Posted on November 17, 2010 7:52 PM General
I began my entrepreneurial dream with just that...a dream. I had no prior business experience before taking this plunge. I worked in a prison for 8.5 years. When they said anyone could make this business work, they were not lying. The cards were stacked against me. No experience, not much working capital and a bunch of nay sayers. I knew 1 thing though , regardless of success or failure, I had nobody to blame or pat on the back except for me. UFG gave me opportunity to own my own business. It was up to me to make it work. When we opened in 2005, it was just me and a college buddy doing it all. We struggled as all new businesses do. But we persevered. There was no way I was going to fail and have all those people tell me, "I told you so!" I learned as much as I could about this business from other owners, vendors, workshops and trade shows. I learned about my competition. They taught me what to do and what not to do. I positioned myself within the community to be very opportunistic when it came to jumping on grenades others threw and made things work out for who would become my customers. Since my 1st year, I added another friend onto the team as a sales person. He is going to hit $200K this year. I finally have the right person in place for my CAS who can tolerate being around me for more than an hour. We are moving into a new facility - 50% more space, half the rent - which in itself will propel our company towards my goal of $1 mil in annual sales. The 1 thing that has stayed consistent with me for the past 5 years is that I have never and will never blame anyone but me my the companies shortcomings. Not corporate, not other store owners, the people I surround myself with and especially the economy. It's all about me. I will get to the top of the mountain or DIE trying.