Start up hopeful and seasoned management consultant. Co-Founder at @boardshortscom. Studied at @UCLA.
After spending my early career in the hectic world of management consulting, I finally decided to pursue my lifelong dream: starting my own company. Making the move to San Francisco, I teamed up with a hometown friend to found http://www.boardshorts.com/">Boardshorts.com, a retail e-commerce site selling men’s and women’s surf apparel and promoting an active, outdoor lifestyle.
For Escape the City members starting a business in California, specifically San Francisco, I would be happy to act as a resource on the laws and legal processes for new corporations. There are a lot of hacks and ways to expedite certain processes, and we made a lot of mistakes that I could help people avoid.
After surviving my last consulting project, I took a leave of absence and moved from DC to San Francisco to embark on an entrepreneurial endeavour with a friend.
He had gained success as an entrepreneur in the online gambling industry, but was looking to go mainstream and needed a partner with a more general business background.
Having grown up in the little beach town of Santa Cruz, we wanted to do something connected to our upbringing but with mainstream appeal. The result was http://www.boardshorts.com/">Boardshorts.com, a hub for customers seeking a full selection of boardshorts, premier customer service, and in-depth reviews.
And from the beginning, the Boardshorts.com mission has been to provide great merchandise, a painless shopping experience, and useful tools for decision-making (like videos, infographics, and, reviews).
Before Boardshorts, I was a Management Consultant at a Big 4 firm, working on a range of different projects, from improving the financial security of the military to implementing health reform for hospitals.
Before that, I spent time doing foundation consulting for an international non-profit and even had a stint as a Business Analyst at the Los Angeles Times.
Since breaking ground on Boardshorts.com, I’ve continually leveraged my background from all of my previous work experience. Being a Management Consultant teaches you to work hard, be adaptable, and perform at a high level. And while I’ve chosen to pursue another path, the skills I gained in Consulting will serve me for the rest of my career.
4 months ago, I was sitting in a conference room slaving away on a client presentation that would never be presented. After being given the assignment by my boss, I went through countless edits with the senior team, slaved away on minute details, and built beautiful graphics to display detailed analysis.
Then, after sleepless nights and copious amounts of stress, my boss decided to axe the presentation altogether. “Great job,” he said “but we’ve got other stuff to cover.”
I knew that my days as a management consultant were numbered.
Fortunately for me, I spent a year on the road before I decided to escape. Travelling full-time as a consultant means very low living expenses, which allowed me to build up savings to last me through the first few months while we were building our website.
In building our business, I’ve had my share of highs and lows, but nothing can match the rewarding feeling from seeing my own ideas come to fruition. There are days when I long for the structure and predictability of a corporate job, where your next paycheck is guaranteed and your schedule is predetermined, but I then I snap out of it.
As an entrepreneur, the the stakes are always higher, but so is the reward.
Years ago when I was unemployed, someone once told me “don’t dwell on a decision before you actually have the ability to make that decision.”
In other words, don’t worry about what you would do in possible far-reaching case scenarios, unless they are actually apparent. We don’t think about whether or not we would accept funding from an investor unless it’s actually been offered to us.
Worry only leads to inaction, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re running a startup.
I live and die by http://theleanstartup.com/">The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. We have been incredibly lean in the way we’ve run our business from the beginning and have continually tested our methodologies to see what our users really want.
We’ve also found a lot of support from our community in Santa Cruz and from friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are generous with knowledge capital, and it makes for an incredibly collaborative and welcoming community.