David Brim on business, marketing & life.

11 Sizzling Success Lessons from the Founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse (BBQ)

Contributor: David Brim September 25, 2014

The UCF LaunchPad always seems to have something cookin! Yesterday I was on campus for a lunch meeting and happened to walk through the Student Union. I decided to stop by the UCF LaunchPad, a center championing entrepreneurship on campus, to say hello and am glad I did.

I was informed that John Rivers, the founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse (AKA – The best BBQ you will ever eat!!!), was speaking in a few minutes. I decided to attend.

4Rivers-John RiversJohn Rivers is quite a remarkable man. He has a strong presence, yet is very approachable and down to earth. He communicates very well and connected with the audience by sharing many personal anecdotes along with words of wisdom that he learned throughout his journey. His charisma, faith, sincerity and passion were very apparent.

I found his talk to be very inspiring and meaningful. This being the case I thought I’d share a recap on my blog so that others who were not able to attend could find value from it as well.

With that said…Here are the 11 sizzling success lessons I learned from John Rivers, the founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse.

  1. Put yourself in a position to learn the business you want to be a part of
  2. When John was younger he wanted to be a cook, but didn’t actually become one at a restaurant until he opened his own. However, throughout his life John invested significant time into learning the restaurant business. He held many positions in the restaurant industry including doorman, bar tender, bus boy, dishwasher, etc. By working in these various positions he was able to see many aspects of the restaurant industry. John took a break from the restaurant industry and worked his way up to become a CEO of a major healthcare company. All the while he never lost his passion for restaurants. When he traveled to new areas for healthcare meetings, or other business travel, he would have his personal assistance arrange times for him to visit BBQ spots in the area they were visiting. After visiting each BBQ spot he he would note what he liked and did not like about each. This gave John in depth knowledge about BBQ and helped him create a solid foundation for 4 Rivers.

  3. If you can’t do something you’re passionate about…inject passion into what you’re doing.
  4. John Rivers - LaunchPadJohn shared a story with us about a time when he worked in a restaurant. John wanted to be a cook, but after the manager hired him he was assigned to washing dishes. John had a choice. He could be discouraged, or up-set, or make the most out of the situation. He told himself “If I cannot do something I am passionate about…I can inject passion into what I am doing.” He decided to create a small tiki hut around his assigned dishwashing area. He brought in a tape player and began playing upbeat music. More and more employees began engaging wish John and he indicated that the morale improved substantially. He then began to time himself to see how fast he could wash dishes – essentially creating a game, which causes his dishwashing experience to be more enjoyable.

    What a great story!

    John was able to change a situation he was not pleased with into a positive one by shifting his perception, thoughts, attitude, surroundings and actions. Consequently he had a better time working, positively influenced others and improved team productivity and morale.

  5. Follow your dreams…no matter how late in your life it may be
  6. One day, when John was a CEO of the major healthcare company, he found himself sharing his dissatisfaction about his job to a friend. John mentioned that throughout his management career he frequently coached his employees to do what they love, or find something else to do. Once John realized that he was no longer doing something he loved he knew that it was time to do something else. After he retired from the healthcare company he began focusing more on his dream cooking BBQ and sharing it with the world.

    He mentioned that some said “The last 20 years kept you away from your dream.”…He responded by saying “The last 20 years prepared me for my dream.”

  7. Don’t set out to accomplish a plan, but a purpose.
  8. John indicated that business plans written in stone rarely are executed successfully. Many variables arise that cause entrepreneurs to adjust their plan to meet unforeseen circumstances or opportunities. This being the case he indicated that rather than focusing on the plan…it is much better to focus on the purpose. Plans can be beneficial, but be sure to hold your purpose close to you, listen to your gut and follow your heart.

  9. Share your gifts with the world and your community
  10. One thing that I didn’t know about 4 Rivers is that their BBQ was initially never meant to be a business. John began cooking BBQ out of his garage as a fundraiser for those in need. He went on to start John’s Ministry and would donate his BBQ to help raise money for causes and distressed individuals.

    After starting his business he had a very large following from all those he had touched and made a positive impression on over the years.

    Today donations and giving back is still a cornerstone of their business and culture. This is clearly evident in their mission statement that appears on their corporate website:

    4 Rivers Mission

    To use our God-given gifts to support the local community, schools and charity organizations by building a business that distinguishes the 4 Rivers brand on the foundation of exceptional products, customer appreciation and uncompromised honesty, integrity and respect.

