Do you have to be a “people person” to run a successful business? It’s a good question and one that’s brought up occasionally in meeting with clients. Most people like the idea of being their own boss’, but not everyone likes the idea of getting out and selling their own product or service.

The answer to the question is yes, but you do have to evaluate the business model that’s right for you. People who are natural introverts won’t do very well when it comes to promoting their business to the public. If you fit this description, there are a couple of great business models you might want to evaluate.

Mail Order

One woman created a successful business by running a small classified ad entitled 101 Ways to Serve Hamburger. She charged a couple of dollars for a self-printed booklet that contained hamburger recipes for families with tight budgets. That one classified ad generated thousands of orders, so she wrote another booklet entitled 101 Ways to Serve Chicken.

Mail order can be a very lucrative business. The key to success is finding the right product and making sure that there’s enough margin for you to make a good profit. Just recently I picked up a fabulous book entitled 202 Things You Can Buy and Sell For Big Profits! The book is a great resource for finding profitable products to sell.

Before starting, though, do your homework! Make sure you read magazines and books on mail order. Start out small and niche yourself into a particular product.


While mail order is still a thriving business, more people today are using the internet to market their products. Of course, one of the easiest ways to start is by using eBay. Eventually, you might want to build your own site. eBay lets you host your own page entitled ‘My eBay’ in which you can run your own e-store for very little cost.

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine described one webpreneur who started an online cigar store for $45. Dave Sabot, 32, purchased his first humidor in 1997 for $45 and resold it on an auction site for $99. Not only that, he received more orders for the inexpensive humidors.

What’s his secret? Like mail order, it boils down to finding a unique niche that people are looking for. I logged onto his website and found that he offers free information like e-books that target people who are beginners. By teaching these novice cigar smokers, he’s focusing on a segment that is automatically looking for less expensive products to start out with.