Successful, Unconventional Entrepreneurs

November 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm 1 comment

imgres-2It’s not all about “graduate, get a job, and stay there for life” anymore. On the contrary, entrepreneurship is hot.  Small enterprises account for 52 percent of all U.S. workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Even if just starting out, you’re in good company: Approximately 20 million of Americans are working for companies with 20 or fewer employees.

Want to march to your own beat? Entrepreneurship may be the way. Check out these unconventional entrepreneurs for inspiration.

Dr Dre

Dr. Dre – a name you might know – was listed as Forbes’ highest-paid musician not due to royalties on his songs, or a tour, but from ownership in his Beats headphone company.  Read more: Dr. Dre Is World’s Highest-Paid Musician: Yes, It’s the Headphones

Top DJ Calvin Harris

Who knew DJing could be such a money-making enterprise. Well it is. Calvin Harris went from bagging groceries in Scotland to collecting six-figure nightly checks. Talk about doing what you love. Read More: The World’s Highest Paid DJs

Ali Brown

Ali Brown is an online marketing maven who, at one time, had $18.56 in her bank account. Today, her company – which provides coaching to create wealth for women – is on the Inc 500 of fastest growing companies and worth millions. Read More about Ali Brown.

Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levi of Mixed Chicks

Kim and Wendi met, started talking, and realized a common problem: Curly hair! Multiple products they used for their hair – borne of mixed heritage – soon led to an extremely successful line of products: Mixed Chicks. Read More about Kim, Wendi, and the Mixed Chicks line of products

Check out this list of Unconventional Entrepreneurs Who Inspire by…we’d like to highlight #1 and #14

Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner of – according to – Why? Successful yet unfulfilled from his previous venture, Andrew has made it his life’s mission to inspire and help startups.” Interview with Andrew

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker of Virtual Business Lifestyle “walks the walk and talks the talk.” According to We love how the author speculates, “As I type this, he is probably running his company from a beach somewhere.” Interview with Chris

The Weird

Let’s not forget the weird. Weird businesses are fascinating. It’s great to learn about a business and say, “There’s a business for that?” From geese management (you heard right) to disposable adult underwear (uh -huh…popular in Europe!), here is Entrepreneur’s list of “Weird businesses that Work.”


Let’s not forget that entrepreneurship can permeate other areas. For instance, the sciences: Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini started her first lab in her home. Getting it done! Read more about Rita Levi-Montalcini.

Discussion and Further Exercises

Want to learn more about entrepreneurship’s role in the US economy? See the free EITC Curriculum Module 3.

More from EITC (Entrepreneur in the Classroom)

More Information The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. Just register for full access to the Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

Related links

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook

Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter


Entry filed under: Entrepreneur, Teaching tools. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Decisions and Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs Post High School Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made: A Collection of Top Research

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kathy Korman Frey  (@ChiefHotMomma)  |  December 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This is a great one, who just joined the Direct Selling Association (Avon, Mary Kay, Beach Body Nutritional Supplements, Pampered Chef, etc. – all of the folks who sell from home, or at your home, on a flexible schedule).

    Origami Owl, 17-Year-Old’s Jewelry Company, Estimated To Bring In $250 Million #youngentrepreneur


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