From Side Gig to $6M Business: 3 Stories of Employees-Turned-Entrepreneurs
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Turning a long-time hobby or side gig into a successful venture is no easy feat. It takes guts, laser-focus and a commitment to doing whatever it takes to advance the business. But once you’re on the other side? The potential benefits are seriously rewarding.

Read how these three business owners transitioned from employee to entrepreneur—ultimately earning more and improving their quality of life at the same time.

 

3_TylerThe Evolving Entrepreneur

Tyler Lundmark, 29, San Francisco, Calif.

Tyler Lundmark came up with the idea for his business RoomDividersNow as an undergrad. “A bunch of my college friends living in New York and L.A. were splitting bedrooms, and putting two mattresses in the middle of the room,” he explains. “I knew that a room divider solution could really pop.”

After graduating in 2010, Lundmark landed a digital marketing role, but didn’t stop developing his idea. When he finally launched in 2012, the company didn’t get much traction. So he spent the next couple months refining the process, using what he’d learned about online marketing from his day job.

Finally, sales started rolling in, and by the end of 2012, he’d earned $60,000. Just a year later, the business surpassed six figures. By 2014, Lundmark was spending so much time on the business that he knew it was time to his leave $70,000 job and turn his side gig into a full-time enterprise.

Last year, the business made $6 million. He credits its success to constantly testing new products and incorporating customer feedback. What started as a room divider curtain is now a kit, and he’s working on expanding internationally. To date, his business employs 11, including his parents and brother Jackson, who joined as a partner last year.

His advice for others: “Stay focused,” he says. “Hone in on ‘multipliers’ and projects that will help you scale the business quickly.”

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February 27, 2017

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