I love to read stories of entrepreneurs starting from scratch and building great small businesses out of their guts and ideas and just a little bit of cash.

Stories like the birth of Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are good, too, but a tad harder to relate to- at least for me.

The stories I really like usually feature businesses I haven’t heard of but which make their founders plenty of money and even better are doing something positive for the niche they serve. Here are some of my favorites:

The story of Caitlin Pyle who decided to quit her job proof reading and with her husband move to Ecuador where she started a business offering to teach proofreading online instead. The first month she pulled in over $9,000 in profits and hasn’t looked back since.

The story of Natasha Lekic who left a good paying job as a book editor then spent a couple of years trying to figure out a direction, before ultimately getting back into the same industry on her own terms as a business owner rather than an employee. With less than $100 in startup costs she built a business grossing as much as $55,000 a month.

The story of Graham Cochrane, a musician who never expected to make any money but after being laid off was forced to focus on his side gig, which he turned into a more than full time income. He took his just for fun blog for music recording and ramped it up to include lessons for sale and is now pulling in between $35-$75K a month.

How about this stat, “I have now been on the road for four and a half years and have visited 71 countries.” That is from Justin Carmack who writes a popular travel blog that earns him enough money to travel the world and pursue his passions for SCUBA diving and for not having a regular 9-5 job.

You may have heard of John Lee Dumas, a fellow San Diegan, who created a huge business for himself by profiling other successful entrepreneurs on his daily podcast. He started out with just a small investment and an idea and has since grown it into a seven figure business.

Check out the story of who turned $200 into a huge public relations firm with over 70 clients and huge revenue. My favorit quote from his story hits close to home for me: “My firm was so bootstrapped in the beginning that I didn’t even want to pay for accounting software — something I lived to regret.” Yes- don’t skimp on bookkeeping! 🙂

Down to the last $500 in her bank account, this one woman business launched a clever T-shirt campaign that turned things around to bring in over $250K while she was still working from home.

 

I will keep adding to this list as I gather more of these stories. For now, have a great rest of the day!

 

 

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