From making beaded bracelets for a cause to helping parents of developmentally challenged children, “Determined” readers say they are proud to be building successful enterprises all across the country. Here are a few of their stories; find out how they say their determination is helping them overcome challenges as diverse as their companies.
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AAA Parent Coaching Services
“Shortly after adopting the first of my four children we noticed that he seemed a little bit different from other infants,” recalled Elizabeth Pflaum in her e-mail to FOXBusiness.com. She said she soon found out that her son suffered from developmental disorders.
Finding someone who could help her better understand her son’s conditions was a struggle for Pflaum.
“I could find great occupational therapists, psychiatrists, speech therapists, psychopharmacologists, special education advocates and attorneys, social workers and tutors, but I couldn’t find anyone who actually could offer a common sense approach to living with my son’s challenges,” she wrote.
So Pflaum said she sought out the training and certification she needed to become the service provider she was once desperate to find.
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“Today, I work with parents all over the country offering telephone coaching, in-person coaching, tele-seminars, workshops, and classes,“ she wrote.
She said she enjoys running a business that helps parents handle challenges and frustrations similar to those she has endured while raising her son.
“By the time my clients reach me, they are usually feeling as hopeless and overwhelmed as I once felt, and I am always so grateful for the opportunity to help them to create their own happy ending for their children and their families.”
Dave House launched his startup, Tiamet Communications, in an effort to help his wife when she went back to college. As he explained in an e-mail to FOXBusiness.com, “She was taking some online courses and couldn't take the exams online because we didn't have a broadband connection.”
With the help of his family and knowledgeable friends, House figured out how to bring high speed Internet to his rural area of Virginia. “We put all our money into our WISP/ISP venture, including literally mortgaging the farm. We struggled to make all the payments every month and are still just above breaking even,” wrote House.
The year after the business started, House found himself facing another challenge.
“We almost lost all of this in November of 2007,” wrote House. “I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Even with insurance, the bills finally forced us into bankruptcy. Working with our attorney and accountant we were able to save our home and the business.”
According to House, “This has not deterred my family from keeping the business growing. In fact, it has become the rallying cry to build it bigger.”
He adds, “We just added our first full fiber service customer and are starting a project to bring ‘Fiber to the Home’ for an isolated community of 150 homes. We are also going to be ‘resellers/wholesalers’ for a local cooperative phone company that is bringing in WiMax. This will make a great addition to the services we already provide.”
Hope in Bracelets
Making beaded bracelets was originally a form of therapy for Michelle Eberwein. She has since turned the hobby into Hope in Bracelets, a startup that sells handmade awareness bracelets for diseases and medical conditions that have no cure.
“I find I am touching people's hearts for doing this,” wrote Eberwein in an e-mail to FOXBusiness.com. “I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia so I have empathy for what these people are going through…. These bracelets seem to be bringing joy to people.”
Are you, or do you know, a well-established mom-and-pop and/or thriving startup that started out at the bottom of the barrel? How did they dig out and climb up? FOX Business wants to hear from you about your from-roadblock-to-success stories, and those of your entrepreneurial heroes. They are the little engines that could and today keep chugging and pushing our economy back on better footing, and for that they deserve the spotlight. Send us details at firstname.lastname@example.org about those in your neighborhood or city, and we’ll feature some in upcoming articles in the FOX Small Business Center special series, "Determined."