How 64 Entrepreneurs Have Taken Leaps of Faith

Starting your own business can be a real journey in faith.  For most, you put yourself and your financial, emotional, and relationship future on the line.

Some entrepreneurs can weather the storm, and others cry “Uncle” and throw in the towel too soon. Last week we wanted to know what makes the difference, and asked -

In what way has starting your own business been a leap of faith, and where have you found the strength to take it?

The common thread that you will discover throughout these inspiring stories is one woven with perseverance and faith. The source of each entrepreneur’s strength varies from friends and family, to attitude and God.  I have wanted to ask this question, as my own entrepreneurial journey has been, and continues to be a walk in faith every day.

In the face of the toughest obstacles, my strength to push onward and upward comes from the peace of knowing that I am walking the path that God designed just for me in service to the world. As I may have shared previously, my deepest hope is explained so beautifully in this quote from Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.” Do not squander a single day or a single gift. Not only do you harm yourself, but even more so the ones you were created to serve.

Our sincere gratitude to the 64 entrepreneurs who responded last week with their inspiring stories of inspiration and courage. Openly providing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

If you would like to contribute to the next post and get some free PR, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to discover this week’s question and find out how you can get involved.  We’d love to have you on a future post!

Enjoy!

1. Ladies, We Must Protect This House!

As identical twins running our own business together, the strength to jump into entrepreneurial-land comes from our own built-in mentorship with each other. Sure, losing the certainty of a paycheck, funded just because you walked into an office somewhere is like a leap of faith. But knowing the value of doing what you are called to do, with purpose and with people who will lift you up and fiercely protect you is priceless. Humbly surround yourself with those smarter, richer, and more experienced than you, so you can be open to growing yourself.

We now know what not to do (key!) and love mentoring other women entrepreneurs from the most compassionate platforms and stages. Ladies, we are called to protect each other. Make sure you do that, and accept that as it comes to you.

Thanks to Aly And Andrea of AlyandAndrea.com

2. Faith, Fear, Dedication — The Perfect Combination

It begins with an idea, then you build that idea into a business. I had faith in myself that I had a solid idea and a solid plan. Several times I have been on the ‘brink’. But, the real key is losing the fear of failure. I actually embrace my failures because they represent ‘action’ to me. Reality has taught me that failure is part of business and life. I accept it.

When starting, I figuratively burned my bridges and said “I can’t go back now.” I took away any escape route for not making my business a success. THAT’s motivation! I find strength from my past, by looking back and seeing that I have been so much worse off at times. Then, I look to the future and visualize where I’m headed and what it will feel like when I arrive!! Faith, Fear, Dedication–can’t miss combination.

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

3. Leap Of Faith Is The Sweat Equity

Starting my own business has been a leap of faith in the sense that my partner and I spent six months of work on this idea without knowing how it would pan out. We started from scratch in my home, and did a decent amount of testing to make sure everything was to our standards. The strength comes from our initial success. We knew the idea was intriguing, but we had no idea that it would take off like it did. The long hours and time spent on this business venture most definitely paid off. Our real leap of faith was the confidence we had in our plan and success.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich of GovernmentAuctions.org

4. Who Said You Can’t Make Money As A Writer?

When I told others I wanted to start a writing and editing company, many smirked. “Writers don’t make money” I was told. “Pipe dream”, “hobby”, and “side job” were other phrases I heard uttered. I wouldn’t believe it. The written word is even more important today than it ever has been in business, and I wanted to go on a mission to prove it.

The leap of faith? A tiny voice inside me saying “what if they’re right?” Well, they weren’t, and now many of those smirks have been transformed to looks of surprise, and sometimes even pride. Yes, I put my financial future on the line even though I was told I couldn’t make real money as a writer. And it was completely worth while!

Thanks to Jessica Oman of Write Ahead

5. A Corporate Refugee

In 1994, I quit my high-paying marketing job because corporate life was sucking my soul dry. I decided that anything, ANYTHING would be better than living a life I didn’t want. I convinced my college sweetheart (now wife) to travel the world with me for a year. We traveled to Nepal, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, NZ and Fiji. Upon my return, I started an import business, selling Tibetan handicraft items. We moved to North Carolina, where my wife continued her medical residency, and I opened a crafts & furniture store in Charlotte. We have grown steadily ever since, with our share of ups and downs. While I am a spiritual person, my wife has always been my greatest source of strength & reassurance. It’s okay to fail, just take the risk to start!

Thanks to Richard Sexton of Carolina Rustica

6. Changing The Mindset Of People About Saving

When we launched our company in 2008, we were not sure that changing the way people think about saving would be achievable. We have all been trained from an early age that saving is a good thing, but what we often do not learn is how the hidden tax of inflation steals our hard-earned dollars. Our leap of faith occurred in believing we could change the mindset of people and teach them the fundamental truth that precious metals preserve the purchasing power of their savings. What enabled us to take this leap of faith was education on the issues facing our economy, and surrounding ourselves with amazing people to accomplish the tasks at hand. One of our primary goals continues to be educating the public regarding the true nature of money.

Thanks to Josh McCleary of SilverSaver®

7. Strength For Wine

Even though I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur, it was hard to actually throw myself out there and found my company! I wasn’t a wine connoisseur and had to quickly become an expert in one of the most complex, highly regulated industries in the U.S. The most difficult part was finding out right after deciding to found the company that I was pregnant with my first baby. I was so torn–not only about balancing being a first-time mom with the time intensity and risk of becoming an entrepreneur, but also about emptying all our savings and maxing out credit cards to get things off the ground (when we needed to be creating a nest egg for our new addition)! I found strength in my faith in God, supportive family and friends, and a well-honed ability to trust my instincts.