    We hope you enjoy our products as much as our friends and family do. More importantly, we hope you consider joining us in support of the multitude of wonderful, important charitable organizations we support.

    Source: 4 Rivers website

    John indicated that they have donated to over 467 organizations. Rather than invest money in advertising this charitable giving produces substantial awareness and goodwill that helps fuel the continued growth of 4 Rivers.

  11. Trust your Gut
  12. When John decided to launch the first 4 Rivers restaurant in Winter Park everyone told him that opening a BBQ spot in that location was a bad idea. Nevertheless John followed his gut and continued. He mentioned that if he would have known all of the hardships he would have faced he likely would not have started it in the first place. He referenced a concept Steve Jobs shared and indicated that it is easy to connect the dots looking back, but difficult to connect them looking forward. Because of this it is important to trust your gut.

    John trusted his gut even in the toughest of times and encouraged us to do the same.

  13. Keep your faith even during the toughest of times
  14. This suggestion goes along with the previous one. When John decided to take the leap of faith and open the first 4 Rivers store in Winter Park, Fl he faced some difficult challenges. He initially budgeted $188k budget for first store, but the project went significantly over budget. After investing nearly $500k and having only a few months of funds left in their personal bank account the contractor John had hired went out of business. Yikes!!!

    At the same time John was offered a big job as the CEO of a newly founded healthcare company that included a very large compensation package. John spoke with his wife and she supported whatever decision he made. Something inside John told him not to take the job and continue following his dream with faith.

    John soon was connected with a contractor who helped him complete the construction of 4 Rivers. John was now in business!

    By the way..The big healthcare company that offered John the CEO job soon went out of business.

  15. Know how to handle business growth

    John brought up the concept of being able to manage company growth (cash, resources, capacity, etc). He mentioned that it is very much like stretching a rubber band as far as it will go without breaking. Just before you hit the breaking point you then invest in a larger rubber band and repeat the process. I can relate to these entrepreneurial growing pains and wrote about them in a previous post. I like his analogy of a rubber band and thought that it illustrated his point very well.

    He went on to explain that he has a philosophy of strategically choosing the order and locations of his smokehouses. He imagines a series of rings around stores – I’ll call refer to them as Brand Awareness rings. He explained it by mentioning that the rings closest to a given store have the darkest rings (most brand awareness). As the brand awareness rings go away further from the store they get lighter and lighter. He tries to open locations that touch the far edges of his brand awareness ring. Each time a new store is opened he begins drawing a new conceptual brand awareness ring and starts over. With this strategy in mind he can leverage the momentum and brand awareness that he has gained in surrounding areas. Based on this strategy he will not jump ahead and open a store in New York or Las Angeles prematurely because the costs of increasing brand awareness and gaining support in those alienated areas would be substantially higher than following his focused roll-out plan.

  16. Invest a little…learn a lot.
  17. This suggestion made by John falls very much in line with lean start up principles and business model canvas. Don’t throw a large amount of resources behind a project without testing it first. This may sound contradictory with the suggestion of following your gut, but there is a difference between being naive and being smart by testing the viability of your concept before investing heavily into it. It is best to invest a little, and learn a lot…then proceed accordingly.

  18. Have a Great Product
  19. John didn’t spend too much time talking about his product, but from personal experience…it speaks for itself! Their BBQ is the best I’ve tasted. 4 Rivers has extremely high quality food and that commitment to quality starts from the top. I remember the first 4 Rivers location had a line around the building. The lines were similar to those at an amusement park. John mentioned that they go through 15,000 lbs of Brisket per week per store. Roughly 1.7m lbs per year of delicious, yummy brisket. (Sorry if I offended any Vegetarians!)

    4 Rivers line

  20. Don’t fear mistakes…learn from them
  21. John mentioned “We celebrate mistakes at four rivers…we learn from them.” He explained that everyone makes mistakes, but it is essential to learn quickly and grow from those mistakes.

I enjoyed listening to John Rivers and hope that you found as much value from his success tips as I did. 4 Rivers was founded in 2009 and has quickly exploded into one of the fastest growing restaurants in Central Florida. They just signed a lease for their ninth location! I wish John and his team at 4 Rivers much continued success!

