repost­ed from
by: Alan Hall
Octo­ber 15, 2012

Pre­pare to be stunned. Recent­ly, I took issue with news reports ques­tion­ing the role of small busi­ness as a source of new jobs.  I summed it up with a remark from Jim Clifton, the Chair­man of Gallup, from his new book The Com­ing Job Wars:

“What the U.S. needs more than any­thing in its quest to win good new jobs in its cities is that rare tal­ent [entre­pre­neur­ship] to start com­pa­nies or to cre­ate new busi­ness mod­els that work, that grow organizations—big ones, small ones, medi­um-sized ones, sus­tain­able ones.”

To test my assump­tions fur­ther, my asso­ciate Cheryl Con­ner issued an invi­ta­tion last week to suc­cess­ful founders (whose com­pa­nies sur­vived 5 years or more). We asked them to share the piv­otal “aha” moments that solid­i­fied their deci­sion to go for­ward and set the direc­tion for their entre­pre­neur­ial careers. We also asked them to tell us how many jobs their idea cre­at­ed.

The respons­es floored us. In less than 24 hours, more than 200 com­pa­ny founders respond­ed. Their sto­ries amazed us, and the num­ber of jobs astound­ed us even more.

Grant­ed, this is unsci­en­tif­ic data. We com­piled the sto­ries and totaled the job results of the first 100 who were able to final­ize their sto­ries with us with­in the space of a day. If we missed your sto­ry, we’re sor­ry – feel free to include it in com­ments. If we includ­ed less than you hoped to tell us, feel free to make those addi­tions in the com­ment sec­tion as well. Already, this com­pi­la­tion is beyond any­thing I have pub­lished here yet.

Sev­er­al (12) of the com­pa­nies were younger than 5 years, but because they respond­ed with such com­pelling sto­ries, we let their sub­mis­sions remain (although they have been not­ed with an aster­isk.)

So clear­ly this is not a pris­tine sta­tis­ti­cal sur­vey. How­ev­er, it is my hope that it will leave you inspired. Are you ready? The 100 firms we present to you today have col­lec­tive­ly cre­at­ed a total of 69,224 jobs. This is not a typo. These 100 “aha’s” have very lit­er­al­ly led to the cre­ation of an aver­age of 692 jobs apiece.

Here are their sto­ries. I wel­come your respons­es. If there is suf­fi­cient inter­est, I will con­sid­er a sequel. Enjoy!

52.  Mack­ey McNeill, Mack­ey Advi­sors, 150 jobs,

I found­ed Mack­ey Advi­sors, Wealth Advo­cates, 30 years ago at age 27. My “aha” moment is when I dis­cov­ered that to suc­ceed I had to mas­ter the one thing I had most tried to avoid in my career: sales. When I real­ized sell­ing was sim­ply meet­ing a need, every­thing shift­ed and busi­ness soared.

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