Blog | Entrepreneurship

The Little Entrepreneur That Could

Determination is the one trait all successful business owners have in common

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Do you remember the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could?” In case you aren’t familiar, a long train needs to be pulled over a high mountain. Bigger engines are asked to take on the job, but refuse for various reasons. Much to everyone’s surprise, a small engine eventually agrees to take on the task and succeeds. How? By repeating its motto: "I-think-I-can."

By sheer determination alone, that small train was able to overcome a seemingly impossible task. That’s how powerful determination is, when you’re looking to accomplish something in your life. In fact, it may be the most important factor there is — it can most certainly trump education, talent and experience. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Ruffles to Riches

My friend, Kim Bajak, is the perfect example of a rags-to-riches story (actually, it was ruffles, but you’ll find out more about that in a minute) where determination was the key factor in her success. You see, Kim had had a fascination with inventing things since she was a young girl. But instead of pursuing a job in that field, she dropped out of high school, got married and became a stay-at-home mom.

Then, one day, Kim’s husband was facing a possible layoff from his job and it was clear she needed to find a way to produce income. But given her lack of an education, and her constant struggles with ADD (attention deficit disorder), which made it challenging for her to stay focused, she wasn’t very optimistic about her ability to find a high-paying job.

So she put her inventor hat on and searched for problems in her life that she could find a solution to. Quickly, Kim zeroed in on her frustrating inability to remove her bed skirt by herself — it was at least a two-person job, and whenever she enlisted her husband’s help, he would say, “Can’t you find a better way to do this?” Finally, she realized she could.

So Kim went to work on taking an annoying problem and developing an easier solution — and Zip-A-Ruffle (a zip-on/zip-off interchangeable bed skirt) was born. Once she perfected the product, Kim took it on QVC for a test on national television. The rest, as they say, is history and it’s still selling on QVC today.

But Kim didn’t stop there. She now owns a multi-faceted product development company that offers consulting in the areas of consumer product and business development — she’s helping others with product licensing, development, prototyping, manufacturing and retail placement.

Kim started with very little money, a smattering of business knowledge, no formal training or education, no handouts, no experience and most importantly, no excuses. She faced plenty of obstacles and kept going when other women would have quit. She achieved success through hard work, a problem-solving mindset and a strong determination to succeed. What an impressive role model of what it really takes to excel in business.

Do You Think You Can?

So, ask yourself: Are you happy with your life exactly how it is currently? Or do you dream about making changes that could positively impact your life and your family? What are you determined to accomplish in this lifetime?

Don’t be shy, anything you want is on the table. Perhaps you want to achieve your financial dreams, invent your own wildly successful product, increase your financial intelligence, generate additional income through real estate investments, or learn how to make good debt work in your favor. You can read more stories of strong women rising up to find success in my book, “It’s Rising Time!

It doesn’t matter what your goal is — it only matters how badly you want it. Just like that little storybook train, if you think you can, you will.

Original publish date: August 16, 2018

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