The following piece is a blog post I contributed to the University of Dallas alumni network on entrepreneurship & advice for future industry-changers. “What did I get myself into?”
Those are the words that consistently ran through my mind for the first two years of starting my own business. I was overwhelmed and to be honest, had no idea what I was doing half the time. It was a trial by fire, where every day you are learning as you go. I think it’s a position most entrepreneurs can remember. We have an idea, we launch the idea, and yet we still aren’t prepared for all that we encounter.
And that’s the fun of it.
I’m a third generation entrepreneur. My grandfather had a construction company and even after retirement still works from time to time on projects. My dad built a chain of 13+ convenience stores around the greater east Texas area before retiring. And now, like a true hustler, he un-retired because he was bored. The itch to start & grow a business has been in my blood from an early age. But I failed to find a true outlet for it.
The …so how did you get started with Compete Every Day“ question is one I’m asked quite often. I wish I could share a life-changing story where I was in the darkest of holes and climbed out with this new-found mindset.
Unfortunately, this isn’t that kind of story.
I never in a million years thought I’d get into apparel, but it’s funny how life is always throwing you curve balls.
I’ve always been ultra-competitive. I blame it on my limited physical skills in sports, which forced me to find new ways to win â€“ through being mentally prepared, out working my opponents, and being resolute to not lose.
This mindset carried over into other areas of my life. I had large aspirations for my career and while initially focused on just sports, carried the same competitive mindset into it. My dad was an entrepreneur (as was his father), so deep down, the desire to create and build something has been in my blood from day one.
My outlook on life started changing over the course of 2010 after I was challenged by the writings of Donald Miller in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. At its core, the book centers around what Miller learned about himself and life while editing his memoir into a movie script. The theme of living a better story with your life â€“ and in order to live a betterstory you must deliberately act in ways that will make a better story.
Miller’s book forced me to evaluate what kind of story I was writing.
Page after page of my story was about me. And just me.
I was lacking crucial elements needed for a great story. I wasn’t pulling others into my story or finding ways to add value to theirs.
And I knew deep down my story needed to change.