The Timeless Story of a Unicorn Entrepreneur Who Had a Crazy Idea and Decided to Go For It
Entrepreneurs are visionaries.
They see things and in a way that they want to create the change. And it's an art form to most… where you are creating and building something from scratch, creating something from nothing.
This idea of creating something out of nothing is what inspires. It is a core driver of the entrepreneurial spirit. It's to be creative... it is to innovate... it’s to identify a problem and be driven to find a solution. It's a puzzle and, for the entrepreneur, it's an adrenaline rush to strive to put something together.
We see the popularity of shows like “Shark Tank”, “Dragons’ Den”, “Silicon Valley”, and “The Profit”.
We see little guys making a big impact from the endless opportunity at our fingertips; new ways to create a better world.
It's never been a better or more popular time to be an entrepreneur. That said, it's important to recognize that with all the success stories you hear about out there, nothing happens overnight. More often than not, there were years of ups and downs, lots of hard work and successes and failures. It’s typically a roller coaster ride that eventually led the entrepreneur down the path that helped them bring their idea to life.
In reality, it’s quite a feat to take something from zero to one, to creating something with a self-sustaining engine without the need for natural modernity to even be involved. (2:15?) For the entrepreneur, it's dope as a vehicle to live the life that you want. It’s the freedom with your time… to work on projects that inspire you and to spend more time with those who you love. It’s the fuel that gets you up and gives you energy in the morning.
Of course, the path to success is littered with the bodies of those who had tried and failed. Those are the many that just gave up. With that in mind, know this, it's those entrepreneurs that do see success, the [00:03:00] ones that create the change that they want to see in the world, they all have one thing in common: they did not stop. They got knocked down time and again, got back up and kept going. They pressed through the challenges to achieve their dream.
And whether it's pivoting or, maybe even just knowing when to intentionally turn your brain off and reset for a while, the entrepreneur focuses on a life of continual personal growth and development. The entrepreneur seeks out new opportunities, new adventures, new relationships with people to whom they aspire to be like and walk on their journey. It's this collaborative spirit, this innovation and true creativity partnered with new and modern tools that change [00:04:00] what entrepreneurs bring to the table and how they can create. We've never had a better time in history to create that change.
The Tale of Richard Rockefeller is the story of the entrepreneur in all of us. Of anyone who had an idea, watched a show like “Shark Tank” and knew deep down in their belly what they wanted.
We all started somewhere. Whatever it was that kickstarted us, in that moment we go from not knowing what idea to go with to actually having a business of our own. In that moment, you recognize the desperate need to just break away from the grind and step into your new role.
Yet, with such an important life change, it is essential to maintain solid connections with your friends and family because entrepreneurship is a lonely road. It is so easy to get stuck in the hustle and the constant motion as we build and create. Too often we forget why we wanted to do this in the first place.You want to live life to the fullest, but to do so, you need people around you to support your growth just as you can support theirs and build things, create things together. After all, we must not forget, this business is supposed to be fun!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and it made Rich a dull boy, too.
As a young unicorn entrepreneur on his home island of Pitchlandia, Rich Rock took on the nick name as he aspired to be like the esteemed business magnates Richard Branson and John D. Rockefeller he had learned about in school. He wanted to emulate these successful businessmen and create a successful business, he just didn’t know where to start.
On the remote island of Pitchlandia, entrepreneurship was the popular topic. Pitchlandia was a land full of unicorns who wanted to start that business that makes a billion dollars.
Pitchlandians just got too caught up in their own ideas - they simply spout bursts of glitter and produce rainbows that go nowhere -- nothing ever actually gets validated because it's just an echo chamber of yahoos who each think they have the next best idea.
On Pitchlandia, “Shark Tank” is the most-watched show. No unicorn worth their weight in glitter would miss an episode. As can be expected, Rich Rock dreamed of pitching his idea on Shark Tank, getting funded and and becoming partners with Mark Cuban.
But where to start?
Rich knew he needed more than glitter and rainbows. Rich decided he needed a new environment where entrepreneurs were actually doing stuff. He made the tough decision to leave Pitchlandia.
But that just wasn’t done. Most Pichlandians were content with living in their dream land where it was enough to believe a business could happen someday. Rich was not. He began to do his research and settled on going to Austin, Texas, a hotspot for a new breed of entrepreneur. He had to go. He took the leap and finally began his journey.
The Tale of Richard Rockefeller is about Rich’s journey; what he learned and how he eventually gained confidence in himself as an entrepreneur. How he became somebody with good ideas and he learned to pitch and sell people on his ideas.
Sure there were ups and downs. A few unsuccessful ventures and a few things that hit here and there. It wasn't until Rich learned some core concepts that he really started gaining traction.
