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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Build On Your Past Experience

The most efficient way to find the next opportunity for a new business or for growing your current business is to look inside yourself and your industry.

Key Question:


To launch St. Claire's Organic Sweets Debra reached inside her mind for the product idea.
After spending a couple of decades in the whole world of alternative therapies, she was tired of doing the complicated and was on the look out for something simple that would fit her personal philosophy and her background.

The best way to start a business is to use what you already know.  Of course you can do whatever you want with you life and if you have plenty of time and plenty of cash to burn, you can venture into the unknown.

Neil Clark Warren did marriage counseling for almost 40 years before he launched eHarmony.  With sales of $700 million in its fourth year of operation, he is, like Debra, a perfect example of sticking to what you know.

Bart Mahon loves golf and started selling golf carts after he cashed out of his first company that sold dental supplies.  He tweaked the golf cart business into a catalog and online retailer of cart gear.  It only took three years to reach $1 million in monthly sales.

Think about it

What insight do you have that may be unique?  What is complicated now that perhaps you could make simple for others?  What is inspiring to you that might be inspiring to future customers?

Clip from: St. Claire's Mints & Organic Sweets (EcoNatural Solutions)

Boulder, Colorado: Debra St.Claire started her business, EcoNatural Solutions in 1993 to begin manufacturing  a totally organic breath mint and a healthy candy for children and adults.  She is an herbalist, naturalist, and vegetarian. When she learned that there was beef gelatin in her favorite peppermints, she was so disappointed, she said, "I'll make my own!"

Today St.Claire's Organic Sweets are on thousands of store shelves around the world.

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St. Claire's Organics started as EcoNatural Solutions, Inc.

St. Claire's Organic Sweets, a global business

6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301

Visit our web site:

Office: 303-527-1554

Business Classification:
food processing

Year Founded: 1993

Build On Your Past Experience

HATTIE: (Lightbulb in the Studio) Audacity, confidence, belief and fantastic communication skills have won money and markets for Deborah. But where do all those qualities come from? If I wanted to make an organic sweet, I would have no idea where to begin. This is a classic example of a new business not really being new to the owner at all. Debra has been studying herbs, healing, nutrition and alternative medicine for over 20 years. She has already experienced success in other businesses, all related to what she's doing today. Her confidence and belief come from her vast experience. On top of that, she is working for something which is much bigger than EcoNatural; she is working to support the Ethno-Medicine Preservation Project, which is buying land to preserve the medicinal plant knowledge of indigenous cultures.

Why is this an excellent business strategy? First, customers like to buy products when they know some profits are going to a good cause, and second, the cause keeps the entire company jazzed about what they're all doing. It especially works on Debra.

People who suffer from feelings of uselessness are often urged to go out and do something for someone else. Stop studying your bellybutton and, by all means, stop your whining. Get out of yourself. The same is true for companies. If you focus all of your attention on yourself and how much money you and each employee is going to make, cynicism sets in. Debra is enthusiastic about indigenous medicine. This wakes her up every day, and she's giving the vegetarians of the world a strong peppermint to displace Altoids. She's good, she's getting two things done at once. That's efficient and that's smart.

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