By Jesse Wolfe, Founder and CEO, O'Dang Hummus and Entrepreneur, Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Central Florida
Most people would think that a man and some chickpeas would not add up Much, but O'Dang, they would get confused It started as a healthy diet at home, but by the time Jesse's hummus slipped into people, the response was an overwhelming wave of "this is ridiculously good." Appearance in Shark Tank, distribution in major Southeast retailers, a team of 40 people and estimated revenue of $ 8M this year and the upcoming graduation in May, Jesse is living proof that starting a business in college can turn in a viable career option, check out some of Jesse's recent public comments here.
It's happened to you, it's happened to the people you love most: your friends, parents, grandparents and even your ancestors. a moment in time, a thought, a group of words united to form one of the most powerful, powerful and shocking questions in life; "Why does not someone do this (insert the product here) better?"
I was also a college student who had had that "moment" in my life. Instead of waiting for someone to come and fix it, I had the opportunity to fix it myself. I started O'Dang Hummus in a one-bedroom apartment while I was graduating from the University of Central Florida. Recovering from having my four wisdom teeth removed, I consumed hummus per gallon as a healthier alternative to shakes. I quickly became bored with the standard hummus flavors and finally had my own "moment". Standing, frustrated at the grocery store, I thought, "How can all these hummus companies thrive making exactly the same hummus flavors?" I was a bloated, bad-tempered and hungry kid who just wanted to eat buffalo wings. As I could not even chew the buffalo chicken dressing the store made, I made my own DANG buffalo wing hummus.
That day was three years ago. Today, buffalo wing hummus is one of the best flavors of O'Dang Hummus. That "moment" was the day my life changed. With the support of Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Central Florida, and a university experience marked by three business plan competitions, 10 farmers markets, more than 600 grocery stores, estimated revenue of $ 8M and an appearance on the Shark Tank of ABC, life is pretty good.
How many times do you hear people say things like "Wow, what a simple idea", "Duh, why did not I think about that?" or "Dude that was my idea", what is my personal favorite? The night I went on the air in Shark Tank, I should have read 15 comments that said "that was my idea". There are 7.125 billion people on this earth. Most likely, another 15 people have already thought of the "secret idea" that is hiding in a napkin in the drawer of his sock. So, let me share some tips: Run.
Being an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean that you have to be the only one to create the next Facebook or Uber. Our country is built on small businesses. These entrepreneurs create incredible lives for themselves and employ many people in the pursuit of their dreams. These are the people who cut the garden, wash their car, clean their clothes, paint their nails, cut their hair, deliver their pizza, etc. Think about it, how many small businesses do you use in a single day? I know some of you are thinking, they are lifestyle businesses and I want to build an empire or change the world. You can, but start little by little. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run.
Here is the secret … start with a small step. Start with something that makes you really happy. Do what you love and you are a crazy stupid passionate. Some of the largest companies in the world were built in someone's garage and financed by passion and persistence. John wanted to have his own pizzeria, Burt wanted to sell honey, Stacy loved good food and Mark just wanted to make friends. Thanks to their crazy passion and ability to see a gap in the industry and the need for a better product, now we have Papa John's Pizza, Burt's Bees, Stacy's Pita Chips and Facebook. I encourage you to ask them about the first day, the day they started, if the original dream was so big?
What does all this mean to you?
If you're still upset about the product or service that failed you, I'M RUNNING .
Do you think you can better manage that business with your ideas and creativity? DO IT .
Let me reiterate the word that matters most in this article and in the entrepreneurial spirit: execute. Stop waiting for someone else to act or you will miss it. Motivate yourself and execute that idea yourself. Oh, and when you hear someone explain how you took their idea, you can check this article again.