Posts by Aaron Task
Jera and Brad Deal of Peoria, Illinois really put the "accident" in "accidental entrepreneurs." After successful careers in business — he in management and she in marketing — it's not surprising that Jera and Brad would eventually go into business for themselves. But how they did it is one of those amazing "only in America" stories with a side of good-old fashioned hard work and perseverance.
The Deals are the owners of Sticks and Stones, a multi-million dollar company that makes, framed keepsakes created from photos of letters, which are sold on-line, in catalogs, and in about 40 select boutique retailers. What makes the Sticks and Stones products different is the pictures are of letters found in nature (Sticks) and architecture (Stones).
[Driven Episode: Arden's Garden: Atlanta juice maker takes on National brands and wins.]
By: Aaron Task
Across the country, Americans are trying to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle. With everything from a quick fresh juice pick-me-up to a 21-day "cleanse" program, Arden's Garden is a must-stop for the health-conscious in Atlanta.
Arden's Garden is a family-owned business, but this is no ordinary family. The company was founded by exercise pioneer Arden Zinn, who had over 2-dozen exercise studios in Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s and was a correspondent on CNN in the network's early days. Tiny, but powerful, Zinn was also an exercise coach for the Atlanta Falcons, long before the days when NFL players were doing yoga -- or anything other than lifting weights.
Nick White served his country, first as a Marine, where he saw heavy combat in Iraq, and then as a Secret Service agent, where he had to be prepared for just about anything. White's Marine unit was the first to enter Fallujah, site of some of the most intense fighting of the Iraq campaign. During his tour, White became fascinated with the keenly trained dogs the military uses to sniff out bombs, contraband and enemy combatants. During his time in the Secret Service, where he served during both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, White worked overtime to learn everything he could about dog training.
By: Aaron Task
At the turn of the millennium, Rodney and Elma Eaton seemed to have it made. Rodney was making six figures as a pressman for a successful printing firm. They had a beautiful house in Corona, Ca., featuring a pool and horses to keep their four kids busy and happy.
But Elma wanted something more. Specifically, she wanted vacations that did not include sleeping outdoors and cooking over a campfire. In order to get money to afford something a bit more luxurious, she decided to open a hot dog stand. Elma had worked in food services before and had a friend who'd made good money running a cart. But Elma had something her friend didn't: Rodney.
[Driven Episode: P.A.Q Gubbio: Meet, Ian Purkayastha, 19-year-old "Truffle Dealer"]
In the digital age, most of today's young, hot-shot entrepreneurs are working in the world of high tech, specifically in social networking. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and come to mind.
Then there's Ian Purkayastha, a 19-year old international businessman who's "networking" the old-fashioned way — face to face -- and making a big splash selling and promoting one of the world's most ancient and low-tech products: Truffles. To be sure, there aren't billions to be made in truffles, at least not yet. But truffles are by far the most-expensive ingredient in the culinary world, fetching up to $5000 per pound for the most desired varieties.
[Driven Episode: How an 'Accidental Entrepreneur' Grew Business, Helped Cancer Victims]
- Aaron Task at The Daily Ticker -Y! Finance1 yr ago
On Tuesday, Ryan is expected to release his new 2013 budget. In a preview of sorts, last week Ryan released a theatrical video that warned "the most predictable crisis we've ever had" is looming and chastised other politicians for failing to address the budget deficit.
"Let me ask you a question: What if your president, your senator and your congressman knew it was coming?" Ryan asks in the highly produced video. "But they chose to do nothing about it, because it wasn't good politics? What would you think of that person? It would be immoral."
Ryan didn't name President Obama by name but the implication seems clear.
Lee Rhodes was just 32 when she was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer, a nightmare for anyone but a particularly grim diagnosis for a mother of three small children. After a long, hard battle and many rounds of grueling chemotherapy, Rhodes not only beat cancer but came up with a dream of helping other cancer patients.
The dream began from Rhodes' sick bed, moved to the garage of her Seattle home and has since evolved into a successful business called glassybaby.
A truly unique and inspiring enterprise, glassybaby not only employs scores of artisans in Seattle -- over 50 glassblowers at last count -- but also gives a big portion of its revenue to cancer-related charities, over $850,000 and counting.
glassybaby is "a business that also is a charity," Rhodes says.
Super PACs Gone Wild: This Is “Tip of the Iceberg” If Citizens United Isn’t Overturned, Sen. Sanders WarnsAaron Task at The Daily Ticker -Y! Finance1 yr ago
"You're looking at the tip of the iceberg," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tells The Daily Ticker. "What people are seeing as a result of the Republican primary, with their own eyes, for the first time, is the unbelievable power large corporations and billionaires are having on the political process."
Like many Americans, Sen. Sanders believes the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling must be overturned. The decision determined that corporations, labor unions and individuals can give unlimited money to political groups to spend on elections. The Supreme Court determined the free speech protections individuals have should apply to corporations, too.
"Honest people all over this country have different philosophical and political views: Very few believe a corporation is a person, which is what the Supreme Court said in Citizens United," Sen. Sanders says. "If we do not turn this thing around, you're going to be living in a country where a handful of billionaires and large corporations will be determining who our elected officials are, and that is not what people fought and died for [fighting] for our democracy."
Imagine you're a college student and you've just won $20,000 in an entrepreneurship contest. What would you do with the money? If you're like many college students, you might throw the mother of all keg parties, or maybe plan the most epic Spring Break trip ever. Or maybe you'd pay some bills, put some money in the bank or even dabble in the stock market.
Marc Barros had a different idea... and boy did it pay off.
Along with classmate Jason Green, Barros used the contest winnings to fund a company that builds helmet cameras. The industry was in its infancy in 2003, when Barros and Green won the prize money at the University of Washington. Today, helmet cameras are must-have accessories for skiers, snowboarders and enthusiasts of dozens of other sports. The company Barros and Green founded, now called Contour, is riding the global wave of social networking to incredible heights.
Tony Lee always dreamed of owning his own business and sending his kids to college. Today, he's co-owner of Ring Masters, a company that makes engine rings for industrial use, and his daughter is heading to college next fall. Tony is hoping she'll be the first college graduate in the family.
Tony has achieved some of the biggest goals he set out for himself and his family, which are impressive, given he grew up in a low-income neighborhood with limited opportunities and never went to college. But what's even more inspiring is Tony Lee's journey to get there.
After leaving the Army in 1997, and a short stint at American Steel, Tony took the only decent job he could find. Tony accepted a janitorial job at an Eaton Corp. factory in Massillon, Ohio in the heart of the rust belt. Like a lot of U.S. manufacturing centers, Massillon has suffered from closed factories and thousands of lost jobs. Tony was grateful for the opportunity and made the most of it, rising from janitor to foreman in four years.
But Tony was just getting started.