In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
To me, a true entrepreneur is what society deems a crazy person. When you tell somebody about something that does not exist they have every right in the world to think you’re crazy. But it's when you bring it to life and others can finally see it that you cross the fine line between crazy and genius.
What was your toughest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The toughest challenge for me was starting my own business without ever having worked for someone who was where I wanted to be. When you start with nothing, failing is the only way to move the yardsticks. What should be covered with a band-aid can quickly turn into a full body cast. I overcame this through time, patience, and persistence.
What’s the problem you just solved or are attacking now?
Right now my focus is on bringing over-the-top restaurant quality experiences into the home. Cooking at home can be monotonous and most people simply don’t have the ingredients, skillset, or time to cook an exciting meal. Takeout is transactional. Great restaurants provide the environment, excitement, atmosphere, and a memorable dining experience. BurgaBox is bridging the gap between boring home cooked meals and exciting restaurant experiences by delivering an over-the-top meal kit with simple instructions and mind-bending gourmet tastes.
How did you discover this problem?
One day a meal kit box appeared at The Boston Burger Company’s warehouse. The three owners stood over it as if it came down from space. They thought, if people are getting excited about kale and quinoa, imagine what would happen if we put our “burgas” in a box? They called me and together we brought the concept to life.
What trait do you depend on most when making decisions and why is that useful for you?
What helps me make decisions on a day to day basis is both self-confidence and humility. I truly believe that I can figure out most problems I face by tapping into past experiences and connecting dots, but more importantly, I understand that I don’t know much and can learn from every person with who I come into contact.
How has your leadership style evolved?
Earlier in my career, I tried to do everything myself. I couldn’t wait. Everything needed to be done yesterday. If I hired someone and they couldn’t finish a task in minutes, I would just do it myself. That leadership style leads to many long nights, burn out, and constant dissatisfaction.
Leadership to me is allowing someone to build their own theoretical building within your organization. Some can build a skyscraper, some can only build a few floors, but they all tumble without a solid foundation. The foundation is not only making sure they understand and believe in the company vision but also learning about their personal wants, dreams, and goals and helping them achieve them.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
“There is no elevator to success. You must take the stairs.” - Zig Ziglar
As an entrepreneur, one of my biggest challenges has always been my desire to chase shiny things. I need newness in my life. If I wrote down my dream life on a piece of paper and a genie granted it to me within a week I’d be concocting new ways to make it better. This quote reminds me every day that there are no silver bullets, the next move is not going to make or break the company, and the best way to succeed is to understand that success lies in the journey, not the destination.