There’s plenty of insight out there that describes what successful entrepreneurs do on a daily basis.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook sends out company emails by 4:30 a.m. Founder of ModCloth Susan Gregg Koger started her online retail business at age 17…without professional retail experience. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said, “A good leader doesn’t get stuck behind a desk.”
What’s the common thread? They don’t restrict themselves to the typical 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. mold.
Justin Burruano, co-founder of ACA Paper Restoration, had a similar business realization. Armed with a marketing background and experience managing restoration operations, he and his business partner found the perfect opportunity to branch out. While it began as a “right place, right time kind of move,” 10 years later, ACA Paper Restoration provides solutions for conservation, restoration, and archiving works on paper.
“The primary items that we see coming through here are going to be artistic, so you have prints and paintings on paper that we treat. We restore a lot of documents. That ranges from antique historical documents all the way up to modern documents that may have been damaged through flooding or fire, or something along those lines,” explained Burruano. Books, baseball cards, maps, labels, newspapers – nothing is really off-limits. They’ve even restored a letter from a solider at war that had been written on toilet paper - quite the unique marketplace that ACA Paper has settled into nicely.
While Burruano is the first to admit that his business ventures didn’t stem from a typical entrepreneurial dream, he took an opportunity that was presented to him and ran with it.
So why can’t you do the same?
Identify your passion
“Personally for me, I like art. I didn't like my 10 years in corporate life; it wasn't for me. I was working in pharma companies and a couple of tech companies, and I just felt like the world was passing me by out there while I was sitting in my cube,” said Burruano.
If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider these 5 steps that Kuty Shalev (founder of Clevertech) suggests for turning your passion into profit.
- Find a void and fill it.
- Get comfortable with stepping outside of your comfort zone.
- Practice for 10,000 hours.
- Be creative with money.
- Start today, not tomorrow.
You can read all of his advice in this article here on Entrepreneur. This will serve as a great place to start if you need that extra boost of inspiration.
Blend your skills
Chances are, you didn’t go to school to study to become a small business owner. Sure you might have taken business classes and gained experiences that lead you to where you are today, but your background might be in something completely different than what you’re doing right now. And that’s actually a good thing.
Burruano knows a lot about marketing. So he’s been able to use his knowledge to create an online marketing plan that works for his specific niche.
“While a lot of businesses come through word of mouth, we keep in their face with some e-blasts and other marketing kind of things just to remind them we’re out there. Also, Google AdWords has enabled us to hit the general public in the country,” said Burruano.
If something you’re really good at and that you enjoy doing doesn’t seem significant, change your perspective. You might be able to use your talents in a way that didn’t make sense at first. Any of your skills can make an impact in the business world, you just have to uncover the connection.
Benjamin Franklin was known for asking himself “What good have I done today?” at the end of each day. Burruano candidly spoke about the fact that he too loves that he can go home each night feeling like he truly made a positive impact in someone’s life. That he and his team accomplished something. That they took something and made it better than before.
At the end of the day, what thoughts do you carry home with you? If you find yourself wanting more, it might be time to wave goodbye to your 9 to 5 and welcome new opportunities that you’ve been harboring. Whether it’s an opportunity to join someone else’s business venture, or even just to take that leap of faith and do something different at your current business, don’t let anything hold you back. Because then you’ll be left wondering ‘what if?’
To learn more about ACA Paper Restoration, click here.
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