Growing up in a small suburban town, everyone knew everyone, especially the family of one of the most well-known and frequently visited tire shops around for miles. The lines to get into my father’s tire shop were sometimes over 2 hours. For tires! Who would have thought?
In a move no one could have predicted, my dad also started a booming wholesale tire business, on top of the retail shop he had already established. Suddenly not only was my dad well-known locally, but across the entire East coast he had a strong reputation. Wherever I went I would always get asked: “Are you related to so-and-so?!” At times, it felt like my dad was local royalty.
As I grew up and worked in the family business, I became increasingly proud to be my dad’s son. But with each passing year I also began to feel a shadow being cast. My father is a great man, but I knew I wanted to become a businessman in my own right.
Now, at 31-years-old, I’ve decided to honor my dad by becoming a self-made entrepreneur like him. I thought, what other way to honor a father who has given me industry experience, life lessons, and business savvy than to come up with a business that will take the tire industry into a new generation of consumers?
I decided this was going to be the year that I make my mark on the world by launching TireAgent.com, a tire recommendation platform for the average car owner that will create innovation in an archaic industry for consumers and businesses.
Once the decision was made, the time came to break the news to my parents. Over several weeks as I revealed my plan to my concerned parents the pride started to shine through. My dad, who is old school and affectionate in his own way, came up to me randomly and uttered these simple yet warming words, “I’m proud of you, Jared.” I knew at that moment that my step out of the family business shadow had begun, and I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders.
I’ve learned a lot on this journey, and hope that others trying to break out the shadow of their family’s business can learn from my experiences. Here’s some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned:
- Take the industry knowledge passed down from your family member and use it as motivation to become as successful as them.
This will honor what they’ve taught you, and their years of hard work.
- Make sure you have a viable business.
Ask your friends, family, and social media followers to take an anonymous survey to determine if your target demographic will use your services/products.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. Starting a business can be scary, but you only get so many chances in life. Big risks can lead to big rewards, just be calculated and decide if it’s worth it.
- Give it everything you have. Part-time effort doesn’t lead to full-time success. Having your own business is like having a child: you need to give it your full attention.
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