Editor’s Note: It’s a great moment-worth all the sweat and tears-when you can finally call yourself an entrepreneur. But in Brian Sack’s case, he was an entrepreneur long before he realized it. Having that grit and determination from an early age is a great gift. Here’s what Brian did with his.
Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park. In fact, it is perhaps better compared to a walk in the desert, in boiling heat, without food, water or any hope of help from the outside world. Transforming what might essentially be no more than a thought bubble into a viable and functioning business can take hours, weeks, even years of toil. Years of hustle.
Thankfully, I am no stranger to hustle: Being an entrepreneur while studying a full time university degree and working a part-time job is no easy task.
My name is Brian Sack, I am 21 years old, and I am proud to say that I am an entrepreneur who has done a lot of “hustling” to get what I want.
My entrepreneurial drive took root in the early years of primary school, where I earned pocket money selling a range of ‘gimmicky’ products to other students. What started as a hobby grew into, well, a business, and I earned a few hundred dollars of revenue a month. The list of products I offered was eclectic: sunglasses, calculators and even pens.
It was my first ever real business venture, one that, if not for the intervention of the school principal, might have grown to become an international conglomerate. At least that is what my imagination tells me, and if there are two things an entrepreneur needs, it’s an imagination and the resolve to never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
The urge to quit after being reprimanded by the principal was strong, but I still had a lot of stock left over. So, after some passionate negotiation, I convinced her to buy the rest. She walked out of school that day with thirty calculators. Sure, it was probably out of pity, and a desire not to crush my dreams, but then, once again, never let the truth get in the way of a good story…
That experience spurred me to pursue other ventures, and I took up the hustle in other ways. A high school multimedia class inspired me to start my own video production company with a friend. Months of hard work, practice and assistance from the multimedia teacher (Thanks, Mr Richardson!) gave birth to ‘Lashac Productions’ (a combination of my friend and my surnames). We produced video slideshows on a weekly basis for a range of functions, from birthday parties to weddings.
Looking to expand, and motivated by our parents’ lament that all our family videos were wasted in VHS tapes, we incorporated conversions of VHS tapes into DVDs as part of our company’s services.
This venture proved to be one of the most difficult we attempted, and it took hours of perusing through internet tech forums and dozens of cheap TV cards, cords, cables and an old VHS player to pull it off. Thankfully, the hustle paid off, and Lashac Productions proved to be a huge success.
After two years of intense study for my VCE, I was ready for my next start-up. Inspired by some swirly lanterns I saw at a Chinese New Year parade, I decided to market a curly fry on a stick for parties and functions. I called the business ‘MisterTwister’ and soon expanded it to include waffles on a stick and other fun foods. The popularity of the venture encouraged me to persist, even when it became difficult to juggle a full time University schedule and a part- time job at an accounting firm with the business.
If there is one thing that I have learned from my experience with start-ups, it is that continual persistence, hard work, little sleep, sweat, blood and tears are crucial elements in building a business. It has become clear to me that in business, like in exercise, it’s “no hustle, no muscle.”