Beating the Odds: 12 Years an Entrepreneur

As of 2021, 20% of small businesses failed in their first year, 50% within five years, and 65% within 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Twelve years ago, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, I left the comfort of a relatively secure job and paycheck to launch Adelante.

I spent my first day as an entrepreneur (and the next 2.5 weeks) as a juror in a murder trial. I earned less than $100 for my time served.

At the time, I was the sole income earner in the family, with four kids and a mortgage. I was also facing a huge increase in health insurance costs, since I now had to pay 100% of the monthly premiums.

It was by far the riskiest decision I have made in my life. 

And the best one too. 

Over the past 12 years, I’ve learned that you can’t skimp on two vital ingredients for success: hard work and sacrifices. 

Success is also built on trust and relationships, especially in the early years. I am grateful for the trust my clients placed in me twelve years ago, and for the relationships we continue to develop and grow.

I’ve also learned that my father was right: “You can’t lead your life waiting for things to happen; you have to make your own luck.”

I’ve beaten the odds so far, which reminds me of that famous line from The Hunger Games: “May the odds be ever in your favor.” It is meant as a blessing, but in life, as in the book, having the odds in your favor doesn’t guarantee success. And in some cases, having the odds in your favor can actually work against you, if you put too much trust in the odds and not enough in hard work, sacrifice, and the support of others.

Instead of the odds, I say, please continue to give me the will to succeed, the courage to try again whenever I fail, and the love and support of family, friends, and community.

Thank you all for making this journey possible and fun.

For related commentary, please read “The Right Time To Become An Entrepreneur.”