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Inside the Mind of Million Dollar Business Ideas

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Million dollar business ideas have no boundaries, age limits, race restrictions, time lines, or economic class. They can occur when you least expect them.

For psychologist Roger Adams, it occurred during a midlife crisis and divorce. For management consultant Mercia Tapping, it happened after a 10-year battle with allergies and the search for a cure. Ruta Fox was a freelancer running out of work when she said "Ah" to her "Aha" moment. Searching for the million dollar business idea is less a product of business planning and market research and more born from observation and frustration.

The Aha! Effect

It's a flash of quick insight leading to an obvious answer, the proverbial light bulb moment, or eureka event. When it happens, your life will never be the same.

Roger Adams was burnt out and hated his job. On vacation in Huntington Beach, Roger was reminded of "a happier time watching the kids, working at the roller rink, and growing up as a kid around skating. Seeing kids going by on their in lines and skate boards and I thought there has got to be something new out there," reflects Adams.

It was then the proverbial light bulb over the head occurred. "I got this idea for a shoe you could walk and roll on," says Adams. He headed for the garage and started cutting up running shoes and placing wheels on them.

After putting together a few designs, Adams thought to put the wheel in the heel. Falling several times, Adams realized he had to stagger his feet to balance. "The fall and the getting up the 4th time is when the hair on the back of my head stood up and I had a vision like I never had before. I just knew this thing could be successful," says Adams.

The eureka moment led to the creation of the running shoe with a built in wheel and a new sport called heeling. Texas-based Heeling Sports Limited has grown rapidly with sales in over 50 countries and is on track to reach over $40 million in 2005. Heelys is now one hot international trend.

Outside Feedback

Sometimes it's the feedback from others that results in a million dollar idea. Mercia Tapping suffered from environmental allergies and attained the necessary knowledge to become allergy free. At a CEO meeting she noticed other allergy and asthma sufferers and shared her knowledge with the group. They called her a "walking consumer report" and said she should start a business around this.

"The outside world was telling me there was a business opportunity here. I always wanted a health care angle and noticed health was the most important gift. Health, what I had taken for granted, was more important than realized. I never clicked with allergies until my clients told me," said Mercia.

Tapping later founded the Allergybuyersclub.com to provide asthma, allergy, and sinus sufferers with a resource for health information and product purchasing. Rejected by venture capitalists, Tapping's business went on to $10.4 million in sales for 2004.

Unaware of Its Presence

At other times the million dollar idea may show itself to us but we are unaware of its presence. In the summer of 2000, while searching for a better job, Ruta Fox's friend asked her to find her a diamond pinkie ring. Ruta went out and bought one for her friend and one for herself. Others took notice and Ruta bought more rings. "I was selling rings to girls in their offices and coming home each day saying I've got to find a new way to make a living," states Ruta.

Since she used to be a copywriter, she came up with a name for the ring. Realizing the common denominator was that all the buyers were available and happy and there was no ring on the market that was specifically for them, Fox recalls, "I thought 'Wow this is such a big idea.' I realized I was onto something."

This "Aha" moment led to The Ah Ring, the ring you buy for yourself to wear on your pinkie when you're single. Fox formed DivineDiamonds.com and achieved $1 million in sales during the first year, after a jumpstart from Oprah.

The Simple Truth About Million Dollar Business Ideas

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