Over the past 2 years I’ve taken on a whole new life. No more 5 am weights, full days of school, late night house parties or butt kicking practices. I still hang out with fellow athletes everyday, but they’re of a different caliber. I still study everyday, but it’s a different and more fulfilling kind of studying. I still lift weights, but they’re at a different gym and for a different sport. I still have my late nights out, but now my late nights are spent in Hollywood rather then downtown Shreveport. Oh, and I’ve learned about this crazy new thing called bills.
This past year I took a leap of faith… or a better word I guess would be a gamble. This blog post is about taking risks as an entrepreneur and relating to those out there that may be wanting to do the same. It’s about putting yourself through a couple years of hell, living paycheck to paycheck, to live the rest of your life in happiness and success. I heard a quote today…
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your lif like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
It hit home deep. The past few days I’d lost track of what brought me to Los Angeles from Oregon. I’m an entrepreneur, I can run my businesses from anywhere in the world I want… I love hunting, fishing and camping… so why did I leave my family and friends right before duck hunting season to come to a city I hardly know to barely scrape by each month and to be away from everyone and everything I love? To network and chase my dreams… that’s why.
Every successful entrepreneur I’ve ever talked to has their stories of hard times. The times where they had an idea, and fully invested into it. Put themselves into debt, slept in their cars, shook a thousand hands, and heard even more people tell them they would fail. Who knows how many of those stories are completely true. The days of the hustle as they’re often called. These are my days of the hustle even though they aren’t nearly as extreme as most other peoples.
I share a kitchenless studio apartment with my buddy that is finishing college at CSUN for $300 a month. No cable or Internet or any of that fancy stuff. There are times each month I have to choose between eating and grabbing a drink with a possible business partner. I go where the free Wi-Fi is and spend a lot of nights at our apartments to save money on gas. Don’t get me wrong, this is by choice. In no way am I complaining. I’m making enough money to support myself if I was satisfied with how much I made and what I’ve done with my goals. But I’m not satisfied. I’m not even a tenth of the way yet to the things I plan on accomplishing in the next couple of years. So I take 3/4’s of my income right now and invest it back into my businesses. I sacrifice toys, a full fridge, good beers, and travel for the welfare of a business and a dream. I’m sacrificing a couple years of my 20’s for decades of success if everything goes as planned. I’m officially a young entrepreneur.
What keeps me positive and driven are 3 things. First is my family. Without the support of my family I’d still be in college right now. They backed my decision to leave school to chase a dream. Not only did they all back my dream and support me dropping out senior year of college… but my brother Trevor, brought me on as COO of an online business of his to help him chase his own dreams.
The second thing that keeps me driven are the people I meet that work in my industry and come from similar backgrounds. In the past couple weeks I’ve surrounded myself with positive and like-minded people. The people and friends I hang out with regularly are current Olympians, former MLB and NFL players and already successful entrepreneurs. I don’t typically hang out with negative or unsuccessful people not because I’m a snob, but because I truly believe that you are whom you associate yourself with. Your friends truly influence your decisions and attitude.
The third thing that keeps me driven and positive is my wall. More specifically, what’s on my wall. My brother Trevor is an incredibly brilliant entrepreneur and motivational mind. He urged me a few times to write out my short term goals and long term goals on a piece of paper and put it on my wall so I can see them every day. I blew it off a couple times thinking that’s dumb and embarrassing to just show everyone who comes in my place my goals. Turns out though, I all of a sudden don’t care what people think. The goals list has kept me on track and more importantly it’s kept my vision of what I believe success is in check. I won’t settle for less and won’t lose sight of my dreams this way. I also get to see results when I scratch something off the list.
The key to this part of a young entrepreneurs life I’ve found is attitude. Find ways to stay positive and stay driven when you take that leap of faith and invest your life into your dream. If you can stay positive through the tough times, then you will make it through to the great times. The great times will just taste that much sweeter.