We talk to five real-life entrepreneurs who have followed through on their life plans to achieve their own definitions of success. Listen in to get inspired and learn some of the things these entrepreneurs did to achieve extraordinary success and make their dreams a reality.
Mike Korchinsky, founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, as well as a lifelong environmentalist and animal rights supporter, learned first-hand about the desperate plight of wildlife in Africa while on holiday with his wife in 1996. Mike recognized that someone had to do something quickly to address the economic component of conservation, and to take the human pressures off of wildlife, so he designed Wildlife Works as a new ground-up business model - Consumer Powered Conservationism.
This revolutionary model inherently brings benefits to wildlife and the environment as Wildlife Works grows; the proceeds of the product sales are used to save the wildlife by protecting wilderness and providing jobs, building schools and providing other economic benefits for those people that share their land and resources with wild animals.
Mike’s Tip: The delicate balance of environmental responsibility and running a successful operation is maintained by building a solid business model to support your mission.
The Brady Bunch, who own seven franchise locations as a family, overcame big challenges early on and ultimately made it to the pinnacle of franchising success. Dan Brady, franchisee of The UPS Store , sheds light on the dynamics of family-owned franchises. Read more about The Brady Bunch.
Dan’s Tip: Franchises are not a guaranteed success - construct a business plan for the individual franchise location; don’t expect the franchise brand to carry the weight of your individual store.
Joan Cherry Isabella, president of Yo Radio, Inc., is a wife and the mother of a five-year-old boy who is the cornerstone of her existence and inspiration for her home-based business. Joan declares that her number one job is being a Mom, yet working as part of a team and contributing to a larger goal is a big part of who she is.
Yo Radio, Inc. is a media consulting firm that specializes in radio production and general public relations consulting. Started in 1995, Yo Radio was contracted to produce the Mitch Albom radio show from its conception, and oversaw the production and staff of the program through national syndication.
Yo Radio’s broadcast client list includes the nationally-syndicated Handyman Show, and StartupNation Radio. Public relations clients have included The Detroit Pistons and The Michigan Guild of Artists and Artisans. Joan’s perspective is diverse, shedding light on her priorities as they pertain to lifestyle and business.
Joan’s Tip: Customize a business to fit your lifestyle – the balance of lifestyle and business is constantly in shift. Know your skills, believe in yourself, maintain your contacts, and take baby steps towards your goal.
Read Joan's blog archive at StartupNation
Pure E-tail Business
When Mark Vadon started the online diamond and jewelry retailer, Blue Nile, he had one goal in mind: to help his fellow man. In short, Mark aimed to “create a retail environment that would reassure men making one of the most confusing, stressful, emotionally wrought, and expensive purchases of their lives: the engagement ring.”
Founded in 1999, Blue Nile has grown to become the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry. Mark shares his insight on leveraging the power of the internet by educating the customer through a resource-rich website.
This unique approach to selling jewelry, emphasizing in-depth product education, a no-pressure commission-free environment, and an extensive selection of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, demonstrates the power of the internet and the opportunities made available by technology.
Mark’s Tip: Market research - talk to consumers to see if there’s a market for your product. Measure the performance of your marketing.
Eyeing the Trends
What happens when the oil runs out? Seth Seaberg has a solution to this environmental issue - Clean-Tech LLC, a leading provider of advanced zero-emissions automotive technologies. In addition to providing systems integration services for alternative energy vehicle fleets and developers, Clean-Tech is the manufacturer of the Zero™ line of high-performance lightweight electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Clean-Tech is also the U.S. distributor of the EDrive™ line of 150+ MPG plug-in hybrid retrofit systems. Before Clean-Tech, Seth founded Evo Transportation Corp., the first environmentally-friendly limousine service in the U.S. , which was acquired early in 2005. He resides in Venice, California with his wife Clare Carey and daughter Lucy, where he continues to address evolving environmental trends.
Seth’s Tip: Define a business that’s hot – create a business that addresses social, economic and environmental trends. Leverage the power of technology to respond to these evolving trends.
To learn more about these entrepreneurs, pick up a copy of our book, StartupNation: Open for Business .