HOW I BECAME THE
Thanks for taking a few minutes of your life to learn more about my story and also how I’ve grown a company over 7 years to over $30,000,000 in sales and 14 locations in multiple states!
My name is KC Kelly A.KA. The Rocketprenuer! I was the founder of a phone repair company for 7 years that grew to $5,000,000 per year in revenue and sold to a billion dollar company for millions of dollars. As acting CEO, I ensured quality and excellence in all areas from the ground up and have employed hundreds of team members. I have been through many storms over the last 7 years and it is my great aim to teach others through my success and failings. I am an imperfect man who believes in a perfect God.
How I became an Entrepreneur & Business Success:
The story of this company didn’t really start with a broken phone, it was more like a broken life. I grew up as the older of two boys, born to a young, ambitious, beautiful, single mother. I never knew my real father, and never grew close any of the different, rarely sober, male figures that came through our home. My mom had always been a hard worker, and taught me early in life that you had to “look out for yourself because the world doesn’t favor the weak” and “if you’re going to succeed, you have to play to win”.In my mid to late teenage years, I lived by those philosophies and began to take care of myself, or at least I thought I did. Being a quick study, it was easy for me to generate income quickly in my younger years. However, most of the time my income generation laid on the edge of ethics. When I turned 18, and I was not only on the edge of ethics, but had reached the edge of the law, and the precipice of my life. I knew I had to make a decision, either carry on the way I had, hustling and running, and probably lose my freedom or my life, or become someone brand new. I made the decision to end my very wild and rebellious life after finding Jesus. I set out to make an honest living through hard work and determination.
At the age of 23 years old after fighting to be a man of honor, I was called into my boss’ office where he told me that times were hard, and changes were inevitable. Punch line… I was fired on the spot.
Having neck and hand tattoos, I knew it was going to be difficult to find work. I felt I had gone from being on top of the world to suddenly feeling as if the world was on top of me. How was I going to pay for school, my mortgage, and my first baby on the way? I felt shattered. I had a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of worries, wondering how I was going to take care of everything. I applied for countless jobs; I was turned down for almost every one of them. When I did get an offer, they wanted to stick me in the corner of a call center, which was not going to work with my personality.
Feeling as if every job wanted to leverage my “personality” but didn’t want to risk offending their clientele with my “appearance”, my fight or flight mechanisms were in overdrive. I was scared. I was angry. I was beginning to feel depressed. The temptations and developed skills of my youth began to surface. I knew I could find money, I knew I could make things work, but the means and methods didn’t reflect the type of honorable person that I wanted to become. So again, I found myself at a major crossroad. Ultimately, in this moment, I chose faith. Faith in God. Faith in the American Dream.
Months go by, and I am still jobless when I see a guy doing Apple electronic repairs and making tons of cash with little business experience. I offered to franchise out his business, but he declined and told me to open my own company if I really wanted to. Being a man of faith and action, within 14 days, I had built, setup and opened my first 700 sq. ft. store. Within the first 30 days, we had grossed $10,000 in sales and I could take home a paycheck to provide for my growing family!
By the end of about month 17 in business, my newly founded company had grown from 1 location to 7 retail locations. Not having a ton of experience prior to starting a business, and also getting caught up in the “high” of growth, we quickly outgrew our cash-flow capabilities. I found myself in a hole of almost $150,000 within 6 months due to poor planning regarding the expansions of stores and restriction of cash flow. I was resolved to not let my company go down in flames. I began working diligently and built visually-stimulating sales proposals for accessories and hit the market running. After a few months of going to trade shows and pitching companies, I got a break. I closed a deal with a very reputable furniture company and sold them almost $1,000,000 worth of headphones and accessories for promotional collateral. This deal allowed us to profit almost $200,000 and pay off our outstanding company debt.
After this cash windfall, I began systematically analyzing all of our books and getting to the heart of where our company truly stood. I found that one of my stores had bled almost $48,000 in 2013 and another had profited almost $53,000 – but as you can see my profits were being cannibalized by the bleed of one store. I made the decision to shut down this store and negotiated my way out of a 5-year lease that had 48 months left, which was $180k in liabilities. This is just one of the many trials I had to face during 7 years of growth!
By the beginning of 2018 I had grown the company to 14 very successful and profitable stores in 3 states. Employing over 50 team members, and by God’s grace never missing a payroll since inception, I finally decided it was time to sell the company and move forward in my entrepreneurial ventures. This included shifting my focus to giving back to other emerging entrepreneurs by training them through my “Rocketprenuer” coaching platforms. Today I aim to provide coaching in the things companies need to do to create a successful business from start to sustainment to harvest.
A foundation of faith was what kept me on track, as as truly understanding my identity. It took me many years, but I now know the importance of faith in business and keeping faith as your foundation on your road to success. My goal is to show other men how to keep the faith along with the practical how-to’s it took me years to learn (and $300K in fancy consultants) in order to achieve success, which will alway be built on a foundation of faith, to make sure you succeed.
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