Jesse Krieger – Author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Brief History of a Lifestyle Entrepreneur

I’d like to welcome you to the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Blog, where I will be publishing some of my best ideas on how to design the lifestyle of your dreams and build online businesses to support it.

Traveling the world, learning new languages and cultures, launching businesses in diverse industries and generally exploring the things I’m interested in and passionate about – That has been the main focus of my first 10 years as an entrepreneur.

Now I am excited to launch this blog along with my friend and managing editor, Navid Moazzez! We will also invite some inspirational and awesome lifestyle entrepreneurs to join the fun with guest articles, interviews and some free surprises thrown in along the way.

Allow me to introduce myself…

Hi, I’m Jesse Krieger, author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy.

Jesse Krieger - Author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur

For the last couple weeks I have been in Las Vegas, enjoying 100 degrees of fun in the sun and teaching a 10-day version of my Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy curriculum to an invite-only audience from a penthouse in The Cosmopolitan. It was a total blast… and the views weren’t bad either:

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy - Las Vegas 2013

On a break in between seminar and hitting the town…

This was part of a larger program called Project Rockstar is a 2-month long, full-life transformational program (that is free, but you must be selected). So, every year I get together with some of the best health and fitness coaches, some of the world’s best dating coaches and we all bring the heat with our best material to a select, fortunate few…and have an insane amount of fun in the process, I mean Vegas for two weeks, who does that?!

Fortunately we got HD video of the whole program and I’d like to share my introductory talk, where I try to condense 10 years of entrepreneurial history into about 35 power-packed minutes. Also below I have included the transcript and some excerpts from the adventures and exploits that have made me the person I am today:

Jesse Krieger at Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy

All Right, let’s kick this off guys!  So, this marks the beginning of the Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy portion of Project Rockstar. I know a lot of you said that you’re excited to learn about this and quite frankly I’m excited to share as much as I can convey to you from my 10 or so years of entrepreneurial experience.

We’re going to start off today and just share a little bit about my background and some of the experience and business I’ve started. Keep in mind that the whole premise and the promise of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy is taking the things you’re interested in and passionate about and turning them into products and services that can add value to others.

So, you’re providing value into the market and also supporting your lifestyle with an online business that’s structured in such a way that it can be run from anywhere in the world with your laptop and internet connection.

My Background

You know, my background is perhaps different from some of the other guys in the sense that I never even really started down this traditional career path.

From a very young age, around 13 or 14 I knew that all I really wanted to do was music. I got an electric guitar at 13 and really I think it was just over from then. You know?

First Band

In my first band at age 15

I would ditch school, go home, learn Jimi Hendrix songs, play in bands—just sort of screw around. I was never interested in business originally, per se.

After high school I went down to Los Angeles. I went to Los Angeles Music Academy. So I did a 12 month no-academic program all focused on electric guitar. Playing out in bands—literally music ten, eleven, twelve plus hours a day sometimes. And this is a scene where, you know, if anybody’s been in the music industry in LA you actually have to pay clubs to go and play there. So, I was like, “Oh, man. This is going to be pretty hard if I want to make a living at music because I’m actually coming out of pocket every time I’m doing the thing that I love.”

So, after a year of that I was like, “Look, I’m ready to see some more of the world.” I got some exposure to international people. Eighty percent of the student body at Los Angeles Music Academy was from abroad. So, I started to hear these stories about life in Italy or how it is over in Japan. I was like, “Wow. I really want to get out and see some of the world.” So I had an opportunity to travel to Europe with some of my really close friends. And we took off for a two month trip.

A Troubadour in Europe

It was actually two or three days after September 11th that we left. I remember just thinking at that point, “Holy cow. The whole world is changing.” We almost didn’t go. But thank god we did. We were one of the first fights out. I think it was September 15th in 2001. I got this whole different perspective on my home country, US, from seeing everything that happened subsequently from the eyes of people over in Europe and in another country.

That’s when I really started to realize that the whole world is sort of—I look at the world as sort of like your playground and your potential addressable market. So, one of the things that we’ll talk about here is looking at the entire world as your potential customers. That means starting to tailor your offers so that they can be purchased by people in 180+ countries instead of just a localized region or what you’re constrained by if you live in an area and have a retail shop or something that’s an in-person consultancy.