Looking to build a start-up? The Business Model Canvas can help

Contributor: David Brim February 26, 2014

This past Friday (2/21/14) I was a judge in UCF’s business model competition. I’ve judged multiple business plan competitions in the past, but the business model competition was very different. Rather than focus on the business opportunity, the unique offering, team and likelihood for success; the business model competition focuses on the journey that the entrepreneur has been through to arrive at their current state.

UCF Business Model Competition Judges

UCF Business Model Competition Judges

The business model competition is based on lean start-up principles. The belief is that a start-up is in continual exploration to uncover a scalable  business model.

Most successful start-ups don’t end up doing exactly what they had planned initially. There are many lessons that start-up entrepreneurs go through along their journey. As a result of these lessons a series of pivots, or course adjustments, are made by the entrepreneur to help their startup better adapt to their respective environment (or find a new environment that fits them best).

Developing a full business plan can take substantial amounts of time and in the end may be invalidated once you actually get into the market and learn.

The business model canvas is used to help start-ups consider the major aspects that comprise their proposed venture and business model.

I’ve added a copy of the business model canvas below:

After proposing an initial business model you should then develop key assumptions to test before investing substantial amounts of time and money in a venture. I’ll give a personal example.

Background for example: Several months back my start-up Bright Impact, a solution for assessing the impact of service learning programs in higher-ed, was approached by an NBA team. They desired to track their corporate social responsibility impact through our tool.

I didn’t want to immediately customize our software for that sports team because we would be going into a completely different market, become distracted from current objectives and potentially stray away from our brand positioning. At the same time I didn’t want to ignore a big potential opportunity if our product could solve a large need that another market had.

I decided to create a test to validate my assumption.

My assumption: Large corporations, including professional sports team, could benefit and would pay for Bright Impact to assess their CSR activities.

My test: I arranged a meeting with CSR decision makers at Universal, Disney and the Orlando Magic and held a focus group. During the focus group I presented mock-up designs of what Bright Impact would look like when customized for them.  I then presented a survey and had each of the decision makers answer the survey individually then we discussed the answers together as a group.

Results: After the meeting I realized that this market was not the best to pursue at this time. Rather than be discouraged I was very thankful for the opportunity to save myself and company a lot of time and money. One indicated that they already had developed proprietary ways and software to collect this data. Another mentioned that their CSR reporting has become less important in recent years. The final one mentioned that it took over a year to just approve a new niche Facebook page and the sales cycle for selling this type of solution would likely be very long.

As entrepreneurs it is easy for us to have a vision and believe that the world should conform and change to be exactly what we envision. It is important to truly understand the markets that you are seeking to sell into and the pain you are looking to solve.

In our case one professional sports team reached out to us, but that doesn’t mean the whole market has this pain and would be willing to pay for the solution.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur or an intrapreneur (entrepreneurial employee within a corporation) it is important to understand how to construct potential business models, develop assumptions and test those assumptions before investing time and resources into building something you think a market will want.

It is a lot easier up front to just build it and think customers (and cash) will come…but the world doesn’t work that way.

If you utilize the business model canvas then develop assumptions and tests you are a lot more likely to make better decisions. Though you may experience entrepreneurial growing pains early on, it will save you a lot of pain and frustration in the long run.

I think it is great that UCF has introduced this new competition. Utilizing the business model canvas and lean start-up methods is a great skill for any entrepreneurs to learn. This year’s judges were Robin Phelps (Business Consultant and previous tech entrepreneur), Doug White (Founder and Marketing specialist at Dream Tree Agency), Christine Ortiz (Ed reform enthusiast and founder of Founder & CEO at [ ]schools) and myself.

This year’s winner of the UCF business model competition was Oluwafunlola Falade, who passionately explained his journey and love / hate relationship with the business model canvas. Congrats Falade!

Falade UCF business model competition

Pam Hoelzle, Oluwafunlola Falade (UCF Business Model Competition winner) and Cameron Ford

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy the post I shared a few weeks back: The business plan template that helped me to win over $18,500.

2014 UCF Business Hall of Fame Induction Event

Contributor: David Brim February 7, 2014

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the  fifteenth annual UCF Business Hall of Fame Induction event.  The event had a “Roaring twenties” theme and having attended the event the last several years… I must say that this Hall of Fame induction event topped them all!

The event was held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The crowd was filled with prominent business leaders, University of Central Florida faculty, and past Hall of Fame Inductees. The energy in the room was fantastic and everyone was having a blast! With the  combination of the great venue, people, music, food and drinks – how could you not?