After learning so much, Rich found himself in a position to inspire and teach others. Rich wants to share what he learned with you, and this is the story of how that came to be.
This is a story about how Rich came to launch a successful startup, after completely screwing things up for years. He found a formula, went with it and the rest is history as we make it.
It happened during “The Great Pause” in the year 2020. So much change and turmoil, yet entrepreneurship surged and became more popular than ever. And the idea of starting a side hustle became more popular than ever before.
So, sit back, relax, imagine. What you could do in a world of endless possibilities? Maybe it all starts with your own side hustle.
Part 1: Time to Wake Up
“We have a deal,” said Mark Cuban. Rich Rock woke up immediately, heart racing. It was yet another dream of pitching on Shark Tank and being funded by Mark Cuban. Just a dream.
He sighed. Frustrated to think that after years of watching Shark Tank, he still hadn’t started a business of his own. He was still right where he was at the beginning.
You’d think that Rich’s remote, home island of Pitchlandia would be considered a utopia for unicorn entrepreneurs. All anyone did was pitch business ideas to each other. Wow! But, in fact, the average Pitchlandian was content to live in an echo chamber of their own ideas. With bursts of glitter and splashes of rainbows, they pitched business ideas. But that is where it stopped for no one ever actually started a real business.
Rich Rock was tired of the status quo. He was tired of the norm. He was tired of thinking of ideas and never being able to take action on them because of his surroundings. He wanted to make a change. He wanted to go to America. He wanted to go on Shark Tank, pitch his business and get funded. But he didn’t know how.
As he pondered his situation, he did research and discovered that there had been massive growth in Austin, Texas. The entrepreneur community had grown tremendously. From all the articles he would read online and videos he would watch on the internet, he finally determined that he needed to travel to Austin to start his entrepreneurial journey and really start a business.
So that is what Rich did. He took a deep breath and that all-important first step towards realizing his dream. He hopped aboard the next cargo ship leaving Pitchlandia and headed to Austin, knowing that this decision was a life-changer. You see, unicorns just don’t leave Pitchlandia. And the few that Rich had heard whispers about, had been exiled, never to return for they would never be welcomed back. But Rich never wanted to come back. He was primed to finally start his side hustle. He was on his way to start a business - the business he had always dreamed about.
Part 2: Lost and Found
At first, it was a disaster.
He never realized that moving to a city like Austin, with so many people and so much energy, that it would leave him feeling more lost than ever before.
It wasn’t that he didn’t fit in. Sure, he was a unicorn, but this was Austin and no one seemed to care.
But he had moved on his own and he was struggling to find friends and a community. He knew they were there.
He just didn’t know where to start.
So, Rich Rock poured all his energy and time into learning about the different business models online.
He explored his interests and passions.
He listened to podcasts, read books, invested in courses and programs.
The more he learned, Rich thought, the more he would understand, and the better he would get it.
Yet his frustration grew as he came to realize that he was doing the same thing he’d been doing in Pitchlandia, but now he was alone.
Why did he bother to leave if he wasn’t going to actually start a business like he had always dreamed?
Then one day, he went to an event for entrepreneurs at a local meet-up. There Rich Rock started to network, build relationships, and continued to throw himself all in, surrounding himself with people that were like minded and where he wanted to be.
It was exactly what Rich Rock needed to move himself to the next phase of his journey.
Shortly thereafter, he came across a group of entrepreneurs who invited Rich to play volleyball with them.
They called themselves the “Sand Penguins”.
The team would compete, eat and drink, have fun, laugh and generally blow off steam and just connect on a more personal level.
It was……….. fun!
This was the most fun Rich had ever had.
All of the Penguins were entrepreneurs like Rich. They were the type of people Rich aspired to be like. While each Penguin was an entrepreneur and each had their own business at which they worked really hard, they found balance in their lives by doing group activities and stepping away from working their business every now and then to just have fun. They valued the connection and friendships with the group.
Rich was energized again. He wasn’t alone anymore. He finally had a community that understood him and his dreams.
Like his fellow Penguins, Rich did little side hustles here and there to make ends meet and tried to get an idea off the ground. He put all his money and time back into the business ideas he attempted to cultivate. Sure, there were failures. A stream of failures and then small successes.
But Rich Rock was working himself almost to death and that troubled him.
He realized “I have fun when I’m in my element, in my creativity, creating and thinking of new ideas. I’m really fulfilled when I see other people who have funny ideas for businesses that I might invest in if I were Mark Cuban.
All Rich Rock still really wanted to do was pitch his business on Shark Tank.
And then one day while hanging with a few Penguins, the group started playing a game. They were just messing around, pitching ideas back and forth and making up fake business names on the spot.
Suddenly, a light bulb went off in Rich Rock’s head and it hit him.
“What if this could be a game that anyone could play?”
It clicked and Rich knew what he had to do next.
