Hey there! I'm Brian!
I'm the author of Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur: What You Really Need to Know to Start Your First Business, and the host of the Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur podcast. (But you probably know that by now)
My entrepreneurial journey really began during freshman year of college (in 2007), when I started playing intramural sports. I quickly realized that my school didn't supply any shirts or jerseys for intramural teams, so I immediately saw a need in the marketplace… intramural shirts! Fast forward four days later, and I had opened a white-labeled custom apparel company called MyTeeTime.
It wasn't anything special… I literally just went to Spreadshirt.com and used their platform… it took less than two hours to setup and have a working website. The internet makes things so easy!
After making a few hundred dollars doing that, my entrepreneurial itch never faded. At the end of freshman year I looked around at all of my classmates and thought “gosh… there has to be more to college than just playing video games and partying for four years.”
I didn't know what exactly my calling was, but I knew I wanted to keep creating things, starting businesses, and one day something would work. So that summer – in June of 2008 – I combined my passion for writing with my passion for soccer, and founded Premiership Talk, a soccer blog about the English Premiership.
I had no clue what I was doing, and no real strategy or plan for the website, but I knew that consistency usually wins. Thanks to an internship I had in high school, I knew a little bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so Prem Talk started ranking better and better in Google… and the website traffic started growing month after month.
It was a slow journey. Seriously.
In November of 2008 I got an email from a company in Seattle asking me how much I charge for advertising spots. “How much do I charge!?” I thought to myself. I had no clue!
So I made up a price. $200.
And there it was… I made my first $200 as a blogger.
Me at Wembley Stadium in London to accept an award from the English Football Association
Fast forward just a few years, and I was managing a writing staff of 20 writers (primarily from England), and on some days we were doing $1K in advertising revenue. I was appearing in some of the largest publications around the world – like the BBC and The Independent – and started doing appearances on Zvezda News, a TV channel in Russia.
Wait, what? Yeah… that's entrepreneurship. You never know what's going to happen.
But here's what I learned… things happen when you put your name in the hat. Things don't happen if you stay on the sidelines. Entrepreneurship is about showing up. Every single day.
In May of 2011 I graduated from college $80K in debt (thanks, student loans!), and listened to the chorus of people advising me to get a “safe” and “reliable” job with benefits and a 401K rather than taking Prem Talk to the next level.
So I caved. Staring at $80K of debt can do that to you… especially considering society's pressures.
Somehow making $42K per year, driving one hour each way, and working 70 hours per week building someone else's company didn't feel all that safe… or reliable… or rewarding. So I changed gears, and decided to chase the dollar so I could become a full-time entrepreneur. I quit that first job just four months in, and took a much higher-paying job in healthcare. I didn't last long… because I knew it was a means to an end.
Road tripping through California. (From left to right: my buddy Geoff, a wizard, and me)
After a two week EPIC road trip from Dallas, Texas to Los Angeles (via Austin, San Diego, and Newport Beach) with some of my buddies, I left corporate America in July 2012, just a year after graduating college in order to start NewGen Consultants, a web design and SEO agency, along with a friend from high school.
I learned a lot about myself, business, and life in that time. We were working crazy hours, building a business, and living the good life… with trips to Orlando, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Europe, NYC, and everywhere in between. We grew that business to six-figures in just 13 months, despite not having a clear strategy or growth plan.
Business happens fast. And if you go in blind, you can come out with some bumps and scrapes along the way. In our case, we didn't know much about scaling a business, so by the time we hit six-figures we were getting burnt out, stopped enjoying our clients, and started looking for a way out.
My business partner and I figuring it out along the way…
On September 23, 2013 I received an email from my business partner saying that he was quitting and ready to dissolve the business.
Despite growing a successful business, I failed.
I'll never forget that moment. I looked around the room, and I realized the ceiling wasn't falling, the walls weren't caving in on me, and the birds were still chirping outside.
Failure isn't that bad, I realized. And that's when I became the entrepreneur that I am today.
In that moment I realized that failure doesn't define you… unless you let it.
That's when I decided to go back to what I was passionate about… and that was helping people and showing them that entrepreneurship can teach you more about life, yourself, and business than anything else. And for me, my journey began with blogging… and everyone always asked me about how I grew a blog that was read by over 3.5 million people in over 200 countries.
So I took all of my knowledge, sat in my bedroom for almost a month, and created my first online course: Blogging Your Way to Profits. I listed it for sale for $197 online, took a deep breath, and went to sleep.
Before I could fall asleep, my phone lit up. Notification from PayPal: You've received money!
I did it!! I made $197! The first dollar is always memorable… no matter how many companies you start.
Everyone told me you needed to have clients, and network like crazy, and “fake it till you make it,” but I've always believed that doing things how only you can do them pays off. And that $197 was the start of something beautiful.
The biggest check I've written (so far)
Fast forward to September 25th, 2014 (one year and two days later after my business partner quit) and I wrote the biggest check of my life… $59,896.44 made out to Sallie Mae… to pay the remainder of my student loans off in full. That was one of the proudest achievements of my life.
Now, in 2016, I've created a business and a life that I love. I get to travel when I want to wherever I want, I get to spend time with people I care about, and I only work with people who I want to work with… and whose businesses I deeply care about. I have over 3,000 students in my paid programs and courses, and seeing their businesses take off fills me with so much pride, happiness, and excitement.
I've spoken at some of the biggest companies in the world, I've guest lectured at colleges, I've published a book, I've been interviewed on podcasts and radio shows around the world, and I've built a business that I love.
Entrepreneurship has changed my life. But only because I didn't let fear or failure stop me.
That's why I'm so passionate about the Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur podcast… I'm looking forward to giving you all of the advice, strategies, tips, and insights that will take you from wantrepreneur to an actual entrepreneur.
Buckle your seatbelt and get uncomfortable… you're in for the ride of your life!