Thanks to Selena Cuffe of Heritage Link Brands, LLC

8. A Leap Of Faith Fueled By Passion

I used to own a successful PR company. Was I helping the world or even doing a little bit to change things around me? No. I decided to give up my PR company and clients and partner with a group of entrepreneurs with visions of changing the world. It was a true leap
of faith to leave my comfort zone in which I was making piles of money, yet walking through my days half asleep.

There are times now, in my darkest moments when I feel like giving up. It’s not always easy, but what I remind myself is that it is worth it. My passion for our project fuels me, even if my bank account no longer does. Passion for what you are doing is the end all and be all of every leap of faith. Stay passionate and if you haven’t found your true passion yet, and be wise enough to recognize it when it comes around.

Thanks to Lara Miller of Jaspud.com

9. The Courage To Say: Sure I Can!

Faith is defined as confidence or trust in a person or thing that is not based on proof or evidence. That definition fits the experience of most business owners, including me. I need faith in several things. First, I need faith in myself. Second, I need faith in my vision. Third, I need faith that clients will be attracted to my brand. And fourth, I need faith that the business environment will prove favorable. That is a lot of faith!

However, I find that I don’t need strength to persist. What I need is the courage of my convictions to pursue interesting opportunities, and the confidence to know that my company provides a valuable service. An entrepreneur’s worst enemy is the little voice that says: “Do you really think you can do this?” To that little voice I say: sure I can!

Thanks to Michael Brenner of IdeAgency

10. Start With The Tough Stuff

For me, writing a book as the basis for a new business was the toughest thing to do. Tackling the hardest thing first was beneficial for me. Why was it the toughest? One, because I had never published a book; and two, because only in recent years have I gotten comfortable with writing. It was really a leap of faith in two ways: investment in time and investment with money. Having the strength to pursue this new professional avenue came from two places: my close circle of people, including my wife, who gave nothing but positive support; and the long-term vision of what I imagined my book, and ultimately the business around it, to be.

Thanks to Mike Sprouse of MikeSprouse.com

11. A Better Way To Make Calls

I started my company because I needed call center software for a political campaign and couldn’t find anything that worked well. Everything was expensive, difficult to use, and took a long time to set up. I believed there was a better way to build the software, using cloud computing, but I’m not actually a programmer, and I had never started a tech business. There were a lot of ups and downs: the biggest validation was that our product worked, but we were using new technologies in ways they had never been used before, and there was no manual on how to do it. What keeps me going is my belief that call center software can be easy to use and affordable, even for small businesses and political campaigns. There shouldn’t be a barrier to entry to making phone calls efficiently!

Thanks to Michael Kaiser-Nyman of Impact Dialing

12. My Mantra Is “Why Not?”

The writers with successful, FT, profitable blogs swim in a small pond that I’m determined to join. It takes moxie, confidence, and a great attitude to believe that my photography blog will someday be an authority for amateur photographers, but I believe that it will happen. My strength comes from the confidence that this can happen and with every success, that confidence grows. People stand in their own way with the words “I can’t.” I choose to say “why not?”

I saw an opportunity to speak at a blogging conference; I’m a finalist. I saw an opportunity to be named Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages; I went for it. I wanted to write eBooks; I’ve published two. I wanted to receive free photography gear; now I do reviews. My current blog is 8 months old.

Why Not?

Thanks to Kimberly Gauthier of Kimberly Gauthier Photography

13. Perseverance Is The Main Ingredient In The Recipe For Success

Starting a business takes an incredible leap of faith. I kept asking how I could be a catalyst for positive change and the next thing I knew, I had a vision for a series of inspiring and empowering childrens books!

The strength has come from seeing the vision already manifest. I could see it, feel it, taste it and was already celebrating the success of it in the midst of the unfolding dream. It was the purity of the intent that kept feeding, fueling and propelling the vision forward. Because it was to inspire and empower children to help change our world for the greater good, giving up was never an option.

Will + Vision + Action + Perseverance = The The Change we wish to see in our world.

It is an honor to step into a business that truly invests in our children, our future.

Thanks to Kimberlee Schultz of The StarPals Series

14. Ignore Enthusiastic Feedback At Your Peril!

Being an entrepreneur means jumping into the fray, even though you may not know how. We all need to rely on that leap of faith, for none of us have all the answers. Those who shun entrepreneurship need too many solid answers, and are uncomfortable with the unknown or the ambiguous.

With my business, things evolved by accident. What motivated me to actually act and take it somewhere was the constant feedback from others who listened to the idea. The responses were almost unanimous….. “what a great idea!” When you hear that kind of response, you would be crazy not to. Also heard “why didn’t I think of that??!” They probably DID think of that, but felt so overwhelmed at the next steps, they abandoned the idea – until they saw it on the shelf at Walmart. Doh! TAKE THE NEXT STEPS!

Thanks to Linda Pond of Linda Lee Pond

15. Success Is The Monkey On My Back

Working for major corporations, I always ran into developmental road blocks. I had amazing ideas and was not given the freedom to explore. I felt boxed in with my potential capped. Working for yourself is the hardest job you will ever have, but it is limitless. You get to see what potential you truly have. You succeed or fail on your own back, and as scary as that is, it is also liberating. My business lives or dies by my drive and ambition. I don’t ever want to feel capped again, so I keep pushing and I find my success.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

16. Know, Like, And Trust – Yourself!

We’ve all heard that to be successful in doing business online, your niche (tribe, target market, or whatever term you use) has to know, like, and trust you. Well, in order to be successful as an entrepreneur – and particularly as a SOLOpreneur – it is critical that you know, like, and trust yourself! Otherwise, your business is doomed to fail.

I began my life as a solopreneur in a very lucrative market, only to see it “crash and burn” with the latest recession. I found a new service to market, sought the coaching required to make it work, and am now preparing a “maiden voyage” for a new niche. My strength for this new venture comes from market research that tells me my service is needed and encouragement from colleagues. But most important is faith in myself based on my past successes.

