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Triangle entrepreneurs share secrets to six-figure salaries

Posted May 19, 2011

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— Before Diane Perry’s business began making six figures, she worked out of a bedroom with a desk and small filing cabinet in Johnston County.

Perry said she still has that old desk “as a reminder of how far we’ve come.” Her business, Taylor Made Cases, employs 17 people who create custom-designed cases for handheld computers.

Even in this tough economy, people are building their own successful businesses, with some making more than $100,000 a year.

Perry says she was making six figures within two years of starting her business. Now, eight years later, she has customers around the world.

“I went out on a limb. It's a risk that you take, but no regrets,” she said.

The economy also forced Jamie Rohrbauck to take that step. As her career in sales stagnated, she and her retired mother started cleaning houses on the side.

“I knew I had the work ethic to do it,” she said.

Today, Rohrbauck owns Dust and Mop, a Triangle-based house-cleaning company. Several cleaners work for her, and she's starting a new errand-running service this summer.

manufacturing, production line Triangle entrepreneurs share secrets to six-figure salaries

“It goes back to I wanted to be my own boss, and I wanted to create my own success,” she said.

About 10 years ago, Joe Bunn decided he wanted to go full-time working as a DJ at parties and weddings, so he hired his competition. Now, when Bunn isn't working as a DJ, he's the booking agent for 18 other Triangle DJs.

He says earning his six-figure income has been hard work.

“People think I put on a suit and tie on Saturday, and I go do a wedding, and that's the only day I work. I'm here every day,” Bunn said.

All three entrepreneurs say there is a secret to their success – hard work.

“You can go as far as you want,” Perry said. “You get back what you put into it.”

They also say it's important to get advice while building a business. One good resource is Raleigh SCORE, a group of retired executives who mentor entrepreneurs.

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  • truth9806 May 20, 2011

    Either that or be friends with governor Perdue!

  • superman May 20, 2011

    Hard work means nothing unless you can find customers with money. A service company is not apt to do well with our economy. People dont have a lot of money to spend on non-essentials or do they? Have you ever seen a thriving shopping center after the Wal-Mart closes and moves to a new location?

  • davidgnews May 20, 2011

    If you're working too hard, you're not doing something right.

    Persistence is the key to success, always.

  • The Fox May 20, 2011

    Timing and luck don't hurt either.

  • Luv2Camp May 20, 2011

    It takes more than hard work. It takes good marketing to find niche products or services. For example, do we need another restaurant in this area? If so, what will make your restaurant unique? What will draw folks to it? How do you know that the market is there to suppor the business.