I can’t believe it’s been a year and a half
It’s been 18 months since I left my career as a strategy consultant. Since then my co-founder and I have dissolved our health and wellness beverage, H2Melon, and I am now working on Par — a mobile app for users to buy and sell airline miles to book flights.
Life as a full-time entrepreneur has been a series of ups and downs. Here are some high and lowlights from the past 18 months.
Months 1 to 6
- Launching H2Melon in Manhattan
- Being named a finalist for BevNET’s New Beverage Showdown
- Showcasing H2Melon at the NYC Summer Fancy Food Show
- Realizing the steady stream of paychecks every two weeks ceases to exist
- Having to find insurance on the exchange
H2Melon had been in the works for months but we ramped up when I made the move to full-time. The H2Melon team was riding high from the quick wins. Despite the lack of income I was happy with my decision to dedicate myself full-time to entrepreneurship.
Lessons Learned:1) To properly execute fully commit yourself. 2) Money factors into one’s happiness but it’s only one variable in the happiness equation.
Months 7 to 12
- Convincing my family that decision to chase my dream is the right one
- Growing H2Melon through self-distribution
- Failing to get a distributor to pick up H2Melon at favorable margins
- Walking away from H2Melon (given the circumstance this is both a low/highlight)
- You guessed it! Still no paycheck
H2Melon was the classic case of a startup dying by suicide — it was a culmination of things that will require another blog to elaborate. During this period, I was able to show my family that I can sustain despite a steady income.
Lessons Learned: 1) Communication is key, especially a business relationship. 2) Always save for a rainy day (umm actually just save for all days).
Months 13 to 18
- Founding Par and finding a Co-founder/CTO
- Being featured in Black Enterprise Modern Man Series and Roko Labs’ Behind The App Series
- Getting some paychecks! Did some independent consulting work (Cha Ching)
- Being rejected from some accelerator programs (standard early stage bumps)
I have heard a decent amount of no’s during my entrepreneurial journey. That won’t stop me from pushing forward. If anything, the no’s will make future yeses that much sweeter. I am fortunate to have a skill I can use on the side to drum up some cash as I bootstrap Par.
Lessons Learned: 1) Each no is a step closer to a yes. 2) I love what I am doing now.
The past 18 months has been filled with more highlights than low. I am excited about Par and the potential of what we are building.