So, anyhow, after traveling for two month or so having a blast in Europe I met an American guy who had been playing music on the street for almost a year. I had a traveler guitar with me. We were just jamming in the park and we got a gig to go and play. I remember thinking we just got like 100 Euros and free food and drink all night just to jam on some music. I was like, “That’s probably more than I made in the entire last year in LA. Maybe there’s something to this.” So, the seed was planted.

A couple days before our flight home we were in Nice, France actually, and it was the day before we were going to get our train back to Paris and fly home e came out of a club at like two in the morning. A group of like 12 Arabic guys I think, or whatever, cornered us in an ally and pretty much just beat the crap out of us. It was really bad. It was probably the worst fight I’d ever been in. We fortunately got away and got home. Somebody broke a wine bottle on my head. I was all messed up and just blood.

I remember lying in bed going to sleep that night thinking, “This isn’t how it ends. This isn’t how this freedom of two months of travel is going to send me home with a headache and a huge scar.” So, when we woke up the next day I said to my friends, “You know, I think I might stay.” They’re like, “Yeah, whatever man.”

We walked to the train station. The train pulls up. They’re like, “Okay, let’s go.” And then I was like, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to do this. I’m going to make a go here.” They’re like, “Yeah, whatever, come on.

They got on the train. I stood on the platform. They’re like, “Come on, man! Come on, the train’s about to go.” And then it started moving. And they’re like, “Holy shit! He’s not on the train!” I was like, “Bye!” The train pulled away and I was like, “Oh. Wow. I’m here by myself. Nineteen years old in Europe with a guitar and a bloody head. What am I going to do now?”

Home in ViennaSo, I went back to Vienna, Austria where I met this other American guy. We ended up getting a place together and playing out in bars and clubs and making more than enough. This was right when the currency changed over to Euros. So when we’d play and people would give tips what used to be shillings was now one or two Euro coins. We were only 170 euros a month to live in this student dorm. I was like, “Oh my God. Life’s great. I’m playing guitar. I’m living abroad. I get to travel every couple weeks to see other countries and just have a great time.” – This is how life is supposed to be.

I still wasn’t interested in business though. After a month or two of that we met a local guy who was going to the School of Audio Engineering. He let us come over and moonlight. So from midnight to 6:00 A.M. we could go in. He’d work the soundboard. We could record. And I was like, “This is the first time I’d seen the other side of the glass.” You know, the whole production side of music. Then I started to get interested in that.

And I could tell you probably hours of stories about that year living over in Europe but the basic outcome was that I ended up deciding to move to Nashville, TN and go to a school of audio engineering myself. So after a year of just total freedom and many of my friends back home being like, “Dude, are you ever coming back?”

At this point I was pretty set at trying to make my own way both in music and in life and not go home and what? Move in with my parents and get a job? It all sounded so unappealing.

So, we got to Nashville and enrolled in this nine month audio engineering course. A month or two in I became friends with somebody else in the course named Jake Harsh. We started to produce other artists and ultimately we got a place on Music Row in Nashville. We had a studio and we were just doing music now 12-13 hours a day; recording other people, producing tracks, writing our own stuff, playing out and having the beginning formation of a band.

Harsh Krieger & Tabula Rasa Records

Harsh Krieger band shot

Now, at this point we were starting to write our own songs and starting to get interest from other people in town. We had a rock band (not country). Then we saw there was sort of a fork in the road, right?

On the one hand we could go this sort of more traditional route as much as you can have in the music industry. Sign with a record label, get a whole team of people and turn over sort of creative control and sign a deal that’s like three or four years or three or four albums maybe four to seven years of commitment. I was like, “That almost sounds like work.”

This is sort of a recurring theme that I still struggle with in a way that I just don’t really like to work. Right?

I want to do the things that I love and have them support my lifestyle to the greatest extent possible. But I’m also willing to put in the work if it’s on my own authority.

