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

She Was Determined To Overcome Her Disabilities And Build A Business

Written By: Mike Allton in Real-Life Success Lessons!, Success Stories | December 28, 2015


Choose a subject you are passionate about as it takes time to create a successful business whether online or offline. If you are passionate about what you do, you are more likely to continue when the going gets tough and it does get tough every now and then. No matter how hard it seems or how many set backs you have… never, ever give up and you will get there eventually! – Maria Jane


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 ninth day of Christmas, we’re visiting with Maria Jane, of Mias-Craft-Ideas.com, a work-from-home mompreneur who has overcome tremendous adversity in her pursuit of sustained and fulfilling work.

From a young age, Maria dealt with disability when she lost part of her hearing. It made everything a challenge, but she was determined. She taught herself how to lip-read and never let that issue affect her life. She developed an interest and passion for crafts, and had a full-time job.

But then tragedy struck.

In 2008, while at home, Maria suddenly collapsed. She was rushed to the hospital and the doctors there could only guess that she’d suffered a stroke. As she recovered, she had difficulty walking, couldn’t keep her balance, and was experiencing pain throughout her entire body.

Within 6 months, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and it’s something she’s had to live with ever since. She’s in constant pain, always tired, and completely unable to be employed.

Unable to work, and unable to devote her full attention to a business, Maria needed an income source that would work with her disability, leaving her in control of her working hours.

When we talked to her, Maria said, “I’ve always loved crafts, I had a part time business as a papier mache artist for over 20 years, and the idea of creating a website that I could work on when I felt well enough seemed like a good compromise.”

But that, too, proved to be challenging. Yet Maria was as determined as ever. She spent two years trying to get a business going based on websites that she’d built, but to no avail. Then, in 2010, she stumbled on SBI! while doing some research on search engine optimization (SEO).

She went to www.sitesell.com and saw that there was a moneyback guarantee, so she had nothing to lose. Maria signed up for SBI! in April of 2010 and has never looked back.

Maria Jane overcame disability and illness, turned to her passion for crafts when she was unemployed, and has developed it into a 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 Health and 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!
  • Case Studies. We take a deep-dive into the full business stories of several 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.
  • Susan Gast

    Well done Maria! It’s folk like you that bring joy to the world. xxxx

  • You’re such an inspiration, Maria! What you have achieved is amazing. I also acknowledge your role on the forums, where you’re always ready to help others. You’re a star! 🙂

  • Leeanne Pollard

    Maria your health history is exactly like mine except with the addition of autoimmune illnesses. The stroke, FMS, hearing loss, love craft and SBI to build my wedding site but where we differ is that you have your site up and running (very informative by the way 😉 ) while mine is still at the design stage. I have however found help for my FMS and have gained back some quality of life and work fulltime from home as a medical transcriptionist as well as with my bouquet and veil creation wedding business. Just paying this info forward as it may help with your FMS too. Endep, magnesium and Vitamin D3, low sugar diet, stress reduced life and regular rest for the physical body while keeping the mental busy and creating to recharge the batteries.
    I wish you every success and happiness

  • Raj Kumar

    Great job Maria.

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