Chris A. Hughes at A Nerd’s World, 986 Bathurst Street in front of the vintage camera wall.
I write blogs on an educational and personal level. The following story opens up about my life and how my experience may be of help to you and your dreams of starting a small business. On a recent family dinner, one family member looked me in the eyes and told me that “I was lucky.” As innocent as those three words seem, I have heard it many times by other individuals who do not understand the time and work that I have devoted to be where I am today. I was never a great student in school. I was destined for a 9 to 5 job and the convenience of a schedule that majority of the people live day-to-day. I have been self-employed for the last 15 years, living and mastering each business that I put my mind to. Success comes with determination, hard work, sleepless nights, and sacrifices. There were many nights that I didn’t get to go home because I was out with a backpack full of flyers and a staple gun promoting my business. I’ve missed my children’s birthday parties when my weekends were devoted to completing client projects on a tight deadline. I slept on a canvas portable bed and sleeping bag in the basement of my store for the first 6 months of opening A Nerd’s World until the business became profitable. The reason we are successful is because I do everything that I possibly can to make sure that it does not fail.
The first day we took position of our Flagship Store at 986 Bathurst Street, April 2012.
Four years ago, my wife and I drove north on Bathurst Street and I noticed a “For Lease” sign on the window of a beautiful storefront to the left of me. We had no business plans or ideas for the store but I had butterflies in my stomach that night and we signed the lease the next day. Mark Cuban once said, “only morons start a business on a loan.” Every penny that has been put into the business has been from my pocket. Unlike most people who require a business plan years in advance, I took the risk and built something out of nothing. Being a self-financed business, I don’t have a moment to rest and I devote all of my time to A Nerd’s World. On the other hand, you have many start-up businesses with 100% of their capital from large investment firms that are playing golf on the weekend. Till this day, I still spend sleepless nights and weekends at the shop studying our online stats, coming up with new ideas, and building new SEO strategies. My dedication and work ethic is unparalleled. If you believe you will be “getting rich quick” within the first 6 months of starting your small business, you may have to reconsider your expectations because there’s no such thing as an overnight success.
Chris A. Hughes