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

17. Starting A Business Was A Natural Fit Of FAITH

After a 20 year career in corporate and executive leadership (employed), it was just a LITTLE scary to ‘leap” into entrepreneur-land. But I discovered that all I had to do was tap the inner faith that I’ve had since my early childhood. As a person of faith & God, the concept of faith was not foreign to me and in fact helped me to visualize a future that was successful and abundant; and I’ve had to come back to that visualization quite often! Once I truly realized my purpose and passion (which I believe are God-given) after some darker days in corporate America, starting a business made perfect sense. My strength comes from constant, personal development (reading, training, networking), a belief that we have all that is required to succeed, and that all things are possible.

Thanks to Doug Savidge of ActionCOACH Business Coaching

18. Faith-anchored Leaps

To leave a job and financial security in order to pursue an idea is always a leap of faith. In my case, I had faith in my ability to teach, my real vocation. And so I left a managerial job in which I was doing well but about which I was not impassioned and leapt into entrepreneurism.

Strength comes from the small successes. (The Japanese refer to them as kaizen.) The cumulative effect of these mini-leaps forward sustain us.

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

19. Constructing A Strong Foundation… For My Family

I was commercially roofing here in DFW, and set up millions in business only to have it drift away. I started my company in 2007, when storms tore up roofing, fencing, etc. Making it work was another story after the storm work dried up. Well, after losing all the business through the roofing company, our family is in deep trouble financially. I decided that revving up my business again, and being in total control of gains and losses, was the best choice. “A leap of Faith”… yes! I am trusting my gut after hours of prayer with my wife, and going in full force. Risk of loss is eminent, but for us to attain our dreams, this is the avenue, I have faith in that! The strength has come from looking my family in the face every day. The strength comes from prayer, asking for courage, wisdom & hope

Thanks to David Dodson of Double D Remodeling & Construction

20. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

I took a big leap of faith when I started my business in 2010. I had to make a decision whether or not I was going to continue paying childcare with my entire check with no rewards or start my business. Every time I got paid, I would have to write a check for childcare which left me with about twenty bucks. I was scared and fearful because I was finally about to make starting my own business a reality. I must say that when you have a burning desire in your heart to do something great, it’s natural to feel scared. But, I told myself that I was going to allow myself to feel the fear and do it anyway. I found the strength to endure it by surrounding myself with like-minded women and business professionals who have already been where I was trying to go. Having a strong support team is essential.

Thanks to LaTersa Blakely of Baby Diaper Cakes & Beyond by LaTersa

21. Make Changes Or Die!

Starting my own business has been a leap of faith because I was very comfortable as a busy holistic family doctor in a successful practice for over 25 years. As the wonderfully rewarding years rolled by I felt a gradually increasing calling to give it up and become a full-time advocate for holistic living. Stubbornly resisting it for years, my calling climaxed when I experienced a near drowning upon falling through thin ice. As I crawled out soaked, shivering, and with bleeding fingernails from clawing at the ice to save myself, I knew without a doubt that I’d been given a last chance to make a change. That traumatic memory is what keeps me going everyday on this new adventure, and I enjoy teaching that fulfilling one’s higher purpose/life mission is a vital component of wellness.

Thanks to Dr Tom Potisk of Whole Health Products LLC

22. Starting A Business Is A Leap Of Faith To Solve A Problem In A New Way And Strength Comes From Market Approval And Feedback

Starting your business is a leap a faith – it is all about identifying and solving a problem that others do not see or see differently. In my case, I took the leap of faith that replenishing inventory should be easy and should be made with better decision models. It is a leap of faith to start a business to solve a problem in a different way because you have yet to prove it.

You gain strength to continue this leap of faith by validating the solution with customers and peers. This is where the iterative or continuous feedback loop comes into play because you have to reposition yourself to the demands of the market. This need for strength is summarized by the quote, “An entrepreneur lives a couple of years like most people will not, so they can spend the rest of their life-like most cannot.”

Thanks to John Krech of RightOn Inventory

23. An Exercise In Irrationality

Starting a business is an exercise in irrationality. I gave up any hope of income for the next 6-12 months, and I left a great, well-paying job to do that. I have a small reserve of savings and low expenses as a college student, but it’s not something that can sustain a very long period without any inflow of cash. I had to take a major leap of faith that we could release and monetize quickly.

That blind optimism and determination to make it work has come from a burning desire for success on MY terms, as well as prove to others (and, in many ways, myself) that I could do it. I wanted to show everyone that ever said it wasn’t possible to launch a successful company as a 20-year-old that they weren’t talking to an average 20-year-old.

Thanks to Alex Schiff of Fetchnotes

24. Believing In Myself!

Starting my own business has been a leap of faith for me because it has been something that I have been envisioning for some time now. I can see the bigger picture but wasn’t sure if it was worth trying. All those self-doubt questions can paralyze someone when they are thinking of starting a business, and it is very easy to talk yourself out of going through with it. I know because that was me. Until I found the strength to listen to myself and believe that I am meant to share my dream with others.

I have to tune out what others think and go with what I think and feel, because I am the only one who truly knows where I want to go on this journey. It is ok to ask for advice, but stay true to your vision and you will be successful!

Thanks to Michelle Morton of Meet MichelleM.

25. Make Sure Your Purpose Is Fireproof

Sometimes life tosses us from the frying pan into the fire and we have only 2 choices…we can act like butter and melt into nothing, or we can be like coffee beans and get stronger and richer from the flame.

