Hanging A Shingle Is Risky Business

Sally Hogshead shares a story about founding Robaire & Hogshead in 1998 that’s instructive for others considering an entrepreneurial venture.

My heart ka-boomed in my chest as we stood outside the building, preparing to sign the lease. I turned to my business partner, took a breath, and nervously said I couldn’t go through with it. Not because the building’s recent remodel from a mechanic’s garage left much to be desired, or even because the office sat smack dab in the hotbed of Venice Beach gang activity. No, it was because in that summer of 1998, the $2,000/month lease was literally higher than my salary had been only three of years earlier.
Jean Robaire, my then-partner, had a decade more experience and an extraordinary business track record. He turned, looked me in the eye, and told me something I’ll never forget: “I know how you’re feeling. But if you want to be successful, you’ll have to get used to this feeling. This is risk. And if you ever want to take big steps in your career, you’ll have to get used to risk.”

In July of 2000, I dropped off some creative samples at R&H in Venice Beach and was struck by the open air office and artsy photo of Johnny Winter at the reception desk. I thought to myself, damn, these people have it going on.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.bullshitobserver.com Todd

    Totally. No risk, no roadster. Then again, now is the time if you’re into risk and happen to have a lot of interactive experience. There are more projects than there are talented, responsible professionals to complete them.
    One man’s opinion.