11 Years & Going Strong

I can’t believe that  Axxess has now been around for 11 years! I started the company in 1999 with one of my best friends right after we both graduated from UCSB.

Our first book was only 92 pages and had about 50 2-for-1 offers.  Starting out, my business partner and I were absolutely clueless. Nate had a degree in marine biology and I had mine in Anthropology – both of which are fairly useless in the real world. Back then it was near impossible to get businesses to participate AND equally hard to get anyone, even our friends to buy a Card.   In those early years I felt like I was the only guy in town with an Axxess Card. I used it daily, almost religiously and went nowhere that didn’t accept it- mostly because I wanted to support my clients but partly because I had no money whatsoever.  Even on first dates, I was that guy who wasn’t afraid to  bust out my little  Axxess Card.  I  probably saved a few bucks on those dates but I don’t think it helped me get any second dates.

Inc. Magazine CoverSomehow we were able to scrape by and produce a 2nd book a year later and then a 3rd, and so on.  Over time, we figured out what worked and what didn’t, and tried our hardest to make everyone happy.  The start up days although tough, were a lot of fun too. The sky was the limit and because sales were so low, there really wasn’t much to lose other than the money we had borrowed to get the business started. We were young and motivated and above all else we really didn’t know what we were getting in to – which is the beauty of it.  We honestly expected to get new Ferrari’s and move to Montecito within a few years. But after recycling almost 20,000 Axxess Books in year one, we quickly rescheduled those goals as reality set in and we got used to living off our credit cards and the 2-for-1′s in the book, particularly the deals on burritos and pizza.

Neither of us took a paycheck until our third year and shortly thereafter my business partner moved on.  I  bought him out for almost nothing because at the time the business was pretty much worth nothing.  We negotiated over a six pack of beer during a 49er game and easily reached an agreement.  He’s still one of my best friends and is now a fire fighter in Orange County.

Skipping ahead to today…this is my first blog post. I’ve never read anyone elses blog, I’m not quite sure I totally understand them. I certainly don’t claim to be much of a writer but I’m figuring it out and want to make this interesting & entertaining for you.

So what do you want to hear about? Let me know because I’ve got a list but not sure where to start. I could talk about:  local business topics, my personal life (boring), my start up stories (many of which are pretty funny), news & rumors around town, random Axxess stuff, info on our advertisers or members, or all of the above with no particular rhyme or reason.

So tell me what you’d like to hear from me or send me any me any comments you may have as I’m eager to hear from you. Thanks for reading this and thanks for being an Axxess Member!

Karim,

Virgin Blogger, Founder & President – SB Axxess

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