Not many people know this, but I had my own business for 7+ years prior to starting my blog. In fact, my blog was originally created for my business. People told me to start a blog to connect with customers, and to keep them up to date on new products, sales and other important information. I quickly realized that writing about my business was boring. I wanted to write about other things, therefore my “business” blog turned into a regular blog where I babbled about silly things like our dog have ticks and being able to find my favorite cookies. Yes…my blog was THAT boring originally (ha ha).
My business was creating personalized party favors. It started out as personalized candy wrappers and eventually I added buttons/pins, pens, candy cakes, gift buckets and more.
I started my home business as a way of bringing in some added income for my family. I was a stay at home mom with two young children, one of which needed physical, occupational and speech therapies weekly. It made it hard to get a job outside the home.
I looked for stay at home job, and I tried several over the years (Avon, selling candles and other popular methods). I didn’t like doing all that work for SOMEONE ELSE. I wanted to reap all the profits from my sales. So I decided to come up with my own business.
My business was called FUNtastic Letters & Wraps. In addition to party favors, I also did Santa letters, Tooth Fairy letters and the like. The “wraps” part of my name was for my personalized candy wrappers. As the years went on, my business was rebranded and I changed my business name to Everyday Occasions, seeing as how did favors for any occasion.
I didn’t have anyone to help me with my business. I was on my own. I did network with other small business owners (online) as time went on, but for the most part, it was just me. No one told me how hard it was going to be to market, get customers, retain customers, advertising and more. I WISH I had someone who could have told me what to do and what to expect.
The first year I barely made anything. The second year I broke even. The third year I saw a small profit. After that I was making as much money as I would with a “real” job. I was making $40,000+ per year towards the end. That doesn’t sound like much NOW, but 20 years ago, that was a lot of money.
Sadly I had to end my business. I lost my passion for it. I loved it in the beginning, most especially the designing part. But burning the candle at both ends, rush orders, obnoxious customers, and trying to juggle a household and care for my two kids was too much for me.
If you have ever thought about starting a business, I would recommend checking out the new series, Ramen Profitable. The series is from the Singleton Foundation and the MillionStories.com team which created the series to help teach financial literacy to Gen Y, Millennials and Gen Z.
“Ramen Profitable” – the original web-series on MillionStories.com. “Anyone can have an idea for a business, but it takes real grit to build it from scratch. Watch early-stage founders fight to turn a profit and get an inside look at the economics behind entrepreneurship.”
There are only 6 episodes and they are all live – and about 6-8 minutes in length. Companies featured are:
Bite: From her living room to Shark Tank, CEO Lindsay McCormick reveals how she founded Bite to solve a major environmental problem. For her business, sustainability translates to $12 million in sales.
Flikshop: After going to prison at age 15, founder Barcus Bullock understood the the value of human connection. He created Flikshop, an app that sends postcards to people behind bars, to help families keep in touch with their loved one, and in turn, fight recidivism and keep former inmates from going back to prison. Bullock soon found ways to scale his tech startup by hiring a full team and offering new in-demand services.
Museum Hack: In 2013, entrepreneur Nick Gray quit his job to bring magic into museums with renegade tours that are anything but boring. He started small, showing his friends around Manhattan’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art for free. But with strategic planning, he successfully scaled his hobby into Museum Hack, a multimillion-dollar business with over 100 employees.
Elroy Air: Elroy Air cofounder Dave Merrill wants same-day shipping to reach every corner of the globe. The problem? Cargo planes are expensive. He set out to build a revolutionary aircraft that’s smart enough to get the job done but affordable enough for every country to access it.
WearWorks – Technology That Unlocks Independence: Cofounders Kevin Hoil Yoo and Keith Kirkland found a way to change people’s lives through design. Their innovative haptics technology, which they developed and fine-tuned despite months of limited funding, helps blind and visually impaired individuals navigate and communicate through vibrations on their skin.
Liquid Death: Mike Cessario and Steve Nilsen created this canned water company with the tag line “murder your thirst” whose company aims to remove single use plastic bottles.
You can watch all of these episodes for FREE on MillionStories.com.
There are A LOT of great series found on the website. They have series pertaining to reaching your goals, “adulting,” sustainability, teaching kids about money, budget travel and more.
If you are not familiar with the FREE digital channel, Million Stories, here is some additional information.
Million Stories is designed to inspire, entertain and transform money talk from boring and taboo to something compelling and socially relevant. Told in short form, bite-sized episodes, there is something for everyone. From laugh-out-loud comedy to thoughtful and relatable reality, the channel will offer a broad and highly relevant array of content.
Have YOU ever had a business idea? What did you do with it? Did you create a business, or are you still “on the fence?” Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this for the benefit and enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.