I grew up in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. I was a few months old when my parents got divorced. By the time I was two my mother got re-married to the man I would call my father. Shortly after that, my parents had 3 more children who I grew up with.
My parents had no money but my grandfather was very successful. He would give my mother enough money for our family to get by, and he always promised to take care of me. He ensured that I always had a great education! My grandfather's lifestyle inspired me at an early age, and I have always been committed to providing that type of life for me and my family.
At the age of 15 I got my first job as a delivery boy for a Chinese Restaurant. I wasn’t old enough to have a license at the time, but that didn't stop me from finding a way. I worked almost every night of the week. Working so much made my grades suffer but the feeling of making my own money and having the freedom to spend it however I wanted was my motivation. I worked there for 3 more years until my education finally took over.
At 18 I was offered a baseball scholarship in New York! I would go to school during the day and practice ball afterwards. On the weekends I worked at a local Country Club, hosting and serving at weddings. During this time, I worked over 30 hours between Friday and Sunday night. Though difficult, it gave me a whole new understanding of what it meant to work hard!
In 1999 my grandfather had become very ill. He was no longer able to support me financially,which meant I could no longer afford my rent and within a 24 hour time period I was told to leave. With only my belongings I was forced to live out of a car for about a week. I’ll never forget what that felt like.With just a few dollars in my pocket I came to understand the hardships of being homeless and broke, and I knew that I would do anything to never experience that again.
Though I worked hard in school and maintained my grades, business was my passion! While going to school I came up with the idea to start a company that would pick up and/or deliver anything. I would get calls at 2am to pick up alcohol, 6am for rides to the airport, catering deliveries through out the day,and the list goes on. Shortly after I had to hire 6 students to help each night with deliveries. The cash was amazing, and it finally allowed me to finish putting myself through school!
With roughly 2 months left in my computer degree I came up with an idea to start a website selling satellite parts. This was the start of my Ecommerce career. I was 20 years old and I still remember how excited I was when FedEx would pick up the orders for delivery. At the peak of the business, I was shipping over 500 packages a day. Unfortunately, after having the company for two years, technology had drastically changed the industry and I was forced to close. Nonetheless, I had gained a ton of experience and I still use the strategies that I learned back then.
In just 18 months with Koodley we had built over 1000 websites and I ended up selling the business. During this time I learned a lot about UX (User Experience) design and the different ways of communicating with customers online.
After Koodley, my current business partner and I went on to start the largest cellphone reception company in the world! If someone had poor reception (anywhere around the globe)they would contact us for a mobile repeater system to boost their signal.Before we started in 2006, no one had even heard of a ‘Mobile Repeater’ (which,I know, is hard to believe!) Today the company is on its 4th generation units..
In 2014 I co-founded NamasteVapes in my garage. At the time we thought it was going to be a side business, selling around 3-5 units a day. We were very wrong. Quickly 3-5 units became hundreds and our business started to grow.Today we sell over 1000 units each day, and during the holiday season over 10,000 orders are placed! Within 3 years time we had become the largest business to sell vaporizers at consumer retail, selling to 20+ countries around the globe, in more than 10 different languages. In 2015 we had received separate offers from two different buyers for our company, however in 2016 we were talked in to going public. Looking back, I went from nearly selling the company for $300,000 to building it into a 1 Billion+ market cap in just over a year.
When it came to the businesses I started I always aimed to find a product that the public not only wanted, but actually needed. That is probably one of the most important pieces to starting and maintaining a successful business. If you look back on the five different industries I was in, I always ensured customer satisfaction. To this day, I make that my number one priority.
Throughout this post, I've spoken a lot about my past. Now I want to share a bit about my upcoming projects. One project that I am particularly excited about is PlantX.com - an online platform for the vegan community to shop some of the best vegan products on the market,order prepared plant-based meals, and join discussions with others in the community. With PlantX, we are simplifying the way people view the vegan lifestyle, and making it clear that living a plant-based life can be easy and accessible
Throughout my blog I will try my best to give you the necessary tools and strategies to be successful with your own business. I want to be able to help everyone achieve their goals.
Namaste Technologies has become something that, 4 years ago, my partner and I never saw coming, and I am extremely proud of its success. But at the end of the day having people come to me for advice or tell me that I’ve had a positive influence on their business, is what keeps me working even harder every day. My goal here is simple; to give to everyone who is interested in starting their own business the opportunity to achieve their goals by pursuing their dreams.