I was born and raised in Southern California, in the United States. My father was and always has been an entrepreneur and so was his father, however he didn’t become relatively successful until I was in high school. I have 5 brothers and I’m the 3rd so growing up I wore lots of hand-me down clothes. Financially we weren’t poor, and we weren’t rich, we were somewhere in the middle, but I felt rich because of the great family life I had. My parents worked hard to foster a home with lots of love and attention to their children. To there great credit I had a good education and was given lots of unique opportunities to experience new things. I graduated high school with a B average, but never took school to seriously. Most of my concern as a young man was sports and friends. Looking back I was given a lot of opportunity and experiences that I can now see benefited me in preparing me for life.
I didn’t study business until I went up to BYU-Idaho for University in Rexburg Idaho. I graduated with a bachelors in Business Management and a Minor in Mandarin Chinese. My time in college was great, I learned a lot, but I’d say that most of my drive and knowledge came from serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Taiwan. That is where I learned to speak Mandarin Chinese, and it was after that experience that I really started devouring self-help books and business books. If I have had any success I attribute it to that two year experience, and the many books that I have read on a variety of subjects.
I got into what I am doing now completely by accident. When living in China I started selling physical products in the US on Amazon. I had many failures and some successes, and I still continue to bring products in from overseas and sell them. When I moved back from China I had a small part of a warehouse that I was using to store my product and ship it out to Amazon. I wasn’t using the full space so I thought I would throw out to a few forums I was on to see if anyone needed space and if I could help them fulfill their orders. I got a few people interested and eventually got my first few customers in, and its grown from there.
I first went to China to work for a security safe manufacturer named Alpha Guardian. They were a large safe company in their industry and had many suppliers in China, since I spoke Chinese and had a background in Supply Chain, they sent me over there to live and work with the local manufacturers. In total I spent 5 years in mainland China doing that.
My vision for my current company is to build a company and culture that is synonymous with serving others. I believe if we can do that not only will we make an impact in the world, but a company that can achieve that will never lack customers and growth. My vision for my self is to always be continually improving. I’m fascinated with business’ and growing business, so I’d enjoy building multiple world class business throughout my life.
Like many B2B business my challenge is getting my offering in front of the right people. I can’t just advertise to every individual and company, the person I need to get my offering in front of is a very specific individual, they are going to be over operations, or logistics. My challenge is generating high quality leads who need what it is that I do.
If I could give my past self some advice it would be to stop trying to get everything perfect, and instead just focus on taking daily action. There is a real power and momentum that comes from moving forward with an idea. Yes you may make a mistake, but that’s a part of the process, and as long as you can pivot when mistakes are made, eventually you will land on success.
I like simple tools, things that are very user friendly, in our fulfillment center one of the softwares we use regularly is Shipstation. The whole platform is simple, but robust and makes our jobs easier to do.
I think the buzz and hype around the idea that in order to be a “successful” entrepreneur you need to do nothing but work all day every day for 19 hours a day is overrated. The idea that one has to sacrifice everything in their life; family, friends, relationships, just to get to the top is bogus. More people need to be talking about work/life balance.
I took some accounting classes in college and hated them, back then I don’t think I saw how relevant accounting was to what I wanted to do. Now I find myself studying accounting principles on the side to make sure I have a good grasp of my business’ health and future growth opportunities.