Starting My First (Successful) Business
Did you notice how the title has successful in parenthesis? This was not a mistake but deliberately placed there because I am about to share with you my first successful venture. Like most entrepreneurs, I have many ideas that never launch or gain little momentum without ever really taking off. My first successful company, Grand Apps, was the first company I helped launch and scale over five years. We grew from $14,000 in sales the first year to over $1 million in sales during this short time.
(Note, I’m not bragging…but I had to give you reason why I can give you valued advice here) I hope my story is found inspiring to help other like-minded people grab some of their very own success.
My name is Chris Ake and I am one of four partners at Grand Apps.
We build mobile apps for businesses and also offer web design and social media marketing. I helped launch this company during my very last semester during university. I was going to school full time, finishing my degree, working 30+hours on the weekend and trying to start this company in my “free time”. I graduated and decided that I was willing to take a risk to start something from nothing instead of taking that tempting reward of what some people call a “job” or career. I turned down many offers and kept my focus on Grand Apps.
It was not easy my friends, seriously. I was still working those 30 hours on the weekend only making $250 per week. This was in 2011, so we are talking very recently. $250 per week gets you nothing. I was so broke I was behind every week and asking friends and family to float me rent money or food money. I remember I had no money for three days for food and had to scrape my car floor for quarters so I could get some fast food. Bottom line was I was struggling every single day and trying to remain positive that my idea would work. On a side note, I had no experience running a company because I have only had ideas before and never fully executed. Many entrepreneurs go through this stage and you often ask yourself if it’s even worth it. Trust me, I get it.
Well I’m here to stand as living testament that it is worth it. Money is not the end all be all. Money is nice, but what is nicer is living on your terms. The gift of the ability to decide what to do with your time is the best gift anyone could ever have, and I have it. So if you need to live broke for three years in order to reach your goals, do it. Below are some quick tips I will give you that you can apply RIGHT NOW to help you get to where I’m at.
Focus, Focus & Focus
I did not have this when I first started. I often focused on many different things at a time like running Grand Apps, trying to run an MLM and many other ideas. My advice is pick one business to focus on 100 percent and scale that. When you start making more money and freeing up time, then just maybe you can look at other areas of growth. But for the short time, focus on growing that one thing as big and fast as possible with laser focus.
When I say don’t listen, I am saying don’t listen to the negative people. To be honest, even your mom and dad will be negative. I remember my parents didn’t understand mobile apps or what I was doing and my dad offered me advice to join the Navy or get another job. You will also face many people close to you that will be negative as well. Friends will make fun of you or shoot down your ideas, but who cares. Don’t listen to them. Focus on your idea. Crush the business idea. Execute your success.
Okay so now you are fully focused on crushing your goals and you are ignoring everything else. Your next step is to just hustle your face off. If it’s 6pm on a Friday and you’re at the bar with your friend, you are not working hard enough. I never went out during my startup phase, period. I would be working on whatever needed to be done at that moment. Hustle now, have fun later. If you are not willing to hustle this hard, you might not be cut from the entrepreneur cloth to be honest.
More To Come
Thank you for reading this article. This was a basic intro to myself & some quick tips how I started. I will be writing more deep content with how to’s and answering any questions you have. If you do have questions for me, just use the tag #AskChrisAke on Twitter and I will get to you.
Thank you for the support & look forward to helping you crush it in life.