While many people dream about having more time, money, and freedom, not everyone is ready to jump in head first. You might be surprised that most of the successful online entrepreneurs of today failed at the first attempt, and they struggled in the beginning with creating a business concept that works. If you are still sitting on the fence on whether or not you should be starting your online venture, you need to look at the lessons you can learn from those who walked that road before. Below you will find five inspirational online startup stories.

“Entrepreneur” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sadie Nardini

Many yoga fans follow Sadie Nardini’s free online lessons and pay her for her studio courses and online programs. She started off in her studio after qualifying as a yoga instructor. When she was 15, she had an accident, and was told that she should invest in a wheelchair. Today, she has a business that generates half a million dollars a year. She can travel the world, and enjoys life. And she has loads of fans. How she built her empire? Through simple instruction videos filmed in her apartment and posted on YouTube. Impressive.

ShoeDazzle

Based on the idea of allowing customers to create their own styles online, this successful business has over 13 million members and growing. However, back in 2011, the company tried to reinvent the wheel and changed its subscription model that was working perfectly. Other similar stories can be read at bradkrussell.com.au. It was a disaster. After the management turned back to the original idea, they turned the business around again, and they are prospering. Lesson learnt: you must stick with your gut feelings.

Apartment List

Featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful startups of recent history, this company is worth $18.1 million per year in revenues, still it only has 62 employees. Apartment List is simply based on developing an app that helps people find potential and suitable roommates. The creators of the app simply spotted a demand on the market that was not fulfilled by any other company, and provided a simple solution that customers fell in love with.

Pandora

Pandora has been always a successful company, but when it started offering personalization, business just boomed. The recommendations for music are based on customer feedback, and their taste. The internet of things is now allowing people to tailor their experiences, music, and customize every second of their lives. Do you have an idea to provide more customization options? It might be a winner.

Voxy

This company is built on the high demand from Spanish speakers to learn English fast. It is focused on one particular niche, and takes into consideration their needs and preferences. By fulfilling the expectations of the target market, Voxy has built a customer base of 3 million. Instead of branching out to other languages, the management decided to stick with a niche that it knows best.

“Salford Business School launches unique open access online course” byUniversity of Salford Press Office is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Setting up your online venture from scratch can be a stressful experience, and not everything will go smoothly first. Try to learn from the most successful internet entrepreneurs, and you can avoid some of the most common mistakes startups make.