Over a course of two years, I bootstrapped a company, a "Priceline" for movie deals, from a van and brought it up to a $15 million valuation. As a movie ticketing platform, the goal was to sign up as many theaters across the country while reducing money and travel time, and also increasing as much face-time with our clients as possible.
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Throughout this period, our sales team of up to five members visited more than 40 states, covered at least 200,000 miles and built business relationships with countless theaters. During this time, the number of partnerships we had jumped from 50 to about 450. Although it has been a couple years since my last voyage in a van, I am still regularly asked and remembered for what the media coined as the "Man Van" campaigns.
When I tell my story, I enjoy sharing the most important lesson I learned during this time, as it applies to anyone who is dreaming big: Reality is what you define as real. For example, the average person does not think building a company out of a van is possible. I get it. There are so many reasons that can prevent you from thinking that it is a realistic possibility. Let's start off with some of the basics:
- How can you sleep on a seat?
- Is it safe to sleep in a van?
- Can you get robbed?
- Where will you shower?
- How can you get internet?
- Can you even focus on your work?