The ones that make the news are the exceptions, of course, but it always puts a smile on my face when I read about a small business success story that exceeds the founder’s wildest dreams.
Forbes ran a story yesterday about a young girl that had the gift of planning already in her heart. She was fourteen and decided she wanted a car for her 16th birthday. Her parents offered permission – provided she earned the money necessary to buy it.
I remember the frustration at that age trying to find a job. In most U.S. states, options are limited to hard labor doing agricultural work (tobacco was big in the Connecticut community where I grew up), baby sitting and paper routes for anyone younger than sixteen. All jobs requiring a bigger time investment to earn the same money as one who may be older, but not necessarily more mature.
That’s if you want to do someone else’s work. Isabella decided to work for herself.
She’s seventeen now – and bought that car – a white jeep. Her company did $24 million in 2012 and is projected to hit $250 million this year. Can you imagine looking at that three years after you decided to enhance the locket classic with charms?
Here’s a quote from the Forbes article “So important is it that she learns about her company from the ground up that she’s taken on the role of intern at her own enterprise. After school she visits the company HQ and helps out and, in the summer, spends time in each department.”
There were two things that really struck me about that excerpt. The second was, someone writing for Forbes should have a better clue about effective sentence structure. More importantly, I was amazed at the maturity this gal shows to realize there was a lot she could learn from the people and processes in place at a company she owns. That kind of thinking is what makes a successful entrepreneur.
If you want to read more about Origami Owl and Isabella “Bella” Weems, you can find the Forbes article on this small business success story here.