What does your new (or not yet) business have in common with Nike, Spanx. Amazon, and Stonewall kitchen?
A lot actually.
Each of those businesses started with someone having a crazy idea and chasing their vision.
(BTW: keep reading to the end to find out one other amazing thing…)
From Fax machines to an underwear empire
Sara Blakely scored too low on the law school admissions test to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer, so she ended up selling fax machines door-to-door.
While the pantyhose smoothed out her panty lines, she didn’t like wearing them in Florida where she lived. Blakely cut the legs off a pair of control top pantyhose and liked the result.
She kept tinkering until she came up with a design. Then she took $5000 of her own savings, developed prototypes, and tried to get pantyhose manufactures interested.
No one would take a chance until the owner of one of the mills, impressed by his own daughter’s enthusiasm for the product, decided to take a chance.
That company is called Spanx.
From a waffle maker to one of the biggest athletic brands in the world.
Nike started with one guy building shoes at his kitchen table.
Phil Knight went out to athletic events and talked to runners. He kept refining and rebuilding until runners were demanding his shoe.
His commitment to making the best shoe meant burning through a couple of his wife’s waffle irons in the process because he was truly bootstrapping at his kitchen table.
From a crappy website with a single product to the world’s largest retailer.
Amazon started with a crappy website selling books.
Jeff Bezos had a vision for a one-stop “everything” shop but started with books. Bezos went all in on the venture, leaving his Wall Street gig to get Amazon up and running.
He had a vision to sell, well, everything, but started with books because it seemed the easiest category for him to break into. Amazon kept expanding as Jeff Bezos added products and refined the system until it became the Amazon we know today.
From farmer’s markets to international gourmet brand.
Stonewall Kitchen started off with founders Jim Stott and Jonathan King selling jams at a farmer’s market in 1991 in Portsmouth, NH.
Stott and King enlisted their family to help them fill jars.
Jim’s 90-year-old grandmother stuck on their signature burlap on top.
Now they sell in 42 countries with lines of foods, cookbooks and home goods. Oh, and they have a cooking school and café at their “mother ship” in York Maine. Well worth the visit, BTW.
Each of these businesses were started by someone using their talents and skills – their superpower.
Each of these businesses chased a vision that their founders had.
–Phil Knight wanted to create the premier running shoe in the world
–Sara Blakely wanted to create undergarments that gave women confidence in how they looked
–Jeff Bezos wanted to make an “everything store”
–Jim Stott and Jonathan King wanted to build a gourmet food empire that started with a family blueberry jam recipe.
So I am asking you…what is your superpower?
Don’t you DARE tell me you don’t have a superpower.
I will wait right here until you can tell me just one thing – even if you think it’s a very small thing – that you do better than anyone.
Got something in mind?
We can continue….
You can start a business around your one superpower.
The other stuff, getting in front of your customers, figuring out if what you’re selling is what your audience wants to buy – all part of the process. And EVERY business goes through this.
I can see you in the back, shaking your head and saying, “nope, I can’t do that because _(fill in your own excuse here)”
I am telling you, you can.
In fact, I am on a mission to help women recognize their skills, their knowledge, their life experiences have value. As a business. In their lives. In their community.
I am tired of the world telling women who feel beaten down because everyone around them has told them that they are “just (something)”
Just a mom
Just a big fat failure
Just getting too big for their britches
Just not good enough / smart enough / ambitious enough to chase their dreams.
I want women to be strong enough to grab onto the power and skills they have right now.
Because YOU truly are enough
YOU are enough to
Start a business.
Start changing their lives
Start changing the lives of your families and your community
All with the simple vision of yourself as
And it does not require that you follow someone else’s idea of what is perfect.
Nope, you get to (in fact you must) do this for yourself if you are going to be successful.
You can work from what you are already good at and make money doing it.
And it doesn’t take buying into someone else’s business model, or something weird that you don’t really understand, or some “get rich” thing that all the cool kids are doing.
Maybe they could be a great fit for you.
But probably not.
So can we figure out your greatness?
Figure out the marketable skills you already have (and you do – you just need some help pulling the weeds away to see it)….and get you started on an adventure?
Because (as my very wise friend Seth says….)
Nobody makes your choices but you
Nobody gets to choose who you are but you
Nobody gets to choose who you are NOT but you
Want to figure out how to get started?
It’s actually a pretty simple process.
Step One: What is your superpower that people will pay for?
Don’t you be telling me that you don’t have any superpowers – because EVERYONE has superpowers. Sometimes you need a little help to see your amazing.
Step Two: Who will pay for your superpower?
There is someone out there who needs exactly what you can do for them. You might need a little help finding them – but that’s part of the process.
The other stuff, getting in front of your clients, figuring out if what you’re selling is what your audience wants to buy – all part of the process. And EVERY business goes through this.
We can figure this out. All of it.
Let’s do on this journey to becoming your version of Jeff, Sara, Phil, Jim, or Jonathan.
Here are the other “amazing things” I promised I the beginning…
Spanx was a side gig for Blakely for the first nine years. She kept her office supplies sales job until Oprah picked Spanx as “her favorite thing” and sales exploded.
Knight worked as an accountant and sold Japanese-brand Tiger shoes out the trunk of his car at track meets while he worked to build Nike.
Bezos’s parents were not thrilled when he decided to leave Wall Street and advised him to do Amazon as a side gig. Bezos refused and went all in.
Stonewall Kitchen’s first big order for 2500 jars from Crate & Barrel in 1993 took a month to fulfill. One. Jar. At. A. Time. The success of this helped them with their first expansion.
Your journey is right there….
Nothing is stopping you …but you.