Jennifer Campbell, 58
Jennifer Campbell, 58
Location: Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada

Naturally, Jennifer Campbell was devastated after her parents passed away. The mourning was especially difficult, however, because she felt like she didn't know enough about their earlier lives.

Years later, when she was laid off from her position as a writer and editor for a television network, Campbell decided to help other people do something she hadn't been able to do for herself - collect and record the personal histories of their loved ones. In 2008, Heritage Memoirs was born.

Instead of letting her age discourage her new venture, Campbell used it as motivation. "I told myself, if I'm ever going to have my own business now is the time," she said.

Campbell's investments were minimal, and she didn't have any samples or testimonials when she started -- let alone any real marketing or business acumen. But what she did have was a service that was in high demand and, as a result, Heritage Memoirs took off immediately. Campbell now has clients across Canada and the U.S. and makes far more than she ever did working for someone else.

By Andrea Williams, contributing writer @CNNMoney - Last updated December 16 2011: 10:24 AM ET
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