With the advancements of personal technology, starting your own company has never been simpler. Each year, countless individuals rise to the occasion and take on the challenges that come witth starting one’s own brand. Unfortunately, the business world is cruel and not many of these brands last much longer past their launch.
That isn’t to say that no company can be successfully launched, but the demanding grind of entrepreneurship is for a select few. Establishing a company requires a mindset that separates the entrepreneurs from the rest. Below are some examples of leaders that never settled into a traditional role and instead created the role that they wanted to do.
Francis Davidson — Sonder
By subletting his and his roommate’s downtown Montreal apartment as a 19-year-old philosophy & economics major, Davidson was able to earn over $14,000 in a single summer. Knowing he was onto something, Davidson got creative and expanded by managing several apartments across the downtown area. Three years later, Davidson dropped out of university to focus full-time on building his business. What started out as a side hustle grew into the hospitality juggernaut Sonder. Today, Sonder rivals AirBnB in the hospitality business and is currently valued at $1.3 billion after receiving investments from Alex Rodriquez, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk.
Songe LaRon — Squire
By understanding the customer experience, Songe LaRon took his knowledge of business management and point-of-sale software to the barbershop industry. While LaRon, initially did not possess a background in technology, as a customer he saw an opportunity for growth. The graduate of both Yale and UCLA understood that having a customer-focused mindset presented him with unique opportunities while tackling the barbershop industry. In an attempt to make life easier for both the shop owners and customers, LaRon founded Squire. Squire has become an all-in-one platform that controls the operation of an entire barbershop. Bookings, sales, payments, virtual waiting rooms, and more can all be done through the Squire software. LaRon saw how many industries possess software that makes tedious tasks easier and brought that over to the hair cutting field through Squire. Most recently, Squire just closed a Series C round of funding for $100 million.
Matt Ehrlichman — Porch
A two-time company CEO and Co-founder, Ehrlichman founded his first company, Thriva out of his Stanford dorm in 1999. A year after Thriva’s founding, Ehrlichman sold the company to The Active Network. There Ehrlichman was directly responsible for the TAN’s growth in revenues from $65 million in 2006 to $420 million in 2011. In 2012, after working on his family home in Seattle, Washington a new idea spawned in Ehrlichman’s head. While the idea was rough, Ehrlichman knew he wanted to focus on this newfound thought on homeowners and their experiences. This idea later turned into the home improvement platform Porch. Focused on assisting clients on every part of their home buying journey, Porch has deep integrations in local communities thanks to their partnership with Lowe’s and Facebook. Today, Porch continues to grow as it began 2021 by acquiring multiple smaller companies and integrating their software into their own. The story of Porch shows how with the right know-how, all it takes is an idea.
As an entrepreneur, it’s vital to bet on oneself and recognize that risks are inevitable. How to turn weaknesses into positive characteristics often determines who will be successful as a co-founder and who will fail. Whether it be Sonder, Squire, or Porch, each of their founders came from different backgrounds. However, each founder knew what kind of input their company needed from them. Running a business is a time-consuming venture, often more so than what is first expected, however that pay off and satisfaction is often worth it.
What do you think of each multimillion dollar entrepreneurs’ stories? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.