Part 3: Dreams to Reality
Rich couldn’t shake it, couldn’t let it go. Something clicked. He brought the idea to his friends in Austin. He shared it with his friends on the internet. He quickly organized multiple game nights with dozens of entrepreneurs all over Austin to see how the idea would be received.
Rich Rock knew that, unlike before, he had to talk to his potential customers if he was going to make a game.
He needed to know how the mechanics would work.
He needed to figure out how to go about getting the game created.
While there were lots of questions, Rich Rock was determined to find the answers and moved ahead with his idea.
First, he needed funding because he’d need to create a small batch order with a manufacturing partner. The problem was Rich was broke. And while that might have stopped him before, he was broke because he had invested all his money back into himself. Now he needed to take all he’d learned and go after his dream.
Armed with only a dollar and a dream, Rich Rock set out to raise his first round of funding for his new side hustle.
Part 4: The 90 Day Sprint
He gave himself 90 days. From the time of deciding to launch, Rich Rock gave himself 90 days to build an idea from scratch, put together a campaign and to raise enough money to place a full order for a game that he could call his own. Leveraging a crowd-funding platform like KickStarter, Rich set out to raise capital and then brought together new customers to test out the game and provide feedback.
He hadn’t settled on a name yet, but wouldn’t let that slow him down.
To create a better concept for the game, Rich determined he needed more input from entrepreneurs like himself to find out what exactly they really crave.
The entrepreneurs Rich Rock interviewed liked to be creative and their playground was making side hustles and starting little businesses simply because they can’t help themselves. They are people who think of these businesses, see if a domain name is available, buy it on the spot, and eventually have a graveyard full of maybe funny or fundable domain names that might one day go along with a business idea. They like to be productive and not waste time even when they are having fun.
After thousands of hours of research, Rich determined that, interestingly, many entrepreneurs craved an outlet that would help them better connect with their family and friends who weren’t necessarily in tune with the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Rich Rock wanted to build an engaging game that captured the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit.
He designed it to tap into a player's creativity and build connection.
It needed to be user-friendly and easy to play with friends, family and even coworkers or teammates as a team building exercise.
The game would be fast paced, non-repetitive, and feel like a productive use of time.
It would be a fun game that makes players flex their creative muscle but doesn’t take too long to play.
So it all started coming together within Rich’s 90-day sprint.
His crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign, received an amazing full funding of $7500 in the first 12 hours.
He then had a long road ahead of going through the manufacturing process, of prototyping physical copies of the game, to testing it, to getting more feedback, and doing everything that comes along with establishing a legitimate business.
He had to set up bank accounts, get online domains, plug into social media, design a website, keep the branding on point but continue to work and clarify the message and also do things like setting up the operating agreements with partners to help grow the business.
And while Rich thought that it’d be an easier process, it was an incredible learning experience. He experienced so many peaks and valleys, but he couldn’t give up on his dream.
He knew this idea would change everything.
And then “The Great Pause”. The 2020 world-wide pandemic. It shook everything and everyone up. It was a wild ride. It changed the way everything functioned and it revealed a lot of the character in the people around Rich and in Rich himself.
Periods of depression, sprinkled with times of purpose, to just gaining confidence again in the whole process... it was a roller coaster ride.
But Rich Rock knew the dream couldn’t die, but it was a challenge.. He kept going and kept going and things changed in Austin. The closer and closer he got with the prototyping process, he saw that people were really looking for the type of connection Side Hustle provided. Rich saw the value in having that kind of game, the rise in popularity of board games and how much people crave that kind of connection and having fun while doing it.
Even with “The Great Pause” adding months onto his original timeline, Rich wasn’t going to give up on his game. He couldn’t do it. He had his backers on Kickstarter, the people who supported him from the beginning. Way later than he originally had had projected, Rich was finally able to finish the prototyping and placed the production order to go out to all his backers.
So, where will the next phase of his journey take him? Rich feels called to share his story and help others start a side hustle. He wants to share his experience and help others take their idea from a dream to reality. With the right mindset, anything is possible.
At the end of the day that is why Rich created his Side Hustle game to bring the entrepreneurial spirit to people and to give them encouragement. As you play through, Side Hustle may help kickstart a dream or it may just provide an excellent way to have fun, enjoy some friendly competition with your friends on game night, spend quality time with family, or have an engaging, productive team-building exercise with coworkers.
So that’s how Rich Rock launched his idea and launched his dream to reality. From the early days of imagination on Pitchlandia to taking the steps to move to Austin, to finding the community and the people around him to support him in his dreams and his pursuits, to having a crazy idea and deciding to go for it. In launching that idea inside of a 90-day window, to his first customers that funded his idea and gave him the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Entrepreneur, your next idea could change the world. And it all starts with SideHustle.