When I was laid off from my cushy executive sales position at the company I worked for, I could have cried my way out the door and wallowed in my own pity…but what kept me going was that my customers were charities and giving organizations, who counted on me to get them what they needed for the families and children they served; and it was almost Christmas! So instead of crying, I prayed. I asked what I should do to be in the highest service to my purpose, and the answer I got was “when we give, we receive.” With that I knew I had to keep going. Within 30 days, I opened my own company and because of the fact that I love what I do and I am serving others as well as my purpose…business has never been better!

Thanks to Tara Kennedy-Kline of Multi-Level Mom, LLC

26. I Walk The Talk

OK, this may sound cliché, but I started my own coaching business because I have been there and done that! I NEVER ask my clients to do something I have not done or tried to do. I NEVER expect more out of my clients than I expect from myself. Starting a business is a big risk – but no more so than betting on yourself in anything else – marriage or a new job in an uncharted territory. Entrepreneurship is not for the self-conflicted. You need to wake up every day and look in the mirror and say to yourself, “No one can do this better than me – I have what it takes to succeed.” If you believe in yourself, in your idea to change the world as you know it and your ability to win – you have the strength to be an entrepreneurial leader.

Thanks to Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan

27. Ditching My Job To Be Rich In Life!

Starting my business was a total leap of faith as I quit my job cold turkey. I had had it. I was done and no longer wanted the stress in my life. I was bringing that corporate stress home and it was infiltrating my relationship with my husband and making me an impatient mother. I took a leap of faith and quit, knowing that whatever business I started had to be successful because I couldn’t go back to a job.

I found strength to get through the tough times by surrounding myself with other inspired entrepreneurs. When times get tough, it seems that there is always one entrepreneurial friend who is up and can help me re-establish my vision in that moment and lift me up. Also, because I am acting on my higher purpose, the tough times don’t seem to last as long & they are lessons.

Thanks to Vidette Vanderweide of Ditch Your Job Now

28. Start (Me) Up

Starting any business is a leap of faith, but when I set out six years ago I didn’t know if I would be successful or if I would even like doing what I do. In many ways I felt like I was starting over. While most of my friends around me were buying cars and homes and starting families, I was barely making rent, and working multiple jobs (I had no funding) just to make ends meet. Looking back at those early years has made me appreciate not only what I have, but any start-up, especially those that don’t get VC backing.

It’s cliché, but I found strength in my family. I can remember six months into my business crying on the phone to my mom. Money was running out and nothing was coming in. I was scared and felt helpless. Just hearing her supportive words helped me persevere.

Thanks to Jason Hofsess of CitySolve

29. Bring Out Your Brave And Crazy Side!

Anyone who starts their own business, especially in a down economy, must be both brave and crazy. I took a total leap of faith since I had no clients, couldn’t live without a salary for very long, and was trying something very targeted and new. But that’s what has made me successful in the end, focusing all my efforts on a small niche, professional services providers. For me, failure was not an option. I’ve always been rather bull-headed, and I was going to make this work, come hell or high water. That’s not to say it’s been easy, but with a strong plan, a determined focus and some skills I’ve picked up in my 20 years in the industry, I’ve managed to turn a dream into a thriving company. I wish the same for all the other dreamers out there!

Thanks to Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk of BBR Marketing

30. Took Debt, No Regrets!

Growing up with a divorced mom, taking on debt to make ends meet was a way of life. Witnessing this made me a very debt averse adult. So, when my husband approached me about starting a business, it meant doing something that I never wanted to do – take a good chunk of equity out of our home and ‘sink’ it into buying franchise rights. We spent a year researching the franchisor before I took the leap of faith to start the business. I knew that owning a franchise gave me a proven system to follow and that added an extra 30 minutes of sleep to my worry-wort insomnia! Our first office made a small amount of profit in its first year, so I took another leap. I sold stock and took a loan to expand. In addition to the comforts of having a proven franchise operating system, there was one additional fact that persuaded me to leap forward. I know that life is precious and I never want to be ‘that’ person who holds someone back from their dream. My husband wanted to own a business, and ultimately I was not going to create a life regret for him. Needless to say, eight years later, I’ve learned to see well planned business debt as a tool to build the future. And I remain thankful that I took the leap of faith!

Thanks to Tiffany Dodson of Liberty Tax Service

31. When You Find Something That Works, Stick With It

When I lost my corporate job in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive cities in the country, everyone told us to take our nest egg and retreat. Instead, we looked back at our lives and realized the very best outcomes had come from taking a leap of faith, from getting into college to meeting each other to moving to California. It worked for us, powerfully and consistently, so we’d be crazy not to stick with it. That understanding gave us the strength to choose a dynamic life in a city we love by starting a business. I’m an experienced writer and editor. My husband is an experienced web developer and sound/video engineer. We built on those skills to create our business, and have doubled our sales YOY. We work with corporate and independent clients all over the country, and we love what we do.

Thanks to Angelle Gullett of SG Content

32. Trying In Trying Times

Starting my own businesses has been quite the leap of faith! When the going got tough with my company, when it was a part of Intuit, I knew something had to change. Running a small division under a large multi-national corporation was trying, but maintaining profitability in a slowing economy was just plain stressful. It was a challenge, but with a positive attitude we’ve been able to grow the business gradually while maintaining profitability. I try to focus on the opportunities to grow the business. I try NOT to focus on the competition or the tough economic climate. Every day I try to give an extra percent of myself and to encourage others on my team to do the same-this helps keep our attitudes strong, which shows to our customers and affiliates.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation

33. Better Than A Punch In The Face

An illustrator’s,”leap of faith” is like stage diving. You give up your safety net (constant employment) and jump into the arms of your audience. They may let you fall, send you back to the stage or carry you to greatness. But you won’t know until you jump. I learned to accept fear and anxiety from an unusual source; fighting in “bad man” competitions. In that kind of fight you could be in the most pain you have ever been in. You could have two bloody eyes, a broken nose and just be praying for a quick knockout to end your suffering. But your opponent feels the same thing. Sometimes winning is just throwing one more punch, taking one more step or simply taking one more breath. You don’t always have to do something spectacular to win. You may simply have to endure.

Thanks to Johnny Atomic of League Entertainment

34. Leap And The Net Will Appear

The hardest part about taking the leap from employee to entrepreneur is the first step. My corporate job as a research associate had long before lost its luster and shine and had simply become a pay check. What was the life changing moment? A “fender bender.” It put me on a new course. I realized that there was something more I wanted and needed to be doing with my life. So I gave my two-week notice, contacted the career service person at the massage therapy school I had attended a few years early and took a trip to Vegas. It was the best decision I ever made. Almost ten years later, my passion and knowledge for the industry continues, and has been turned into several lucrative businesses.

Where do I get my strength, from within, from my faith, friends and family.
Twitter @Sherrie10ec

Thanks to Sherrie Tennessee of Sherrie Tennessee Consulting

35. Leaping Into The Abyss

The formation of my business came after ten years on disability and 34 surgeries from a horrible accident. I was placed on a huge cocktail of pills that continued to erode my health, passion and life. I didn’t realize so much of my decline was related to the pills – all I knew was that my quality of life was nonexistent.

My decision to quit came one morning when I finally saw what I had become. I went cold-turkey in treatment from over a thousand pills a month. The withdrawals were absolutely horrifying. I watched many on pharmaceuticals leave because they couldn’t tolerate the withdrawals and I dreamed of a nonprofit that could help others.

In the last 8 years we have helped nearly 20,000 people in 63 countries to regain their lives from pills. And in return, I healed myself.

Thanks to Alesandra Rain of Point Of Return

36. Was I Out Of My Mind? You Decide

While I’ve been in business 30 years, in December I launched a new piece of my company, writing and selling two syndicated monthly columns: one for business readers, and another for individuals. Yes, selling. I am expecting people to pay for content, even while so much is available for free. And I’ve given myself two years to make it work, with a specific dollar goal in mind.

As an author and a green marketing consultant for many years, I have already established my expertise. Now, the question is whether people will pay for it. So far, I’ve proven the concept with clients on three continents, but the revenue is still very small. Faith is definitely involved!

Thanks to Shel Horowitz of Green And Profitable

37. Hoping For Wings

I began my business two years ago with a little bit of savings, a half-written book and a whole lot of time and drive to make it work. Then my mother lost her vision, which led to her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. I put everything on hold to care for her until her last breath. It was a HUGE leap of faith to try to rekindle my business with no savings and no resources. But, when I think of how mom had the strength to fight for a year longer than they gave her to live – and really LIVE each one of those extra moments – how could I not have the strength to go a little hungry now and then? The other women I may reach with an empowering message are worth the struggle. Never, never, never give up!

Thanks to Melanie Hope of Hope Speaking LLC

38. Business Bungee Jumps

After almost 40 years of teaching, I started my own business. There came a point when a change in career was needed. I began with the intention of doing what I know how to do well: teaching children. I quickly realized the people where I live generally neither have the money to invest in tutoring children, nor the interest in supporting their children’s school performance. I decided to take my skills online and market “me” packaged in different ways. The leap of faith involved several points: using the internet was a leap because I had been on dial-up until this last November when high-speed became available and marketing processes of teaching/observations rather than product without having knowledge of programming or possibilities of what I could create.

My strength comes from:
(a) My passionate idealism that the needs within education can happen.
(b) My beliefs that all children can achieve in school and that our society needs both stronger families and a literate/educated workforce.
(c) A strong belief in myself and the value of what I’ve done over decades.
(d) My sheer will and determination to be successful at any project I undertake and not let any fears interrupt my goal achievement.
(e) Friends who have seen the changes I’ve made in children and who believe in what I’m doing and putting out for others to do themselves.
(f) Being unwilling to accept being retired (too much life left in my life).
(g) “Human angels” I’ve met who keep telling me what I’m putting out there is greatly needed.

Thanks to Jennifer Little of Parents Teach Kids

39. Passion And Time Leads To Success

Starting my business was a huge leap of faith for me. Prior to starting, I spent 25 years in a stable career at Phillips Healthcare where I pioneered the on-line learning center, now supporting 200,000 users. A great deal of risk was involved when I chose to leave my
career at Phillips and develop a mobile technology service that connects business professionals, such as sales or customer service representatives, to information and experts at their exact moment of need. Through my journey as an entrepreneur, I have found the strength to understand that everything takes longer than you think it is going to take. The best plans have problems you never thought of but if you have the passion and time, you will succeed.

Thanks to John Steidley of Intelligent Mobile Support

40. Sustained On The Wings Of Angels

Launching my life coaching practice at this phase of my life is a total leap of faith. I had a clinical psychotherapy and coaching practice for 32 years and then went into the corporate world for 6 years to stretch my wings. Returning back to this work and building it up from “scratch” in a few months before my savings are gone is a challenge. At the same time, I know in my heart that this is where I belong and I know and trust that the Universe will guide me, and loving friends will support me in this journey. Looking back on my life there has always been an unseen presence watching over me and what is required of me is taking the steps where I am guided and TRUSTING.

Thanks to Maureen Daniek of Radiance Coaching And Consulting

41. Successful Entrepreneurs Take Leaps Of Faith Every Day

I believe that everyone who starts their own business has to do it partly on faith. In order to start my business I had to walk away from a very secure six-figure income with full benefits to the world of the unknown. My parents, brothers and friends thought I was crazy.

There are a number of things that I have found helped me have the strength to do it. I believe that the work I do is my calling. I also have the full support of my husband and son. That gave me the strength to take the leap. Even today, when I have days that cause cracks in my faith, they lift me up and remind me why I do what I do.

Thanks to Stephanie LH Calahan of Calahan Solutions, Inc.

42. Completely Blind … Faith!

Very important questions to ask ma’am! I think starting your own business isn’t just a “leap” of faith, but rather blind faith! To take that initial plunge, you have to jump off clearly not knowing what’s going to catch you. I took that massive unknown plunge over 7 years ago and am still not certain the outcome. You have to be part fearless and not value “security” in the classic sense that most do; making you incredibly unique to most of the human race.

The thought of working for another or failing my child gives me the strength to “keep on keepin’ on”. You see when I worked for another, my soul constantly cried out and rebelled against the conformity until I “gave in” and that’s the only giving in, I ever intend to do!

Thanks to Elena Patrice of WebsitesGiveBack

43. Make It A MAD Day!

I thought I would be able to plan out the launch of my company when I fully finished my PhD program. All of my efforts were focused on that day when school would be “done.” But just like every other non-academic lesson in life, opportunities come when planning something else. When opportunities presented themselves last year, I took the leap and started a business while still in my PhD program. Ambitious–definitely. Crazy–maybe. Adventure–absolutely. The leap of faith comes when you can no longer come up with a reason as to “why not.” The strength comes from following passion–passion to create impact, passion to give thanks for opportunities, passion to always find a way, passion to live up to the expectation to make a difference each day in empowering students while I have my energy.

Thanks to Mona Anita Olsen of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?)

44. I’m An EntrePRAYneur!

I compare starting my business with a trapeze swing. It takes unwavering faith to let go of what is comfortable and provides security, to be suspended in space for a while between trapeze bars. As a single mom working 40+ hours, starting a business from home that would allow me to spend time with my then toddlers, that is exactly how it felt. I found courage in visualizing the prize. If you hesitate, you will fall! Knowing that in the end, I would see another trapeze bar swinging at me, providing me the security and comfort I needed, yet on the other side. I am happy to know I can enjoy my family while meeting my professional, business and financial goals.

Thanks to Elayna Fernandez of The Positive Mom Foundation

45. Airing Out Our “Dirty Laundry”

Writing our book and letting people get a glimpse of our innermost secrets and failures was a huge leap of faith. Our book isn’t a fairy tale or fiction, rather, it’s an up close and personal inspection of the skeletons we’ve kept hidden away from view. Deciding to “go public” and discuss an affair that rocked our world, as well as many other problems we faced throughout our marriage, was a very difficult decision. Initially, we were vague as far as details go, but since the book has been released we have found incredible strength and actually the desire to be as transparent as possible, with the ultimate goal of encouraging others. As my wife puts it, we are “tired of playing fake.” We’ve told our story in a very public way on the OWN network, something we had never thought we could do.

Thanks to Jason Coleman of Discovering Your Amazing Marriage

46. A Link In The Chain Of Inspiration

Soul searching resulted in my desire to give back. Tackling a new business as a means to this end meant walking in uncharted territory. Transitioning from the familiar world of computers into one that involved the nuts and bolts of every aspect of running a company was a challenge. My passion to promote healthy living is where I find my strength to tackle all of the unknown aspects of entrepreneurship.

My business is bicycle chain jewelry to celebrate and inspire fitness! My search for ways to give back include embracing eco-friendly methods (recycled bicycle chains and paper), donating money to promote healthy living; partnering with an Earn a Bike program; offering items as fundraising items!

Thanks to Paula MacMann of Chainspirations

47. ASK ME The Way To Success: Onward And Upward!

After being downsized from an international resort chain at the start of the recession, my business partner and I had bruised egos, but pride & dignity in our job performance. We made the decision to control our own destiny and stick to that decision come what may. We had faith that our services could be of use to other resorts in the Caribbean – We didn’t over-think it….We just did it!

Our greatest strength that has kept us moving forward each year is the premise that failure is not an option! In our minds, obstacles are opportunities to learn, grow and shine. Our clients demand more of us each year, thus giving us the strength to take the ups and downs of small business ownership. Most importantly, our team, which has grown from 3 to 12 employees in 4 years, depends on our success.

Thanks to HILARY LANZER of ASK ME INC.

48. The Only Way To Fail Is To Quit

In life nothing is certain. We don’t think about the obvious things that many of us take for granted each day, like air or breathing or walking. Many of us awaken each day believing that we can breathe, talk or walk. In business however, we can take nothing for granted, the next client, the next deal, the financial windfall. But, it takes courage to keep believing that you have found your purpose. It takes faith to believe that what you went into business for, the clients, the customers, changing the world in some unique way wasn’t merely a fluke, but a calling. Far more faith beyond what many people possess is the business owner, standing tall, proud, sometimes alone, but always with courage and the faith of a mustard seed. Be proud entrepreneur, not everyone has the perseverance.

Thanks to Allison Jones of Evolution Consulting Services, LLC

49. The Best Risk I Could Ever Take

In 2008, I was a 22 year-old social butterfly working towards my MBA when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. With an 80% chance of survival and in-patient chemo ahead of me, I thought my life was over. However, when I finished treatment, I had a new-found belief that I could accomplish anything. I obtained multiple internships, re-enrolled in school, and spent every free minute on research. By 2009, I realized I had my own client base, and decided to start my own PR firm.

There have been times when I wanted to give up, as any money I was making went right back to the business, but I now have a flourishing agency. There are times when I’m up until 3 am working still, and it does get hard, but having a great support system and using business milestones as motivations have kept me going.

Thanks to Meredith Holt of Holt Public Relations

50. Leap Strong And Bring Heros Along!

Years ago, I would start something but didn’t have the strength, patience or faith to see it to fruition. In recent endeavors, I hit many roadblocks, felt sucker punched even when unexpected challenges arose, but I picked myself up off the ground and kept moving. Part of it is faith in myself; another part comes from admiration of my “heroes” in business. One hero is Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame–he was in his 60’s when he started KFC, and I always admired that. Another hero is Donald Trump, and in difficult times, I’ve asked myself, “What would the Donald do?” There are many times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and just give up, but keeping my heroes close in my mind has helped give me the strength to keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks to Melanie Heywood of SmartySaver, Inc.

