The picture that we visualize when thinking about college is academia, social interaction, and the true beginning stages of individualism….along with the parties, the drinking, and in our case (go UCSB!!) the beach. College was probably the best years of my life because I learned how to be myself and figure out what “I” really wanted out of life. There were no pressures or influences anymore to be something I did not want to be…there were no parents trying to push me to be a doctor, no teachers on personal level, and definitely no friends (they were too busy having fun) trying to persuade me to follow a certain career or life path. It was just me.
Following my planned career path of mechanical engineering, I was on track to graduate with a pretty good GPA and the intention to snag a high paying job at an engineering company of some sort. Things were looking good and who knows, I could have had a comfortable life making a beginning salary of $60 grand doing the 8 to 5 job…but I was not really that happy.
I am the kind of guy that looks out into the blue and warm sky (I live in Santa Barbara…) and ponders on the true reasoning for all of this: the world, our life’s, and what we should do? Although I can’t answer these questions in full, I do know one thing…sitting inside a colorless cubicle doing a plethora of work when the weather outside is so wonderful seem horrible to me. I knew that about after six months of work at a place just described, I would lose all interest and eventually be miserable at my high paying job. It wouldn’t be fair to my employer and it wouldn’t be fair to me.
Then one day, I enrolled into an entrepreneurship course after much suggestion from my brother and my life forever changed. I felt excited again, I felt like this was my calling, and I felt that I could create and not necessarily just follow as I was intended. This class opened my eyes to what it takes to be an entrepreneur: hard-working, fearful but fearless, likes to think outside the box, understands the risks, likes to take nothing and make something out that, and much more. This was me. This was my definition if my name was in the dictionary. This course in a way was a philosophical moment for me because I always had the entrepreneurial spirit, but did not know of its existence (the same argument of how do we know something if we have never experienced it or been educated on the matter…is it innate or not).
Now I instantly became happy with my life because I knew there was more to life than that feared cubicle job…I mean I always knew that in sometime I would have the job that comes with the perks and corner office, but I didn’t want that over time…I wanted that now. So instead of waiting, I decided at that point that I was going to create and make that for myself instead of following and waiting. I knew that this task would be difficult and it has proven to be so, but I have been so happy while in the process.
The first day of this class came along and I learned more in two hours than I had ever done before…amazing is all that I can say. By the end, our professor announced that we would be researching some sort of problem in any industry of our choice and that we were to come up with a product that was a solution to that problem. At the end of the quarter, we were to present this product as if we were presenting to investors. Luckily I choose the simplest product in the industry that is the most fun…the pet industry and thus was born Dura Doggie.
This is our story about how a few college students took a class project and ran with it. Keep reading and more stories to follow of our life in the entrepreneur’s shoes and how we took a small dog toy company and made it huge.
President, Dura Doggie