Valuable Lessons From Our First Business Venture.

6 years timelapse.jpg

When Emily and I were 20 we joined two of our friends in starting a skateboarding company with me designing all products. We were full of excitement, all really loved skating and I love art, what a better business venture to pursue?

Even though we didn't know anything about starting a business, the passion was there, and we went all in. We took what we believed were the right first steps when we rented out a warehouse, got a way to expensive sublimation printer and ordered a load of blank clothing to promote the company. It was really rewarding to create something and see it come to life on a tee shirt or a skateboard.


We took on a little more overhead when we built out a skatepark in the warehouse to try and generate some revenue during the winter while skateboard sales were down. With board sales declining and hardly anyone paying to skate at the skatepark, we hosted a few events to bring some people through the doors.

One of our partners was the "Fake It ‘Till You Make It" guy and insisted on spending more on things that would look good but did not do much to generate revenue or build our brand. That mentality does not create a successful business…

Ultimately, we did not have the right guidance and were doing things in a way that our inexperienced selves thought would bring us success. The ship sunk before it even sailed. We had to shut down the warehouse, take the loss with no ROI, suck it up and move back in with my parents.

My parents were in no position to help me financially, but they did have a spare bedroom that we could stay in with the agreement we pay rent and electricity. We stayed at my folk’s house for 3 months until we got a place of our own again. Literally starting over with nothing.

This experience taught us several lessons, including a great deal about humility. The belief that we would create a life by our design did not fade and we understood that the first thing we would do the next time we started a business would be to get a mentor.

We did so much guess work and used more time and money than we should have while pursing the skateboard company. We know that someone who has the results we want, doing something that we want to do, is someone that we should look to for advice. A mentor takes away a lot of questions, keeps us on the right path, introduces new ideas and is there to see the success of our business. After all, our success means the success for a mentor who will guide us through our entrepreneurial journey.

Another extremely valuable lesson we learned is that our biggest asset is Time, with Time we can open doors and pursue new ventures. If it doesn’t work out, we can close that door knowing that it was not the right one for us. We can make mistakes and learn from them, we can take time to learn new skills and create new habits. Of all the things we may have “lost” or at any point that we may feel like things are at their lowest, we still have Time to rebuild and try something else.


We learned about our resilience, our perseverance and that we would put in the work necessary to create the life we desired. Success doesn’t happen over night and there is no fake it until you make it, there is just putting in the work to learn your craft and to create a successful business. With every failed attempt, you are one step closer and can discard that failed route in order to find the route that works. This is where a mentor is especially helpful.

Years passed until we were ready to pursue anything else, but we knew we needed to do something more for ourselves if we were ever going to start living life on our terms. Of course, we always had our eyes and ears open for our way out of the rat race and decided it was time to start exploring ways to create a sustainable income online. We knew people were working online doing things they wanted to do, work for themselves, traveling and seemed to be doing better off than that both of us working our full-time jobs.

Our lessons in mind we knew our best spot to start would be to look for someone who was already living a totally financially free and independent laptop lifestyle. We had been following a girl who was generating revenue online through her personal brand as an affiliate marketer!! We knew absolutely nothing about moving into the online space, marketing or personal branding except that we would remain ignorant until we at least investigated it.

Our hope was to ask a few questions and hopefully get pointed in the right direction. After reaching out, she answered all questions to get started and agreed to mentor us toward creating a successful online business. She connected us to the Kontent Kulture marketing guide that walked us step by step how to create a personal brand and leverage social media to generate a sustainable income online through affiliate marketing!

Moving into the online space was kind of a no-brainer for us, it requires very little investment in comparison to what we had already attempted and is something that cannot be taken away. We are in the digital age and it would be foolish for us to not take advantage of the opportunity in our hands.

This was totally different than our first go around of creating a business. This time, we started off with a mentor who has been here every step of the way, taking out guess work, creating new ideas, inspiring, motivating and providing practical guidance that continually makes an impact our business. We have complete guidance and continual support and we are learning the skills of branding and marketing which will only become more useful as everything moves online.

Creating our own brand is something that can never be taken away. Our brand is who we are as people, our stories, our interests, our adventures and our ideas. At no point will we ever have to worry that our brand just shutting down, and the only way it can fail is if we don’t put in the work.

As affiliate marketers we have no inventory to hold on and we choose what products and services we work with. Everything is moving online giving us and other entrepreneurs a better opportunity to work together, empowering us to create our own futures instead of living the same way generations before have.


The Kontent Kulture marketing guide allows virtually anyone with internet connection to learn the skills of marketing and personal branding in order to generate revenue online! The online economy is booming and the success you will see next month depends on the actions you take today.

We are living a totally different lifestyle today and I believe that if we can do it after our set-backs, anyone that has the desire to be successful and the willingness to take action toward making that a reality can do it too!

-Kevin Ray

Thank you for reading, we’d love to hear what you think if you’d like to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment or reaching out to us. Connect with us further by following us on Instagram and Facebook!