Can we do this? What makes us think we will be successful? Success seems to avoid me. These are thoughts that run through my head constantly every time I get the urge to try to create my own business. For the past 30 years, I have worked in the insurance industry, sold real estate, created my own investigation company, been an Uber driver, a professional photographer and a Director of Operations for a professional boxing and MMA company. I have had one real desire and that was to create designs that others appreciated, enjoyed, and most of all, purchased.
Almost immediately after I graduated college, my dad noticed I had difficulty in being told what to do. Frequently I would find myself telling my employers what they could do, then packing up my stuff and moving onto the next open door. But deep down, I really knew I did not want to be part of a world in which I worked 35 years and then the day after I retired I was replaced by a new name and face, as if I never existed beyond pushing paper and listening to people complain about all that was wrong in their world.
It was that decision that brought me to create my own investigation company and then venture into professional photography. I loved that my success or failure was completely on my shoulders and no one else had control over my destiny. That is until your number one client closes shop and your remaining clients can’t make up for that loss.
I have used my photography from the past 18 years for stock photography, prints, cards, canvas art, and even coasters. Having someone see your work and purchase it gives the artist a feeling of validation. The stock agency that hosts my images has sold my images over 12,500 in the past seven years. I feel as though my photography is on a world stage because of the Internet. While I never know who has downloaded my images, I am sure that a good number of those images have been purchased by people all over the world, which to a guy from the little town of Narragansett, Rhode Island, is pretty cool.
But I am not satisfied with that and have decided I wanted to venture into a new realm that will test my talents and abilities in design, as well as today’s technology. I wanted to create my very first, and hopefully many, online clothing and accessories stores.
This is a journey I will take with two partners, the first being my wife who helped pick the niche, and the second is you, the reader, who will have a chance to watch us as we embark on this journey to see if we can master an online store and make it profitable. This invitation to you is to show you that if we can make this venture successful, then you can too.
We have a disadvantage compared to today’s millennials. I graduated college a year before the Internet went into public use. In my fraternity, only one person had a computer and to play a game you had to type in your moves. The campus had only one computer science building and it had a total of 13 computers. Young entrepreneurs today have had the benefit of being around computers and exposure to forms of coding since kindergarten. Never the less, I know if you don’t adapt with the times, you will get left behind.
I hope you will follow us on this journey and contact us with questions you may have. Most of all, if you have that desire to be your own boss, you can follow our lead, see the good things we do and the mistakes that we make and learn from them. The next installment will give details on choosing a hosting platform and selecting a niche to build your business around.
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