Starting a Business with 9 Kids and 1 on the Way, a Look Back on the First Year

The title begs the question, are you crazy, and I suppose the only truthful answer I can give is yes.  When I was in high school, I started a business called Screen Genies where I went door to door offering to repair window screens for homes.  I probably made 300 dollars total.  The summer before my sophomore year of college, I restarted the same company making little more than the previous incarnation.  Although unsuccessful, I knew that I wanted to have my own company down the road, so when Cassanda and I got married, she also knew that was my eventual plan. 

Over the years I have taken several entrepreneur classes and am even a dropout of the BYU MBA program.  Growing up relatively shy, I have never felt like I had the same charisma as many of the other entrepreneurs I have met.  I have also been far more interested in designing and selling products that can help others than in becoming wealthy.  However, over the years I have become much more outgoing, I rarely stop talking, and have gained something of a new confidence, but I still feel like I lack many of the basic business skills that seem to come so easily to others.  I am continually learning and am currently taking a course here in Lehi called Tangible which is helping me to figure a lot of this out.

During the years, Cassanda was always uncomfortable with the idea of starting a company.  It just seemed too scary.  However, when I approached her at the end of last year, she felt like it was the right thing to do.  It seems odd that just after finding out that we were expecting our tenth kid in ten years, we decided to take the plunge, I can’t think of much worse timing.

As you can guess, the biggest issue with starting a company was financial.  Here we were barely making ends meet as it was and I was going to drop all source of income.  Now, that was crazy.  We were lucky enough to have bought a home at the perfect time, a home that increased in value enough for us to take out a home equity line of credit with which to fund this new venture.  Additionally, as I started this new company, I agreed to stay on with my current employer for 2 days a week, thus giving us some income.

In October of last year I got the business license and website for Morrise Products, a company as I indicate on the website, established to help individuals and families through superior products design.  I have designed several products which I sell on Amazon and have done some work to help others design products of their own.

So, here we are a year on.  I’ve thought many times how I wish I could go back to a year ago and start fresh from the beginning now that I have a better idea of what direction to go in and how to better establish myself.  However, I have learned so much about myself and about business in the last year that it wouldn’t be fair to say I haven’t accomplished much.  Yes, I would love to say that my business is bringing in more than $500 per month and that I haven’t already blown through the money that I set aside for business expenses, but I am grateful for the lessons that I have learned and am excited to see what the next year brings.

If you have any advice for an entrepreneur who is struggling to get contracts and make sales, your comments would be greatly appreciated.

3 thoughts on “Starting a Business with 9 Kids and 1 on the Way, a Look Back on the First Year

  1. I don’t really have business advice but I did tell Cassanda that I think an Elder’s name would look perfect on those combs as a missionary gift (resembling a tag!)

    1. Even if it was just a see thru sticker, rather than an engraving. I’ll bet you could get in with LDS bookstore or some of the other online missionary gift sites.

  2. Here’s something I’ve always wanted, but when I tried to buy it on Amazon, it was unavailable.
    I hate having random toothbrushes that noone claims. And when I write on them with sharpie, it sometimes wears off.
    ViveVita Label Itz ToothBand Toothbrush Label, Zoo Animals

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