David Brim - UCF Business hall of fame

Check out this sweet 20’s antique ride that was at the event!

The food was fantastic! I enjoyed the “Roaring buffet” filled with salmon, grilled fillet of beef, sauteed chicken and plenty of fruits and veges.

UCF Dean Paul Jarley gave a powerful speech about hope and culture. One meaningful message that I found encouraging was the desire of the University to create future employers, not just employees, by spreading the entrepreneurial culture across campus. Dean Jarley indicated that education should not be just about knowledge, but also about action. The culture that he and other across UCF’s campus are creating is empowering future entrepreneurs to unleash their ideas and ventures into the community. It is very exciting! UCF has been very good to me and my entrepreneurial career and it is wonderful to see that even more resources and energy are being allocated to champion the entrepreneurial initiatives on and off campus. Dean Jarley went on to give shout outs to many people helping to develop this enriching culture including two of my favorite UCF peeps – Cameron Ford and Pam Hoelzle who are heading up the UCF Blackstone Launch Pad on campus. I’ve had an opportunity to speak at UCF’s LaunchPad multiple times and the energy and value coming out of the center is incredible!

After the speach by Jarley it was time for the inductions to this years UCF Business Hall of Fame.

This years inductees included:

UCF Business Hall of Fame

The Mayor of the City of Winter Park: The Honorable Kenneth W. Bradley (Class of ’85) 

The Honorable Kenneth W. Bradley is serving his second term as Mayor of Winter Park, Fla. He was elected in March 2009 and re-elected on January 31, 2012, with almost 72 percent of the vote.

Mayor Bradley is also the Campus CEO of Winter Park Memorial Hospital, a 307-bed Florida Hospital. He has more than 26 years of central Florida healthcare experience including Campus CEO (and COO) Florida Hospital Kissimmee and COO of Florida Hospital’s Celebration Health. His professional roots are in human resources management.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tavistock Financial Corporation: Mr. Rasesh H. Thakkar (Class of ’84)

Mr. Rasesh Thakkar, serves as Chief Executive Officer of Tavistock Financial Corporation. He is a Managing Director and Director of Tavistock Group. Mr. Thakkar’s areas of experience ranges across industries life sciences, financial services, real estate, leisure services and retailing on three different continents and corporate finance and structures, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and operations and executive management.

I had a fantastic time and look forward to attending future UCF College of Business events….Hopefully one day, my own UCF Business Hall of Fame induction 🙂

Knitro’s got my back!

UCF Knitro and David Brim

If you ever get the chance to attend a UCF Business Hall of Fame induction event I highly suggest you do! You won’t regret it. I’ll plan on adding some additional pictures from the event down the line in this post if I receive them.

$1.4 Million dollar award helps Entrepreneurial LaunchPad take off at UCF

Contributor: David Brim March 11, 2013

Seven years ago I took a leap of faith and transferred to UCF with the goal of getting my degree and starting my own business.

I often get asked…Why UCF?

Why not just stay in Pittsburgh, finish school and start a business there?

Well, something told me to go to UCF…maybe it was because I heard that UCF “Stands for Opportunity”, or that I perceived Orlando to be a place for dreamers.  Ditching the snow for Florida sunshine didn’t hurt either!

Regardless of what it was, I made that leap of faith and moved to Florida with the goal of starting my company.  Leaving my comfort zone, family, friends and girlfriend (now wife) to move 15 hours away where I knew nobody was a risk, but something inside me told me that this was right.

This was one the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

I jumped and UCF caught me.

There are many reasons why College is a great place to become an entrepreneur, but UCF’s commitment and dedication to entrepreneurship, innovation and partnerships separates it from the pack.

UCF has many different programs available to assist entrepreneurs and companies of all stages.  I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand how UCF’s entrepreneurial programs can help a company grow.  Today was an exciting day as UCF announced another initiative to assist young entrepreneurs…The Blackstone LaunchPad.

Jim Atchinson - presendent of seaworld parks

Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and a UCF Board of Trustees member, said he would have been the first to sign up for the new Blackstone LaunchPad initiative if UCF had offered the program when he was a student.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation awarded UCF with $1.4M to open the UCF Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship advising office in the student union.

When we have students serious about entrepreneurship as a career path, we want to do everything we possibly can to help them be successful,” said Cameron Ford, an associate professor of management who will lead the Blackstone LaunchPad initiative.

