First and foremost please allow me to introduce myself. My name is David Rao. I am a serial entrepreneur from a town called Stafford, Virginia.
Stafford is roughly 40 miles south of Washington, DC. I blogged very briefly back in college, James Madison University, so I will apologize in advance for my sometimes scattered brain thoughts. I will also apologize for any incorrect grammar and spelling that you may find in my blogs. You may already be thinking to yourself, “How can you have incorrect spelling when it’s typed out through spell check?” Great question, sometimes I spell the word so bad that it doesn’t even recognize what word I’m trying to spell. With those disclaimers out of the way please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions and or feedback.
I decided to name my first blog with Greek Ladders, “Anytime anywhere,” because coming up with a business idea can literally happen just like that, anytime anywhere. There are two really good examples of this when it comes to some of the businesses I have started and I’ll share with you the first one now. The first was when I was traveling back during beach week from the Gulf of Mexico. Just to be clear, 2200 miles round trip driving in a week is way too far! From that point forward I always fly. Anyways, at the time, I needed to come up with a way to raise money for a non-profit organization that helped veterans. Getting close to the Georgia line driving, an idea hit me. If I could simply sell One Shirt to everyone, I could take the profits and donate them to the non-profit. Needless to say by the time I got back home in Virginia, I had the entire business model in my head all mapped out. I knew who artist I would get to commission the first piece and how I would market the shirt. My goal was simply to sell 300 shirts to friends and family to ensure that I had paid for all my expenses from starting the business.
During this entire experience I was still living in my dorm room at college. Once I started selling shirts the buzz started. Friends and family had helped spread the word. I sold through the first 300 in about 2 weeks. That’s when things took an interesting turn of events. A big organization with a huge following on Facebook targeted to military veterans started posting my ads on their site. The only reason I noticed it was because I went from about 10-15 shirts a day to 50-60 shirts an hour. It was my first experience of getting a taste of something going viral in a sense and it was amazing. To not go on for hours and hours, a simple goal of 300 shirts turned into almost 100k in revenue in about 3 months. Granted a lot of that was from the inventory since we used 100% American made t-shirts. The company was able to give a lot of money for the non-profit organization to support veterans and has since expanded its line to raise money for all first responders: Police, Fire, EMT as well as Veterans. The site can be found at www.oneshirtapparel.com. We have also expanded out to do screen printing and embroidery as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog with Greek Ladders. Again, any questions or feedback is appreciated and I can be reached at directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to coming back soon and blogging about my most recent company: uFund, Inc. The ultimate fundraising platform.