These 24 Hours

My Story

Ben Coyour

Starting and growing a successful small business.

My name is Ben Coyour, I've been in the web design & internet marketing field for over 20 years and owned and operated my own web design business since 2010.

Many people have come to me over the years and expressed their interest in starting their own business, though they didn't know where to begin. Others would ask me for advice on how to build a website or market their business online. It's those conversations that led me to create this site.

While this site covers the how-tos regarding starting and growing an online business, it all makes more sense if you know a bit about my story.

I hope that as you read my story, you find relatable moments that help you realize you're not alone on this journey.

Where it all started...

The entrepreneurial mindset.

Looking back at my upbringing some key lessons gave me the foundation I needed to one day start my own business. I didn't realize all these lessons when I was young, only after reflecting on how I was raised as an adult.

Entrepreneurship runs deep in my family, starting with my grandpa who owned and sold several successful businesses during. My Dad managed one of those businesses for a long time, and my brother and I had our first jobs there.

While this firsthand exposure showed me it was possible to own your own business, it was the good character displayed by my grandpa and Dad that taught me how to run one successfully.

My parents taught me to value faith, family and also modeled a great work ethic. In particular, my Dad was not a complainer – not about work, life, or really anything. I also learned that the pursuit of riches will never satisfy your soul, rather put effort into serving others well and you will sleep well at night. These were all valuable lessons that continue to play a key role in being self-employed.

My Dad modeled not becoming a victim of my past or current circumstances, but rather focusing on what I have to be thankful for. Having this mindset was critical in preparing me to operate a small business in the future.

I recognize I'm truly blessed to have such great examples, I know many people don't have that advantage in their upbringing. Regardless of good role models life's challenges still come to us all.

Time moved on...

Key lessons from my youth

Ben Coyour
The early days freelancing from home

My time in the corporate world.

I earned my degree in web design and development, married the love of my life, had a growing freelance web design career, and our first son was just born, things were going great!

Then I got a call from a local internet marketing agency who had seen my work and were interested in hiring me. While my freelance business was gaining traction, I left it for a job with a steady paycheck. Don't get me wrong, I was excited and very appreciative of this new opportunity.

I had the opportunity to work with some big companies like Target, 3M, and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (I'm done name-dropping). I was gaining great experience doing web work for businesses of all sizes and got to learn from some very talented and awesome people.

Time kept moving on...

I hit my breaking point.

Over the years, I climbed the ladder to become a senior designer and started managing a team of designers. The company I worked for had weathered the great recession but was going through challenging growing pains. To make matters worse, we had a massive server failure that impacted nearly 100 of our clients, leading to countless late nights and early mornings at the office.

With stress reaching its peak and expecting our second child, I did what any rational person would do – I had a massive panic attack one night and ended up in the ER.

I spent the next year and a half trying to work through extreme daily anxiety, literally just trying to get through each day of work. We're talking constant physical pain, numbness throughout my body, depression, and more It wasn't good. 

The tough part is life doesn't stop when you're hurting, it seems to keep rushing by you. Healing came slowly through my faith, family, and friends, but my perspective on what matters most was changed.

I continued working for the company I was at, but my heart wasn't in it anymore. Work was really busy, I was salaried, and I was wired to always complete the job well, so I was often coming in early and staying late to get projects finished.

October of 2009, I still remember it clearly. I was working in the office late, it was around 9 pm, everyone else had gone home and it was just me there.

The picture that helped me change course

I was exhausted and I looked over at the picture of my kids on my desk and it hit me... What am I doing here?

Something was VERY OFF!

I had 24 hours to spend each day, but the use of

my time was not aligned with what I valued.

Life was passing by quickly and I was spending the majority of these 24 hours in an office away from my family. The value of time was finally becoming clear to me. I had some hard hitting realizations that propelled me to start my own business:

It was TIME to make a change!

Starting to work from home again

The leap of faith.

I fully committed to starting my business!

It was time to leave my current job, my 9-5, my steady source of income.

Don't get me wrong, I was very grateful for my time at my previous company. I loved my bosses, co-workers, and the wealth of knowledge I learned there, but I was ready to move on.

My stepping stone was a small web design firm based out of Arizona that allowed me to work from home. I took a big pay cut to work remotely, but I was headed in the right direction!

Things were great for a few months until the company I worked for suddenly ran out of money to pay their employees 😞

My wife and I were immediately faced with a big decision, I could get another corporate job or I could start my freelance web design business back up. At the time I had some active freelance work that would pay our bills for roughly the next 2 months. We talked through all the pros and cons, prayed about it, and made our decision – I was going all in on my business!

and you know what happened...

Everything went perfectly. We made millions, retired young, and never had any problems again.


that's not quite how the story went

Here's the reality.