I attended the event today and had a blast.

Speakers included:

  • Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman/co-Founder of Blackstone
  • Senator Marco Rubio
  • UCF President John Hitt
  • UM President Donna Shalala
  • CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Jim Atchison

The event was very exciting!   You could feel the entrepreneurial energy and enthusiasm in the air.

As a UCF alum I was very pleased with this announcement.  Individuals with an idea coupled with the passion and resourcefulness to bring that idea into existence are those that will create wealth and jobs in our region.  The challenge is that students rarely have the business experience, contacts or insight to bring their idea from a concept to a viable business.   The Blackstone LaunchPad will give them this and so much more.  I’m proud to be a UCF Knight and look forward to seeing how this wonderful initiative progresses.

 

 

Warning: Build your personal brand now, or you’ll regret it later

Contributor: David Brim March 6, 2011

February 17th I spoke at the University of Central Florida for their “Entrepreneurial Speaker Series” in front of an audience of 50-60 ambitious business students.  The topic was on marketing strategies for entrepreneurs….I decided to take a slightly different direction to help students from falling into a very common trap that can severely injure or even kill a professional career or start up’s chance of success.

The information I shared with the students I spoke with is relevant for many of my readers and others out there.  With that being said I thought I’d share it here as well.

First off a small back story to put everything in context…

Over the last six months or so I’ve given probably five different speeches/presentations, primarily to start-ups and second stage companies.  This actually included a talk at the Florida Technology Partnership event in Ft. Myers two days prior to my talk at UCF.  As I was in my hotel room in Ft Myers, after my speech to a group of CEOs and marketing executives, I had a thought….I’ve given essentially the same presentation the last five times or so that I’ve talked focused on marketing strategy, SEO, Social Media and branding.  Though this presentation was good I realized this information and delivery is perfect for those who already have companies and are trying to grow them, but will it add the same value to motivated college students.  Many of these college students aspire to be an entrepreneur, but don’t have a venture in mind let alone a product or service to market now.

What should I do…Should I give the same presentation or craft a new one.  My talk was scheduled for 1 hour and I altruistically always want to make sure my audience gets the most from my experiences and insight.

Unsure of how to approach it, especially with a  day and a half to go and lots of work to do at Brand Advance the next day…I decided to sleep on it and plan my attack on my drive back to Orlando from Ft. Myers (about 3-4 hours).

I started to go through a simple marketing exercise that I take my clients through at Brand Advance and thought about who I was trying to reach and influence….what are their problems, motivations, experiences, etc.  What can I offer to impact them the most and add the highest value.

In the case of students, learning new marketing tactics to grow brand awareness of a business isn’t as important and essential as learning how to market themselves…after all you are the only product you will have for the rest of your life.  If you can perfect marketing and building your personal brand through the process you will learn and understand how to market other brands as well.   Building brand you will continue to pay dividends and attract great opportunities into your life.

Personal branding is more important today than ever before.  Unemployment is extremely high, more people are graduating and more people are getting laid off from their jobs.

What does this mean?


It means that you have more competition for both obtaining a job, and growing your entrepreneurial ventures. What causes you to stand out and land that good job, find investment funding, gain experienced mentors, or align yourself with those who will be energized to work on your start up?

It’s your personal brand- made up of your credibility, past achievements, experiences, the way you carry yourself, who you associate with, and the knowledge you have in your respective field.

Here’s how I foresee many falling into the trap…

  1. A student graduates excited to get a job in their field
  2. Realize that unemployment is extremely high and get a job in an un-related field to pay the bills until they can find a better job, or launch their start-up.
  3. They end up working in that unrelated job for years, not building experiences and credibility in their respective field and not keeping educated on new trends and industry knowledge.
  4. When the market turns around in a few years an employer is going to hire either a fresh college grad that they can mold, or hire someone who was laid off in the field with industry specific experience.
  5. The college student working in an unrelated field to pay the bills will be stuck in a weird spot…they won’t have enough industry specific knowledge to get a relevant job or launch a viable start-up that solves a market need.
  6. They then are at a time to move on in their life and get married and have a kid at some point making it even harder to close the gap as others who get on the inside track in an industry so to speak.

So the question becomes….How do you solve this and avoid the trap?