Then on the other hand, we saw the other path was we could incorporate our own record label and take on responsibility for our own career. Ultimately we decided, without having much business experience, that was the direction we were going to go. Fortunately my father is also an entrepreneur. I grew up around business people. So I was sort of familiar with the terms and built a sort of informal network of advisors. This was the first time I had mentors that were twice my age giving me advice on how to take this passion for music and really leverage it into a business.

So, we incorporated at the age of 21 a record label called Tabula Rasa Record, which means blank slate in Latin. And there we were, in business, in the driver seat of our career as musicians. My agreement with my partner, Jake was that I would handle all the business side of things. He was super creative. He had a great sense of style. He was the lead singer. I was the lead guitarist and we wrote all of our own music.

I set about raising money. So with this network of advisors we put together a business plan and I started hitting the phones and then the first six or seven months we raised about $125,000 not all at once but it came in enough at a time where we could support going and getting studio time, getting a producer and ultimately building a team. We had at one point  8 or 10 people working for us and we were like 21, 22 at this time. I always had this experience of being sort of the youngest guy in the room and sort of feeling like I had to work extra hard for people to take me seriously. So, I relied on my intellect and my charisma to make up for my age.

We ultimately recorded our own album and found a partner with Sony’s independent music distribution channel called RED and released our album nationwide in 2005 and toured around the country in a van.

We promoted super hard and at the peak of that experience had our music on over 300 radio stations around the country. We had nine of the eleven songs on our album were featured on MTV whether it was on Real World, Road Rules, or another show and we found there were certain points of leverage that would let you bypass an insane amount or work or rejection. So we partnered with the production company that did all these shows like the Real World and stuff that you see on TV.

Harsh Krieger albumWe signed one licensing deal, sent them a copy of our album and they put it on the shelf. I actually visited there and saw this shelf at one time. There is about a 100 CDs and there’s a person who sat there doing all the music for the shows on MTV. They’d just pull out a CD and they had licensing rights to all of these. The way that works is when you get your music synced to a broadcast there are two agencies that track that, collect the royalties, and pay out the artist.

In the music business there is this thing called the 200% pie; the publishing part and the songwriting part. So, since we had formed our own label we owned all the rights to our music and actually made a pretty decent amount of money in the tens of thousands of dollars which was pretty good at age 22, 23 with our music on MTV. This was very empowering. So I would say that my first foray into business was a pretty positive experience if not extremely stressful at times.

We promoted ourselves to the point where we actually hit #1 Independent Rock Song in the US in August 2005. Sort of the peak experience from the whole time in the band was playing this showcase at the Viper Room in LA. It was like this homecoming, right? The same clubs that I used to stand in front of and go and see band and they wouldn’t even let us pay to play there.

Harsh Krieger showcase

Now we got to roll up with our crew and see our name on the marquee, go in, rock the house. Hit an after party at the Roosevelt. I’m playing pool with Kid Rock. I’m talking to Mark Cuban about getting our music video on his HDTV channel. I’m tossing a lighter to Bruce Willis and doing my best to flirt with girls even though back then I didn’t have very many skills in that department.

But shortly thereafter something clicked in my mind and I was like, “You know, I think we got the experience from this.” And we just didn’t really want to carry it forward and raise more money and do a second album even though we were starting to move in that direction. So in a period of one week my band mate and I decided to fold our label, dissolve the band and sort of go our own ways to experience other things in life.

This is really the first time when I realized that I had a chance to define a completely new identity. And after we go through this I’m going to give you an exercise that some of you may have seen in the book I call the Discover Your Identity exercise.

Krieger Consulting Group

As I was driving home across the country from Nashville back to San Francisco I was thinking, “Well, what’s my next move?” Right? I’ve got all these contacts in the music industry. I’d actually started to really like business; being exposed to marketing, distribution, management, radio promotion, video promotion, video production—all these different things that were auxiliary to just being a musician.

Before I even arrived back in San Francisco on a three day drive I decided I’m going to start a consulting firm. Then I started Krieger Consulting Group. I had even sketched out the logos and stuff. So I touched back down in San Francisco, phoned up a bunch of people that I was working with when I was running our label. I said, “Hey, I’m sort of a free agent now. Do you have any projects?” And I immediately got some work from that.