51. Building A Successful Empire While Others Crumble

When I started my parenting magazine 5 years ago, it was right when the economy declined. I chose possibly the worst time to go and start a business, but I kept my eye on the prize and did not use the economy as an excuse for a reason to fail. It was an extremely risky move, but after moving from Miami, I saw the need for the magazine in Tampa and went with my gut. I have always had the entrepreneurial state of mind, and I think that is what helped me the most starting the magazine. I did not take no for an answer, and if someone did say no, I would find someone who said “yes.” Networking like crazy, and little sleep made a successful platform for me to start my company.

Thanks to Angela Ardolino of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

52. Passionate Enthusiasm, Patience, & An Open Mind

I am a clinician and striving (correction: struggling) entrepreneur. Approximately three (3) years ago, I encountered what I considered to be a significant problem in the area of continuing medical education (CME). More specifically, the process of tracking and reporting CME activity until needed for re-certification / re-licensure, which, in many cases, can be years depending on your specialty.

I thought long and hard about developing a better way to approach the problem. After much deliberation, I believed I had a viable solution. However, bringing my concept to fruition would require extensive research and a fair amount of money. The one thing I did have going for me was that I believed in my idea. My passion for the solving the problem was strong, as was my vision for how it should be done. It has been a leap of faith, both psychologically and financially to see this thing through to the end.

Although my idea has yet to “take off”, I found the strength by being honest with myself and others about the strengths and weaknesses of my approach. I built a strong network of experienced advisors and listened attentively to their feedback – both positive and negative. I did – and continue to do – my best at addressing each point individually. The feedback is now positive for the most part and I continue “tweaking” my product and services to gain the market advantage. Also, I firmly believe that including your spouse or partner at every level is vital. Having strong faith is equally valuable. Going in to debt to fund something so important to you is a scary venture. Your very future is at stake.especially in this economy.

Thanks to Mark Brown of cePROFILES.com

53. The Hidden Entrepreneur In Me

I confess that I first started my PR firm in 1989 for the “wrong” reasons: I was going through a prolonged period of unemployment and didn’t want a lengthy gap on my resume. I alternated between paid employment and my own business for a few years; then, after taking a local seminar, I realized that I was an entrepreneur at heart — and I have maintained the firm ever since.

Early on, I realized that I wanted to have a boutique agency because I truly enjoyed doing the creative work, and didn’t want to hustle for contracts to keep people employed. I have very successfully used subcontractors to assist me. It all seems to work: New Mexico Business Weekly currently ranks my company the Number 10 PR firm in the state.

Thanks to Jane Blume of Desert Sky Communications

54. Leap Of Faith, Leaning On Faith

Starting an art business in a down economy seems like a big risk! And starting an art business, making art that I had very little experience with was equally risky. But I felt, from the very beginning of this venture, that I was on to something really special and that I could make a big difference in lives of others as well as living my passion and contributing to the coffers.

I had a sense, right from the beginning, that this was not only approved of by God, but that it was His will that I take this risk. And it’s been worth it! Part of the risk involved taking over a previously rented cabin on my land. Though we had counted on the rent, I’ve been able to make ends meet and keep my beautiful studio.

Thanks to Judy Goddard of Leaning on the Promises, Hand Painted Puzzle Canes

55. Leaping Into A Million Dollar Company

I was a mother of five (pregnant with twins) and full-time nurse when I took the leap of faith to start my business. Even though I had a comfortable nursing job (worked 4 hours a day, but still had a full-time salary/benefits) I decided to self-fund my idea. Hectic days to say the least; up before dawn working and awake late at night at my PC – designing, marketing, planning. My vision and perseverance kept me going and my strong belief in “The Secret” philosophy has carried me through this exciting journey. Since the beginning each inventory order has doubled and my business has grown to a point where I will soon transition to it full-time. I find strength in my family and within myself to keep pushing forward.

Thanks to Karen Barski of KB Designs/The Woombie

56. Only The Strong Survive

Starting my business has been a leap of faith. I started working on my business while being eight months pregnant with my second child, with a full-time professional career. Time was so precious! My stubborn streak keeps me going. It has been gratifying seeing my venture develop and grow.

Thanks to Bola Ajumobi of Slimy Bookworm

57. I Save Kids From Drowning Around The Globe

One child drowns every minute. It’s the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. No small task for one person to tackle. I started with only a rudimentary understanding of the issue and no clear solution. I have gone down different roads with different people to create the business I have today, understanding that the business will continue to morph as I learn and will likely bear no resemblance to my initial idea. I have encountered roadblocks, dead-ends, fractured partnerships, entrenched resistance and outright dismissal. Each twist and turn has brought me closer to my goal and forced me to challenge conventional wisdom of how to solve the problem. And if I do my job right, my business model will be out-of-business in one generational cycle. Why do I keep going? Stubbornness, tenacity, and a conviction that this is what I’m meant to do – to save kids – joyously!

Thanks to Rebecca Wear Robinson of Jabari LLC

58. Strap In And Hang On!

No doubt leaping into business can be a scary step. For me, I held down two full-time jobs until knowing without a doubt that my business was strong enough to transition to full-time. But even with that knowledge, facing the unknown can definitely throw a damper on the excitement of being your own boss. While the journey is no doubt a roller coaster of emotions, hard work and ranging deadlines, I find strength in the usual places, friends, family and my faith, but also in unusual avenues that you might not expect. A well-timed Twitter post, a Facebook comment or simply a “thank you” email from a client can do a lot to boost morale and strengthen the entrepreneur’s carnival ride.

