I love the freedom of working for myself! Freedom has always been something that is SO important to me, and the notion of a 9-5 and having to ask permission to take a vacation – well, it never sat well with me! - Alison Andrews, SBI! member since 2009

How Two Grad Students Turned Their Hobby Into A Business

Written By: Mike Allton in Real-Life Success Lessons!, Success Stories | December 15, 2015

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Since we started our site we’ve moved country once, moved house three times, changed jobs, quit those jobs, and had two kids! The great thing about having a web business is that it’s flexible enough to fit around all these kind of changes.Stephanie and Tobias Locsei

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Welcome to A Christmas Carol – Sitesell-style! Each day we’re going to re-introduce one of our successful SBIers and their amazing stories. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, we’ll revisit these tales of old and see what lessons we can glean.

For this first day of Christmas, we’re visiting with Stephanie and Tobias Locsei of homemade-gifts-made-easy.com, back in 2008 when this happy couple were still in grad school, and looking forward to their careers. They were both university research scientists, and preparing hard for their final months in college.

They got an email out of the blue that led them to SiteSell, and they were immediately impressed with the process for building an online business that SBI! offered. They said to themselves, “This is it. We can totally do this! It’s just following a system, and that’s something we know we can do.”

They went ahead and ordered SBI!, but then, nothing happened. Months went by, while Stephanie and Tobias worked to finish their degrees, and their website was left untouched, unstarted.

But they never stopped thinking about that idea, that dream of owning their own web business, one where they’d be able to have fun traveling and working together.

Nine months passed, and with school behind them, they finally had the time to get started, and the motivation to make it happen!

And this is where SBI! made all the difference.

Stephanie and Tobias explain:

As we went through the SBI! process we considered all sorts of ideas for sites. We narrowed it down to our top three ideas: homemade gifts, strength-training, or science for kids. Using the SBI! process we evaluated the business potential of all three ideas and homemade gifts emerged as the clear winner.

It was hard to say no to the other ideas but looking back we’re glad we did, because building a site about homemade gifts has been lots of fun and really profitable. We both love making homemade things and it’s been fantastic to turn that hobby into a business.

It started with the rock-solid process that SBI! outlined. It guided them through building a business when, without it, they might have spent years struggling to find a path. And at a critical point, they were able to rely on SBI! to help them winnow their business choices and, ultimately, decide on a profitable direction.

Stephanie and Tobias are now enjoying their full time, successful online business thanks to SBI!, and you can too!

As we’re whisked away by the Ghost of Christmas Past, back to present-day, overlooking the streets crowded with busy people hustling through the Christmas Season, we’re reminded of how important things like Family really are.

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, even we sometimes need to be confronted by such stories in order to truly recognize what’s important to us, and what we need to do to change.

Do not let another Christmas pass by while your dreams of owning a business fester in your belly like a bit of undigested cheese. Throw open the curtains and renew your lease on life! It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, now is the time to get started.

Get Started with SBI! Get Started with SBI! For WP

A SiteSell Christmas Carol

  1. How Two Grad Students Turned Their Hobby Into A Business
  2. Her Passion For San Francisco Led To Over $5k A Month
  3. He Turned His Knowledge Into Ongoing Retirement Income
  4. Start a Business and Spend MORE Time at Home? Here’s How They Did It
  5. The Great Recession Couldn’t Stop This Resourceful Solopreneur
  6. Her Battle With Health Issues Led To A Vibrantly Successful Business
  7. This Solopreneur Spun Her Legal Questions Into Legal Tender
  8. She Found A Way To Share Her Knowledge For Free And Still Make Money
  9. She Was Determined To Overcome Her Disabilities And Build A Business
  10. She Washed Away the 9-5 Brainwashing To Build The Life She Wanted
  11. Her Desire To Help Others Resulted In Online Success
  12. This British Ballerina Helped Others Overcome Their Fears
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Learn From More High-Traffic, Profitable Solopreneurs

  • Recent Success Stories With Takeaway Lessons. Read more recent inspiring stories from our blog. They deliver useful ideas and takeaway lessons from folks who’ve “done it and won it.” If they can do it, you can, too!
  • Multi-Year SBI! Reviews. We take a deep-dive into the long term, full business stories of several different types of solopreneur successes. They periodically update their progress so you can see how they and their businesses grow over a period of years. This gives you excellent insight into what solopreneurs can accomplish with real online businesses.
  • Hundreds of the “Top 0.5%.” Every one of these SBI! businesses (hundreds of them) rank in the top 1 million active websites (out of approximately 200 million!). That’s all the more impressive because 1) we are such a small community and 2) many Top 0.5% sites are mid-sized or large companies.

Solopreneurs fail at astronomical rates. SBI! makes you 100x more likely to succeed (that’s not a typo!). It will never be easy, but we do make it way more doable.

Scan the wide variety of solopreneurs who are winning in real niches. Use it to get a feeling for what SBIers do, as well as to generate ideas. What do you know? Turn it into a business.

Mike Allton
Mike Allton is the Chief Marketing Officer for SiteSell. He has spent years helping solopreneurs achieve success online through the precepts of content marketing: write great content, share that to social, and drive new leads & sales.Mike’s focus is to reach people who have a passion for something and show them how it’s possible to turn that dream into a real online business and income.

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