John Shegerian was recently featured in an interview on the Huffington Post regarding entrepreneurship and running a business. The article can be viewed online at The Huffington Post or below.
Are Entrepreneurs Born with Different DNA?
Are you an Entrepreneur?
If yes, you might know that you have embarked on a never ending journey. You have to keep moving, keep innovating, and keep learning new things. If you aren’t an entrepreneur, you may wonder where entrepreneurs find the time, energy, and drive to continue creating new businesses after having tasted success already so many times. If you wonder why an entrepreneur can’t stop working and simply enjoy their hard earned success and often times wealth, the answer is simple – it is because entrepreneurs can never hang their hat on past accomplishments. Doing so would prove fatal to their thought process, their businesses, and their lives. They need to keep working and be innovative not only to stay in the game, but to continue to feel a sense of accomplishment.
The law of life says, “Anything which is at rest is either sleeping or dead. Anything which is alive should be always in motion”.
We see stories of innovators, entrepreneurs, and business people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson and are reminded of their innovations on a daily basis. Their creations impact and change nearly every facet of our lives. Some of us have heard the stories of other entrepreneurs who while not mainstream, have still made a strong name for themselves like Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and the youngest self-made female billionaire in America, or others like Tory Burch or Clara Barton. But the reality is, most entrepreneurs dramatically change the world for the better but never become household names, even though their innovations and companies have a lasting impact on others.
Richard Branson said, “To be a real entrepreneur you always have to be looking forward. The moment you rest on your laurels is the moment your competition overtakes you.”
This begs the question, “Are entrepreneurs born with different DNA?” To answer this, we sat down with John Shegerian and Brendan Egan, two entrepreneurs with very different backgrounds who met years ago and have come together to be involved in several businesses together.
Q: When you were younger, did you have the entrepreneurial DNA in you?
Shegerian: From a young age as a harness racer, I knew I wanted to win. At 15, I was the youngest harness driver in America and won my first race. At 17, I broke the world record for the fastest 5/8 mile dash. Fast forward to 29, I was a Vice President for a successful real estate firm. At 30, I co-founded award winning Homeboy Tortillas which eventually went on to become Homeboy Industries. I would say yes, from very early on, I had the entrepreneurial DNA and knew I wanted to be involved in my own businesses.
Egan: I recall at the age of 10 canvasing my neighborhood with flyers to blow leaves and plow driveways in the winter. At first I did it myself, but I started to expand and soon was farming out the work to my friends at a markup. In high school and college I had a taste of a few jobs for large companies and quickly realized that wasn’t for me. At 19, around the time the recession was hitting, I got involved in stock trading and day trading and was very successful I did that full time for several years. At 20, I started a trading educational website. At 21, I founded Simple SEO Group which would grow into a multi-million dollar marketing and web development company. I think my entire life I looked at things differently and had an entrepreneur in me.
Q: What was your first businesses and were they a success or failure?
Shegerian: My first businesses were Homeboy Tortillas, Bulldog Brewing Company, and eventually FinancialAid.com which was financially the most successful for me. I sold FinancialAid.com in 2005 to Education Lending Group, which was later purchased by CIT. I then went on to co-found ERI, which today is one of the world’s largest ITAD & electronic recycling services.
Egan: My first real business was a trading educational website which was very successful in its time offering an 8 hour digital video course as well as consulting. I worked with thousands of traders from 6 continents. After that came one of my current businesses, Simple SEO Group, where I also work with a variety of clients on helping them find success Simple SEO Group, where I also work with a variety of clients on helping them find success. Simple SEO Group, where I also work with a variety of clients on helping them find success. Simple SEO Group, where I also work with a variety of clients on helping them find success through strategic digital marketing campaigns which is extremely challenging yet rewarding at the same time. It helps keep things interesting and fresh for me.
Q: What are you working on today? What excites you?
Shegerian: I’m working on several businesses, but some of the most exciting ones still include ERI which is continuing to grow and be a leader in its space, as well as a new sleep drink called SOM Sleep. SOM is something I want to democratize sleep in the US and eventually around the world. I’m also working on a book tied to SOM Sleep. I’m an investor and advisor in several other startups as well.
Egan: Most of my time today goes towards Simple SEO Group and The Marketing Masters, which is a company I co-founded with John, however I am also involved in a new fitness studio concept that will open in 2018 and eventually turn into a franchise, as well as a platform that I hope will revolutionize how small businesses do digital marketing. I’m also involved in a few startups as an investor and strategic advisor. I’m also working with John on a marketing book that will be published in early 2018.
Q: If you could give our readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
Shegerian: To take care of themselves and their health first and foremost, and to not be afraid to dream big. Every business takes hard work and dedication, and while I believe afraid to dream big. Every business takes hard work and dedication, and while I believe many entrepreneurs are born with that DNA, I also believe anyone with the right mind and work ethic can start a business.
Egan: To find whatever they are passionate about and stick to it. There is success to be had and money to be made in every industry out there, find what you are most passionate about and what you love doing and with hard work and dedication the rest will fall into place.
Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”