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Blade City: From 0 to 1 Million by Sean Kelly
It was a luke-warm autumn evening in scenic Florida. Rain wavered in small showers, birds were relatively mute, and there was a faint ringing in Danny’s ear. No, this was not the sharpening of a blade (see picture above) or the humming of a desktop computer- the ringing Danny heard was completely psychological. This felt right. This was what he was dreaming and scheming the entire time at his stay with TFIT360; this is why he took the position in the first place to improve their conversion rate for sales and website clicks. At a glance, this was an ordinary day. As the regularly scheduled Sunday night NFL rolled on television, Danny was on the fringe of envisioning something bigger than his current role. With the help of his business partner Chris, the onslaught of potentiality for idea exploration became an endless stream of ideas and thoughts.
Then, it hit him. Amidst his life as an employee, he garnered valuable skills to propel him into his newest venture: Blade City. Similar to many other stories, Blade City was launched as a result of years and years of dedicated research, systematic trial & error, as well as general hunger to expand his entrepreneurial boundaries. He knew it was possible from the moment the idea sprung into his brain. He knew how difficult it would be to get Blade City off the ground. But just how grueling were the first 3 months as the CEO of his untapped company?
Rough. Rough might be an understatement. The mindset switch was not an easy one to grasp for Danny- understandably so. Disregard all his work up until this moment, all his acquired knowledge and fundamental understanding…the truth is, Blade City lurked in the shadows as an unheard-of project for the entirety of its first 3 months in business. Let this be a firm reminder to anyone: Just because you can do it, does not always mean you should. Under the umbrella of his mother’s hospitality, Danny vastly attributes his determination with Blade City (moreover, embracing that he is the CEO of his life) to a sustainable premise. It is highly recommended for a young entrepreneur to not drop everything else in their life (e.g. school, odd-jobs, other work, school, etc) but Danny’s mindset was so firmly set, he could not turn back. The idea of transitioning seems exciting, but after speaking to Danny, I learned just how difficult this period was for him, mentally, physically, and financially.
“When you don’t give up and end up succeeding at your goal(s), you then own that cliche.”
Ever been caught sleeping in late? Ever been so d e p r e s s e d that nothing seems worthwhile? Danny told me how, for a period of about a month, he preferred to sleep rather than to be awake because “life felt better if I didn’t have to face it head-on”. Danny mentions how the women he would take out on dates would come and go, often citing them as “money hungry” or “self-centered”. Without job stability, a girlfriend, or independence, he knew his only path to success would be one that he must carve by hand, delicately finessing the inner machinations of success into every preliminary step before Blade City’s kickoff.
Danny is no different from you or myself; what has yielded his success in entrepreneurialism (a fancy term for “being your own boss”) is his grit and determination to grind through the “startup” phase and begin converting his concepts into real Shopify sales. Danny’s core motivation was to embrace his innate leadership qualities that set him apart from his colleagues at Santa Fe College in Florida. The audacity to essentially thwart all income from TFIT, buckle down, and complete the basis of a developed website, Instagram, and Facebook page for Blade City is largely how he occupied himself during the 3 month 0 sales period. Danny knew that this treacherous stat would not haunt him forever; instead of wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt, he used the lack of sales to motivate him to prep Blade City for when it would truly debut on the market.
Now, Blade City has amassed over 1 million Instagram followers since its birth from his mother’s basement a few years ago. Danny is a wonderful testament to the grind, how embracing the phrase “never give up”, as cliche as it may sound, is the only way to go from 0 to 1 million.
~ Sean Kelly, Entrepreneur, Jersey Champ CEO