BOOM. – A Landing, A Spark, and A Launch

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the-arsenal

 

BOOM. Seven months ago to the day of this post, I landed in a leather chair behind a desk at the North Forge Co-working Space. That instantly became my new office. To do what you ask? Great question. To be honest I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do with this new ‘office’ of mine, but I was told by Scott (one of my mentors) to call myself an entrepreneur from day 1. I kept thinking to myself, what does calling yourself an entrepreneur mean if you don’t have any ‘preneurs’ going? And yes I stole that slang word from the movie, The Social Network.

Anyways, for about the first 5 months of sitting in my leather chair behind my desk, it was difficult to answer the question when friends and strangers asked, “where are you working now?” and “what are you up to these days?” Ugh, I loathed when I had to answer that question, because at times it was tough to describe what I was doing. I didn’t have an exact direction or the next big idea. It was very ambiguous. When I told people I was an entrepreneur, I got a mix-bag of reactions. Those reactions definitely kept me humble along the way to finding and figuring out my ‘preneur’.

Beyond trying to answer that basic everyday question, I learned an incredible amount during that tough 5 month stint and I continue to learn everyday. For instance, I remember the day Nick (one of my trusted mentors and owner of Polar Grinders) asked me what I was working on, I told him I was planning on lasering a sports logos for the first time, and he gave me a hand with his Adobe Illustrator skills and taught me how to laser wood properly. The result? It was the Arsenal logo you see in this blog post! I realized immediately I needed to learn Adobe Illustrator right away and as quickly as possible in order to properly utilize the lasers at the North Forge Fab Lab.
Next stop, YouTube. For the next few days, I watched and followed along with a 19 part Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for beginners. This mentorship from Nick and informal learning of Illustrator gave me the skills to develop my wood car air fresheners product. As mentioned in the About page, the trial and error of custom laser jobs led to a spark going off in my head like a lightbulb. BOOM.

People often describe entrepreneurship as a rollercoaster. I complete agree with that description and I can vouch for that. However, I’m not going to tell you my seven months as an entrepreneur has been as difficult as the entrepreneurs struggling with massive amounts of debt, eating ramen three times a day, and sleeping on friends couches to make it by. I have had incredible support along the way from friends, family, and mentors, which I appreciate more than any of you will ever know.

So why call yourself an entrepreuenr when you don’t have any ‘preneurs’ happening? I truly believe the purpose of calling yourself an entrepreneur from the moment you jump off the small cliff to become self-employed, is to motivate you to show up everyday and prove that you belong in this crazy, yet exciting, world of entrepreneurship.

Today, I can finally tell people my job description without hesitation and the utmost confidence (even if wood car air fresheners aren’t going to take over the world), but hey you have to start somewhere! I am proud to hang my hat on what I have accomplished thus far with Fresh Emblem after (a seemingly short) seven months. My website that you are currently reading this blog post on right now represents something unbelievably special to me. Without any further ado… Welcome to the Fresh Emblem website launch! As Rob (my cousin who built this awesome website) said, “time to launch this site like a rocket ship.” BOOM.

 

-Joel

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