Welcome to: The Art of Entrepreneurship
What's going on guys! Happy you decided to learn more about me and what I have to offer for you. My name is Derrick Jones, I'm the the founder of this website, Stage One Athletics, and as well as many other businesses I've started, ran, and learned from as well.
Through my experiences I've faced in my life professionally and personally. I have learned, and am still learning/practicing through my own passion project. What it ultimately takes nowadays to become a successful entrepreneur. You should practice what you preach right? I am a firm believer the best information is best given through the challenges and experiences that have been overcome in daily challenges and struggles. This page was created for just that. So I'm here to offer my advice, guidance, and massive content!
Now, would I classify myself as a successful entrepreneur? Financial wise no, not yet, but I have seen what has failed and what has worked for me in the business world as I have had many small victories with some of my past businesses.
Mindset wise, yes I believe and consider myself a successful entrepreneur because, I am now on my 7th business not including the one you are reading right now. In person, I've also seen successful entrepreneurs and have mentored from them. It made me see what it took them to get there and what they said was insane.
Since I created this page for people to gain insight, knowledge, advice, and whatever questions I can answer that you may have! Its so I can help others overcome easy mistakes in the beginning as well as give a reality check into what it really feels and takes to go into the world of entrepreneurship. This means freedom from a 9-5, freedom from a 9-9, more time with family & friends, able to work on your craft and love doing what you do each & everyday!
Maybe you are dealing with personal problems, work problems, legal problems, depression, guidance, anxiety, stress, assurance, and many other daily struggles that we both face.
I'm here to tell you, I've been there. It took and still takes a lot to get to the next level.
This is "The Art of Entrepreneurship"
For people that want more details and more of a story. I created a list below of short-moderate sized descriptions on the different entrepreneurial routes I took to get to where I am today. You'll find out
- What type of business I ran
- Lessons I Learned
- What I succeeded in through the failures
Can you guess the first one by the picture? You better haha!
My entrepreneurship journey started when I was around 14 years old. I was hooked on drumming and also video games. I always watched YouTube videos on finance, car vlogs, fitness, and as well as "How to get a girls number videos" (yes at 14 years old). I always wanted to be older than I already was.
There was a guy on YouTube I started to watch a lot. His name was Timothy Sykes. Known for being a millionaire by 21 trading penny stocks and skipping classes. I related to him on one of those levels at my age sometimes. How did he get there?He took 12k from his bar mitzvah money and aspired from there. Watching his videos. It seemed amazing because, at the phase I was going into, it was after quick money. And in the stock world. Penny stocks are quick, but very risky. I knew it was calculated though so I was motivated to learn. And learn I did
I asked my dad what he thought, and he wanted me to gain practice before I dove in. He didn't like the idea at first but I gave him some motivating reasons. I got my TD Ameritrade account and started practicing and staying up till 2am on school nights and all night on weekends learning. I started seeing success on their test platform. But I didn't pursue it faster than that.
Why didn't I pursue? Financial reasons & not realizing about time management: Because, I was 14 years old and due to me having extracurriculars in marching band and indoor percussion. It would have been hard to balance a job with the amount of time we put in practice.
The next business I went to pursue is "InspireEmpires". It was a Wordress website that was going to be my blog. The purpose behind this blog was when I was heavily interested in the "picking up girls" YouTube videos and fitness videos as well. So I enjoyed learning the psychology of socializing in life situations. Becoming a Life Coach is what I wanted to do I guess you could say.
I would talk about the hierarchy of Alpha and Omega. As well as give tips and advice for how to get girls to notice men. I learned how to use Canva and from digital media in highschool I was certified in adobe photoshop and illustrator. So, I put some cool visuals on the website. However, as much as I enjoyed talking about it, and as well as researching the subject. I did not enjoy writing the content as I was impatient and wanted more for my life at that point. So, I quit and moved on.
Did I have readers? Yes. Did I make sales? At this time I never got to the monetization point. I got readers fed through the facebook page I had set-up and some great conversations.
I quickly got fascinated in Amazon FBA and dropshipping. At the time, this is 2017-2018 and I was very interested in Amazon FBA more than typical dropshipping. The reason is because, I trusted the Amazon method more. However, it took more money upfront back than to start. Where as I saw a bunch of younger people having success in the ecommerce world of dropshipping. Since I was a broke teenager at this point. I was thinking "this is my perfect way out". So for a couple months, I would do trial and error with beauty products. The store I created was "InspiredBeauty" (No relevance there right?). I had around $200 for ads and my website combined. At this point I still was playing drums regionally and competitively for a WGI (Winter Guard International) Group called Inov8 Winter percussion. Which took a lot of hours as a whole throughout the week.
