Happy Thankful Thursday #3!
Self-employment should not be by-yourself-employment.
Is it starting to catch on? This is my thing now. I’m making it my thing.
It’s my thing, because I like things that are true. And this is true.
I’ve worked hard, and I’m working hard to do what I’m doing and get where I’m going. But I also haven’t. There’s a lot of things that I feel like I’ve accomplished despite myself.
By God’s goodness and the people he has placed in my life, I have been blessed with many opportunities, so many gifts – sometimes it feels like not only does a door open up, but somebody physically shoves me through it. I mean, I’m moving my feet, but I don’t know where I’m going, and somebody’s got their hand on my shoulder. Oh, you want me to go over here. Okay. This is nice. Just ask my wife how actively I stay up on our weekly schedule. It’s not always like that. I’m not COMPLETELY passive.
But whenever I look back on my life, and see all of the threads that were intricately woven together – how this lead to this lead to this lead to this at the exact right time to intersect with this and get tangled up with this which ended up with this. I’m alway amazed at how freaking BRILLIANT I am to have been able to choreograph the perfect…. NO! I didn’t plan this. I couldn’t have even imagined half the stuff I have experienced and accomplished and enjoyed for the past… all my life. And for a long time, some of the stuff I COULD imagine doing, I lacked the boldness to move on. But especially in the last 5 years or so, I have been really encouraged and I’ve really learned a lot about myself, what I want to do – what I CAN do with my life.
And one person in particular that I’d like to thank today – for encouraging me and challenging me and making it possible for me to start my own business – businesses even – is someone who will probably despise me for shouting him out publicly like this is one of my businesses’s partners – Brian Consoli.
Brian and I are very different people. He’s former military, go-getem’, crossfit, lives in jersey, high power sales job, taking defense tech execs out to boxing matches, moving $100,000 signal generators and environmental test chambers, very Type A. I’m very type B… or, is there something between A and B? Is there a Type “Ah”?
He watches UFC matches with his girls before he tucks them in at night, I’m currently reading through Pilgrims Progress with my boys before bed. We’re very different people. And that – I have learned is a great thing.
We met in our MBA program. And during orientation – just being perfectly honest – we didn’t click. He was a nice enough guy. But there was nothing about him that made me go, “we’re gonna be buds!” And even now – just being perfectly honest – I wouldn’t call him a buddy. We have very different interests and personalities. But I would call him a good friend. And I trust him. And while we might not play well together – we just like to spend our leisure time differently – we work very well together.
I tend to overthink. He just goes for it. During the MBA we did a lot of group work together and we developed a great dynamic. I’m the kinda guy who will just stare at a blank page and just turn my wheels forever, playing invisible chess, trying to figure out the best way to get started but never starting. He would run out, get resources, email and call people even when we were working on a case study, bring back a bunch of stuff, carrying heavy sacks of fact meat and drop it on the google doc. And then I had something to work with. Something to shape.
During the graduation banquet he briefly through the idea out about working together sometime. He was interested in doing some business and leadership coaching in the future. I was doing marketing stuff on the side. And I was like sure. We can point people in each other’s direction or collaborate on a project sometime. Didn’t follow up on that for a while. But we did keep in touch and I started doing some freelance marketing work for the company he worked for – Alltest Instruments. If you’re in the market for a Keysight E5071C, I know a guy.
And then a few years go by, and Brian throws out an idea about working together. And I was like, sure we can point people in each other’s direction, and he said no. I want to work together. I want to start a business with you.
Now I had been staring at a blank page for a while. Thinking about starting a business. Loosely I already had with my sidework, and I always liked the idea of doing something more with it. Leaning in and making it more official. But it was a big jump. So I settled for just moving my feet without really knowing where I was going or how long it would take to get there, and here comes Brian. Shoving me through a door.
It was the push I needed to get started. That’s how THIS got started. Self-Employment Sidekick started out as a nameless YouTube channel that was going to document the start of Brerro – our coaching company. We filed our LLC paperwork right as the world started to shut down in 2020. It was an interesting thing against an interesting backdrop.
But as I learned more and leaned more into building a business, this started to find a more distinct shape. And starting a business with someone else instead of me just doing it by myself and deciding a few months in – “Meh. Nevermind.” – I had motivation and accountability to keep chipping away. This wasn’t just about me. Someone was relying on me, and I was relying on them. Just knowing there was someone else available that I could pass the ball to gave me a lot more confidence to start pushing the ball down the field.
It’s been a slow push. But we’ve been doing some good work. And just yesterday, we wrapped up our 8th and final week of a beta test of a new coaching program we will be opening up to the public very soon. And I gotta say, it went really well. Between the two of us, with our very different areas of expertise and experience, we have a lot of value to share. And despite our differences, our different industry focuses, our different skillsets and approaches, we share a critical core value – of building meaningful connections with people, helping people, helping build stronger businesses and ultimately build stronger families and communities through what these businesses and idea can yield. And the principles we teach apply broadly to all types of people and businesses. We’ve proven that out through how different we are.
Going into business with someone else can be a very risky proposition. But it you find a good partner – someone you can trust, who shares a common purpose and values, you have a good workflow, and then on almost everything else you are night and day – I think that can be a great recipe for success. It’s because we are so different that we’ve been able to build something so strong – and I’m really excited to see what comes next.
If you want to see what comes next and check out our Business Foundations Bootcamp, you can join the waitlist to be among the first to know when we reopen enrollment. We’re getting feedback from the test cohort now and will be making a few improvements, but we hope to launch soon. So check out brerro.com/bootcamp to learn more.
Now it’s your turn to go say thank you to someone.