I lived above my coffee shop Dollop in Buena Park, Chicago and I was working on my own social news network start-up called Metroproper. I became very frustrated with the quality of work I was getting because my ability to create and market far surpassed my at the time talents skill level, so I kept looking for the best designers and developers and they started soon after coming to find me. Doejo became an amazing special ops team being hired by companies from all over the world to help solve their problems in web design and development. I’m very curious and not afraid to stick my neck out and try. I love not knowing the answers and finding the solutions with the help along the way. Doejo is written “a place of the way” in Japanese. For us, we love helping visionaries build brands. Doejo happened organically from my at the time coffee company dollop, acquired in 2010. Coffee shops are community hubs where people are creating and Doejo has that creative culture in its DNA.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Initially things were easy, organically growing and the biggest hurdles along the way were getting distracted with equity offers in spin off products and brands.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I was raised around it and I do it naturally, I do not know anything else. My Mom would have preferred me to go to school and have a 9-5 and have a simple safe creatively unfulfilling life, but that’s because the risky life of an entrepreneur is madness and she wants to protect me. In hindsight I’d do allot of things differently. Looking back it’s easy to make better “what if” moves.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
My Father made up his own world and I’ve always took notice that you can create a system within a system and I was never afraid to look at the world that way. He also was abruptly taken from us at age 13, so it makes you look at life as short and less fearful of your time on this planet. I’m also good at attracting talent at the right time. I’m a natural producer. I’m going to soon go into film because I love how the magic of the teams creation is packaged in time and you can move to the next project with the past projects untouched.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Save more and spend thoughtfully on businesses rather than being opportunistic because of your love to create.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Don’t let in the wrong people, what’s the point of creating something if you’re now trapped inside of it with people that don’t have the best intentions for your goals.