Did I have any success? No, not at all. Reason being is because I knew nothing about FaceBook ads and at the time. It was hard to find creditable sources on how to spend a very small limited budget I had. I didn't realize how much capital it really took when you are new and have no real guidance.
The next business I went after was after I joined the military. In 2019 I was put at Fort Knox training cadets on land nav. Since we had a lot of time where we worked day on and day off. I decided to pursue dropshipping again. This was during the time oil spills in the ocean, and poaching was becoming a big deal in South Africa. So, I decided to create SaveCauses to go after an awareness niche to help promote the cause. I sold stuffed oceanic animals and rhino rings. I wouldn't charge any upfront cost except a small shipping fee. I got inspired by a few tactics I saw researching and watching videos. Basically to where you charge no money upfront, but charge a shipping fee. So, that you can still make some profit.
Did I see success? Yes, I finally started making some sales from using the tactic I had learned. Although I wasn't making any profit at all, and my ads were sinking as my CPC was awful. I wanted something quicker so I payed various instagram influencers in the same niche as mine. It didn't work as well as I wanted though. The accounts were real, however; the engagement rates were low. So after dming many influencers between paying them and finding ways to get them to do it for free. I decided moved on from there.
Realize I didn't even get a first sale until my 4th business I tried. And I learned a lot. I eventually started my next business Derrick Jones Automotive. Except this time it was an "intrepreneurial" business (A business within a business). I became a car salesman for a car dealership. I learned from a guy named Andy Elliott who was a mastermind in the car sales world. I bought many courses and invested lots of time into becoming a beast in the dealership. Not only learning from Andy from time to time, I also learned from his coach Gian Gomez even more. I had attended one of his seminars in Scottsdale, AZ in April, 2021. That next Monday I came back. I was so fired up. I sold 7 cars back to back consistently. It all got put to a halt when FaceBook banned me from their ads manager. I tried months on end to get it back. But alas, they never reached back. My guess was due to Covid-19 Probably. I didn't get my account back till December of 2021. I made various ads that converted VERY well. That was due to me researching how to use FaceBook ads and I enjoyed this process of learning at this point. I also attained some nice ratings on FaceBook and gained a nice local following as well. I was getting well over 100 leads a day just sent to my FB inbox. I started to realize I enjoyed making ads, creating content, content writing, and recording and being creative making videos more than ever. Due to how the market was going. I still to this day get phone calls from people asking if I can sell them cars.
Reason I stopped? Andy and his team always say this:
"Go to a dealership that sets you up for success".
As I had a lot of success there in my opinion, they started running out of cars very fast, and they weren't the only ones. Whats a salesperson without any cars to sell? Just a person. So I parted ways
I still hadn't given up dropshipping, so while I was working my next job at Esporta Fitness. I was an Assistant General Manager. I came across this guy named Jordan Welch who really inspired me through his transparent YouTube videos to hang in there and give me a reality check on what it's really like to see success in dropshipping. As it took him 7 months before he found his breakthrough. I created CarCare Nation to sell automotive car hacks. I was doing that for about 5 months and I did see some success. A lot more success than my SaveCauses niche site. I invested into Jordans course for FB ads and it worked. His facebook strategy really worked massively. People were converting at 16% for conversions on FaceBook. Now I didn't get many sales from this. Not because of my ad video or because of how my facebook ads were set-up. The stats I was getting were impressing even the FB advisor I was using. I was thinking the ads where the problem at the time. I had to take humility at this point because, this was mainly down to my website design and as well as some tweaks going on in my store. It made it look untrustworthy to the consumer eye.
Did I succeed? Yes and No. In the facebook ads world. Yes, I ran various ads that made people very appealed to want more information and got shared very many times. As in sales, not as much as I was wanting. I also wanted to put my talents to better use as I enjoyed more of the car sales aspect of leveraging.
Finally this brings me to what I'm working at now. The farthest and biggest project I've taken. Stage One Athletics. I got inspired to create an athletic apparel brand from not understanding why I wanted to switch my efforts so quickly, after my small victories was as far as I've ever gotten.
Well, it's because I realized purpose is what really drove me to finish anything. I was after the money, not the vision. I figured it out by looking back on my life and understanding the lessons I had learned. I wanted something that would make a difference in this world. Once I started talking about this brand that was coming to be. People loved what I had to say, and I loved to hear what they aspired to accomplish in life.
Hearing what they wanted to do and what difference they wanted to make for themselves is what injected me with small doses of motivation to go balls to the rail all in. Now even when I'm unmotivated I still put in the work because I have a constant vision of the difference this could make, because I know the potential of difference YOU can make...
What success have I seen? Well, follow the blog and keep up. It's a lot more than any of my businesses have seen. And I can't wait for you to be a part of it!