Thanks to JP Jones of Collipsis Web Solutions

59. The Third Time Is The Charm

Starting my business was done solely on faith. In fact I had tried to walk away three times before I finally said, “OK God, if you want me to do this, then three conditions must be met within six-months. God answered the first two within the first four months, and the third at the beginning of the sixth month period. I found the strength to take my business where it is today because it was founded on God’s power. It is this faith that keeps me and my business going. What also keeps us going is the support of our Team Members, our Bible study group, our board who never lets me give up in even the darkest of times, the people who we have been able to help, and from all the alliances we have formed with other organizations who encourage me, as I do them to keep going no matter what.

Thanks to Lynndel Edgington of Eagle Research Associates, Inc.

60. From Filet Mignon to Ramen Noodles and Back

Where will my next ‘paycheck’ come from? Health insurance? Long term disability? Answer: Beef up the savings account & market like a mad-woman!

I face two hurdles, daily; being female & being a young entrepreneur. Chick wedding DJs are few & far between. I embrace my gifts & let it set me apart from the competition.

You become very much like the 5 most people you spend your time with. Those leaders pick me up when I fall & motivate me! The other 90% of my strength comes from within. My fav quote: “Have No FEAR! The only thing standing in your way of success is a ‘no’ & I know that every ‘no’ simply gets me closer to a ‘YES’”, {Diann Valentine}. I told my fiancé, “I’m going to do it. If I have to eat Ramen Noodles, so be it.” In order for big results, you have to take big risks: JUST DO IT

Thanks to Kristin Hubbard of Our DJ Rocks

61. I Believed Him & In Myself

I invested a lot of money & opened a daily car rental agency which I knew absolutely nothing about. It was a complete leap of faith. My faith in business always came from what my dad had once said to me. Prior to just getting married, I was working for him & his partner. I was not being paid much of a salary & I voiced it to him. He said to me: “Harris, the salary is not your compensation for working here. What you are learning here is a million dollars worth of knowledge and wisdom about running a successful business. You will be able to take that with you and apply it to ANY business you go into. All businesses have the same basic principles. Watch & learn them well while you are here.” I trusted & believed him. He was right, as I had applied them over & over again successfully.

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

62. Where There’s Trouble, There’s Hope

I took a giant leap of faith and started a business based on the drawing of “Trouble” the Dog by my then 12-year-old niece, Kendra in 2006. Since that day, I have literally invested my heart, soul and savings in the concept of Trouble and his Mission of helping kids going through tough times universally.

Presently, after writing a children’s book, manufacturing a plush Trouble, and having jewelry made, Trouble is now being presented to major tv networks to become a series to teach gently about life and make them smile at the same time.

Thanks to Sheila Duncan of Trouble The Dog

63. Don’t Go It Alone

As a single parent with a full-time day job, starting my business on the side has been overwhelming with the time and emotional investment required. Anytime I go through business training or events, I reach out to other women there and exchange contact information. When I start to feel down about my business and wonder if I should waive a white flag, I reach out to them for support. It never fails, they understand how I feel because they have been where I am. They are always there with support and advice and I feel strong enough with their support to get back to work!

Thanks to Katalina McMichael of Katalina Online

64. If Nothing Else Is Working, Try A New Approach

Starting my business was a leap of faith because the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has unofficially stood at 70% for over 20 years, and traditional methods for finding jobs are not working. The current system is flawed primarily because talented individuals with disabilities have not been introduced to companies from a position of strength based on their ability to do the job as well or better than their non-disabled counterparts. My company is a recruiting agency which places talented, ready-to-work leaders with disabilities at leading companies to improve corporate performance.

Thanks to Adam Kaplan of Big Tent Jobs, LLC

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your leaps of faith! We hope to hear from you again.

If you are new to the Question of the Week and would like to get involved, simply follow the link below to get started. We’d love to have you share your knowledge and experiences here too, and get a bit of PR in the process.

This week’s question is -

Creative Ideas for Getting the Most Out of “ME Time”

Burning the candle at both ends consistently leaves you with only enough energy to operate at 50% or less. The best way to prepare to perform at peak levels when it counts is to take time off on a regular basis to rest, refresh and renew your mind, body and spirit. This is what I like to refer to as “ME time.” This week we are looking for the creative ways you carve out time from your busy entrepreneurial schedule.

What is YOUR SINGLE BEST personal, and creative example of “ME time” that you use regularly, which allows you to completely step away from your business and recharge?

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the link below, please submit a one paragraph response before the deadline, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE

I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted December 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great post, with the New Year upon us it certainly gets you thinking on whether or not to take a leap of faith in 2012.

    Nothing happens until you take action is my mantra. I’m sure none of the entrepreneurs mentioned in this article had any clue where their quest might lead them, and yet they took it upon themselves to just do it and take the bull by the horns.

    • Posted December 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Before venturing into any form of entrepreneurship, I agree that you can’t know everything. You simply have to make your best educated guess, and move ahead. I like to say that you’ll never know how great you can be if you never get out there and try. Thank you for sharing your comment!! Shannon

  2. Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Forever grateful to be among such amazing company brought to life by such an inspirational individual! Thank you so, so much! Wishing you a fantabulous day and week!

    Abundant kindness always,

    Elena

    • Posted August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You are too kind, Elena, and such a delight to know! :) Thanks for your contribution and keep on keepin on for all those who you bring light to on a daily basis.

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  1. By Featured on blog | Impact Dialing on August 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

    [...] 8, 2011Leave a comment Impact Dialing is featured on business coach Dr Shannon Reece’s blog: http://blog.drshannonreece.com/2011/08/08/how-64-entrepreneurs-have-taken-leaps-of-faith/ (we’re #11). Check it out!No newer/older posts var addedComment = function(response) { [...]

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