There are countless articles, videos, and programs that say you can start a successful online business in 1 day, earn your first $1,000 in an hour, build a website in 30 mins, etc. The truth is those are just clickbait headlines that leave so many people disillusioned when they try and fail to start a business.

Most people won't stick with it:
90% of people who start an online business give up in 4 months!

Here's a 100% real picture of what it was like starting a small business the first couple years:

Expectation: Self employed office - Reality: My desk in a corner
(yes, that was my desk in the corner of a mostly empty room)

This phase weeds out most people.

We get formed in the furnace of life's challenges.

I realize I haven't painted an attractive picture of starting a business. However, I openly share my low points so others can relate and know they're not alone if they struggle or if reaching their goals is taking longer than they hoped.

Sometimes reading too many success stories can have the opposite effect, it demotivates us if we are hitting roadblocks in our own life.

Here are a few honest lessons I learned during the most challenging years of starting my business:

  • Every road to success is littered with many failed attempts 
  • The greatest pain often precedes the greatest pleasure
  • A new business takes a great amount of effort upfront before momentum builds and the reward is realized

My first few years trying to grow a business were very challenging, and sometimes the grass looked greener to just go back to being employed.

Favorite Summer Activities:
The kids and I making memories in our Buick Skylark convertible that belonged to my Grandpa.

Favorite Travel Memories:
Our family working on getting to all of the lower 48 states – this was from Maine.

What came out of the fire.

If you stayed with me this far you're probably wondering when the business took off, and what was the key to success? Here it is – the key to realigning my values with my time and the secret sauce of my small business – get ready!

hard work + persistence = desired future

That's it? I understand that's anti-climactic and not what most of us want to hear, but it's the reality of any business success story we will ever hear.

Steel being formed in a blast furnace is a great example of why certain businesses thrive and others fail: Steel can only be hardened and tempered with a very specific sequence and set of conditions or it will be brittle and fail prematurely.

As I have studied other successful small business owners their stories all share a similar set of conditions that gave them the motivation required to reach their goals.

When I say motivation, I don't mean some inspirational quotes. I'm referring to a gritty, laser-focused, deeply committed motivation that can outlast the difficult early stages of starting a business. My story followed this pattern.

The rewards of owning my own business

Here's why it was worth the work and what I want to help you achieve through the resources offered on this site.

Steady paycheck

To offset money coming in waves, we implemented a simple monthly budget where we could pay ourselves exactly what we needed each month from a savings account.

Flexible Work Hours

I learned my peak energy and focus times of the day and built a time-blocking system around that. Yet, I still have flexibility to modify my schedule at anytime to be there for my family and friends.

Renewed Joy in Work

Joy has been restored to my work - by being able to build a business of my own, work face-to-face with my clients and have a balanced work and personal life.

Greater Financial Freedom

Having a business + learning to manage our finances wisely has allowed us to give more, put money away for retirement, travel as a family, and have an emergency fund.

Healthier Habits

Working from home has allowed me to establish healthier habits. For instance, setting optimal times for waking, my morning routine, exercising, and the ability to eat healthier meals at home.

Awesome Clients

As my pool of clients grew over time, I was able to be more selective of who I worked with. This meant better-paying jobs and more fulfillment in the projects I was a part of.

The 24 hours I had each day was realigned with what I valued.

I hope you've noticed that my story and this site are not your typical – here are my monthly income reports, now that you know how much I make, buy my course and you will be rich! In my research and from my own experience just chasing money is a poor long-term motivator that contributes to the 90% of failed online businesses.

Success in business is not equal to how much is in your bank account. If you feel empty, having more money will just make you more of what you already are.

There are many ways to earn money, but our time is finite. If our core values (we're talking spiritual and our deeper purpose in life) aren't aligned with how we spend our time then no amount of money earned on that path will be sustainable and burnout is inevitable.

While this site is focused on offering the best advice, tools, and strategies to help you reach your business goals I want to take it one step further and encourage you to keep examining your motivation source. My goal is to help you create a business that is profitable, deeply satisfying to you, and serves others well!

Funny Family Memory:
Bentleyville, an outdoor Christmas light display in Duluth, MN. This photo was taken in what felt like sub-zero, gale force winds!

When working toward a goal don't forget that the lessons, growth, and life take place along the way.

Remember to enjoy the journey!

Onto your story

let's take back your time & joy in life!

Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Ultimately I hope it inspires you to share your gifts, knowledge, and story with others! Now, how can I help you on this journey?

Who is This Site For?

Anyone looking to do the following:

Business Owners
(New & Seasoned)

If you have DIY in your blood I want to help you have the right mindset, tools, and online presence to make your business grow!

People Tired of
the 9 to 5 Grind

Those who feel trapped at their job, maybe you've been laid off, or you're just burned out. It's possible to make a living from home!

Bloggers, Entrepreneurs,
& Content Creators

You may have been at this a while, but are struggling with your site design, SEO, or branding. That's my specialty!