Consulting in Cairo - Jesse Krieger and Michael Rice

On a consulting gig in Cairo with renowned architect Michael Rice

That expanded out into doing business development, strategy and business planning for a number of  other people. Over that next year I ended up working with, some of you may know, Bill Romanowski, the four-time Super Bowl Champion. I helped him launch a nutritional supplement company that’s still running to this day.That was a really cool experience because I started to feel empowered in a totally different role from being in the music industry. I had some other great clients as well.

But it got to point where consulting with people on business development at some point everybody’s common thread was, “Hey, we need to raise more money to really grow.” Right? All your ideas, strategies and such are great but we need money. So this was late 2006 and I started to look around an develop some relationships in finance.

I thought to myself, “I’ve got these clients. They’ve got budgets. Where can I find people who are investors and have a team that can raise money and facilitate business growth?” Ultimately I found a boutique investment bank in Orange County that had offices in New York and LA and I think San Diego. And I struck a deal…well first I invested in one of their deals to get on their radar. It ended up not really going anywhere but that gave me the chance to sit down with the CEO over dinner.

He wanted to pitch me more deals to invest in. My agenda was to pitch him on basically giving me a title at the investment bank without actually working for them, technically, but being able to piece together deals. I’d bring my book of clients and they had a floor full of brokers that were working the phones. I said, “Look, if I can bring the businesses together and also raise money can I have a Vice President of Business Development title?”

Ultimately he said yes. And so I had this experience of always sort of being on the periphery. The traditional route is you become an analyst and then an associate and then maybe a principle and you’re working insane hours like you heard some of the other guys talk about. And I just sort of skirted past all that and got a business card that said Vice President. Then I could go out and leverage that to talk to new bigger clients than the ones I was originally working with and just sort of stair stepped up to putting together multi-million dollar deals at age 25, 26.

This was really empowering but this was also in 2007 now. And anybody here that’s old enough to remember 2007 it was just a different time. Every day the headlines were “Dow Hits a New High”, “Money Everywhere!”, “Stocks Exploding“. It was a flush time and I felt it. I was performing well.

BMW 6 series

The company gave me a BMW 6-series and I was driving around this still sort of a punk kid. Right? But I could back it up with the experience and the clients I put together. Sort of the peak experience of that—and this was a theme of going through different businesses and ideas to try and hit a couple bullet points of accomplishments I was really happy with.

I ended up taking a company public, working directly with the CEO, through what’s called a reverse merger. Right about that time is when I discovered the game and what is now called Love Systems. So I had this combination of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank and stock positions and cash. I was 26 or so years old. But I was working so much and my identity became so intertwined with what I did that when someone would say, “Hey, how are you doing, Jesse?” I’d be like, “Well, I’ve got these two clients that are about to close later this week. I’m almost finished doing a race for this one client.” And they’re like, “Yeah, but how are YOU doing? That’s how your business is doing.”

Project Rockstar

I didn’t acknowledge there was a separation – between my identity in business and myself personally. Then I realized I wanted to change that. And that’s when I heard about a little program called Project Rockstar. Then it was billed as a one-time only full-life transformational program that is never going to be repeated again. Of course it’s now in its sixth year and going strong. I was like, “I’m going to do anything and everything it takes to get on this.”

So I did my application. I sent it in to Jim. I booked an entire three and a half month trip to Europe on the hope that I’d be accepted and so I’d already be over there. I flew over to Europe. I didn’t tell anyone at the investment bank I was leaving. I just figured I’d pay a higher phone bill and always answer the phone whenever it rang. I set up an international plan. So even though I ran up like a thousand dollar phone bill that first month before I accepted I’d be sitting on the steps in Rome talking to clients. I’d be in France on my computer putting together private placement memorandums and sending them back.

I made it a full three weeks before anyone realized I wasn’t in the country. Then I realized, “Wow. In this sort of a personalized business I can still kind of run it from anywhere in the world.

That became a recurring theme in my life; being able to act on my own authority and being able to do it from anywhere in the world with a laptop, an internet connection and a phone.

