I was entrepreneurial from a young age. I have always had my hands full with different businesses. When I was 16, I started going to network marketing meetings. I had moved in with my aunt who had begun hosting these meetings at her house. As a teen, I craved independence and was excited at the prospect of earning money in unexpected ways. These meetings impressed me with a sense of responsibility and “real world” business savvy. Network marketing companies require you to be 18 to sign up. Well, on my 18th birthday, I signed up for a network marketing company…. And so began my entrepreneurial journey!
When I was 17, I experienced a personal tragedy, which left a lasting impression on me. One day, my sister and her friends were daydreaming like girlfriends do. The question came up. “If time and money weren’t an issue, what would you be, Brooke?” My sister, Brooke responded that she would be a “Thank You Fairy.” “Everyday, people do wonderful things that go unnoticed; I would want to travel around thanking them.” My sister was a freshman at Berkeley.
Two weeks after that conversation, my sister passed away. She was dressed to go for a run with her friend and a massive blood clot entered into her right ventricle of her heart and killed her. In the midst of my grief for my sister, emerged a sense of comfort from her dream. In my interactions with others since then, I have sought to cultivate a sense of gratitude, see the best in others, and not take anyone in my life for granted.
My entrepreneurial spirit endured. At 20, I returned to college in San Diego with my head spinning from seeing the inner workings of a business, albeit at a bikini coffee stand I had worked at over the summer. My roommate jumped on board with my idea to launch our own stand in San Diego. It was a learning experience to say the least.
We bought all the equipment. Yet, our business sensibilities were cut off by our drive to make money. We cut corners and took shortcuts that required us to continually backtrack. In six months we dissolved. It was an exciting time, to be sure. The result was that we knew a lot about the nuts and bolts of a business at a young age.
My next business venture, at age 24, was opening a fitness studio in downtown La Jolla, CA. I learned even more from this next experience and realized that doing a ton of research beforehand and setting a solid foundation is the essential first step- first several steps to any business endeavor. This knowledge would shape my determination to immerse myself in research and lay concrete groundwork in all of my future endeavors.
Now a full fledged adult, I set my sights on real estate and insurance. I got the proper certification and licensing. I was a good insurance agent, yet something was missing still. I was still running a business for the money, without feeling an innate sense of passion or satisfaction in my work.
Then I went on my first trip abroad to Ireland and London and my eyes opened up to the great big world! I fell in love with traveling. On that trip, a friend of mine mentioned that her sister worked as on online marketer and was going to join this program that was for remote workers and traveling. My eyes lit up. I immediately knew I wanted a job that allowed me location freedom. When I got back home, I started researching online jobs, applying jobs I was nowhere near qualified for. What mattered was I was putting my intention and energy out into the world. My hours and hours of research lead me to finding the opportunities of selling Private Label Products online and online education.
I had been selling my old Lululemon clothes on Ebay for years and thought to myself, “Hey! I can figure this out!” I was watching Shark Tank and was always so curious as to how these products get made and how does manufacturing work? Since the advent of Amazon, I was ardently curious about how selling on that platform worked and what types of people sold items there. I scanned the profile pages of sellers and thought, “Hey! If these people can figure the steps to ecommerce out, surely I can too.”
I have always had a knack for being able to absorb information quickly, implement it, and then also teach it to others.
The world of eCommerce and online marketing opened up to me—I found it extremely fascinating, so I dug in! Studying, taking online courses, and putting everything into action. I wanted to get this thing moving and I wanted to create and build something huge. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe there is a reason my life looks the way it does today (an independent world traveler and entrepreneur at 28): I am able to fully immerse myself into building this business that I just love oh so much!!
Looking back on it all, I seemed to embody the vision of a lean startup by “failing fast.” Yet along each step of the way, I learned, tweaked my next steps for better efficiency and a solid foundation, and refined my savvy. My advice to prospective business owners is this: Take action, if you don’t. how will you ever know what works and how to tweak and make adjustments to further your business?