Do you wake up exhilarated for your day and excited for work? Many of us aren’t that lucky. We dream of making money doing work we love, but that’s not easy. Or is it? Use the success stories below to think creatively and monetize your own passion.
Attorney Nicky Lecher enjoyed practicing law, but she really wanted to work for herself doing something creative. “It was a matter of finding the right product and following my dream,” she says.
She started searching for an idea. Her brother told her about a paint-your-own-artwork studio in NYC, and when Nicky visited the business, it intrigued her.
After conducting a thorough due diligence process, she created a unique business model to fit her small community, which caters to local residents and tourists. The Paint Mixer Paint and Wine Studio offers a unique mix of art and fun. Guests follow a 2-hour step-by-step instruction process to create a featured painting, which they bring home.
Nicky encourages upcoming entrepreneurs to find a business idea that brings a smile. She says, “After choosing an idea, learn your business inside and out. From that you will know your strengths and weaknesses and you will know what to delegate to others.” She also recommends getting sound advice from seasoned business owners who have already solved issues you might face.
Nicky loves the freedom of choice that The Paint Mixer provides. She thought managing people would be her biggest challenge, but she hired passionate workers, and found that keeping things simple is sometimes hard. “It’s easy to get caught up in offering more, but if your product is working don’t diversify too much and dilute it,” she says.
This formula works well for The Paint Mixer. Nicky has already painted her way into a second location.
Hockey Hat Trick
Rick Parisi skated away from a lucrative engineering career to start Weekend Warriors Hockey Adult Hockey Academy. He got the idea for his business while balancing his engineering job and MBA program. For a school project, Rick wrote a business plan for a hockey camp and thoroughly evaluated what worked and what didn’t. He started dreaming about opening his own camps.
He finished his MBA, and then founded Weekend Warriors, an adult ice-hockey experience offering fun, learning, and camaraderie. He spent the next three years juggling his corporate career with his new business.
It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. “I thought I would start this and immediately be successful and quit my job,” he said. Weekend Warriors brought him joy and happiness, and he used hard work and patience to grow his dream.
After a layoff he decided not to search for a new engineering job and focus on hockey full time. He increased his earnings steadily, and last year he surpassed his engineering salary.
“My passion was wanting to make my own creation and be my own boss,” he says. He loves the lifestyle freedom and flexibility of self-employment. “I can work in the morning and ski in the afternoon,” he says. He can also live anywhere he chooses and he’s relocating from suburban Chicago to Park City, Utah because he loves to ski and enjoys outdoor activities.
Living his dream makes Rick happy and others too. “We build a lot of camaraderie in camps and have fun, both on the ice and off with teambuilding events customized for each city,” says Rick. He advises new entrepreneurs to focus on customer satisfaction. “This is what brings people back over and over,” he says.
What’s your dream job? Please comment, like and share …
Kendeyl Johansen has a background as a Systems Analyst and B.S. degree in Behavioral Science and Health. She’s an award-winning journalist with 200+ published articles, including work in New York Times bestsellers. She serves as Webmaster for several volunteer websites and cherishes time with friends and family. Her hobbies include writing, reading and skiing both on water and snow.
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