Life experience often guides entrepreneurs into thinking up ideas for new businesses, writes USA TODAY columnist Gladys Edmunds, who points to a startup Colorado decal shop as an example. Jess Smith, a 21-year-old art student, got the idea for her business, Casttoo, after she broke her wrist riding a bike. "My accident gave me an opportunity to bring my art into the business world in a unique way," Smith says.

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