Everyone experiences ups and downs as an entrepreneur. Let me quickly explain a few recent setbacks I’ve had trying to grow my companies, in hopes that you can relate. Keep in mind, this is a long and bumpy road, so I’m thankful for all the entrepreneurs and everyone reading this. I also want to thank @garyvee for his inspiration!
For those of you who know me, like really know me, then you know how I feel about entrepreneurship and what it means to me. This past month has truly tested me as an entrepreneur and leader. Please let me explain…. as I hope some of you can relate, and if you do, please comment or share.
You can watch the video below that I uploaded to YouTube. You can also read the full article and learn more about me here!
Being an entrepreneur has been popularized by the media and influencers like #GaryVee and Tai Lopez. However, they and I both know what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Just because you have a startup or great idea does not mean you’re an entrepreneur. Those people are taking away from the true meaning. To me, it’s more of a lifestyle than anything. We don’t work a 9-5. This is a 24/7 struggle. We eat, sleep and breathe our business, and much of the time without the first two. The last few weeks I’ve been in my office 18+ hours per day trying to recover from a few setbacks, and I’m fired up. You know why? Because at the end of the day, we have nobody to point fingers at except for ourselves.
A few weeks ago you might have seen my stories of Miami and Punta Cana. If you follow me on social media (mainly instagram) then you know I live a pretty ridiculous lifestyle: traveling, visiting friends, going to festivals, and just doing whatever I want. Those are some serious perks of being an entrepreneur, but that’s also what’s lead to this problem. My businesses are not self-sustaining. I can’t just pick up and leave for days on end. You see, some of my goals involve achieving this lifestyle…. but not yet, not today.
Let me list a few setbacks I’ve had over the past 3 months. Don’t mistake this transparency as vulnerability, because everything happens for a reason, and these misfortunes have been blessings in disguise that allow me to learn from my mistakes so that I can grow and prosper.
- Having to fire my General Manager (and good friend) for Phone Repair Philly
- My business Partner going rogue & falling off the grid for Momentum Digital
- E-Commerce manager not only left the company, but tried to steal clients
- Having my Moped Stolen and Phone Repair shop robbed
These are just some of the highlights. Fun right? I won’t go into details but all of this happened within a few weeks. What I can tell you is that I take all responsibility for this, because most of it was due to poor communication and lack of culture. If you’re reading then I appreciate your time, and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments of struggles you’ve had or any advice you might want to share!
So how does one rebound? Well, over the past few weeks I hope you saw me battling to recover from my time off. As much as I want to be young and have fun and go out on Wednesdays for Center City Sips, I would do so at the expense of my Momentum. That word means everything to me. I believe in Momentum wholeheartedly (I mean I have to in order to name my company that, right?). Going on vacation causes a setback, as I’m sure many of you entrepreneurs have realized. While away I become anxious, and upon return I’m overwhelmed. Recently I faced true adversity as I had plans to travel to Detroit and NYC. I had to cancel those plans last minute for the sake of my businesses that I haven’t been prioritizing, and you know what, I’m glad! Time to re-align my priorities and get back to business.
Many of you have jobs and a work-life balance. To me, to us, there is no balance. We thrive in the chaos that is work, that is life. They are two in the same. This isn’t work to me, this is life. I wake up every day getting to do what I love. For me there’s nothing else. Entrepreneurship is my oxygen. Without this I cannot breathe, I cannot live. When’s the last time you felt that way about something? If you were to lose your job tomorrow what would you do? Get another one?
Not many of you know my story, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Just ask my brothers how I was hustling baseball cards and Pokemon as a kid. It’s in my blood. Yet, as I matured, soccer sort of became my focus. When I transferred to Penn State I started learning more about entrepreneurship, business, and digital marketing. I joined a few startups, started a few companies, and became entranced by entrepreneurship. When I graduated I took a job with Google to refine my digital skills so that when I left I could start my own agency to help other small businesses. The story goes much deeper, but the point I want to make is how recently my growth has leveled out a bit. From September 2015 when I moved to Philly and was only making $1000 a month, to March 2017 (18 months later), I grew my revenue 8000% (you can do the math). Yet, over the last 3 months the growth has stagnated, and I take full responsibility.
Most successful people have mentors and are always learning from others’ mistakes. It seems I might have bit off more than I can chew, but at least I’ve realized a few things…. I’ve realized what I’m good and bad at, and what I need to grow my businesses. Sometimes you need to take a step back so that you can take two steps forward.
Call me crazy, but given all the trials and tribulations over the past few weeks, I still wouldn’t have it any other way, because at the end of the day I am my own boss. We, as entrepreneurs, control our own destiny with regards to how much money we make and what we do with our most valuable asset — TIME. I can honestly tell you that I’d rather make $1000 year working for myself than $1 Million working for someone else. I hope I sound crazy. I don’t judge you for having a job, but I do judge those of you who have a job & complain.