This is an archive of the Starter Story newsletter, which is read by 233K people every week.
In each issue, we share the biggest business ideas that are working today, along with case studies of founders who are making millions every month. Sign up today ➜
"Because I didn't want to work for anyone, I poured a lot of time and effort searching for the best stock investments, side hustles, and passive income ideas so I could increase my earnings and help my family without having to rely on them climbing the corporate ladder.
With absolutely no experience in the online world, I was lost and confused, but to my surprise, I learned a lot about this industry in my last 4 years of blogging! I even published my previous blog income reports on my website for readers to follow my blogging journey."
"During the economic crisis of 2009, my engineering work was cut in half. Times were very hard and to pay the bills, I needed a second job. I applied to a virtual assistant services company (now one of my competitors) and worked with them part-time for nearly 2 years. I loved their business model, initially, and it provided the extra income I needed until the company went in a different direction - one which no longer worked for me or my situation. That's when the "aha" moment came - I can do this myself!"
Join Starter Story
2,500+ founders of successful businesses share with you their exact timeline of building their business to thousands of customers.
Learn from real people sharing real stories. The struggles, the wins, the good, and the bad.
How do people get inspired and find great business opportunities? How do they get their 10 first clients? What challenges do they face at every stage and how to overcome them?
"I started my work as a freelancer. I made logos to make money, I designed websites and I did other graphic works. At that time, I still could not make money from my new skills like 3D design.
In the first years I sometimes even did a series of free projects to be my work samples. I remember one day I bought some colored plaster and went and painted 3D art in a park.
I worked for more than seven hours even though the painting disappeared the next day but people were so excited when they saw it."
"I turned 60 in 2019 and had been doing a lot of thinking about what direction I wanted my career to take. Two of my three children are married, and I had 2 grandchildren. I did not want the responsibility of being President of our company which I was at the time but I wanted to stay with the business. I had the itch to learn something new. I stepped down as President and turned that job over to my very capable cousin Robert Zaslow and began to plan our new brand American Blossom Linens, bedding made completely in the USA from 100% USA-grown cotton."
"Our marketing channels, in order of highest ROI, are:
#1 SEO - Our first job was to attract therapists so we needed to rank on page 1 of Google for "therapy room rental". Bryan wrote a 2000 word page answering every question someone might have about this, with an inquiry form to generate leads. This page soon ranked on page 1 of Google for the keywords we were targeting [...]"
"Once we had an MVP product that worked, we participated in a product competition for entrepreneurs and won a grant of 100K. At this point, we decided to create a new company and dedicate all our time to the project. We were soon working alongside other startups, sharing ideas, pains, success stories, and late nights of debugging.
Creating a product in isolation is a formula for disaster. Connect with other entrepreneurs, share your idea, validate your product and expect honest feedback."
"We lost a ton of organic traffic when we switched the Private Label website from WordPress to Shopify Plus at the end of 2019. The entire URL structure changed! It's been a big project fixing everything, and we still have a long way to go. I highly recommend getting on the best platform for your business so you don't have to make a switch as I did. We needed tighter integration with our Shopify POS system and online store."
"Almost all marketplaces require specific attention. Although it is a good source of income, it is extremely risky to build the future of the brand through these channels and that's why our priority is our own sales channels. We use marketplaces mostly because of brand awareness and trust factors. If it is necessary to follow a marketplace-oriented strategy, it is necessary to work with experts in this field. It is also necessary to consider that there is always a possibility that your shop can be closed."
Looking for a business idea? Find yours from our database of 6,000+ business ideas.
Want to grow your business? Get access 200+ marketing playbooks.
Want to see exactly how 2,500+ founders built businesses to thousands of customers? Join Starter Story today.
Thanks for reading.
- Pat Walls (PW), David Bustos (DB), Samantha Walls (SW), & the rest of the Starter Story team :)
Want to start your own business?
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.
Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:
- Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
- Step by step guides on how to start and grow
- Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
- And much more!
Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?
Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.
Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.