Who Doesn’t Enjoy a Happy Ending?

Not sure about this one but I thought it was funny!

Not sure about this one but I thought it was funny!

In my last post, I talked about doing whatever it takes in your business even if it costs you your coolness. In my case, if you fast forward 12 years, thankfully I’m no longer knocking on doors selling Axxess Books one at a time, or better put “none at a time”. Today, Axxess boasts nearly 15,000 happy Cardholders and more than 350 business advertisers. We have a solid staff of 6 awesome people, we’ve raised over $400,000 for schools and my shareholders even get a check once a year. So after putting myself through years of  “uncoolness” – the fruits of my efforts are very cool. (And I’m not trying to brag, I just thought providing a happy ending would be encouraging.)

A friend of mine started a pizza and movie delivery business about 6 or 7 years ago. I remember placing a phone order and he answered the phone. Half an hour later he showed up as the delivery guy. It was a Friday night , he’d been at it since 9 in the morning and he was pretty much doing it all. The guy was working his tail off and even though he was the owner, he wasn’t too good to run deliveries as well. Some might find that work a little embarrassing, but by doing what it took day in and day out, Sean has built Pizza Mizza into a household name.

He and I still joke about those early years. One time back in 2001 I had worked out a deal with Jamba Juice and had set up a table right there on State Street at De La Guerra. Anyone who bought an Axxess Book would get a free smoothie. I knew Sean from UCSB and from around town but we didn’t know each other that well and this was before he had gotten into the restaurant industry. I remember he came up to my table and was looking at the Axxess Book and trying to make conversation I jokingly poked fun at myself for standing on State Street scrapping to earn a few bucks. Instead of him agreeing and laughing at/with me he congratulated me on having the balls to not only start this type of business but for getting out there and trying to make it happen. He bought 2 books and refused the free smoothies. I was happy to have money in my pocket so I could eat that week, but I’ll never forget how good those compliments made me feel. And it was true, I was busting my butt and no one would laugh at me for that.

After this instance and a few others, my entire mentality changed. My determination grew as did my confidence. I looked around at what others my age were doing and knew I stood out. All I had to do was stay focused and remain motivated and someday it would pay off.

Sean and I are no different than entrepreneurs all across the globe, so when you do business with a company remember there’s a person and a story behind it. So spend your money wisely…I’m going to end it right there because that’s an entirely different topic to be continued…

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