Hi, my name is Aaron. I am 25 years old, I am engaged, and I have a daughter who just turned 1 years old five days ago. Next week on February the 14th (My anniversary with my fiancee) I will be submitting my two weeks and leaving my full time job with the government that many people would kill for. I will be working full time alongside of my best friend Doug on our start up BeeSocial. BeeSocial is a Digital Media Management Agency. For those who have no idea what that is, we help businesses build their online presence to help people discover them and what they bring to the table. It’s great for businesses who are looking to acquire new customers and generate more sales but I’m not here to pitch that to you today. I’m here to reflect on how the hell I ended up in this unreal bizarre yet beautiful journey.
Today is February the seventh (Happy Birthday Little Sister!) and the weather is absolutely perfect. It’s sixty degrees outside and the sun is oh so warm. I can feel spring in the air and you may wonder how the hell do I know that? I’ve been raised in North Carolina a good twenty years of my life and I know when the seasons change and I can feel it. Not only do I feel spring in the air but I feel change in the air. Change in my life is finally coming. I’ve been waiting so long for change and you may also wonder why I’ve waited so long before making any change. Let me back up for a second. I work at a University and I am part of the help desk (Correction, My Coworker and I ARE THE HELPDESK!). I do a lot of desktop support, trouble shooting and working with Students, Faculty and Staff face to face. It only takes me two to six months to pick up my job and perfect it. When I say perfect it I mean I can analyze the problem and find a solution within a matter of minutes. I also like to make my job as efficient as possible so I have very little work to do. I’ve been here since August of 2015, this September will mark my two years (Too bad I’m submitting my two weeks next week!). Back to the story, Last June / July I got a job offer making more money doing less work for this company. I had two interviews and I absolutely killed it! Somehow the recruiter I was working with stopped returning my calls, my emails and all forms of communication. What turned out to be one day turned into two and then slowly snowballed into months. I was so upset, I really wanted out of this job and I was so close to putting in my two weeks. At this point I was devastated. I had stopped applying for because at this point, most of the job offers were contracts and most of the full time positions wanted to pay me entry level still. I have five years’ experience in Helpdesk / Desktop support ( I know I should have went a different route in IT and yes, it does suck) I had my A+ and Network + certification plus my associates degree and employers still wanted to pay me an entry level salary. It did not make sense. I mean growing up all you hear is go to school, get a job, experience, experience, experience. But apparently experience didn’t mean shit any more.
So around September 2015, Doug and I had made a decision to pick a project, any project and stick with it 100% beginning to end. We decided to start a subscription service selling T shirts with unique artwork on them by undiscovered artists. At the same time I decided to start a motivational Instagram account called MotivationUp. So at this point we had two projects we were working on. One project in hopes of making some kind of money and one project in hopes of watching it grow and evolve into hopefully another cash revenue. Our Subscription service went on until March of 2016. Seven months of Doug and I working full time jobs and coming home to work on our business. Doug worked in IT as well and we both worked 8 am to 5 pm every day then we would come home, eat and work from 6 pm to sometimes 1 am. This went on for seven months and to some it may not sound like not a long time but we literally worked from when we got home to when we went to sleep. We ended up making 2 sales during this time. One sale to a good friend and one sale to an absolute stranger. We grew MotivationUp to 700 followers and then I stopped. I stopped because I lost interest and the subscription service had more of an opportunity to make more money. Around March 2016 Doug had met a guy by the name of Chris and the next thing I know is that we’re working on another start up. It was for fishing analytics. That only lasted a month or two and again things fell through. At this point I had started another business called Rock Solid Stickers. What did I sell this time? You guessed it! (Probably not) Penis Stickers! I don’t care what anyone says I think they are hilarious and I have the best looking penis stickers on the market to date! We paid $250 for 1,000 stickers and ended up breaking even and making $200 plus in profits! I am still proud of this accomplishment! I mean I’m selling a sticker that costs $0.25 for $3.00 apiece. You may be wondering how all this ties together, well I’m getting there so go to the next paragraph!
June 2016 Pokemon Go became the biggest trend if not one of the biggest trends of the year! Everyone was so excited about the new AR app where you pull out your phone and use your camera to spot and capture Pokemon. It was need and definitely nostalgia! I can’t recall how Doug got the idea (Reddit maybe?) but we decided to open up a shopify store and import items from Ali Express and run advertisements via Google, Facebook and Reddit. We threw this all up in the matter of one day, if we had done it right we probably could have made more money and things probably wouldn’t have gotten so messy. I remember our first week open we had sold $900 in revenue! That was absolutely crazy for us seeing as how we weren’t businesses guys. We were just normal guys who were best friends and had jobs in the same field. As you can see we’ve learned quite a bit and started connecting the dots through the year and so. We went from working on a business that turned zero in revenue and profit to starting small businesses that were finally starting to make money. Of course I’m not going 100% in depth with all my experiences and business adventures but I can tell you that things were finally starting to look up for us. I know understand that “overnight success” reference, you know where it can’t happen over it. It takes time and it took us a little under two years which is pretty damn fast, but it’s the fact that it takes time to learn and to go through experience to see what’s working, what’s not working and to see what you actually know.
Fast forward to October 15th I believe. Doug and I had spent a good amount of time familiarizing ourselves with Social media, how to create a brand, how to build an audience, how to push traffic to your website, How to create physical products, How to run ads, How to drop ship, How to start a subscription service etc. We had been talking for a little bit about starting a social media management company and it sounded great, but it didn’t click until this day. We could finally utilize all our skills and start a business helping other businesses manage their social media, create their content, target their audience and generate reports. We decided everything we were working on was going to be put on the back burner and make this our number focus. Why? Because this was the most profitable idea we’ve had and this was what we had been practicing. At this time I was trying to take of one a week and go to Doug’s house to help get this off the ground. Sometimes I would take off two days a week to go and work on this. Hell I’m not even going to lie, I spent time at my full time job working on whatever I could to get this going. If you’ve started a business before, it’s not really complex. It’s just time consuming and there’s a lot of documentation and what not that needs to be completed before you can start getting customers and convincing them why they need your service. I remember November of 2016 I took off eight days that month! (LOL) we even got familiar with cold calling. Let me remind you we are normal guys who working in the IT field. We didn’t go to school for business, we are not salesmen, but we learned how to create a script, we learned how to pitch and we learned how to cold call. It’s not hard, it’s time consuming and it’s a process. It doesn’t matter how much you read or how much advise you’ve been given, business is one of those things where you have just to go out there and see what you can do. You need to see what you know, what you don’t know, you’ll figure out what you need to learn and its fun. We messed up but thank God it wasn’t anything critical!
So we went from Social media management to Digital Presence management. We not only want to help people manage their social media accounts but their overall digital presence. We’ve learned that it’s good to have a website but it’s better to be everywhere on the internet. You want as much exposure as possible to drive traffic, to get new customers and to make sales. Now back to today. I am so excited to quit my job and work on what I am passionate about. As you can see I’ve been on this crazy journey and it all started with the goal of picking something and sticking to it. I would have never guessed that I would be so blessed to have the opportunity to leave my job that I have got burned out from and start a business with my best friend and work on something that is meaningful and opens up so many doors for us!! I can feel spring coming, I can feel change coming and it is very very exciting and still so very bizarre and unreal to me.