Perfecting the Art of Survival in Entrepreneurship

The creator of the Lovesac had plenty of ups and downs before living that cush life

Let’s take it back to 1998. It was the year that the Yankees won a record 114 regular season games—which led to winning their first of four consecutive World Series titles. The president, Bill Clinton, was named as one of Time magazine’s Men of the Year. Newcomer Montell Jordan released a smash single called “This Is How We Do It.” And a young kid from Utah opened a company that creates gigantic bean bag–style furniture and called it… Lovesac.

Shawn Nelson and his group of friends teamed up to create a home furniture product that was in popular demand after he built the first model in the basement of his parents' home three years prior. His journey as a startup furniture company was an interesting one: From a fabric-buying trip to China by himself to complete an order of 12,000 Lovesacs from Limited Too to accruing thousands of dollars in debt by signing up for a plethora of credit cards, Nelson was willing to do anything to be a successful hustler in business.

With his company blossoming at a fast rate, he made reckless business decisions. After winning a $1 million dollar investment from Richard Branson's Rebel Millionaire reality competition, Venture Capital wanted to buy the company. Wanting to start over, Nelson decided to file for bankruptcy in 2006. Feeling embarrassed and heartbroken, Nelson remembered some of the great pieces of advice he gathered from Branson about luck and the grind. 

"I believe you make your own luck," Branson told Nelson. But as time passed, he was able to witness small successes that made him appreciate the quote from the entrepreneur billionaire. "You just have your head down and hustle," Nelson recalled to ONE37pm. His temporary streak of bad luck didn't last long, however—he bounced back and successfully completed a $56 million IPO earlier this year. 

If you are looking for a roller coaster business story, Nelson’s survival as an entrepreneur is something you need to hear. The risk, the hustle and the grind will inspire you to push yourself and test the boundaries of making sure you succeed at what you are passionate about.

This podcast episode with Shawn Nelson is available on: AppleSpotify | Google | iHeartStitcher | TuneIn

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