One day I woke up sick and tired of putting on the same ole shoes as everyone else. I suppose that's what led me to San Francisco for college. It was during those years I learned I was an entrepreneur-- and that I had a lot to learn about business and shoe shopping.
After several attempts at starting my own business, all of which never made any money, I started to get annoyed. Why do some businesses never thrive while others soar until their well runs dry? And what about those companies that make millions and never go out of style!? That kept me up at night. My burning question was to figure out how to create a sustainable business that makes lots of money without being a copycat.
Perhaps my story is similar to yours. I worked at a lot of places before I found my niche (and the answer to my head-beating question.) I started out at a hip San Francisco search engine where I learned all the "online ad sales" stuff. I left a few years later due to boredom (Napster got shut down) and decided it was time to start my fourth business as a fashion designer at the ripe age of 25.
But that came with a whole other set of problems. Little did I know, starting a clothing business was hard work and challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before. It might takes GUTS to pursue your dreams, but it takes a bit of insanity to start a fashion company.
After five years, I realized my dream wasn't turning into dollars; it was turning it into severe credit card debt.
I was too impatient to wait for opportunity to knock, so I built a f*cking door.
ANGEL WITH BOBO & BANDIT
While I was no longer bored, instead I was broke; I was like a lost little squirrel running through the forest with no nuts. It sucked!
I already had a taste of what following the dream was like and I sure as heck wasn't going back to corporate America. After all, I had this rebellion in me that wouldn't quit and what's a few bucks in credit card debt? That just meant I tried something new and purchased a few things I never wore, right? After trying on many new hats, I realized that was my niche and part of THE answer to my burning question.
As I analyzed one business and brand after another, I discovered most businesses have a rinse and repeat business model. Just as we are taught to get good grades, and go to a good college, in business we are also taught to NOT reinvent the wheel and simply do what works. As a result we have a lot cookie-cutter businesses. That's when we find ourselves in a saturated market, where trends quickly turn to fads and you guessed it, making money becomes extremely difficult!
For me, trying to wear someone else's shoes (or reinvent some industry leaders business model) was all a big hoax to keep us playing follow-the-leader. If you have credit card debt, have worn a lot of different hats in your career, and are actively looking to shake up the norm that leads me to believe that you are a tastemaker, a rebel, or a visionary.
I discovered I was all three. Being a tastemaker, rebel, or a visionary might not be the get-rich-quick guide that all those other marketing experts are using to promote their businesses, but it does produce everlasting results, dissipates the boredom and lack of creativity that many seasoned business owners are feeling today, AND it removes all the competition.
But the BEST part of playing by your own rules is the entrepreneur's roller coaster ride subsides, extreme creativity sets it, and all of a sudden it's time to play BIG. What feels uncomfortable and scary at first becomes exciting and extremely motivating. When you're motivated to succeed watch out, that's when the money flows like water.
It only took me four businesses and 17 years to learn all of this. Today I've made it my business to help change makers shorten the learning curve to successfully curating and scaling a business online.♥