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Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Start “Hanging Out” With Them!

 
 


  Valerie and her wonder dog,
“Cokie Roberts”

Sometimes, great opportunities get in the way of “life.” In this case, a last minute, and very exciting, business trip to New York City put a serious cramp in my writing time.

Part 2 of “Are Your Attitudes About Money Holding You Back?” will resume in the next issue. Instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some fascinating entrepreneurs.

Starting Small, Thinking Big

Crystal Kane is a great example of someone who turned a common problem into a great business opportunity. One day she was sitting in the back of her car feeding her 6 month old daughter, Lily. Suddenly, the bottle began leaking everywhere – on the baby, on her, and in the car. Desperate for a solution, Crystal grabbed one of Lily’s baby blankets to wrap around the bottle. Lily grabbed hold of the blanket-wrapped bottle, and for the first time in her young life, was able to effortlessly feed herself. Better yet, she seemed comforted by the soft fabric of the blanket.

Knowing a great idea when she sees one, Cystal immediately made plans to create fun animal and insect-inspired bottle holders with soft ears or wings the infant could use to hold the bottle. She named them LilyBugs, a term of endearment given to her daughter. These adorable creatures work with baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, and more.

What began as a simple idea has turned into a LilyBug empire. Crystal’s fascinating product has been featured at Baby and Toddler Expos and was included in the $100,000 celebrity gift bags at the 2007 Emmy Awards. If you have an infant or toddler in your life, or just want to see an example of how you can start something small and make it grow, you really need to visit her website at LilyBugs.com

Tapping An Unlikely Partnership

When Susan Reimer-Torn created Scentient Beings (ScentientBeings.com), it was to help adults boost their confidence, self-trust, and clarity. Combining her interest in aromatherapy and her passion for coaching, she offers her clients, as her tagline reads, “the scents to be your best self, breath by aromatic breath.”

Susan recently took a trip to California to introduce her Scentient Beings Life-Coaching, Aromatherapy Kit to some west coast spas. During that visit, she tapped into an unlikely partnership. While at a dinner party, Susan struck up a conversation with Katherine Priore. Katherine runs Headstand, a nonprofit organization that works with the San Francisco School Alliance to bring yoga into inner-city schools. But Katherine does much more than simply teach yoga to these children. She uses yoga as a tool to address their most challenging issues: concentration, focus, self-esteem, motivation, resisting stress, substance abuse, and peer pressure.

While maybe not an obvious fit, Susan realized right away that her company strives to achieve these same goals, but for burned-out adults. Wondering if there might be a way to both learn from and help Katherine, she offered to donate some aromatherapy inhalers for the kids and the kids loved them!

Now, Susan and Katherine are coming up with more and more ideas for how aromatherapy can enhance Headstand’s mission of helping children to be their best selves and intend to co-develop a kids’ line of breathable oils with the profits being used to fund additional inner-city work. As Susan says, this “accidental partnership” has taken on a life of its own.

“Get in the Conversation”

Barbara Winter often talks about how important it is to “get in the conversation” with other entrepreneurs. That’s exactly what our next entrepreneur does on a regular basis.George Murphy is the host of a television show called”Making It Here” on local public television station WGBY (WGBY.org). If you’re in western New England, you may have had the pleasure of watching George interview a host of entrepreneurs from a woman who started a human powered hauling and delivery service (PedalPeople.com) to a guy who repairs and restores clocks (TheBritishClockMaker.com).

I’ve been a fan of George’s show for years. In fact, for those who attended last year’s Work at What You Love Workshop, I originally discovered 2006 panelist Leslie Grinnell from Eddie’s Wheels (EddiesWheels.com) on George’s show.

With the show now in its sixth season, George has talked with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs. During that time, he’s had the chance to see up close and in person just what makes an inspired entrepreneur tick. But you don’t have to have your own television show to start asking your own questions. George and “Making it Here” are great reminders that the next time you’re out and about, start asking questions and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn.

The exciting news is that Crystal, Susan, and George have agreed to share their stories as part of the Inspired Entrepreneurs Panel at the
Work at What You Love Workshop happening this April in Northampton, Massachusetts. For any local entrepreneurs looking for your 15 minutes of fame, Making it Here producer David Fraser will also be on hand looking for the next inspired entrepreneur. 

Praise

A New Direction

I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

Julia Raymond
Curvology Studio

Read More Testimonials »

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