Why an entrepreneur blog? I just had to autocorrect the spelling of the word, what gives me the right to have a blog about it? The reason I’m sharing my small business story is because starting my own business has been and is a constant struggle. A struggle against myself, my family, the nay-sayers, the State of Texas, the IRS, and every vendor under the sun! I’m doing this blog to answer the questions I couldn’t find answers to when I got started. I’m doing this to inspire treps young and old. I’m doing this to encourage people to take the step into the unknown. I’m doing it to share my favorite readings, my favorite quotes, and to vent my frustrations with the crazy business world. I’m also doing it to add some transparency to a world that is mysterious until you’re in it, then it gets real, fast.
A brief history. My father, Greg Gordon, is my business inspiration and my entreprenuial mentor (I felt compelled to leave entrepreneurial mis-spelled because after I typed it wrong, I thought…why the hell is that word so hard to spell; anyways…). I feel like you need this if you’re going to take the leap. Somebody to look up to, somebody to call, somebody who has done it and come out the other side…good or bad. I grew up in an entrepreneur’s house. I saw the pendulum swing. Big ups, big downs, and everything in-between. It was awesome and I knew its what I wanted to do, I wanted to be my own boss, call the shots, and not answer to anyone. Now you know my muse…he could have his own blog but I’ll share some of his stories later.
School. I went to school at The University of Texas at San Antonio for a year and barely got the grades to get into The University of Texas for my sophomore year. I say barely because my father used his negotiation power to get the dean to grant me an Algebra re-test which I passed and which got me into UT. This was a lesson from my Dad that I would never forget. Don’t give up, try to find a solution where one seems not to exist, don’t quit, test the system, be the squeaky wheel…oh and don’t mess up a second chance! At Texas I muddled around undecided for a year or so and then picked Government to major in (didn’t have the grades for business school). Soon I graduated without a damn clue but with my future wife (we’ll talk about her later), a really expensive piece of paper, and a great sense of pride that I had achieved something that could never be taken away. That degree opened a lot of doors for me and gives cred where it would have been otherwise not given.
What’s next? I got a lot of that during that final semester. Do I go be a lawyer, do I sell real estate? Nah, I’ll open the restaurant I’ve been dreaming of! It was about my junior year that I got the idea for a quesadilla joint called Dillas. It was my passion, I loved quesadillas. I made a business plan, drew blueprints of the layout in class, brainstormed names with friends, came up with menu ideas, etc.. etc… My only problem was that I had only worked in a restaurant once…for about 6 months. This would turn out to be a problem in finding investors to back my new venture.
Real school. You hear it all the time in high school and college, “enjoy it, those are the best years of your life.” Boy were they right! I say real school because you graduate and you get introduced to the real world…and it totally sucks. You go from girls and parties and sleeping in and hanging out to waking up early, working late, and fighting everyone else for a bigger piece of the pie. For me this fight lasted 7 years and took my twenties away. Next time I’ll share my twenties with you and how I finally ended up taking the leap of faith into entrepreneurship.