Archive for March, 2010

Getting Started.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Most of us business owners have a unique story to tell, particularly surrounding how we got started and what prompted us to start the business. But interestingly enough, all our stories are surprisingly similar.

Usually, someone thinks they can do something better than it’s being done or comes across a concept that isn’t being done at all. They get all excited as the ideas start flowing. Then, as the ideas get put down on paper the fear and doubts set it. Ultimately, a few of us put those aside and figure out a way to “go for it.”

I was 22 and had about $6 to my name. Like most other young first time entrepreneurs we borrowed money from our parents. I’m not sure who was crazier them – for lending me the money or me – for thinking I could pull this off! Then, we got some family friends to invest once we had published our first book about a year later. It was tough going but each business owner I talk to has a very parallel story involving the hunt for money or the depletion of a savings account, possibly leaving a career and Oh yah – being told over and over again by the naysayers that it can’t be done. Or even worse, that it can be done…but not by you.

So many business owners start out in their garage ( Bill Gates) or in their dorm room (Michael Dell) or on the side of the road in a little shack with a grill (Ray Kroc: McD’s). And at that time most of them had very little capital and possibly even less experience. But they had passion and an idea, coupled with a naive optimism and that just might be enough to make a business thrive.  Another great example of this would be Paul Orfalea – the one time UCSB student turned curb side copy boy turned mega-millionaire. Amazing.

First Kinko's headquarters in IV: a tiny, 100-sq.-ft. copy shop next door was a taco stand. Founder Paul Orfalea later cut a hole in the connecting wall so he could order lunch without leaving the store. The first Kinko's occasionally became so crowed that Orfalea rolled a copier out on the sidewalk for self-serve copies.

First Kinko's headquarters in IV: a tiny, 100-sq.-ft. copy shop next door was a taco stand. Founder Paul Orfalea later cut a hole in the connecting wall so he could order lunch without leaving the store. The first Kinko's occasionally became so crowed that Orfalea rolled a copier out on the sidewalk for self-serve copies.

I hope to highlight some of the Axxess Advertiser’s stories in the next few weeks and if you have a story to tell please share it with. Because I could talk about Axxess all day long…

Hot Patios

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Such nice weather really makes me want to get outside and enjoy our town. I hike or a trip to the beach is pretty standard for my weekend, but so is hanging out at some of the best patios around. One of my favorite off the beaten path places to sip a beer in the sun is Padaro Beach Grill – but be prepared to deal with all the kids running around. If you’d prefer  something a little quieter and “adult” – try the Garden Market (also in Carpinteria). They’ve got a pretty good wine menu and a peaceful patio in the back worthy of a few hours. Also down that way is Cafe Luna – which I think has beer and wine but also serves up coffee and treats.
In town – Eladio’s is a spot that every time I go, I tell myself I need to go more often. If  you want to stay on State Street to do some people watching – I think Aldo’s, The Chase or State & A are perfect.  State Street of course also has plenty of serious watering holes – like Madison’s. And if you’re forced to spend a day in a mall, schedule an hour on Pizza Mizza’s outdoor area or at Hollister Brewing Company up near Costco.

Please enjoy your Patio responsibly!

Please enjoy your Patio responsibly!

Of course, if you’re in the mood for Coffee – and I always am, Jitters or Java Station both serve the local favorite Green Star Coffee and both have good sun and people watching too.

Enjoy!

Picture this.

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Year after year we work hard to come up with a cover that will please all and I must say it’s not easy as each year it gets harder to out-do the previous year.

A few years ago we held a cover contest and it worked out great. We received about thirty submissions including a drawing from a six year old. While I was pulling for the six year old, we couldn’t use it on the cover and we ended up with what is probably my favorite cover yet (The 10th Edition).

So we’re trying that contest concept again and I encourage you – if you’re a photographer or know one – to submit something to us. Click here for all the details. If you’re not a photographer and want to send us something funny just for the hell of it, feel free. Like this photo to the Right.david-goliath

We’re having a photo contest for our upcoming cover

This is hard work

Saturday, March 6th, 2010
Classic

Classic

I haven’t written anything in almost two weeks despite the fact that I try to every other  day or so.  Sometimes I blank on topics and even though there’s plenty of things in the news to comment in – I try to keep this site light.

The past few weeks I’ve just been way too busy to write anything. Busy – hanging out in Sayulita Mexico with friends & watching my old business partner Nate Williams get married.  It was a blast.

Nate & I were roommates and best friends throughout and after college. We were actually in Mexico right after college graduation in 1998 with his parents when we decided that we had to start a business. Of course, we had no good ideas at the time but over a few beers anything seemed possible. A year later, we scraped together $30k from friends and family and went for it.

A few years into Axxess we were both barely hanging on financially. Bar-tending on State Street just wasn’t cutting it. We paid rent with our credit cards and were getting into some serious debt because the business certainly wasn’t providing us with any financial return. We parted ways as business partners in 2002 and surprised everyone by remaining best friends. He then traveled South America for a year and later finished top of his class becoming a firefighter in Orange County. Many of you knew Nate and might even recognize him from the Fox reality show The Academy in which Fox chronicled his particular class’s training – which is actually quite typical of Nate. Not only does he get into the academy, but he gets to be on TV.

Oh well, Axxess is on TV all the time.  (For $2 per second!)