My Origin Story and A New Era
I thought it would be important to tell a story about who I am and why I decided to jump into entrepreneurship so early in my life. A lot of this involves things I haven’t talked about ever and I hope it sheds some light on why I am so passionate about this pursuit and inspires a lot of you who read this.
The Beginning was Rough
It’s been a wild ride to get here. This actually goes way back to middle school. Back then I didn’t really try on anything and I wasn’t willing to put in any effort on things to be successful, but I was still really competitive and ambitious. Even though I never wanted to put in the effort, I always wanted to win and beat the person that was next to me. It wasn’t until when I applied to a magnet high school and got rejected when I realized that I wasn’t the best and I have to grind to get the things I want in life. I was very hurt because all my best friends got in and I was one of the only people in my group that wasn’t joining them on the other side. So when I got into high school, I grinded academically like no other time in my life. I gained a reputation for being super competitive. I never really spent time with people in high school. I went to school, then went to tennis practice, and then worked on debate until 12 AM. At 12 AM I would start my homework and finish around 2–3 AM and then start over again. This process was very taxing, but I managed to do it for almost 4 years.
There Were A Ton Of Sacrifices That I Had to Learn From
I never created the time to interact with people and make lasting connections. It really hurts when I think about it that I wasn’t able to connect with people that much until very late in my high school career. I was bullied in middle school for being weird and quirky. I had a notorious reputation for being too competitive in high school, so people knew me, but tended to keep their distance. I convinced myself to do all this because of the pain of being separated from my best friends in middle school and the suppressed feeling of inferiority. At the end of the day, all I wanted was to extinguish that pain.
I worked hard every single day so that one time in my future I could say that I earned my legacy, respect and got the approval of my loved ones. It was the only way I knew to connect with people. However, I had worked so hard during my high school years, I started getting less close to my family and friends. I lost touch with my family and we really just stopped doing fun things together just because I would come home every day and go to my room to work.
I never sought the importance of making valuable relationships and connections until my senior year of high school. It was then I tried getting to know people on a deeper level. I didn’t really know how to, but I knew that playing sports and games was the best option for me. I started hanging out with other students and we played basketball and manhunt, but the big thing for me is when I started playing ping pong. I got extremely close with my dad and that meant the world. I can honestly say that I lost a little touch with him as I started working so hard, but table tennis brought that back. We played and it was amazing. I want parents and kids to have that same experience because I noticed that people are lacking connection everywhere, whether it is with their friends or family.
I Had A Mission But I Lacked Direction
By the time I was a junior, I fell in love with the idea of starting my own successful company. I didn’t really know what “business” meant but what I did know was that I wanted to create something that was mine and push it out to the world and really create an impact on millions of people’s lives. I really saw the impact that entrepreneurs were making on a daily basis and I wanted it to be me. The only thing was that I did not know any entrepreneurs in my family or in my friend circle, so I really have to embark on this journey on my own and I really had no idea what the correct path was (eventually I realized there is no correct path). I eventually thought that the best way to get there was through doing investment banking for 2 years and then lateraling to bootstrap my own company.
Fast forward to college. Ever since I took my first steps at UVA, I kept hearing about investment banking and how that pays well, so without even knowing what investment banking was or what the job entailed, I decided I wanted to be a banker. At the University of Virginia, I went back into that grind mentality because I felt like I had something to prove. ONCE AGAIN, I started pursuing my “dream” of becoming an investment banker and sacrificing everything that came with it. I didn’t make deep relationships and didn’t really have fun during my first year. I wasn’t even pursuing my real dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Eventually, I heard about the 100 hour work weeks on powerpoint and excel that investment bankers go through, which is when I really started thinking whether it was the right thing for me. I knew that there was no reason for me to go into this type of field, even if it was just for two years.
I Felt Crunched
I was so tired of being pressured by society to mold into someone I knew I didn’t want to be. Forcing me to become something I am not. All this frustration and rage in not being able to build connections properly and not being the person I wanted to become led me to just be done. On one side I am thinking things like:
“Oh my God, what are my parents are going to say when I tell them I don’t want to pursue these things anymore. “
“What are they going to say when I just tell them I am done with school? “
I was done submitting assignment after assignment that wasn’t even getting me close to my goals.
