I’ve thought about this post alot the past 6 months or so. What was it going to feel like to write it? How was I going to explain my thoughts on my career and my future? Well, despite having alot of time to think about this post, it has not written itself so here we go….
As of today at 5 pm, I will no longer be a member of the corporate working world. I am striking out on my own as an entrepreneur. I’m leaving behind a steady paycheck that gets automatically deposited in my checking account every 2 weeks, health care benefits, steady hours of 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, 2 weeks paid vacation, sick days, and the rest that comes with a standard job. What I’m moving towards is unsteady income that has no limits to what it can reach, long hours filled with to do lists and activities determined by myself, and being my own boss.
Growing up, I always recognized the hard work and determination my parents put towards their careers as attorneys (and still do). I knew they were different parents since they set their own vacation schedule, worked on the weekends even though a boss wasn’t telling them they had to and loved to talk about their work at home and have healthy debates about the law and tax system.
As I went through high school and entered college, debating my options of which major to pursue, in the back of my mind, there was always this thought that I wanted to have my own business, to be my own boss. When you’re 17, 18 years old though you think, how is that possible? I must have to work for 20 years before I can be my own boss and learn whatever it is I have to learn! Well, I changed my major three times throughout college, even without falling behind some how and fell in love with sports management and event planning (Started with athletic training, went to exercise/sport science and graduated in Leisure and Sport Management).
Although I had several good internships during my college and post college years, there was the nagging feeling that wouldn’t leave me alone, one that whispered to me that I wasn’t going to be totally satisfied in my career and life until I set out on my own and tried things my way. Of course, I enjoyed being a member of various teams and pursuing goals together. I have learned a tremendous amount at each place I have been employed and will forever carry those lessons with me.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel when it comes to how things get done and why things are done the way they are done. I ask the question “why” alot which I have learned is something a lot of people don’t like to be asked and often times its simply because they just don’t know. Well, this innate characteristic of mine has always lead me down a different path than my peers. Although when I was younger, being different wasn’t necessarily the best thing, now I completely embrace this and cherish it.
It took me a long time to mentally accept the fact that although I am just 27 years old, I do have the tools, resources, and capability to run my own business. For 26 years I didn’t know what that business was going to be but when I was driving home one morning after a workout last year, I realized that the nutrition that I was training and racing with wasn’t easy to find locally despite the area being a popular one for endurance sport athletes. Often times, I would go to a local bike store for one item and a running store for another and still have to go online to order something else, especially in a larger size.
When this idea hit, I got really excited and my mind wouldn’t stop with ideas the rest of the day. Of course, I had a full time job, training and social life to focus on as well so I shelved the idea as “maybe one day”. Without going into too much detail, I slowly started to realize last spring that I did have the entrepreneurial spirit within me and that I should do something with that spirit. My idea came back with renewed vengeance and consumed a lot of my thoughts. I knew that in order for an idea to be deemed worthy of being pursued, I needed to do some serious research, create a business plan and present it to my attorneys parents.
I did just that at the end of May 2012 and never looked back. The business plan has changed since then as all business plans inevitably do but only for the better. As the summer wore on, the idea of starting this business became more realistic as small goals were achieved and hurdles jumped over. There were logistics to coordinate and finances to figure out but in the end, the decision was made to move back to my hometown of Vero Beach, FL and open KickStart Endurance, a brick and mortar retail store and e-commerce business specializing in endurance sport nutrition and accessories.
This business is much more than a retail business, my plan is to grow it into a place where age group athletes of all sports, sizes, and ages can come to share goals, trials and tribulations, nutrition plans and ideas. I will expose my customers to new products and ways of doing things. KickStart Endurance is all about the age group athlete, the weekend warrior, who puts in long hours away from family and friends to better themselves and accomplish goals all for the sake of new experiences, growth and satisfying that inner urge to push harder and further.
Many of you who read this blog are endurance athletes and will most likely resonate with the last paragraph. I am so excited to serve such a great group of people as I have found the endurance athlete community is so welcoming and encouraging. KickStart Endurance is not only just a new business for myself but a new chapter in my life, one as an entrepreneur.
So here are the fun details! The website kickstartendurance.com is live right now though we are not selling product yet. We will start internet sales in December (fingers crossed) and open the retail store in January/February. Memphis is our ambassador and even will be modeling some doggy accessories for us! I’m looking forward to having him greet customers and be a part of the atmosphere.
Of course, with starting anything so new and taking such a risk in life, there is the inherent nervousness and anxiousness that comes with it all as well. There will be ups and downs, just like there already has been but I know at the end of the day, that everything will be ok as long as the hard work is put in.
I think its fitting that my last day is falling on Thanksgiving week. I have much to be thankful for especially my parents who without them, none of this would be possible. I am so thankful for the values that have been instilled in me by my parents, family, friends, and mentors. Throughout my life, my parents and family have been there for me no matter what so in return, I will make this business a success and do so in an ethical, conscience way.
I hope you will check out our website once we are fully stocked and loaded. In the mean time, if you are interested in being a part of our blog and answering some interview questions about your nutrition plan and training, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to share your story.
Thanks for reading and look out for more updates on KickStart Endurance…..KickStartIt!