3 Business Success Stories and What They Teach Entrepreneurs
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Success Knocks | 3 Business Success Stories and What They Teach Entrepreneurs

Success Knocks | 3 Business Success Stories and What They Teach Entrepreneurs

The path to starting your own business isn’t always smooth—just ask any entrepreneur. Sometimes, it helps to hear some business success stories, especially when you’re mired in the details of writing a business plan, getting a business loan, or finding a space. Even the most successful businesses—small, medium, and large alike—went through their share of challenges. And it can be so helpful to remind yourself you’re not crazy for feeling overwhelmed.

 

When you’re deep in the weeds of starting your business, it can be easy to think about quitting, but learning about other’s success can help lift your spirits. To comfort and inspire you, take a look at these 3 business success stories and what you can take away from each to inform your own business decisions.

 

1. Spark Vision, founded by MaryBeth Hyland

 

The business success story:

 

MaryBeth Hyland started her company Spark Vision to help businesses create and maintain collaborative and inclusive office cultures. Specializing in millennial engagement, Hyland and Spark Vision offer workshops to help offices foster collaboration and connections among workers.

 

A child of abuse, Hyland has faced a lot of challenges to her self-worth and confidence. She uses her survival daily as a way to motivate her to succeed in business, drawing on the experience of her past to connect with the people she works with. According to her website, Hyland says she thinks that her experience makes her more successful in her company.

 

The takeaway:

 

Everyone has a past—and not all are good. But whatever you’ve gone through, using your background and experience to inform your business can be great, even if your experiences aren’t. In Hyland’s case, she uses a troubled childhood to motivate and drive her, and her business benefits from it.

 

2. Zoom, founded by Eric Yuan

 

The business success story:

 

Eric Yuan came to the U.S. from China in the mid ’90s to pursue the internet boom—but it took a while to get here. The first eight times he applied for a visa, he was denied. Finally, on the ninth attempt, he was approved, but the process lasted two years.

 

In 2012, after working for a Silicon Valley communication startup for years prior, Yuan founded the communication platform Zoom. In an interview with Thrive Global, Yuan says that Zoom started as a daydream, a solution to a long-distance relationship that required a 10-hour train ride to see the other.

 

Now, Zoom is used by more than 750,000 companies to keep their teams connected through video and audio conferencing, collaborative workspaces, chat, and more. The real-time, face-to-face aspect of Zoom makes it easier for companies to stay in touch, so people can easily work from home or stay connected while working remotely or across several office locations.

 

The takeaway:

 

Yuan’s difficult visa experience is a reality for many immigrants. But it’s also a testament to what can happen if you’re persistent and willing to keep trying. Whether you’re applying for an official document like a visa or a permit, or you’re simply trying to solve a difficult problem, determination will yield results—even if it takes a few years.

 

3. Halfaker & Associates, founded by Dawn Halfaker

 

The business success story:

 

Virginia-based contracting firm, Halfaker & Associates, deals with data analytics, cybersecurity, software engineering, and IT infrastructure for the federal government. After being wounded in combat in Iraq, Dawn Halfaker worked on Capitol Hill and with various other contractors looking for a way to continue working with the military even after being medically retired.

 

As a veteran herself, Halfaker knows firsthand what troops in combat need to be successful, and she saw a disconnect between those needs and what people in Washington could provide. This inspired her to start her own company and offer real-world, common-sense solutions to help the military be more effective.

 

The takeaway:

 

Halfaker’s story is a clear example of perseverance and getting back up after life knocks you down, and of what can be achieved with determination. But maybe what’s most important here is her commitment to her community—and how it benefits not only those around her, but also strengthens her business too. By hiring veterans and wounded warriors, Halfaker betters her company through their experience and expertise.