Done with people telling me what to do.
Those were external fears, but internally I feared becoming a faceless cog in the machine pounding away at what my bosses tell me. I feared not being able to experience the fruits of life, to experience other cultures, to expand my mind, and to constantly push myself to become more than I was yesterday. I fear not being able to make lasting connections with people and build meaningful relationships. I am tired of my parents paying for everything, especially my degree, which I feel is something that is not providing me a lot of value. So on one side, I have pressure from society and then I have pressure from myself. Feeling crunched by those two sides, I literally felt myself going insane.
As someone who wants to make a difference in a pressurized world, I was eager when I came to UVA. In a world where every millennial talk about being the one to create “impact,” there is always a sense of urgency when you have people like Mark Zuckerburg who became successful in college. A lot of students put themselves in very high-stress environments to get themselves there. After a certain point, if you want to get somewhere, you have to deal with the pressure and take action.
It Was Time For Action
After spending a summer in San Francisco, I said “why wait? Let’s find something right now.” I finally stopped caring about what society would think. This was my first experience of a complete mindset shift. I wanted to start something new, and I was going to be relentless in finding something that would get me out of the rat race I was putting myself in. But what? Now I was in a position where I was ready to drop everything for a cause I was passionate about. I just had to find something.
So, I kept on asking myself how I could start with only $200 in my checking account? This is a position so many “wanna-be entrepreneurs” get into. Most of them give up right there. It wasn’t going to be me. I knew that I could make excuses, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is to get results. My first goal was to get to $10,000. I would be able to use that 10k into other, more scalable businesses. I started publishing Kindle books on Amazon and selling them online. I started doing so many side hustles and I managed t to get $30-$40 here and there every hour. I did everything from user testing to writing articles for money, just so I can scrape by and put the extra money into my savings. I watched motivational videos like this almost every day.
Eventually, I started charging Lime e-scooters in my basement. Lime is just a startup that lets people use their scooters during the day and charge the scooters at night. I pick up scooters and then get $4 per scooter. After doing this for about 6 months, I accumulated $10,000. This became my funding for my next business. But what was that going to be?
My roommates and I bought a ping pong table, and I am telling the level it got us to connect is insane. Whether we used the balls to play a friendly game of beer pong or a game of table tennis, it really brought us together and out of our own heads and problems. We laughed whenever one of us screwed up or totally whiffed a shot. We got intense and focused when points would go back and forth. We had some awesome competitions. The same thing happened to my dad and me. We shared some laughs, and we finally had some common ground. Something that we both liked. Everyone is always running around, busy doing their own grind, but the beautiful thing is when we just have a good time. That’s coming from me, probably the most competitive person ever. And the remarkable thing about ping pong is that if you have a portable net and set, you can honestly play anywhere there is a table. The point is not just to play competitively, its to have fun with your friends. Enjoy the rush of the moment. For a small bit of time, we come together and have a good time.
And that was when it hit me. Table tennis. This is how I start my movement. My movement of helping connect people, to amplify their lives, to make them better. Table tennis was more than just a game for me. It helped me reconnect with my family and create real friendships.
A lot of you may be thinking, “why table tennis sets?” My answer to that is that it is just the start of something bigger. I wanted to make something that empowers people to perform at their best while connecting with the people around them. Performance and Connection. These are the core values that I hope to weave into the fabric of my company.
I created my own brand called Synrgenic and the first product will be table tennis sets. Is this the only thing I will be selling? No. This is the start of something greater.
If you are still reading this, then thank you! If you really do believe in me and my mission, feel free to head over to www.synrgenic.com and sign up for updates on special offers and deals for my products!
I am working to create a spectacular offer for all of you that sign up not just because I want you to get the most bang for your buck, but also because I really believe in this mission. Be ready! This won’t be the last time you see this logo on your screen.