Whatever my hobbies are at any given time, I always end up buying, selling, and trading in online forums devoted to such interests. However, since diving into the sport of longboard-skateboarding these past couple years, my usual business endeavors grew to epic proportions. I found myself running an actual business, that I came to know as UnhappySk8. My safety gloves went from just an idea, to a prototype, all the way to a product ready for stores in a matter of weeks. I was caught so off guard by this; catching up with the demand and meeting the generated hype was an absolute struggle.
Over the past year, I have developed the experience to confidently state that managing any business would equate to an uphill endurance race, with the end never in sight. The more successful I became, the steeper the incline; success did not change the fact that I will struggle, it just increased the scale at which I worked.
Should my little business fail, I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is no safety net. There is no freewheel to ensure that my accomplishments don’t roll back down the hill. Though running UnhappySk8, I realized the harsh realities that no one would care if I go under and no one would try to catch me. There is no support network like the public school system I’ve become so accustomed to.
However, acknowledging these cold facts, I kept calm and carried on. There were some weeks where I’d admit to irresponsibly putting UnhappySk8 before my studies, most definitely skewing my prioritizes, but that only helped to bring me here today.
Initially, the incredible quantity of orders and simple enquirers were too much. I needed time to get up to speed and meet the demand. I refused to take preorders from my impatient target market of teenagers, as I thought it was responsible to never accept payment for goods that didn’t exist yet. Being a high-school student first, before a self-proclaimed longboard entrepreneur, I never wanted to go back on the promise to my customers of assured goods, due to schoolwork.
The time I had to refund my first online customer upset me greatly; being unable to carry my side of the deal with this anonymous customer made me question my ability to keep my brand and business on its feet.
There was a serious concern that I would not be able to keep up with the demand of the four local skateboard shops I had developed close relationships and friendships with, but I stubbornly shrugged it off and kept running up the hill.
By the next week, I had my first sets of UnhappySk8 gloves at a store here in Riverside, known as Capsule Boardshop. The following week, I was informed that all the pairs I had given them had sold and they wanted more.
Through my struggles came a taste of success and wisdom that I never want to stop pursuing.
(This totally wasn’t a common-app essay I wrote *cough*)