2004, “Oh shit, I owe $350,000 to the PetLoo manufacturing plant, and I only have $4,000 in the bank”

I’ve been some dark places when I first started out in 2003:

I felt lonely.
– I’d have no choice but to eat cereal for dinner.
– I owed a LOT of money with lumpy cashflow.

Those times as a solopreneur were nothing short of constant massive learning curves.

Some learnings are:
– Dealing with stress under high pressure
– Work with an awesome team
– Listen to your customers
– Leave your ego at the door
– Serve.

Where are you at? What challenges do you face? Leave a comment below

Enjoy todays vlog… its RAW


Tobi: I honestly haven’t been stressed in this venture at all for a bunch of reasons. One, I’ve been in some really dark places and this is not even close to that.

To be frank with you, I’ve been in some really dark holes and had some very dark experiences as a solo entrepreneur, whether that’s just pure loneliness all the way to, “Holy shit, I owe $350,000 to the manufacturing plant, and I got four grand in the account. How the hell am I going to pull this one off?”

I’ve been in some really dark holes. Entrepreneurship for me is not a new thing. It’s not something that I’m hoping to be. It’s who I am. Stress as a result of where I’m at today versus where I’ve been, it’s non-comparable. In terms of stress management, I’m really not stressed. This is a big venture, but this is not something new to me.

This is… I started my first venture in 2003, it’s 2019 almost 2020 right now, and I’ve been doing this for a long time. Shutting off to CreativeCubes and just being super jazzed and excited about the day, that’s no stressful. Stuff that we’re doing here is not stressful. It’s big, it’s expensive, but it’s not stressful.

I legitimately ate cereal for dinner most nights for four years because I literally was like, “I can take money out of the business, but I’m going to need to pay it back after I pay tax and all that.” It just stays in the business.

Even today, I swear to you, no word of a lie, my wife is going to Los Angeles. We’ve thrown everything that we’ve got at it. She came at me on the weekend, and this is going on the record by the way. She came to me on the weekend, not at me, but like, “Hey, I’m going to LA because one of my friend’s getting married, the bachelorette party.”

I was like, “Oh shit.” She’s like, “It’s $1,200 for the bachelorette.” “Are you fucking crazy? This is not going to work. No, no, no, no. We can’t afford to do that.” I’m still like living paycheque to paycheque because I’m trying to build for the future. Right? And say that like we’ve got two buildings established, we’re about to deploy another $10-11 million into the next bunch of buildings. I’m not dirt poor, but like income-wise, I’m starving.

A lot of people push that to one side and go, “Oh, you’ve got all these buildings.” But it’s not easy. I appreciate your words, but I also don’t want to distort reality and make sure that you’re not going through this going. I hope you can do it. I really do. But it’s gruelling.

I’m doing a lot of talking and I’m begging you guys for questions, but one of the things that constantly goes off in my head is two ears, one mouth.

My wife said that to me in 2003, which is listen twice as much as you talk, is what my interpretation of two ears, one mouth is.

What’s really important on the journey to success is that you listen to the market, you listen to your customers. If your customers say that sucks, take it on board. Maybe not take all of it on board, but take the comment, take the feedback, take the criticism, pivot, twist, turn, drop the ego, check it at the door. It’s not going to serve you well if you think that you’re above anyone else.

I’ve humbled myself. I’ve lost more in my life than I’ve gained. I’ve lost my dad. I’ve lost business deals. We lost a tender last week, which was worth $40,000 a month, but that’s okay because it’s preparing me for the next bigger thing, right, which is potentially around the corner.

It might be a decade away, but really humbling yourself, listening to your customer, taking that advice, no ego, and try and serve, I think has been my secret to success, if that’s even a secret. Yeah, I pride myself on all that, although I’m doing a lot of talking.

Author Tobi Skovron

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