My transition from "ranch hand" to technologist was not an easy one.
Before I was 10 years old I was raising and slaughtering emus with my parents to make products like emu jerky, oils, and chapsticks to sell at local sporting events.
Not the sexiest start to entrepreneurship, right? I can literally relate to growing up in Jurassic Park. But I had experienced enough ranching to know I didn't want a career in manual labor.
My first mentor, Laurie Jones, taught me to "Start with what you know!"
By age 19 I'd done an array of odd jobs, and a fair amount of painting, so I tried "being my own boss" with an exterior painting company. And after that first summer of painting over 50 homes, and over 150 the next summer, I learned how to scale a service company.
A mid 6-figure business right out of high-school. Not too shabby for my first go at it!
Unfortunately, I learned shortly after that my formula for a painting service company wasn't the blueprint for every type of service business. And unfortunately again, I didn't learn this lesson until being bled of all my cash and spending over a year making pivot after pivot after pivot trying to force it to work.
I had a long ways to go still...
Then, when I finally did “take the leap" in the technology industry, I was plagued by a chronic case of arrogance, shiny-object syndrome, and a misguided sense of “scaling” that made everything seem 1,000,000X harder to achieve than it should be.