This blog is a continuation of the series of profiles I’ve done on entrepreneurs. The purpose of this series is to provide examples of how people have formed their own businesses, with various degrees of success, in completely different fields with completely different sets of circumstances that have led them to entrepreneurship.
As I noted in my blog on visualization, being able to visualize both the end goal and the steps on how to reach that goal are key differentiators between successful entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. I hope that through this series of profiles, readers will find an element or elements that resonate with them on a personal basis and may help them with the visualization of their own goals and steps to reach those goals.
This profile is on a friend and successful entrepreneur, Joel Mojica. In 1988 Joel founded Killer BeesWax surfwax. Joel’s idea for Killer BeesWax came from being an avid surfer combined with his desire to develop and market a product related to his love of surfing. Joel created a brand that is now listed with nostalgia in the surf wax museum. Joel clearly was able to create a product that resonated with a wide audience for decades after it was first popular. After running the business for 10 years and marketing it internationally, Joel decided to sell the brand and the business and took a break from entrepreneurism for a few years, working a job with the city of San Diego.
After some thought, Joel decided to call the show “Methods of Take”. Joel was working on a shoestring budget, so he traded sponsorships for support of the show in the form of equipment and location access. His camera and support crews worked on a volunteer or very low budget basis. Even with these limited means, Joel was able to produce his first pilot season and get it aired on Discovery Velocity Channel to good reviews.
Joel faced a number of challenges with this new venture. Although from his experience with Killer BeesWax he had experience with marketing, personal sales, and the “entrepreneur hustle,” the film industry was a new one to him. He had never filmed or directed a television show, so he and his crew had to learn as they went. Although he encountered a number of people willing to assist him, he had to learn how to differentiate between those who were value added and those who simply wanted him to pay them with little chance of increasing his chance of success. He had to learn how to read contracts and understand clauses common in the entertainment industry, and how to structure deals in such a way as to maximize his shoestring budget without giving away what he felt was a valuable property in the end.
Joel’s situation is similar to many entrepreneurs who have a full time job that pays their bills, but doesn’t necessarily provide enough excess income to fund starting another business. Many entrepreneurs also struggle with learning a completely new industry and the typical terms and deal structures in that industry.
Joel followed some of the best practices I’ve discussed in this blog in starting his business, which has led to his success to date.
- He visualized the end state he wanted to achieve. A successful nationwide show, fully sponsored, with a full season on a significant cable channel.
- He continually worked on and modified his vision to accommodate the circumstances of funding limitations, setbacks in sponsorships, dealing with life challenges, without losing site of the end vision.
- He talked to as many people as he could in order to understand the steps he needed to take in order to achieve his vision, in other words, he sought out mentors, a recommendation from a previous blog.
- He pursued other entrepreneurial opportunities to increase his cash flow to better self-fund his primary business so that he didn’t have to tap his life savings in an “all or nothing” push for his venture.
Joel provides a great example to other aspiring entrepreneurs who have full time jobs and bills to pay and feel that there is no way they could take the risk of starting a new business and let their dreams slip away. Although Joel is still on the entrepreneurial voyage towards getting his show fully sponsored for season three airing on NBC Sports Network, he’s taking the right steps toward achieving his end vision while still mitigating his risk and keeping his bills paid and kids in college.