Here’s my thoughts…

  1. Get Educated…I’m not talking about a school education, though in some fields like medical and education this is essential.  I’m talking about keeping up with industry trends and learning how others in your field are staying on top of their game.  School is great at teaching you how to learn or the basic fundamentals in a given area.  Truth be told many of the trends that can really help you can’t be taught in school because the teachers are too busy teaching older text book lessons to keep up with them.  Even if they did teach you something innovative or forward thinking they are also teaching everyone else.  You need to learn more than other students in your classes….remember you are competing with students graduating at schools all across the country as well as those experienced industry professionals who have lost their jobs.
  2. Stand on the Shoulders of Giants / Get Connected…It’s essential to begin developing relationships with influencers in your respective field.  These influencers can connect you to other influencers and if you’ve built your personal brand, have credibility and deliver good results this can be a continual never ending process.  You can meet potential business partners, employers, investors and much more.  Also- those who are more experienced in an industry also will be able to see trends that you may not that can assist you in developing new ventures.  Building your network of mentors is also another very wise thing to do.  They will have a personal interest in seeing you succeed and will be able to connect you to others in their network to assist with your endeavors.
  3. Flex your expertise / Build your brand awareness:  Once you’ve found innovative trends and can begin constructing your own thoughts on various industry topics begin flexing your expertise by starting a blog utilizing wordpress.org or blogger.com.  I also recommend identifying top bloggers in your field and build a relationship with them by commenting on their blog or talking with them on twitter…If possible see if you can become a guest writer for their blog, which in many cases will have thousands of readers.  I also would suggest finding online groups and physical networking groups (ex: Linkedin, Google/Yahoo Groups & Meetup) to join as well as answering industry related questions in Q&A sites like yahoo answers.  Revealing your expertise through blogging and online networking will work wonders…I have gotten clients from my blog, job offers, new venture opportunities, media coverage and much more.
  4. Leverage your successes: Often times people will achieve something that can differentiate them from their competitors, but will not put it out there.  It’s not bragging, it’s establishing credibility and showing your value.  Create an achievements page, it’s essentially an interactive resume.  It’s much more powerful than a regular resume because it can go more in depth, show pictures and even link off to other pages where you elaborate.
  5. Control your brand online or someone else will:  You ideally should want to own the page when someone types your name into Google with content that you want them to see.  Employers will search for you, potential business partners, customers, investors and many more.  This is a huge part of building your brand online.  You want it to be easy for others to find you and when they do you want their findings to represent how you want your brand to be perceived.Purchase your own domain name if you can get it, or some sort of variation.  This can be done at godaddy.com.  Get a wordpress blog up, which should take about 10 mins or so and start blogging!  Also be sure to watch what you post on Facebook as well as what others post.  Know your brand and what you are trying to convey and don’t do anything contradictory to that because it may end up online.  Everyone has smart phones with cameras and video recorders these days…Your slip could be the next viral sensation and really damage your brand.
  6. Launch a start up:  Once you’ve taken time to build your personal brand you should have connections and an understanding of trends occurring in the market place.  In my mind at this point it’s not a bad thing to start planning and getting your start up concept in motion.   Even if you fall flat on your face you’ll learn.  Don’t get discouraged entrepreneurship can have a lot of ups and downs, but more potential risk…more potential reward.  Note:  I would never recommend running up your credit cards and sinking all your money into a startup.  This kind of financial strain is never really a good idea unless you have some strong proof of concept.  Best case scenario….Your start up will be a success and you’ll create a job for yourself or better yet an asset that will make you millions.  At a minimum you can equip yourself with something to differentiate yourself from others in a job interview.  Working on a pet project and showing potential and traction is in my eyes much more impressive than a coffee grabbing internship, unrelated job, or high gpa.  It shows that you are a self starter, are resourceful, disciplined and can add the same value to another organization as well.By the way colleges are a great place to launch a business for a large variety of reasons.

Anyway I just looked at the clock and it’s 3:48 am…time flies when your in the zone.  Another thought on that note…be prepared to work long hours at times.  Launching a start up and building a personal brand, especially when working another job takes a lot of hours.  Don’t let your health suffer, but be prepared to put the time in.  It will eventually pay off.

Remember:  If it was easy everyone would be doing it!

I hope this post helped.  If you please share it with others in your network via Facebook, Twitter, Digg, delicious or Stumble Upon.

Good luck on your journey to success and watch out for the trap!

Let me know what you thought about the post in the comments below.

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