Jennifer Walzer was one of more than 90,000 employees and referred to only as a number; never by name. She was feeling overlooked, overworked and underappreciated before starting the successful data storage company Backup My Info! in 2002. Jennifer's entrepreneurial success has even won her a gig as a small-business blogger for The New York Times. Quite an accomplishment for Walzer, who has come a long way since her first job, where she was employee "916982."
Walzer decided to take her first leap of faith and launch her first business in 1998. Her idea was to design interactive voice response systems for businesses. At the time this type of product was just about to take off, but Walzer says she was completely bored with it. She had a great idea and great timing; she was just the wrong person. She had no passion for programming. Rather then continue to be miserable, Walzer decided to sell the business and chalked it up as a learning experience out of which later came great success.
Walzer put her entrepreneurial dreams on hold for a few years while working for other businesses until starting Backup My Info! The idea was born of Walzer's experience assisting small businesses and Fortune 1000 companies in backing up their office system files. She understood that as companies moved to virtual documents, they were going to need to protect their data. Walzer thanks her father for the inspiration and passion to start this type of company, as well as working through the good and bad times to make it a success. Her father--a real-life rocket scientist--played a key role in setting the base for her fondness of technology and business. It was the combination of technology and the helping others that made Backup My Info! so interesting to her.
I admire individuals like Walzer, who love something so much and get to wake up every morning excited about getting to work with that thought in the back of their mind saying, "I'm doing the right thing." This is the attitude young, passionate entrepreneurs need to have. As Walzer points out, "I knew if I didn't love what I did, the company would fail."
Focus and determination are so crucial for young entrepreneurs trying to take their ideas to the next level. It's all about finding your niche; businesses consists of millions of niches, so stick with your passion, take it to the next level, and never give up. As Jennifer Walzer's success demonstrates, following your passion is the best way to ensure you won't ever be just a number.
Robert Tuchman is the founder of Tuchman Sports Enterprises (TSE), the global leader in sports event travel. He is the author of The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live, and Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneurs Guide To Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own.