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Entrepreneurs Who Transformed Hobbies into Successful Businesses

25 September 2012 8 Comments

Starting a business, establishing it and making a success out of it is not child’s play. One has to be extremely focused, hard-working and most importantly street-smart to overpower competitors and emerge as the best company in the market. There are few successful entrepreneurs who always wanted to own a business and they would have worked for it from a young age, but there are those who stumbled into the business world by chance and have become successful entrepreneurs today. Here are few entrepreneurs who transformed their hobbies into super successful businesses:

Megan Duckett:

At the age of 19, she moved to Los Angeles from Australia with dreams of making it big in the entertainment industry. She started working with an event planner and started sewing in her free time. She began making drapes, bed covers and even costumes for her friends and neighbors. When a lining order for 10 coffins came for a Halloween party, she seriously started considering the sewing which paid her more than the full-time job. Her net big project was twenty six silt chandeliers. She then quit her job and rented a small warehouse with three seamstresses. Today, her ‘Sew Wat’ has forty four employees and she generates millions every year.

Terry Finley:

Terry Fenely felt trapped in his job as a life insurance sales man when he bought his 1st horse. He had been into horse racing for a long time but never made a huge investment to buy a horse before. However, once he won a race he started publishing small ads across racing newspapers to gain more recognition. He bought the next horse within two months once investors started coming in. He started ‘West Point Thoroughbreds’ and today the company owns more than fifty syndicate horses and more than five hundred investors.

Craig Jenkins-Sutton:

Who said a person should have formal training to specialize in a business? Craig Jenkins-Sutton began to design gardens without any formal training. However, growing up in a farm in Minnesota he enjoyed gardening. Though he got a landscaping job, he did not want to be employed by someone. He published an advertisement providing design service on Chicago tribute. Though he received forty calls, he ended with only one customer and it proved to be enough to start his company. Today, his company Topiarius has doubled and is known in the gardening world.

Not just the small businesses, global business moguls also transformed their hobbies to successful industries:

Florence Nightingale Graham:

She is a Canadian born and fourth of the five children of a Scottish grocer. She was born during a period when women entrepreneurs were something that was never heard of and she became the first successful woman entrepreneur in US. Still wondering who she is? It is Elizabeth Arden of the famous Elizabeth Arden multi-product business. She converted her kitchen experiments to one of the most popular cosmetic businesses of today. She was the one to originate the concept of ‘beauty cream’ and changed the name ‘parlor’ to ‘salon’ as the former sounded too homey! What started as a single-salon expanded the beauty industry later. Miss. Arden was known as a perfectionist who never released a product unless it was perfected to her satisfaction, something her competitors could not match. When she died she was the owner of seventeen corporations and forty salons around the world.

Steve Jobs:

Did you know Steve Jobs favorite hobby was fiddling with electronic gadgets? He used to work in the garage of a neighbor who used to work at an electronic manufacturer company (Hewlett-Packard) and he also enrolled with the company’s Explorer Club. Jobs got parts from the company to finish a school project he was working on. This started the amazing journey of today’s tech devices giant ‘Apple’. Jobs joined a club known as ‘Homebrew Computer Club’ where he met Steve Wozinak who was trying to build a computer and Jobs got involved with the prospective marketing of the computer. They later formed a small company naming it ‘Apple’ and jokingly saying that if they fail they can at least boast to their grandchildren about a company they owned once. In 1983 he introduced Lisa for people with minimal computer knowledge and in 1984 came the revolutionary Macintosh.

These are few people who converted their favorite pass times to successful businesses. They did not have god fathers to guide them or anyone to teach them how to make a successful business. Not just their passion, they were also driven by their vision and commitment to succeed. They did not settle for safe jobs or let their passions remain mere hobbies. They took risks and succeeded in what they love to do the most. These entrepreneurs are good examples of people who followed their dreams successfully and earned a couple of millions in the way!

Author Bio:

Carlene Masker is a technology enthusiast who is fond of writing helpful tips and fresh tidbits of information about the different fields in technology and innovation. She is currently working with Telco Services where you can find the latest information on Verizon FiOS deals.


  • Sivakumar said:

    Good article….I've written in similar context recently in my blog. http://www.anbusivam.com/2012/09/hobbies-in-pursu

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  • Kevin Mzansi said:

    Inspirational article! Did not know that the concept "salon" can actually be credited to one person…

  • finance-falcon.co.uk said:

    Imagine how awesome that would be, making a living out of your hobby. I am a Music aficionado myself, and now managing a small band. How i wish i could make a good business out of it too.

  • Yacht charter greece said:

    Very good post! Keep writing good articles.

  • Financial Adviser said:

    I think great passion gives those often starting a new venture a different perspective. Apple is a great example of a company using a "why" marketing strategy rather than the traditional what. Their passion for a quality product that was well designed and simple to use was a winner resonated with people and built a loyal customer base that is still very hard for other companies to beat. Passion will only take you so far, there stills needs to be smart business strategies as well and good financial planning.

  • Maksim N said:

    I will have to agree with this. =) Hobbies often work out as businesses because often time, you are starting time not to make money but to give back to the community or because you truly love what you do.

    For me, it was starting what is now a thriving firearms community in New Jersey. While it is not my sole income, it does provide a nice steady stream of income after all expenses.

  • ideapro said:

    this is a very nice and helpful information. I am very happy to read this article