Think you don’t have the right background to change careers or start a new business? Think again. Lots of successful business owners took a circuitous route to down the path of entrepreneurship.
BusinessNewsDaily asked a few small business owners to tell us the most unusual job they had before starting their own businesses.
I was an ice cream mover. It required me to move ice cream from the twenty below freezer to a huge ice creamer freezer which was twenty [degrees] above freezing. I might have been the only seventeen year old kid that ever got frostbite in July. I now own Bella Business Solutions.
--Wayne Weiner, Bella Business Solutions
I worked in a small manufacturing shop in Springfield, Mo. We made metal pipe turkey hangers for caterers. The other exciting thing we did was punch holes in the bottom of pizza pans for faster cooking. I now own Homiedre Corp.
-- James B. Huston, homiedre.com
Back when I was in high school, I held an after-school job working as an office assistant at a diaper service. It doesn't seem embarrassing to me now, but when you're 16 and your friends know where you work, there is a never-ending supply of dirty diaper jokes. I seem to remember trying everything I could to avoid answering questions about where I worked at the time. I guess I had the last laugh though. My job paid a heck of a lot more than any of their after-school jobs, so I guess it was worth the embarrassment at least a little. I currently own an online tax education company called Accelerated Education Services in Folsom, Calif.
-- Charles Davidson, 1040taxschool.com
While in high school, I got certified as a scuba diver and started a business cleaning boat bottoms, replacing zincs and doing light salvage. I also worked as a valet driver at Milford Jai Alai, interesting co-workers and more interesting customers. I'm now the founder of BoydIPLaw.com and also the founder of MeetingWave.com
-- John Boyd, boydiplaw.com, meetingwave.com
The most unusual job I have ever had, hands down, was being Ronald McDonald's bodyguard. Runner up would be cleaning the estates of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. While I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I sold vacuum cleaners door to door, it did give me a good education in sales, or maybe that should be "sale" since I only sold one! Now, I'm an author and presenter that focuses on legitimate random and work-at-home jobs, as well as the scams to be avoided in today's marketplace.
-- Bethany Mooradian, queenoftherandomjob.com
My most unusual job [was as a] professional stuntman. I was the host of the Batman Stunt Show at Six Flags over Texas. I traded punches with the Caped Crusader, dodged motorcycles and jumped off of exploding buildings, performing in front of 3,000 plus people. My wife was also in the show. She played Catwoman. Now I'm a business consultant for Westfall and Associates, LLC.
-- Chris Westfall, westfallonline.com
I've had a string of unusual jobs along my career: clown for kid's parties, party hostess for "adult themed" gizmos and gadgets, production assistant for all raw food/vegan video company and morning show host on a Top 40 English radio station in Amman, Jordan. Now I'm the owner and CEO of a new societal networking site.
-- Adrienne Denaro, reunitedwestand.com
I dealt blackjack in an illegal gambling operation for a volunteer fire company in northern Maryland while I was just out of college. We were trained in a back room/secret knock kind of place in the back of a party store in a seedy part of Baltimore, and each night as we drove to the firehouse, we would have to watch for signals by the road to let us know if it was safe to continue on, as the place was often raided by police. I currently own my own marketing and communications firm in Washington.
-- Jennifer Motruk Loy, marketingbyjml.com
In 1999, I left the consulting firm I had joined after graduating from university several years earlier, to travel overseas and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Ironically, with life on my mind, for 5 of those months, I worked in a cemetery (and cactus garden) doing landscaping and maintenance. I found this to be incredibly peaceful and rewarding (and found myself longing for those days many times when I returned to consulting the following year). [I am currently] the founder of JackTheDonkey.com
-- David Katz, jackthedonkey.com
I was once a Chippendale’s dancer. I once tried to do a benefit for breast cancer with my [current] company and was turned down. Can you imagine that? All my money comes from women. I felt compelled to give back. A breast cancer charity did not want to be associated with us. Go figure.
-- Thomas Zizzo, Hunkmania.com