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Going through the chaos of starting a new business in an uncertain economy with two young children was brutal. And it kind of became fun to see what challenge we would encounter next.With long hours during the week and longer hours on the weekends with no break for the first 2 years, it was really hard. We learned to steal moments of happiness in between all the chaos because it forced us to be grateful for what we had and kept us so focused on the present.“I do it because someone will be a little bit better off because of me”, is one powerful reason my wife gives me when I ask her what makes her get up in the morning to work as hard as she does each day. Is it because you’re willing to trade your effort for seeing someone be better off?
While the delays seemed like a hassle at the time, what happened next helped pave the way for my success as an entrepreneur today. I schmoozed my way onto a different flight and helped another gentleman switch flights.
We ended up sitting next to each other, and at the beginning of the flight he opened up a business plan, which we discussed.
I got off the plane and immediately called my co-founder, Dan Bartfield, and asked him to look up Fred De Luca. Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, Forbes List, Subway.”Next thing you know, Dan was on a flight to Florida so we could meet with Fred at his house.
Once we showed up, we discussed our opportunity, sales model, addressable market and the financing our business needed to get off the ground.
my wife and I thought to ourselves as we debated whether or not to open her new business in 2008.
After having our second child, my wife wanted to go back to work. She wanted work that allowed her to have time with our kids and contribute her skills of being an Optometrist while building some equity.I told him about my own business plan for an idea to help college students find jobs online (the concept that ultimately led to my current business, Yello). I told him my passion was to build something that didn’t exist, and I couldn’t make a real impact until I set out on my own.It wasn’t until the end of our flight, when my seatmate and I exchanged contact information that I found out he was Fred De Luca, Subway co-founder and incredibly successful entrepreneur.Sometimes through unreasonable and tired voices tinged with frustration, we managed to communicate with each other in a way that provided support, comfort and a bit of positive encouragement.On the bad days, it was really important to have someone to talk to who could just listen.As a young professional still transitioning into life post-college, I planned a spring break trip to unwind with friends.My trip didn’t start out as smoothly as I had planned, with my flight from DC to Fort Lauderdale facing severe delays.While my wife had plenty of experience giving patients’ an eye exam, she had no idea about managing employees, negotiating with vendors, navigating health insurances and so on.And while I grew up in business, I was working full time and only could provide advice and help to her on the weekends. Made mistakes and improvised a great deal on the way.Who has time to worry about the future when you’re so engrossed in the present?You also adapt, you learn from mistakes, you adjust, you stumble, you have great days and you have terrible ones. But once you take the ride, you kind of get used to all the ups and downs because you have experience under your belt making you ultimately Accept the ups and downs.