Then the call came through saying, “Hey, we’re interested. Let’s do this final interview for Project Rockstar. Are you available to Skype on this date?” I was like, “Oh, that’s so funny! I’ll be in London right at that time. Why don’t we just get together and do it in person?” They’re like, “Oh! That sounds great!” I hung up the phone, went to the computer and booked a ticket to London on the spot.

I arrived and sort of the rest is history. I got accepted into Project Rockstar and that was the real turning point where I said to the CEO of the investment bank, “I’ve got to be honest with you. I’ve been over in Europe for the last month.” He’s like, “WHAT?” I said, “I’m not really going to be working too much for the next few months but I’ll be back around later on this year.” He was cool with it. He was pretty chill actually.

Then I jumped in full steam to Project Rockstar sort of right where you guys are now. Over the course of that program—I may have told a couple of you this story before—Jim and I met a very successful entrepreneur that just sold his company to AOL and just finished the six month cash out period. So he had like I think it was close to a hundred million dollars or so. And he was all about trying to learn this dating stuff. We just hung out like every day for two weeks. Then he took us out to dinner one night. Pudong-Night-time

He’s like, “Look.” He had lived in Shanghai for a couple years. He had started a business there prior to the one he sold. He like, “Let me show you guys what it’s like over in that part of the world.” And within a couple days he offered to fly us to Shanghai, first class everything, all expenses paid. Before we knew it we were sitting in the Virgin Atlantic terminal and on our way. We sort of left the program entirely to go to Shanghai for five days. And that was just an eye opener.

This was in the middle of the 2008 Olympics, which of course was in Beijing. But the entire city of Shanghai was just bustling with life. I had never imgagined going to China. I was looking around saying, “Wow. This is going to be a big part of the future. There’s so much activity here. Everywhere you look there’s cranes and buildings going up.” It just looked like the wild, wild East.

That planted the seed of wondering what I can do that would involve China from a business standpoint but also to further explore this from a position of things that I’m interested in and passionate about.

USB Superstore

So the same guy that flew us over there made a couple introductions. Ultimately he gave me the introduction to somebody who was doing a custom USB flash drive business. He had three or four factories in South China, in Shenzhen. He had a website facing toward the UK market and the target audience was people who go conferences and marketing director and schools and universities and anybody that would use a 100 to 10,000 flash drives for marketing purposes.

I was like, “I think I’ll make a go at that.” So with that relationship in place he also gave me I think $35-40,000 of startup capital. I was like, “Great I’ve got my new direction in life.

Over the course of that summer I went from being a hard driving investment banker to having this life changing experience called Project Rockstar, getting introduced to China and having a turnkey business opportunity with the financing and relationships in place.

So then I started to study Chinese and I caught a bad case of Yellow Fever. And just my entire MO shifted to Asia. I built the front end of the business, which is called USB Superstore in about two months using a lot of the techniques I’m going to show you here; leveraging online talent platforms like Elance, Guru.com, and Freelancer where you can hire designers, developers, customer service, admin. And I’d also just read the Four Hour Work Week and I was like, “Look, I want to try this virtual business structure dealing with physical products but doing it in a way where we were in one place and the business existed virtually around us online.”

I made a couple trips back and forth to China. I met the suppliers and had a lot of fun memories out of there. I coincided those trips with teaching dating boot camps so that all the expenses were paid and I was developing my new career.

This was when I was really going in the direction of what I would call Lifestyle Entrepreneurship and having the things I was interested in and  passionate about, funding the lifestyle and building out the network that supports a good viable business.

Jesse Krieger at The Peak in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, en route to Shenzhen, China

I launched USB Superstore  with two partners in 2008. Two weeks later the entire economy fell off a cliff. This was actually a really scary time. It was one of the times I really had sort of a gut check. I won’t go into this other piece too much but at the time my father and his partner was running a series of hedge funds. They had brought in all their clients and all of their friends. So our entire friends and family network of about a hundred people were invested in these funds. They were doing 8% a year every year for the last 20+ years and it looked like the safest thing in the world. Anybody take a guess at where all those funds where custodied?

Male in Audience: Madoff?

