I had always aspired to be an entrepreneur, but the timing never seemed right. When I was abruptly fired from my job and everything I worked hard for was taken away, it seemed that the timing found me. With my back to the wall, I launched a full-scale effort toward entrepreneurship.
Today, my company is one of the leading distributors, nationwide, for bathroom and kitchen cabinets online. While all the pieces may not fit perfectly, the only way to succeed is to get off the sidelines and get in the game.
The Day that Changed Everything
I was Mr. 9-to-5, working in a privately owned showroom six days a week for five years. I began my career creating kitchen designs on computer software and making face-to-face sales pitches for cabinetry. In just a few short months, I was appointed sales manager and trusted to run the entire showroom operation.
I was making money, the showroom was a success, but my entrepreneurial spirit yearned for more.
On an ordinary November work day, I was called into the office for a meeting. I quickly found out this was no ordinary meeting: I was fired, effective immediately. I was then forced to clean out my desk under the watchful eye of a privately hired detective.
With high monthly expenses and no income, there was no time for a pity party. I drew inspiration from Eminem, who said “success is my only mothaf****n option, failure is not.” Amidst all the anger, frustration and uncertainty, I decided it was time to realize my entrepreneurial dreams and launch my own business.
The Beginnings of my Online Business
I developed a plan to take the services we offered in the showroom and move them to an online forum. I partnered with my brother to design and create an e-commerce website selling cabinets online. I scheduled meetings with existing vendor contacts and received a verbal commitment from the manufacturers to supply products for my new company.
This was a huge step in the right direction, but it did not help the immediate lack of income issue. While working on website development, I picked up freelance work on a high commission, no salary basis for local cabinet dealers, to pay the bills. This gave me the capital necessary to stay afloat while getting my business off the ground.
A few months later, my baby was born, and the website went live.