I often get asked where I found the courage to start my own business, but there’s a few different pieces to the story.
However, I do want to point out that there's nothing wrong with being an employee and doing a job you like.
Your paycheck and your passion don't have to be the same thing.
Until 2017, I worked as an outside sales rep in the Petrochemical field. This was a good job, and it paid well, I made my own schedule, and I drove a lot. I cared enough to want to do my job well.
It wasn’t a miserable 9-5 grind at all. If you find that you’re miserable at work, I suggest searching for something that you don’t dislike doing.
There are a few things that keep people in crappy jobs. Money, the feeling of security, and health insurance are probably the biggest attractions, especially if you have a family. We all have different responsibilities to consider.
If you’re unhappy with your career, it can be hard to leave after you’ve invested so much time. You must free yourself from this thought.
Don’t invest more time into something that’s not serving you.
Start forming a plan to find a new job, and make smart decisions.
Know how much you need in your savings to take a leap. The best time to look for a new job is when you already have one, so you can be picky. Find something better, with less bullshit, better pay, and more opportunities for growth.
Everyone’s career timeline is going to be different.
Between 2008-2017, I worked for three different companies in the Petrochemical industry. And I grew my salary from $27,500 to $150,000.
In 2011, I wrote Training Lab, a book about the Highland games, which discusses HVIII as a way to describe my own passion for self-improvement. I wrote my second book in 2012 and another in 2014.
In October of 2014, I sold HVIII Brand Good's first shirt. As monumental as this was, I didn’t actually start making money from this until 2016.
When I was fired from my other job, I decided to take a swing at growing HVIII Brand Good, and owning it has been the most demanding job I’ve ever had.
I’m a one-man show on the conceptual creative side. So if I don’t think of new ideas, we’ll have nothing to sell. I’m expanding my team, but this also comes with more overhead (shouts to our employee of the month).
One of my major challenges is striking the balance between doing everything myself and hiring people to grow our business capabilities (not sure how much Doug is helping).
I don’t want to do anything else. I’m investing in me and my talents. Even though running my own business can be extremely difficult, I believe in ME.
I spent decades as an athlete preparing and performing. The courage to do my own thing stems from the self-confidence that I can outwork and out suffer most people. I believe in my ability to create concepts and reach people with them.
And I'm not afraid of failure. The more I fail and fuck things up, the better I am at seeing it coming sooner. I know when to pivot before there’s a disaster.
I built my business based on what I love. I’m not chasing the dollar. I’m chasing making and doing rad shit that I love, and I hope you do as well.
Finding the courage to leave the comfort of your current work situation is tough, and you’ll likely face a harder road for quite some time.
Are you willing to roll the dice on something great for you?
If you have a passion, but you're not ready to explore its business potential, do it in your free time. If it matters to you enough, you'll figure it out.
Give it room to grow without demanding it to immediately produce fruit.
This way of life has been incredible, and I'm happy for anyone who finds success. Entrepreneurship is not just smart business decisions and always holding yourself accountable, there’s some magic involved, too. Even then, it’s still a huge risk.
If this adventure is something you want in your life, strap in and go for it. Understand that if you don’t give it your full attention, it will not work. Don’t go in thinking it’s a part-time thing.
“I’d rather work 80hrs a week for me than 40 for someone else’s dreams."