Madoff Securities, the single biggest fraud in history. so, I just launched a business. I had gotten some startup capital that was borrowed. I sort of went all-in with this. I launched and then the entire world just sort of crumbled. Everybody we knew, their net worth dropped by 50-90%. The hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock positions that I had build up doing investment banking essentially became almost worthless. They went down like 85-90%. So it was sort of a reality check. It was like there’s really not a safety net anymore.

So I threw myself into the business and we built it up, doubled in size almost every month; from five to ten thousand, to thirty thousand to forty-five thousand. Then one of my partners landed a really big contract and we made over $125,000 in the sixth month we were in business. Finally we caught a break. We could do a distribution to ourselves, have some money and not be living off of savings. We build that up in the first year to just under half a million dollars in sales.

This was empowering because it proved that I could go into a new space, a new industry where I had no previous experience and apply all these skills of business development and consulting and all the pieces that are required for entrepreneurship and actually build a good viable business around that.

From there a number of other things happened. On the side I had started another business that did renewable energy credits and I’ve always been somebody who maybe doesn’t go 100% in one direction but has two or three projects going simultaneously. Ultimately I realized that never having wanted to go to school before I finally thought that I might value getting a university education.

College Years – Later in Life

This whole time I had been doing community college classes on the side. It took almost no time. I was getting great grades and I had an opportunity to transfer to UC Berkeley. So it took it arrogantly thinking I could run a ten-person company and do 20 units of hard core math and economics. I again had a crisis moment where I was like, “AH! There’s not enough time in the day!”

So I found a buyer for the business and was able to sell it. It still runs to this day. I threw myself into completing two years of Chinese language and political economy at one of the top schools in the world. I really got a lot of value out of going to school later in life. I don’t need to talk too much about that but I don’t regret that decision for a second. It sort of took me out of the business sphere for the first time in my life and allowed me to just focus on learning things for the sake of learning.

Jesse Krieger Cal Graduation

Graduating UC Berkeley, one of my best memories

Well, after selling the business there was sort of some contention between my partners and me. They didn’t want to sell. We had this sort of a big fight. But when it all worked out and the dust settled I was like, “I have so much knowledge and experience here. I want to get it down on paper.” So while I was in school I was writing an e-book on how to do business with China.

 

Lifestyle Entrepreneur

On probably the fourth or fifth time going over to Asia to teach dating boot camps one of the people that was helping out had published a book on Facebook Marketing. I asked, “Who’s your publisher? I have this book idea. I’ve got this book. Can you make an introduction?” He made an introduction to the publisher who said, “We like your idea but we’re not going to do a book on China to US business. You have some cool stories and experiences. Why don’t you change it around and have it be about your whole life as an entrepreneur?”

Thus, Lifestyle Entrepreneur was born. This time last year, I turned my manuscript in to my publisher over Asia. Within two months Lifestyle Entrepreneur became the #2 business best seller in Malaysia and it was also out in Singapore.

Lifestyle Entrepreneur #2 Business BestsellerLong story short, I had taken each experience and parlayed it into the next thing I want to do. I took all of that credibility from releasing a book and doing tours around Asia to get a US publishing deal. As we stand here today, the day before coming to teach this program, I turned in my revised manuscript to my US publisher and it will be out later this year. So it’s sort of like history repeating itself. But in a sense it’s nice because it’s bring it back home. I had done all these things in far flung parts of the world and now I really feel ready to take the concepts in Lifestyle Entrepreneur, this whole approach of taking the things you’re interested in and passionate about and turning them into business that support a lifestyle and doing it here in my home country.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy

On top of the book I started coaching and working with other people and consulting. And thus, Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy was born. That sort of brings us up to the present—probably twenty minutes or so for ten years of business history. But I hope that gives you a little more of an idea of some of my background and really how I’ve always felt sort of on the margins of traditional work and society in many ways by being interested and involved in so many things, and having businesses in other places and sometimes in other languages.

Now I’m so passionate about sharing these concepts and these frameworks and helping the next generation of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, not to follow in my footsteps but define their own path.

Helping you define your own paths and being able to carve out your place in the world in a way in which you feel fulfilled, alive, energized, and fully expressed in your identity and doing the things that you’re passionate about.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy Logo

So, that’s a little bit about my history. And if anybody has a question you can throw it out. Otherwise I want to jump into this Discover Your Identity framework and start generating some ideas for each of you that will put through this process of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Academy.

