A 2011 Gallup poll conducted in the United States found that more than half of workers weren’t engaged at their jobs. In 2003, Nancy Mudford was one of those people. Working as a customer service manager for a major telecommunications company, she had achieved the “cushy job,” but had hit a dead end. She wanted not just to make money, but to create something – and achieve some independence and flexibility in the process. So in 2003, she quit and opened Le Petit Spa, a full service day spa in Vancouver.
Today, she’s sold that business and started another, Spa Boutique, an online destination for beauty products and advice. She’s also landed on Profit Magazine’s W100 list of top female entrepreneurs – twice. So how did someone with no business education – and no experience in the spa and beauty industry – become an entrepreneur with a multimillion-dollar business?
The same way she learned about technology, Twitter and taking care of business: as she went. Read more about this entrepreneur in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/UtDRcy
Statistics show that more than half of people blow their New Year’s resolutions within six months. Sammie Kennedy kept hers – and kept right on going into a new career as an entrepreneur and one of Canada’s most successful female business owners. But that first resolution wasn’t to start a business. In fact, it was much simpler; in 2005, Kennedy resolved to get in shape. By 2010, she was on Profit Magazine’s W100 list of the top 100 female entrepreneurs (an honor she repeated in 2011) as the founder and CEO of Booty Camp Fitness Inc., providing fun, inclusive fitness programs to women across Canada.
If you’re wondering how she did it, we were thinking the same thing. So we asked her how she went from a self-professed couch potato to the kick-butt CEO of a growing business. Check out what she had to say in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/QKZz9s
Raise your hand (from your laptop) for a moment if you fantasize – on Monday mornings in particular – about ditching the rather mundane nine-to-five paycheque to start your own creative business. Yes, even if you’re already making a few bucks with your one-of-a-kind bags, beauty products or bling, it can be hard to make the leap from doing something as a hobby to doing it for a living.
Fortunately for those who fall into this category, Jenna Herbut has walked in your mid-heel work pumps. That’s why the founder of ‘Make It: The Handmade Revolution’, a crazy-cool craft show/party that hosts events across Canada, recently came up with a new idea: Make It University, a program designed to help “crafty entrepreneurs” take their hobbies to the next level. Herbut’s been making her way in the world of business since launching a line of fabric sash belts (Booty Beltz!) fresh out of university. And in the eight years she’s been her own boss, she’s gone through all the highs, lows and mistakes that come with being a business owner. So how can aspiring entrepreneurs turn their creative efforts into cold, hard cash? Check out Herbut’s top tips in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.ca: http://bit.ly/IiQQT6
In 2010, there were more than 1.5 million individuals and 56,000 businesses filing for bankruptcy. Mike Cleary of Atlanta suffered both.
Cleary and his wife, Linda, were operating a franchise that sold inflatables for children’s birthday parties. Before the recession hit, they were seeing great returns, but a slew of competitors soon entered the market. Then, as the economy faltered, favors for children’s birthday parties were virtually struck off consumer shopping lists altogether.
The Clearys also owned a trade show exhibit and design business. This, too, began to deflate, as businesses cut down on their spending–or fell prey to the economy themselves. They tried to keep things going, even paying employees out of their own pockets as a last-ditch attempt to keep the business afloat. But by 2010, the economy was sinking fast, and it took both the Clearys’ businesses with it.
It’s a scenario that many small business owners faced between 2007 and 2009, that dark economic period that’s now been dubbed the Great Recession. Even the successful among small businesses – those lucky enough to overcome the significant hurdles that threaten even the most fledgling of entrepreneurs – just couldn’t rise above an economy in which consumers refused to spend. Find out how one couple survived two bankruptcies, a foreclosure and learned how to carry on with a cash-only budget in my new post on GoBankingRates.com: http://bit.ly/xMAya3
Flickr/Calvert Cafe & Catering
A couple of weeks back, I got to interview Cyndi Finkle, an entrepreneur who serves food to the stars of reality TV. She believes small business might just save a struggling business in the U.S. It worked for her – maybe she’s right. Read my article on GoBankingRates.com and tell me what you think: http://bit.ly/vdSEG0
Answer: it’s not easy – and it’ll definitely involve some sacrifice. Check out my story about how Monique Harps reduced her debt repayment plan by 25 years: http://www.gobankingrates.com/debt/how-to-pay-off-105000-debt-five-years/