My Small Business Journey (Part 2)

I was now working 80 hours a week and after 2 years I was starting to get really depressed. No more gym, no more holidays, no more partying, no more life. I was in a prison but getting paid for it. One day I was getting a pizza at a girlfriends place and noticed a fridge magnet. On the back of the fridge magnet I noticed a phone number and thought it would be a cool idea for my pizza shop. First thing Monday I called the number in excitement and the guy who answered said “Hello, Mister Magnets, Matthew Bridges speaking.” I went to school with his brother and we spoke at length about fridge magnets. He came over to the restaurant and I ended up ordering these fridge magnets from him. Over a period of a year or so we became good friends and each time I would see him he was pumped.

Matthew would walk in the shop and basically it was like a bright light. Happy, confident, content, he had it all. He was a man on a mission. Every week he would come in and order pizzas and have a new story. I’m going to America to export magnets, I’m setting up a marketing team, I’m doing this, I’m doing that. I was in awe of this man.

I had so much respect for him. Every week I would look forward to him coming in to work. After a while he said to me, “Anthony, no offence to your business but you don’t belong here. Its not about being smarter than everyone at your work but you have so much to offer. You have a job, not a business. You are always working. You need to change your lifestyle”

He handed me a copy of the E myth and I read the book back to front in less than 2 days. I felt like I had been converted. It was the most intoxicating, exhilarating feeling I’d ever had. There was a better way to do things and now this was my once in a lifetime chance to do it.

After a few months of research I decided to start selling promotional stickers to the United States. Matthew was doing Fridge Magnets so basically I was replicating what he did but with a different product. When I told my father I was leaving he said that I was being brainwashed and that you cannot have a lifestyle in business. To prove your manhood you had to endure 80 hours of work a week. That was the sign of a real man according to him. Well DAD, maybe in 1970 but not in the year 2000. Talk about a false sense of reality. My mother was very positive as well, “Anthony, you will never get an opportunity like the pizza shop, you will be begging for your job back. You will amount to nothing, you lazy ——-“, well you get the picture.