Excerpts from Q&A

Male:     I’ve got one question. With some of the ventures that you’ve done it sound like you had some preexisting relationships or contacts that had helped with that. So as far as starting it from scratch, what was your experience with that aspect as opposed to you mentioned with financing you had some contacts. That helped a little bit. You got the VP business card. That obviously helped a little bit more. Does that make sense?

Jesse:    So, is the question how do you start a business in a new field with or without a lot of experience or relationships?

Male:     Yes.

Jesse:    Yeah, you know, if anybody has seen the commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford many years back he said something in there that really struck me. He said, “Looking back at your experiences you can only connect the dots looking backwards.” Going through all those experiences at the time I didn’t know what I was going to do next. When I was starting businesses in different areas people were like, “You don’t know anything about renewable energy. What do you know about manufacturing flash drives? What do you know about writing a book?” I have sort of a thick skin.

I was like, “Well, I don’t but I’m going to learn.” In each case there was a few key relationships that weren’t necessarily intentional but I saw the potential of the opportunity. I just chose to focus my intention and attention on partnering with other people, setting up a way I could learn from them and grow, which is sort of what led me to become a Love Systems instructor and led me to learn Chinese and start that business.

So, it really is about relationships as much as it is about passions and just going after the things you want. I think they work hand in hand. They sort of intertwine. I don’t think you need very many, really just one or two or a small handful is enough to get the blueprint and the template that you need to go in a different direction career wise or interest wise. Then it’s just about having the tenacity to see it through.

Does that answer your question?

Male:     Yeah.

Male 2:    Did you ever think about quitting?

Jesse:    Oh, yeah. You know, I sometimes have to remind myself that I can tell my story and give it a big splash. But there are so many times when things aren’t going well or a problem arises. You have intense feelings of self doubt and questioning. I never really cared what other people thought about what I was doing with my life or what their opinion was. But if I felt like I was doing the thing that I really should be and it wasn’t going right or things weren’t falling into place, yeah, man.

There’s plenty of times I laid awake at night just wondering… But then when something happens that reaffirms you are going in the right direction then it’s pretty easy, at least for me, to say, “What was I thinking? I was just late at night and I was scared.” So it’s sort of a volatile emotional experience, entrepreneurship is.  But I say, “Is the reward bigger than the sacrifice you make? Is it worth putting in the time and the effort to learn the things you need to know to do what you  want to do so you can be the person you want to be?” My answer has always been, “Yes.”

About Jesse Krieger

Jesse Krieger is the founder and publisher for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press. International best selling author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Host of Bestseller Summit Live. Connect on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube

Comments

  1. Hi Jesse,

    Nice work! I bought your book and was inspired by it.

    Your book has showed me different perspective of entrepreneurship where entrepreneurship is about discovering our own identity, using our strengths to “fill the gaps in the market”, adding value to people & improving their lives and at the same time living a lifestyle that we truly enjoy, instead of “creating a job” for ourselves.

    It’s encouraging to see you consistently inspiring new entrepreneurs.

    Looking forward to more great stuff from you.

    God bless.

    • Hi Louis,

      Thanks so much! It is always touching to hear that my book has found it’s way into people’s hands who I haven’t met and been able to inspire them. Writing a book is actually a very solitary exercise, I’ve spent a lot of time alone writing and re-writing, editing and revising. Then once the book is done, it is another few months before anyone reads it.

      So, I’m excited to have this blog as a way to “shorten the distance” between what is written and the impact it has!

      To your success – Jesse

  2. Hi Jesse,

    I been thinking about buying your book and this post made me more interested before. I like your take on things!

    Thanks
    Victor Björklund

    • Hey Victor,

      Thanks a lot man, after being involved in so many different businesses and industries, it’s nice to have a common theme (Lifestyle Entrepreneur) that ties them all together. My favorite part of entrepreneurship is the continual recreation process that goes along with starting new businesses, pursuing new interests and traveling to exciting destinations.

      To your success,

      Jesse Krieger

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