This very week in 2018, I started my first business with Calvin Waddy. It was our college spring break, but while our Instagram feeds were full of friends on extravagant vacations, we were stuck at home, broke and bored. I remember us sitting in the living room of my college apartment, brainstorming what we could do to make some extra cash. We both had interest in startups, so we began looking into the idea of starting a business together. The first thing we did was go to Google and type in “how to make money online.”
Humble beginnings, I know.
We spent the next few hours reading articles and watching YouTube videos. When we felt we had a basic enough understanding of where to start, we decided on a game-plan, and by the end of that same day we had launched our very own retail store— shoutout to the ease and accessibility of Shopify! A few weeks later, Brandon joined our squad, and we were rockin’ and rollin’.
Less than 10 months later, that business had generated nearly half a million dollars in revenue and serviced 8,000 customers around the world.
Today— 2 years later— that business has spurred on multiple other successful online retail brands, a digital marketing agency, a 7-figure software development company, and the creation of our very own Shopify App (Buzzbassador). Not to mention all the life lessons and unforgettable memories we have gained from this journey.
This week, like many of you most likely, I am stuck at home once again due to the COVID-19 outbreak. How ironic is that full-circle moment? Because of this, during this 2-year anniversary of the launch of our entrepreneurship journey, I’ve been thinking back on that pivotal week. Here are a few takeaways I’ve found:
1. No matter what, make the most of your situation.
Being stuck at home, broke and/or bored is only bad if you let it be. Make the most of your situation. As much as we wanted to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves for missing out on the “normal things” that week, instead we channeled that energy into working on something that would actually benefit us. Right now, I’m encouraging you to do the same. Find something productive and enjoyable to channel your energy into. Need help figuring that out? See #2.
2. In today’s times, you can learn to do anything. (Yes, anything).
Boy, aren’t we blessed to have technology and the internet!? Two college kids with barely any experience were able to launch a 6-figure business from a few Google searches, and with very little capital, might I add. That just goes to show that you can do anything in 2020! You may have an online venture or project that you have always wanted to launch, but you just didn’t feel qualified enough. Or maybe you know you want to start something, but you just don’t know what it is yet. Good news: any and all of the knowledge, inspiration, and resources you could need is at your fingertips— literally (📱). If you’re just waiting on that extra push to get started, here it is.
3. Don’t take any moment for granted. Not even the lows.
Just because something doesn’t seem like a big “life milestone” in the moment, doesn’t mean it isn’t one. We could have never imagined that our random spring break venture would lead to what it did. In hindsight, that was the turning point of our careers. Without that “sucky” week, we would have never become full-time entrepreneurs with multiple profitable businesses, our own office, investors, and more at just 21, 22 and 24 years old. That just goes to show that you should never take any moment for granted. Amazing, life-changing things can come out of the lowest of times.
I hope this encourages you in some way. I hope if you’re reading this, you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. In no way am I trying to minimize the gravity of the situation at hand by comparing it to my boring college spring break – I just wanted to shed some light and attempted motivation in the world during this scary time.
Wash your hands. Stay home as much as you can. Work hard and spend your time and energy on things that make you better. Rest when you need to. Take care of yourself. Stay positive and stay grateful. We’ll get through this!
Written by Buzzbassador Co-Founder and CMO, Shelby Baldwin