I’m Gabe, and I have over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience. In my new podcast, The Truth About Entrepreneurship, I’ll be sharing an overview of my entrepreneurial journey to date. We are also going to discuss one of the most important lessons you can learn in business.
This segment covers my introduction to the podcast and shares a bit about me and why I’m putting together these episodes. I also discuss briefly what you can expect from future episodes, and provide a little motivational music for your enjoyment.
Some Background and History
Time for some history about me and the many lessons I learned growing up in Hunting Valley, Ohio. I grew up in a large family with five younger brothers and an older sister. My parents were caretakers for a large estate in Hunting Valley, and I spent my days wandering the vast forests and hills around the main house.
We didn’t have much that we could call our own growing up, and we were honestly quite poor. If we wanted something of our own, we had to find a way to earn the money for it. As we lived in the middle of nowhere, those opportunities were few and far between.
My first entrepreneurial opportunity came when I was in middle school. I had just killed a black snake on a trail. I was carrying it home when I crossed paths with our landlord and his daughter. While they were admiring the kill, his daughter asked me what I would charge to make it into a belt for her.
“Forty bucks,” I said, without hesitation.
The result wasn’t pretty, and I doubt she ever wore it (I basically wrapped the processed snakeskin around a belt), but it was my first commissioned job. As I got older, I worked alongside my grandfather (who had basically raised me) building homes, and together we built the house my parents eventually lived in after they moved out of the caretaker’s house.
I also branched out into web development, making websites for local businesses. Eventually, I founded my own construction company. I was running a multi-million dollar enterprise at 16, and everything was going well. Then, in 2007, the credit crisis hit, and I lost everything. When the dust settled, I had just a few thousand dollars to my name.
Worse still, I lost both my childhood best friend and my grandfather in the same year. These losses combined with losing my business took a devastating toll on my life. I got divorced for the first time, and I moved to a tiny apartment where no one knew me.
After my business collapsed, I received death threats at my home, and I was no longer safe living there. I was at rock bottom. After patching myself up, I decided I wasn’t staying there and made a plan to start fresh. I learned from the lessons my failure taught me.
I went to work in an automotive retail center to make ends meet, and I learned valuable lessons from the management team and others who worked there. I moved on to work for a repossession company and helped them straighten out and streamline their operations significantly.
All the while, I was squirreling away my capital to go back into business for myself. I finally got my chance while working for the repossession company. I pivoted my focus into technology and marketing when those fields were still in their infancy. Along the way, I made crucial mistakes that taught me valuable lessons for the future.
Eventually, I went back to work for myself and built the many successful companies that have helped me achieve the success I enjoy today. I’ve built and sold hundreds of successful businesses and branched out in directions I never in a thousand years would have thought possible. Along the way, I learned my most important lesson about business, and I’m going to share it with you in the next segment.
The Most Important Lesson
Okay, so what is the most important lesson you can learn about business? It’s simple: strong relationships. While it is easy to comprehend and understand, it is far more complex in execution. The investment of time, attention to detail and hard work are significant, and it is more than just emails, phone calls and text messages.
Those are all essential, but they aren’t what makes or breaks relationships in business. In the next episode, I’m going to go into further detail about this important lesson, and we’ll break down the what, the why and the how of building strong relationships to foster lasting success for your business.
I hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this episode, and that you keep listening as I take you through what I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey. Let me know what you think in the comments. Keep up with the podcast on Spotify and contact me with all your entrepreneurial questions.