Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. I didn’t get to this point overnight. It all started with my first A Nerd’s World store at 986 Bathurst St.
Even today, I can’t believe we have four stores. People close to me often ask me how I got here and how I managed to create and grow a successful business.
Here’s the real answer…
I’m addicted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle and I love what I do. Becoming an entrepreneur is scary, it takes a lot of risk, and sometimes you have to be willing to give up a comfortable lifestyle to achieve your dreams.
Overcoming the Negativity
When I first started, everyone I knew told me I was going to fail. You have to learn to ignore them and to pursue your dreams. Everyone you know will suddenly become an expert at business the moment you express the desire to make it on your own.
They know nothing.
If you believe in your idea, product, or service, there is only one way you can make it. You have to go for it.
For me, this involved putting on my blinders and ignoring practically everyone I knew. I create websites, logos, and provide design services. My family called me crazy when I told them I wanted to open a physical store to provide these services. They warned me about rent, utilities, and overhead.
I didn’t listen, for good reason…
Look, I didn’t just sign a lease without doing my research. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to be naive. You just have to trust in your research and decision-making skills.
I took the time to learn my industry and I learned that there was almost no customer service in the web design industry. All too often, I saw businesses get fleeced by web design firms that refused to stand by their products. I wanted to fix that and I saw the physical location as the best way to do that.
I proved them all wrong
It’s been 10 years and four stores since I made that decision. I’m still going, I’m still chasing the dream, and I love every second of it.
Focus on Growth
If you decide to live the entrepreneurial life, the only direction is forward. No matter how well you do, always keep investing in your business.
Don’t get fat and lazy. You want to show your customers that you are different and growth is one of the best ways to do that.
Entrepreneurship Is a Solo Mission
I started this all alone. Yes, you can partner with people, but partnerships can get messy. You want to be in control so that you can make the necessary decisions to run and grow your business.
Only you know yourself and what you are capable of. When building your business, exploit your strengths and hire other talented individuals to compliment your weaknesses.
Be prepared for long nights, be ready to eat a cup of ramen or two, and most importantly, be prepared to be told by everyone around you that you will fail. If you believe in your idea, stick with it, and persevere.
It’s All About You
Remember, it’s all about you.
If you want to make it as an entrepreneur, you have to:
Don’t listen to the naysayers, they will put you down and make you question everything. I believe it has a lot to do with jealousy. They never took their chance when they had it and they want to put you down for breaking the mold.
If I can do it, you can do it. Work hard.
There is no standard model when it comes to building a business. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
If you want to learn more about my journey and how I built A Nerd’s World into what it is today, check out my entrepreneurial vlogs.
Don’t give up.
Chris A. Hughes