I was the youngest store manager in Marshalls’ history.
Soon after, I was offered a Store Manager position in Oakland California – ten minutes from my favorite B-ball team: Saucy Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. This was known as a high profile store, with corporate level personnel living nearby and often visiting. It was an accelerated track position for advancement into the regional/corporate level.
I was ready for the opportunity to challenge myself and begin to make waves beyond the store level. I was all in. To finalize the change, my superiors booked a flight to Oakland for my official acceptance.
Two days before my flight, I got a phone call from my college friend, Ben. He was working on starting this company called Bungii and was ready to make some moves, including hiring. His offer: a $100,000 pay cut, no health benefits, no 401(k) and the gracious opportunity to work 70 hours a week.
I had been following Bungii from its inception in Manhattan a year before, and was always intrigued by entrepreneurship. I fully believed in the business model and had a lot of trust and respect for Ben.
The stakes were clear. Bungii’s margin for error was paper thin. It had some major, glaring problems. It was more likely that Bungii would fail than succeed.
My mind raced back to California. Jumping on the fast-track to corporate success sounded like the right move. The sunny, 75 degree weather and lure of easy west coast living was too good to turn down. But for some reason I did. The stubborn, determined part of me needed to join Bungii.
From day one, I was in full turbo – learning, applying, networking – pedal to the metal. It wasn’t until a week and a half in that I had my, “What did I just get myself into” moment. Our weekly numbers were at an all time low, we were having serious software issues and I spent most of my afternoon getting rejected by potential business partnerships. For the first time I was second guessing everything:
Am I even good enough for this?
What if Bungii fails?
Did I just throw my career away?
I sat in my truck for an hour contemplating what I had done. Then, I was brought back to reality. I remembered that I didn’t make this decision for stability. I took it for the thrill. I knew this wasn’t going to be the Truman Show – it’s more like Survivor. It is supposed to be tough. It is supposed to hurt. We have to eat bugs along the way, but we must be willing to go the distance to stay alive. And we must be willing to go the distance together. We must have faith. Not only faith in the business, but faith in one another, and faith that God is seeing out the vision according to his will.
Since that day, I haven’t looked back and haven’t thought twice. Everyday is still a grind with new challenges in new places. But I’ll tell you, there is nothing I’d rather be doing right now than turning Bungii into a household name.