So I’m here in the E-commerce, digital marketing, and startup business space. That’s not where I started, though. I went to college as a microbiology major with the pre-med track. I was convinced I was going to medical school right after college, becoming a doctor, and living my life. But that changed a lot. In my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to start a dance marathon on our campus. You have this all night or all day dance marathon; for those who don’t know what that is. The money raised goes towards your local children’s hospital or a similar nonprofit organization that helps children in different medical situations.
Once I did that, I realized how much the business aspect of that I liked, you know, the planning, the operations, and I had had small businesses in the past and did a little business work on the side. I always loved that; I didn’t realize how much so until that point. So I graduate from college with a microbiology degree. My first job out of college was working for a nonprofit, nothing to do with science; I was doing volunteer coordination and fundraising for a nonprofit that worked primarily with homeless or low-income individuals. While I was working there, this nonprofit didn’t pay that much. To make a few extra bucks, I took on some side jobs in the evenings, building a website, some graphic design work, or other odd and end jobs like that. This work helped pay off the student loans I built up during college.
It’s time to move on
While I was doing that, I looked at my schedule at some point. I was like, wait for a second; I’m working full time for the nonprofit. Then at night, I came home and worked another full-time job. As much as I liked working for a nonprofit, it doesn’t pay the bills, especially for those who pay student loans. So at that point, I decided to step down from the nonprofit job and primarily focus on my business 24/7. And it was bizarre. The day I set my two-week notice in and handed it to the CEO, only nine of us were there full time, so he knew it was coming. I talked a lot about it. I got a call from somebody I had already known in the business world who said I want you to build this website for me and run it.
Start this whole other company for me that this guy already had retail locations; he’s going to turn those retail locations into an online store. And that replaced my income from the nonprofit right there. So not only did I have the payment for stability, but then I was able to bring on new clients with more income and more experience. After a few more months, I decided to start getting my MBA from The University of Texas because, you know, I like this business thing. Let’s explore a little further; let’s get a formal education, see how it works out, and get my MBA.
One door closed but more opened
The website does well. The owner is a little impatient, but it grows and grows and grows to a point where he can sell it, he sells the website, and I move on to the new owner for a few months to help him transition. In the meantime, I have multiple other clients I’ve been working with for two years. So I’m staying busy with that. He sells it. I work a little but decide I don’t want to do this anymore. So I go off on my own a little more so than usual. And this whole time, this business was growing, growing, and growing. Now they’re a very, very large online business. Small compared to some of these massive companies, but pretty significant. So that was about a year and a half ago.
About four or five months ago, I realized this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I’m feeling stuck. I enjoy helping clients, but I thought I could do better, so I decided to transfer everything and kind of like shut down Shission and Company, the original company I started, and start the E-commerce Accelerator. During this period, I already created an online e-commerce website that I run for fun, you know, doesn’t pay the bills. I know it seems weird that I have an E-commerce agency. I don’t have a website that’s like wildly successful, but I enjoy the building process and getting things started for people. Even though I’m good at it, it’s not the everyday operations I like.
So I started this E-commerce Accelerator, which is where I am now. Now, I can help people who want to build e-commerce websites, and it’s what I like because we know there’s a market out there for it. It’s just going to continue to grow. So there are a lot of opportunities to help other people and see where it goes.