In college, I played online poker. I got good, and I got into both coaching and investing in poker players. Fortunately, I was able to fund my schooling and some travel post-graduation. This experience opened my eyes to a world outside of the accounting job I was slated to pick up post-graduation, and I’ve been on an interesting ride ever since.
When I came back to the states, I decided to continue playing poker until early 2010. Eventually, I saw the writing on the wall with poker legislation and decided that it just wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my time anymore. However, I didn’t have anything else to turn to, so I spent 2010 exploring a myriad of hobbies and professions.
I spent a month and a half surfing for hours every day. I spent another month playing drums, and a couple more studying to become a real estate agent.
While it was fun to pursue whatever interests I had at the time, after a while I learned that devoting myself to my hobbies 100% wasn’t the best way to go about living. I wanted to do something else that had more personal meaning, as well as the potential to actually help people other than myself.
The ‘First’ Business
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind, starting way back in middle school when I sold CDs and offered an eBay listing and shipping service. I decided that since I knew a good amount about the web, I would start out by designing websites. This went well and I began doing websites for small businesses, professionals, and nonprofits. Eventually I began doing online marketing for my clients and expanded outside of the local space, doing marketing consulting for a number of software startups via my agency, Supreme Strategies.
Building off of the skills I learned helping clients perform better online and mixing in my love of gardening and growing plants, I started a local company called Espiritu Microgreens. For about a year, I grew and sold high-end microgreens to some of San Diego’s finest restaurants.
I shut this down because I wanted to travel, and building that business required me to be in the same place to really give it a chance of taking off.
Through my agency work, I met my friend Darrin, we rustled up some investment, and we started a company called GreatMate. GreatMate was your relationship personal assistant. It was designed to make it super easy to find awesome gifts and dates for your partner – and never forget an important day in your relationship ever again.
Due to many reasons, GreatMate didn’t work out for me, but I’m very glad to have gone through the experience.
While I am still very much involved in online marketing and consulting, it’s hard to see the effects of your work on the other people’s businesses without wanting to build one of your own.
I have set up a number of hobby projects in my spare time, partly to study how to make an impact and spread knowledge, and partly because I absolutely must have a side project going at all times. You can find them here.
If you would like to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter.