frustrated Jon.
So instead of having to let his fellow golfers continue to suffer the frustration he was having, Jon looked at his life.
Jon discovered that over the years he had:
- Invested a lot of time playing golf, so he was a skilled
- Provided a lot of advice to fellow golfers, so he was a natural golf adviser
- Had been around online communities, so he knew the problems golfers faced
- Built great relationships in the online golfing community, people always commended him
As you can see, it’s easy to see that writing and consulting on golf is a sustainable interest that Jon had.
Developing this interest into a business was just taking what he had been doing to the next level.
You can do the same whatever it is that you have put in a lot of time in and developed a certain level of skill in.
#7: Stefan Pretty
Stefan shares something with Sarah Hannington of my custom candy.
Both found their business ideas out of the frustration of not finding something that they needed as part of their regular jobs.
In her role as a marketing executive, Sarah needed to secure custom printed candy.
After failing to find what she wanted, Sarah build a business to make the candy.
Stefan, on the other hand, needed to find for a client, on a bootstrapper budget, a software solution to sell juice cleanse subscription boxes.
After conducting an exhaustive search, Stefan discovered that even though subscription boxes were gaining popularity and demand, nobody had a turn ley platform that made it easy to set them up.
Frustrated that he could not find the solution that his company was looking for, Stefan was presented with the idea to create a one-stop shop platform for subscription boxes.
Looking at himself and considering the opportunity before him, Stefan found that he had…
- Front-end design and programming skills
- Search marketing expertise
- put in time and effort in back-end programming
- Experience running Saas businesses
- SEO skills
Thus, building a subscription box business was a no-brainer for Stefan given all the things he had put time and effort in and had skills and expertise for.
So just like Sarah Hannington and Stefan Petty, you too can find your sustainable interest and business idea in those products or services that your current or previous jobs needed but you couldn’t or can’t find.
So there you have it.
If you take a close look at the seven business builders profiled you will the following patterns:
- All were working full-time
- Their frustrations were personal
- Some of the frustrations came out their jobs
- They had invested time in building skills and expertise in the area
Now what you have to do is look round you or your job. You might be surprised that the business idea you were looking for has been staring you in the face all along.
Do you know anybody who built a business around their frustration or life struggle?
Let me know below.