Entrepreneurs: Don’t Mortgage Your Home and Go Into a Business You Know Nothing About...Unless You’re Incredibly Tenacious, Smart, and Lucky.
If Romi Haan, the founder and CEO of South Korea’s Haan Corp could start over again, she (says she) would spend at least two years learning about home appliance sales before trying to create and market a home steam cleaner.
The inventor of a steam floor cleaner for Asian homes that was inspired by her own dread of the chore, Haan mortgaged her own home in 1999 to manufacture and market it. Today she is the founder and CEO of Haan Corp., which had $120 million in revenue in 2010. The firm produces a range of largely steam-based household appliances and is branching out into kitchenware and beauty products. This mother of 2 stays svelte by regularly doing 108 Buddhist prostrations in 15 minutes. After retirement she plans to push a Korean maternity exercise that, she claims, helps mothers deliver quickly with minimal labor.