During college, I knew that I was meant to do something special with my life. After graduating, my best friend from high school and I decided to do something crazy: start our own internet business. Neither of us technically knew how to build a website, but we had passion and a vision we needed to see come to life.
Over the course of two years, we worked in a downtown office in our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, traveled to over 40 colleges to speak to students, and became entrenched in the college and young professional market. The website we built eventually evolved into Zolio.com.
While I had never dreamt of owning my own business, the thought of creating something on my own, that I had complete control of, was exciting to me; it made me think back to the days where I often wondered about doing something more than just a “9 to 5.” Starting Zolio was difficult and pushed me to my limits, but it has also been the most rewarding experience of my life. One of my favorite quotes’s to help explain starting a business is: entrepreneurship is a different way of looking at the world. Although I sacrificed weekends, put relationships on hold and even had to move back in with my parents for awhile, I don’t regret any decision I ever made with my company and have learned more than any text book could ever teach me.
Currently, I am the CEO of Zolio and run the company with my business partner, Julie Fink. We are raising our next round of funding and exploring options for new offices on the west coast. Back in my college days, I never thought my life would be where it is today, but I couldn’t be happier. Feel free to contact me with questions about entrepreneurship, business or anything else on your mind: firstname.lastname@example.org
My advice for finding success:
1. Realize what you were meant to do. I love being an entrepreneur, but it’s not for everyone. Explore different roles or positions to see if you’re better suited to climb the corporate ladder or create one yourself.
2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. I’m a firm believer that we were all “meant” to do something specific with our lives, but without realizing what you’re truly good at, you’ll never truly be successful. I suggest taking personality assessments and reading books to help you realize where you’re best suited in life.
3. Work hard, and enjoy yourself. Nothing is easy, so working diligently is an important tactic to reach success. But if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, or take time for yourself, you’ll get burnt out. Make sure to take time to relax, spend time with loved ones and enjoy the sunshine.