A little over a year ago, I wrote this post announcing that I was going to spend the next year trying to start a company. I assumed if I could find work that I truly loved, I would be passionate about the work, which would in turn help me be successful. I tried really hard to sound upbeat and confident when I wrote this post; the reality, though, was that I was scared out of my mind.
Initially, my plan was to launch three different products on Kickstarter within one year to see if I could turn one of them into a company. Once I got into planning and executing the first Kickstarter, I found that it would be really difficult to launch two products in a year and almost impossible to launch three. So, I settled for one campaign, the Modern Day Briefcase. When I launched the campaign, the first couple days were rough, and I worried we weren’t going to fund. (You can read about how I was able to turn around my Kickstarter campaign here.) In the end, I sold over $240,000 in bags during March & April. And, after living on a dream for eight months, I had the beginnings of a company.
But the real work began after the Kickstarter ended. Because of my past experience as a director of operations, I felt confident with the production of the bags. But what about furthering my brand? What about marketing? How was I going to keep doing all of this on my own? There wasn’t enough time in the day. I spent a good month spinning my wheels before I realized I needed help. So, I hired a marketing expert and a designer part-time. Things have been running much more smoothly, and it’s almost time to launch another product!
This past year has been filled with so many highs and lows. Several times I have been backed into a corner, and failure seemed imminent. Somehow, I’ve been able to come up with creative solutions for each problem. I am convinced that hunger and fear inspire my creativity and problem solving skills better than anything else. With all the highs and lows from this last year, it has been stressful and difficult, but one of the most rewarding years of my life. I can’t wait to see what happens this next year (below is one of them).