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Tempted to buy your own online business? Whether you have an idea for an app, fancy starting a blog, or perhaps even a YouTube channel, with so many incredible guides and resources available for free, there has never been a better time to take the plunge into digital entrepreneurship.
Need more convincing? Here are five inspiring examples of successful online businesses that will get you raring to get started yourself.
#1 Jeff Bezo: Selling Books From His Garage to Running Amazon
Jeff Bezo is the founder and chief of a little-known site called Amazon. He’s also one of the richest people in the world. After quitting a lucrative career in finance, Bezo took the plunge and set up an office in his garage to try his hand at selling books online. The rest is history.
Be Inspired: Take chances
I’m sure many people thought Jeff Bezo was crazy to quit his secure job in finance to sell books via his garage. Heck, even saying it now sounds a little mad! But Bezo had confidence in his own ideas and abilities, and knew he had to give it a go.
Now, I’m not suggesting you rush to your boss to hand in your notice, or dive headfirst into a risky venture. But if you have a dream — whether it’s starting an online business or just changing things up at work, sometimes taking a risk pays off. After all, you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.
#2 Irwin Dominguez: Self-Made Ecommerce Mogul
Irwin Dominguez is one of the most successful dropshipping ecommerce entrepreneurs out there. In just eight months, Dominguez’s dropshipping business has earned him one million dollars worth of sales.
After being inspired by a friend’s online store, Dominguez decided to take the plunge by creating his own. With little experience of the market, Dominguez learned as he went along, Googling problems as he came to them.
Be Inspired: Keep It Simple
By utilizing dropshipping, Dominguez was able to source his products really quickly and easily, allowing him to focus on the marketing side of his business. Rather than waste time and energy desperately trying to learn about products and how to keep stock, Dominguez stuck to what he knew and kept the rest as simple as possible.
When starting an online business, you may think you have to do everything from scratch at a very high standard to compete. But what a lot of budding online entrepreneurs don’t know, is that many successful businesses are actually founded on principles of bootstrapping and automation.
You might be able to buy into your own ecommerce sooner than you think by investing in a store that’s already making money. Check out some of the websites currently listed for sale, and see whether your own dropshipping dream is just a click away…
Always be on the lookout for resources that could help make your online business dream a reality. It may be easier than you think.
#3 Sara Blakely: Soulful Spanx Billionaire
When Sara Blakely took a pair of scissors to a pair of pantyhoes all those years ago, I’m sure she had no idea she was about to create a product as iconic as Spanx.
Now, the youngest self-made female billionaire in history and a prime example of an innovative entrepreneur, Blakely’s brand shows no signs of slowing down and her story is a source of inspiration for many budding business owners.
Be Inspired: Learn To Say No
Blakely had a vision and a product she knew women would love. That’s why she refused to accept anything less than perfection from her manufacturers.
If you have a product or service idea you think has legs, don’t settle for less if you know your audience aren’t going to thank you for it. Have confidence in your idea and see it through to the end in the way that you want it. Maintain your high standards and give your product the time and effort it deserves. This is not about unnecessarily digging in your heels, but about sticking to your guns where it matters.
If you are buying a business that’s been built by someone else, be brave about taking the business in your desired direction.
#4 Johnny Ward: One Step 4ward
Johnny Ward is a traveler, blogger, and owner of the site One Step 4ward. After running out of money while travelling cross-continent, Ward decided that rather than get a job and waste the beautiful Australian sunshine, he would give travel blogging a go.
190 countries later, Ward has set up a charity, created an education startup in Hong Kong, and his blog has earned him one million dollars. He’s still traveling, working 10-20 hours a week on his blog, and being paid to explore the world.
Be Inspired: Make Your Own Rules
Ward is a prime example of an entrepreneur playing by his own rules. Rather than silence his wanderlust and rejoin the rat race on running out of funds, Ward took what he loved and turned it into a hugely lucrative business.
The potential of online businesses is endless. Now, thanks to the diverse digital landscape we have available to us, a successful business needn’t be confined to an office. Plenty of brave entrepreneurs are redefining what success looks like.
Perhaps you are single parent, or have a lust for travel, like Johnny Ward. Being successful and having a life outside of work needn’t be mutually exclusive. By embracing technology, you too can start your own online business – one that plays by your rules.
#5 Michelle Phan: Ipsy
Once just one of thousands of beauty gurus filming makeup tutorials on YouTube, Michelle Phan now stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Boasting 8 million subscribers, a billion video views, and a multi million beauty business, Phan’s humble YouTube beginnings have transformed her into a business mogul.
Be Inspired: Do What You Love
Phan talks about her remarkable success at The Forbes Under 30 Summit, putting it down to wanting to do something that focused on her love of beauty products, all while ‘disrupting the industry’.
She didn’t have a plan, she didn’t expect to be one of the most powerful influencers online, she just wanted to experiment with makeup – a hobby she loved. But by harnessing her passion, Phan has built an empire on something she genuinely cares about.
Running an online business is no small task. It’s something that you could potentially be doing for 12 hours a day, every day for the rest of your life. So make sure it’s something you love!
No matter how much data, market research, or digital knowhow you have, nothing can substitute passion. Find what you love and build your business around that.
If you’re considering starting a YouTube channel, there are hundreds of great blogs and tools to help you do so. Check out Vlognation for helpful tips and advice. Their blog on setting up a YouTube channel is a great place to start.
This list barely scratches the surface of the incredible entrepreneurs working in the digital world. Each one is vibrantly different from the next, and we can learn very varied lessons from them all. It’s easy to see how buying up your own domain, ecommerce business or blog could be the start of something big for you…
Be inspired by their stories – then go make your own.
Guest Post: Victoria Greene is an eCommerce marketer by trade, and she runs a marketing blog in her spare time. Growing a brand’s reach by cooking up a long-term growth strategy is her forté.