Still Don't Know What You Want To Be
Those “Crazy” Business Ideas Often Turn Out to Be the Best
When Bob Page told his friends and family he wanted to quit
his auditing job to start his own business, they were less
than encouraging to him. Well, that’s actually an
understatement. Basically what they told him was he was
Fortunately he didn’t listen. Instead he figured that if he
could devote time to doing what he loved, he could make
money – even if it was less than what he was earning at a
CPA. Bob was right on the first count. When you love what
you do, it’s hard not to make money. What Bob didn’t realize
at the time was that his “crazy” idea would wind up making
him more money than he’d ever dreamed of.
You see, today Bob’s company, Replacements Ltd. is the
world’s largest supplier of discontinued china, glassware,
flatware, and collectibles. It all started when Bob bought a
part interest in a Greensboro, North Carolina antique store.
A customer asked if he could find some missing pieces for
her china set. He did. And then an interesting thing started
to happen. According to his website, “as friends learned of
his interest in china and crystal, they asked him to be on
the lookout for particular dinnerware patterns they needed
as well as pieces they had lost or broken. Bob quickly found
himself devoting more and more time to his hobby, often
staying up until the early morning hours to fill orders. Bob
stored the china and crystal in his attic, while his bedroom
served as his office.”
When the Small Business Administration (SBA) refused him a
loan saying his idea would never work, Bob convinced the
owner of a commercial building to rent him retail space. He
got the word out by placing small ads in magazines. In his
first year he grossed more than $150,000 in sales. And in
2002, sales exceeded $69 million… definitely more than he’d
made in his auditing job. If you’re looking to either buy or
sell china, flatware, etc. or just want to check out the
result of one man’s crazy idea go to
So much for the wisdom of friends, family, and the even the
experts at the SBA. Speaking of finding support for changing
course, try to imagine what Katie Wainwright’s family and
friends had to say when she told them she wanted to pick up
dog poop for a living.
You read right. Last year Katie started Doggy Doody Disposal
in Agawam, Massachusetts. The company provides “doody
scooping” or bagged doody removal for clients in western
Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. In addition to
residential clients, they also service commercial property
owners, pet related businesses, golf courses, parks,
realtors and more. The company credo is “We do doody so you
won’t have to.”
These are just a couple of the countless other “crazy” ideas
that have proved the nay sayers wrong and helped catapult
the idea maker out of a job they hate into a life they love.
The next time you get a crazy idea for a small business do
two things. One, get a notebook and label it Crazy Business
Ideas. In one section, collect examples of crazy idea that
have worked. In another, keep a running list of your own
crazy money making ideas.
Next, seek out people who will support your idea. Unless you
come from a family of entrepreneurs, chances your supporters
aren’t in your family or immediate circle of friends. Where
will you find them? You don’t have to own a business to join
an organization inhabited by entrepreneurs. Although I have
zero interest in inventing a product, I joined a local
inventors group because I love the energy of being around
can-do, make it happen people. Similarly, you don’t have to
be a business owner to join your local Chamber of Commerce.
Many communities also have some sort of association of small
business owners that meet on monthly basis.
As the great actor Katherine Hepburn once said, “Life is to
be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody
well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”
Some of the most interesting means of support begin as a
crazy idea. The key is to keep coming up with them, then
when you find one you love, recognize that the only sane
response is to go for it.
Learn how you can Fast Track Your Dream of working at
what you love on your own terms.
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About the Author
"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and iVillage.com. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.
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