Every successful business owner has had to overcome obstacles to get to where they are today. Obstacles force us to work harder, be stronger, and act smarter in order to reach our goals. In the end, success is much sweeter, not just because we reached our goal, but because we proved that when faced with a challenge, we have the ability to get past it.
In honor of National Small Business Week, we are delighted to share two of our favorite stories about business owners who overcame obstacles to find success and happiness:
Never Too Late, Never Impossible
Early in her career as a draftswoman, Nancy J. Ford Dixon was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Over time, this condition resulted in her being confined to a wheelchair with limited mobility in her hands and arms. However, this did not stop her from fulfilling a passion for writing. Driven by her love for children and inspired by a road trip with her husband and ten year old cat, Nancy armed herself with a computer and voice recognition software and breathed life into The Cat In My Closet: Ragdoll’s Trip to the Vet. She is now in the process of publishing her second book in the Ragdoll series, The Cat in My Closet: Ragdoll’s Newfoundland Vacation. Nancy is delightful proof that no obstacle is too large when it comes to wanting to turn your dreams into reality.
Finding Your Focus
Sometimes you’re just not sure what you want to do, which can also become a difficult obstacle. This type of challenge can result in many of us moving from one dissatisfying job to the next. For Ellen Oleson, this was not going to be the case. Highly skilled in many different crafts and art forms, she struggled with finding her niche. After trying out several different business models that just didn’t fit, she still didn’t give up. Sure enough, one evening inspiration struck and she discovered a fun, new approach to coloring. Shortly thereafter, she launched Beyond the Shadow Coloring. Today, she is selling her coloring artwork, teaching classes, taking custom orders and even donating work to auctions for local fundraising events! Ellen’s story is proof positive that with a little determination and creativity, we can find our focus, build our business and fully enjoy quality of life.
These stories are just a small sampling of what we’ve seen over the years when people truly want to succeed. Elbert Hubbard said it best with, “There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.”