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20/20 Revision

20/20 Revision

There is a fine line between being stuck in the past and learning from it. In both instances, the sword cuts both ways for both positive and negative experiences. I have spent the past decade building a small business that works primarily with small business owners. I won’t make the bold claim of having seen it all, however, I have seen quite a bit when it comes to entrepreneurship. There is a saying that goes, “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.” I am not ready to attest to that statement, but I can say that 10 years gives you quite a bit of perspective. As we enter 2020, I wanted to lean on the previous decade as we move into the new one. We are calling this series “20/20 Revision” not because we are looking to redo anything that happened in the past, but to apply insight from previous experiences as we navigate our entrepreneurial future.

Ready or not here come the opportunities!

One of the biggest attributes I have noticed in successful entrepreneurs is their ability to know when they are or aren’t ready for an opportunity. If you talk to any small business owner, they will tell you about numerous times an unexpected opportunity crossed their path and how they figured it out. While this resourcefulness is common among founders, the capability to differentiate between something that will take them to the next level and something that will cause a setback is a unique character trait that requires clarity in vision, confidence, planning and patience. 

Do as I say, not as I do.

Ask any entrepreneur for advice and trust me, they will give it to you. Over the years, I have leaned heavily on lessons from other business owners as I have built my company. What I have learned is some entrepreneurs may give you advice that they are not actually following themselves. I have also learned that some people are better at articulating lessons learned than others. In order to successfully learn from other founders, you have to be able to read between the lines of what they are saying and hone in on what they are doing. More times than not, you will be surprised by what you learn and even more surprised by who you learn it from. 

We in here!

Know that you belong in the room. There is a perfect mix of humility and confidence that exists within every successful entrepreneur I have met. While most business owners are aware of the trap of overconfidence, the negative impact of too much humility can be equally detrimental. There is nothing wrong with taking a minute to look around and ask yourself “how the heck did I get here?” However, don’t let that manifest into imposter syndrome. You are in that room or situation because of the investment you have made in your business. Go ahead and take it in for a second, you deserve it. Now take a deep breath, act like you have been there before and do your thing!

We’re claiming 2020 as a year of reflection, growth and improvement. That’s why as we embark on this journey of entrepreneurship and contemplate the lessons learned along the way, we plan on taking a deeper dive into each of these topics. Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, and have a prosperous new year! 

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Educator to Entrepreneur

We open the first season by diving into the dynamic of owning a business with your spouse. Erryn and Mariah Cobb tell their story of how they ended up working together in their respective businesses. Mariah shares how she transitioned from teaching to opening her coworking space, homiey, as well as the challenges and benefits of having a dual entrepreneur family.

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A 10 Year Lesson In Humility

10 years ago today we started Fetch and I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey. There is so much I want to say about the last decade. However, the one constant, through all of the ups and downs, has been me being humbled on a regular occurrence. 

Humility is not complicated, it is multifaceted. There are so many intricacies between being humble, being humbled and having humility, that the result of each is often confused as a positive or negative thing. Over the past 10 years I have experienced all of the above. The reality is, if you are lucky, humility is a gift that keeps on giving. The key is to have the right perspective. Here are a few humbling lessons I have identified as I reflect on my journey over the past 10 years. 

I Have an Awesome Responsibility

I am blown away by the amount of people who have entrusted me with their livelihood. From my co-founder to employees to clients, each one of them trusted me to live up to my end of the bargain. In the times when the answer was not always clear, the collective power of your confidence provided fuel to find the correct path. I am truly humbled by the responsibility you have given me to contribute to your vision, lead your careers and grow your businesses. 

My Network is My Net Worth

I have accumulated some dope people over the past 10 years. While I definitely have not lacked confidence during this journey, there is nothing more powerful than the people that you admire and look up to holding you in the same regard. For me, it always starts with my family. While I can write a whole blog series on how amazing they are, I will just say they represent the standard of which all other things are measured and leave it at that. Lucky for me, in addition to having said family, I have met equally impressive professionals who have rounded out my circle. While knowing these phenomenal people is great, they have also dedicated countless hours of listening, advising and contributing to my journey. My growth as an individual and professional is a direct result of time spent with them. I am humbled that you have found me worthy of your time. 

It is Bigger Than Me

Let’s be real, I was 25 when I started this company. I am sure it comes as no surprise that the perceived earning potential, bravado and autonomy played a small role in me pursuing entrepreneurship. However, as the years progressed and as I matured, my mission became more clear. I am a husband and father now. While all of the points made throughout this blog definitely apply to my wife and daughter, there is more to be said to them. My wife has been with me through almost the entirety of this journey. Through all of the ups and downs, never once has she faltered or doubted the vision. As we proceed together in this, our daughter will also be looking to us as examples of how to manage success, persevere through failure and handle it all with humility. I don’t even know how to begin to quantify that. While I don’t expect it to be perfect, I do expect it to be humbling along the way. Quite frankly, I’m cool with that. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Stay humble. -EC