I feel genuinely excited when I talk to someone who has taken a passion, a hobby or an idea and turned it into a successful business. But how do you go from having a great idea to turning it into something that creates its own momentum and success?
At a friend’s birthday recently, along with the speeches came the most amazing macaroon cake. While I’m not a huge lover of sweets, I happily indulged for the occasion… and they were the most sensational macaroons I had ever tasted. So I went to look for the girl who’d produced this sweet gooeyness of sugary delights to find out her story. As it turns out, she has a knack for baking, honed her skills on macaroons and now runs a successful home business on Sydney’s North Shore. The business has taken off to the point where her husband now helps manage the business and handles the deliveries, etc.
There are hundreds of stories like this but I am always interested in what it is that makes a person get a business up and running rather than just sitting and talking about an idea for years.
I believe each of us reaches a point in our lives when we wonder if we have what it takes to create our own business. Do we have the entrepreneurial gene that’s required when we know it is going to take long hours, persistence and hard work?
Over the past year I have spoken to a number of successful women who have that “gene” and, more importantly, who had the guts and confidence to go out there and have a go, believed in themselves and their idea and made it happen. One great interview that always comes to mind is Emma Isaacs from Business Chicks. An inspiring interview, I often refer to some of her mantras of success, so it’s worth having a look if you missed it.
Another woman I met years ago is Naomi Simson from RedBalloon. She and I were involved in Best Buddies, an organisation that supports children with learning disabilities through school.
Naomi started her career in corporate marketing and worked with companies such as IBM, KPMG and Apple before tossing it all in to start her own show. With just an idea and persistence, Naomi launched RedBalloon in 2001 – in the early days of the internet – and has built the business from nothing to a $50 million enterprise in just over a decade.
I sat down to talk to Naomi recently just after RedBalloon had delivered its one millionth gift experience. As a mother, blogger and a truly passionate individual, Naomi shares with us some of her journey, the highs and lows…it’s a fascinating story.
There are lots of reasons why so many women want to start a home-based business, including flexibility of working around our children, the potential to earn more money and being able to create a better lifestyle. Or perhaps it’s because you have a dream and want to see what you’re capable of…
So this week as you also tune into an interview with my Jewelchic friend Megan Castran (of Oprah fame), who makes the most wonderful jewellery, I hope you are as inspired by these women as I was.