Last year I heard about a local college offering students a class on how to become an entrepreneur. My first reaction was laughter, but the more I thought about it, I realized the concept of such a class would be greatly beneficial. I mean I’m sure they’d teach students on how to sell a brand new service, manage 25 projects at once, handle 80 customer service questions within 48 hours and making 1200 clients happy simultaneously, right? But one crucial component of becoming an entrepreneur which you will not gain from any class, is experience.
You have to fail in order to succeed.
No one taught me how to become a business owner or sustain entrepreneurialism. No one told me it was even a possibility. When you’re growing up you’re expected to graduate school after 12 years, then willingly go to another school abroad for 4-10 more years, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of which you do not have. And only then will you be happy, successful, normal.
Luckily I was raised with common sense, and chose my own route.
In 2009, while unemployed for 13 months, I built a business from scratch. I turned my hobby of creating websites into a profession. And I did it out of desperation. I got tired of being fat, lazy and an embarrassment, so I searched the classifieds to see if I could create a website for a local business. I found a moving company offering to pay $10/hr to help update their current website. After meeting with the owner, I was hired right away. I chose my own hours, and I even negotiated my payment up to $12/hr.
I went from being unemployed to becoming a salesman, website developer and business owner within 24 hours. Less than 3 years later, I’ve established an international website and branding company called Inspired Design & Development with 60+ clients in 4 countries on 3 continents.
But how did I do that exactly? Would I call myself a success? Would I recommend this journey to you?
Being an entrepreneur is not sexy. Everything behind the scenes is what makes the company and the man behind the brand. The truth is many do not want to learn how one becomes a successful entrepreneur. They don’t want to know you may have to lie on a daily basis to family, friends, clients and co-workers. They don’t want to hear about the debt you must put yourself in for years before you can be a success. They don’t want to hear there’s absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that you will succeed, that there is no plan B and that you may become a huge disappointment to everyone you’ve ever met.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I have cried many tears, I have been scared many times. My particular situation is especially not one that is recommended. I have been living in my car for 17 months while I build my clientele. I cannot guarantee my success. I cannot guarantee I will have a business tomorrow or that I will even be alive. But I have the drive, and the obsession of that one precious moment where I drive my mother to a brand new neighborhood, take her hand and help her out of the car and say to her, “Mom, pick any home which you can see with your two gorgeous eyes, and it’s yours.”
That is my #1 goal, and I will accomplish that moment even though I don’t know how or when. Now would you call me crazy? Go ahead, but I prefer the literal and righteously earned title of Homeless Entrepreneur.
I encourage you to continue to follow my journey, as ridiculous and as beautiful as it may seem.
I leave you with a powerful new song that speaks to me, enjoy.