This is not going to be the average blog on, how to make it big in business or the overnight miracle plan. This is going to teach you how to succeed at starting from nothing in life and business with a family. It doesn’t matter if you are a single mom, Dad, or married with kids, I’m sure this will help you out. I want to start by giving you a bit of background on how this blog came to be.
I was about seventeen years old when my first child was born. He was 6 pounds 5 ounces, Xavier is his name. That was back in 2007. See, prior to that, I was just a young kid, living in the not so good part of Richmond Virginia. My mom worked long hours which meant that most of the time, she was not there. My father was a traditional business owner, and he lived a few miles away from my mom. Weekdays were spent at moms house while weekends and summers where spent with dad. They both were quite busy, leaving me plenty of time to find trouble and chase girls. Both of which I did a lot of. By the way, this isn’t the part where I blame my parents for mistakes that I made. I’m just giving you some background.
That being said, I got into a lot of trouble and they were always there to bail me out. However, in 2007 I created a beautiful mess that no one could bail me out of. It was the creation of my first child, Xavier Isaiah Evans. When his mom first brought the news to me I was terrified. Me, a seventeen year old kid, still in high school, taking care of a little one? It was scary I will admit. Was my first thought to run? Nope. Was it to cry? Yeah I did that. However the only thought that I had was, how am I going to make this work? My mother quickly answered that for me. GET A JOB! Though reluctant, I did. KFC, was my first gig where I made a fortune. A whole $6.25 an hour! Was I excited? Not at all, considering me and Xavier’s mom did have rent to pay. See when I brought the news home, I also informed my mom that I’d be living with her family. That required me to pay $400 a month in rent for a room the size of a closet.
Now I will spare you the details but let’s just say one year and four jobs later I had worked my salary up to $11 an hour. Now that was great, the only downside was that I had created another beautiful mess. I and Xavier’s mom were now expecting child number two. Her name is Zalika Evans. So now at 18 years old, I had two children, one bedroom and a low salary. Let’s just say that I was pretty pressured. Fast forward another year. I had worked my salary up (in a new job) to $13 an hour, but there was just one more problem. It was now just me and two children, no help. See their mom decided that she wanted to live her life and that did not include us, so we split. I want to stop here and say that currently, she is a wonderful mom to her children. Now, back to where we were. I was a single dad, with two kids, and a salary that was not big enough to feed 3 people and keep a roof over our heads. So within a year, we found ourselves on the streets, bouncing from one friend’s house to another. It was tough, but one thing that I knew was that it wouldn’t stay this way. We spent close to a year in this position until God reconnected me with an old friend from my childhood.
Meeting My Wife…and businesses
Her name was Fatimah Johnson. Frankly put, she was (and still is) the best thing that could have happened to us. After connecting with her in 2009, we started dating, and it wasn’t long until I had moved up to Harrisonburg Virginia to live with her. She was studying Justice Studies at James Madison University and was a junior. I on the other hand, was homeless and full of drama. I did however bring ambition to the relationship. Within a few weeks of being there I had found a job, enrolled in college and found my own place to stay.
Three short months into dating, we had decided to get married. We got married on February the 5th of 2010. However she was already pregnant with our first child together. That’s not the reason we got married by the way. However, on September the 22nd of 2010, Olivia Evans was born. So now we had 3 children before age 21. Fatimah accepted my 2 as her own and still managed to work part time, go to school fulltime, and finish her last year of school while having a child in the middle of her semester. I was still working full time, and going to school full time. Now this is the fun part. A few months before Olivia was born, I ran into a man named Randall Pulley. I was studying Information Systems Engineering when I met him at the gym. He owned a really successful multimedia firm called Reality Media at the time. I was extremely excited to have met him because he was looking to hire a sales rep for his company. He ended up hiring me and showing me the ropes, teaching me the ends and outs of business and customer service. It definitely intrigued me. However, a dream of entrepreneurship had been birthed inside of me.
Starting The Company
I hit the ground running right after opening up. I would talk to almost anyone within 10 feet of me to see if they owned a business or new of anyone that did. I spent a whole year doing this, knocking on doors and calling friends and family with not one client who signed up. Did I feel defeated? Oh yeah, big time. I almost gave up. By this time it was now March of 2011. I went into the local gym to unload steam and I met a guy (who is now my best friend and mentor) named Brent Stone. He was an extremely successful internet entrepreneur at age 23.He had started his own business at age 18 and by age 19 he was making a $50k yearly income while working about 8 hours a week. That meant that his company was producing well over 20k a month. Naturally I wanted to know how he had done it. The blessing was, he was willing to show me! The downside was, it was in a whole new industry. However, I was willing to, again, take the risk. I partnered in business with him on March the 28th of 2011. Little did I know, it would lead to what it has today.
Now, you might be saying, I know you quit your first business. If that is what you said, then you would be wrong. I was still trying to get that off of the ground as well. So now I had a wife, 3 children, a startup company, and a partnership company! Talk about crazy. To make things even more crazy, my wife was about to graduate, which meant, no more student family housing. So, we ended up moving back home to Richmond Va. We uprooted and moved back home with debt, no cash and nowhere to live. Luckily, my father allowed us to stay in his house for a while. Our partnership with Brent had started to grow but it was still not enough to live off of just that alone, so I went back to work. My cousin Omar owned a car lot and he allowed me to sell cars on his lot. I ended up becoming the top rep there working about 12 hours a day. I was also spending 10 hours a week with Brent growing that business and trying to fit in my web design company wherever I had time. By the way I was up to 3 web clients by then. Why didn’t I give it up right?
Within all of this, I made enough money to rent a 2 bedroom apartment in the not so nice part of town. That’s where baby number 4 would be born. Jaden Evans is his name, and he was born February 27th of 2012. Now we had, 4 children, 2 businesses, a fulltime job and still not enough to pay the bills. By this time, our partnership with Brent had leveled out and was paying a few bills but I had hit a slump at work and we had to play catch-up. My wife was still pursuing a college career at this point and as soon as Jaden was born, she was accepted into Regent University School of Law. We uprooted again and moved down to Virginia Beach Virginia to help her pursue her dream. I had transferred car sales jobs and she was in school. I started prospecting for clients in Virginia Beach now, still with not much success. To make matters worse, the company that I was at slowed down big time and I literally started bringing home $200 every 2 weeks. Our rent was $1200 a month and our partnership with Brent was bring in a couple hundred dollars a month residual. Seventh Level Marketing? A whopping $0 was coming in from that. Fatimah ended up not wanting to pursue Law anymore so we moved back to Richmond. By this time we were completely discouraged and if it wasn’t for Brent, and our parents, we would have given up.
It was the beginning of 2013 at this point and I would go on to work a couple more jobs before realizing something. I never took the complete risk. See up until that time, I had one foot in and one foot out of entrepreneurship. In the beginning of 2014, January 27th to be exact, our 5th child was born. Kimberly Evans. She was the icing on the cake. Around February of 2014 I decided to lose the regular jobs and go head first into business ownership. That’s when it all changed. This was the start to succeeding in business with a family. It wasn’t and still isn’t easy, but it’s working. What I didn’t know was there was a lot to figure out.
If I can leave you with a take away from this blog it would be:
NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM, OR THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT PUT YOU THERE, TAKE THE RISK AND GO ALL IN…….
Author: Ethan Evans
Passionate entrepreneur, self taught web developer and marketing consultant. I have been collaborating, marketing, and developing with companies for over 7 years now! Lets grow together!