I have always hated the term “Serial Entrepreneur” because it implies some type of grave mental disorder or could easily be misinterpreted that you achieved your success trying to
figure out the proper color palette for the yellow moons, blue stars, pink hearts and green clover marshmallows that make your multi grain breakfast items so dam fun to eat. (Yes, for all you ‘charms’ fans that is probably the wrong way the little leprechaun says it, but don’t get side tracked on such minor details.)
Serial Entrepreneur sounds so menacing, but until someone comes up with a new hot definition we’ll live with it (I’m working on it, but always welcome some input). So as a self confessed serial entrepreneur I must now further admit it took me over a decade to arrive at a place of acceptance of the conclusion that peers, friends, family, colleagues and about everyone else I ever encountered told me for years, when they said, “Anthony, you're crazy. You really need to get yourself some professional help.”
All my life I have always found a way to forge ahead with something regardless of the obstacles, usually without asking for directions and most often without waiting on anyone else to join me. From the time I decided it would be a great idea to paint my little red fire truck brown using the interior lacquer I found in my Dad’s tool shed, (in a white cement driveway without a drop cloth and no paint brushes) until the time I decided it might be a great idea to start my first business (without any money or experience), I have always assumed the adage “If it is to be, it is up to me” quite literally.
To my credit, I will say that many times in my life I proved to myself and others that I was quite capable of handling almost everything that was ever thrown at me but to my detriment it was this exact characteristic that led to my personal business collapse, losing my life’s dream (and the dream of my original partners who were depending upon me to steer the ship as they did their part) in a series of catastrophic business disasters that all seemingly befell me simultaneously. In less than a year my promising and extraordinarily profitable company, that was the backbone of everything I owned including the funding of my movie star type lifestyle disappeared after my “I can do it all” mentality caught up to me.
Now don’t get the wrong idea as I paint this picture for you, my story doesn’t follow the same destructive path as the young rich rock star or child actor who threw it all away on drugs and partying. In fact the allure of that life never appealed to me. My problem was one that is common in the story of many hard driving, fast company entrepreneurs, where the desire to succeed makes you ignore the fundamentals of business, make incredibly stupid mistakes and start to believe your own press clippings to the point where you think you can do know wrong and in turn never prepare for the downside.
Coincidentally my type of failure is all too common in the entrepreneurial community but fortunately one that can become the foundation of all your future success. What I learned from my professional failure has been far more valuable to me than anything I ever learned from my success. My failure is what drove me to create my new company Solarceuticals and it’s premiere brand of products Bella Bronze and it is what drove me to do it better than before only this time with more substance.
My failure mostly taught me, you cannot walk alone. Each step along this entrepreneurial journey is a challenge and the road can appear infinite. It taught me to “get professional help” like a lawyer you can believe in and an accountant you can truly trust with your money. It taught me to find great partners and respect them for their talents, uncover great employees and let them do their jobs without interfering in their day to day. Create something extraordinary that you can be proud of even if the rest of the world has no clue what you do or even if they don’t care, you will know and it will help you sleep. Love the life you are given and learn from all those who have come before you, who walk beside you and those you hope to one day consider peers without judgment.
This philosophy is now one part of my life and the principles that guide me and as I’ve come to find out, it is similar to the philosophy of many other successful entrepreneurs I call friends and the same as the partners I have joined in the ground-breaking company Lucky Napkin.
At the end of the day, if you choose to walk alone you will only be as good as your personal talents and assets will allow you to be, but if you seek professional help and allow others to assist you on your journey, you will benefit from their unique experiences and perhaps shorten the trip to your long term goal. Either way enjoy the ride because as failure teaches you, losing it is a hell of a lot easier than making it so as you make it, make it count.
If you would like to learn more about Anthony's company Bella Bronze you can find it here http://www.bellabronzesun.com or learn more about his involvement in helping entrepreneurs launch their own great ideas through The Lucky Napkin http://www.luckynapkin.com including how you can attend the upcoming Amilya's Mind to Market Weekend in San Francisco June 27, 28 and 29th where you can meet one on one with the best entrepreneurial minds in the country to work through your idea and help you achieve your vision.