I started my entrepreneurial journey out of the back of a trailer in Boise, Idaho after the effects of the 2008 recession wreaked havoc on my family’s financial situation. It was the breaking point for me to go all in.
I was 18, starving to change my family’s (and my own) living circumstances. I couldn't afford to go to college, or much of anything else, for that matter. The reality of my situation was that the only person that was going to change my situation was me. So I started to teach myself about business, real estate, and finance.
At this point, I had also been weight lifting for years and was competing in powerlifting. I was completely obsessed with the process. It’s through powerlifting that I realized the need to innovate better lifting gear.
I started Gymreapers when I was 19 with the last $5,000 I had saved through working my day job. For two years, I poured all the money I kept making into the brand, trying to figure out how to expand on this idea.
There was no playbook, no rules, and no direction. I had to figure out how to piece the idea together brick by brick. In my mind, every detail mattered. It stilldoes.
I taught myself how to work with manufacturers, design products, and sell online and took a shot in the dark with our first product. I went all in and I've never looked back. Ever since that point, this company has become my obsession.
And it started paying off. The first run of the Gymreapers products ended up being a hit with our audience. I continued to turn the profits from each product and re-invest it back into the business.
To this day, I continue to reinvest in improving our products. This enables Gymreapers to focus on the quality of our products and to continue to expand our catalog. Our consistent goal is to support our customers with the highest level of training gear.
About a year after I started Gymreapers, I found myself wanting to invest in real estate. I was not interested in living in a trailer park anymore. I spent most of my free time studying everything there was to know about real estate.
I started attending meet-ups where I was in a group of older guys in their 40's, 50's, and 60's ... not the place you see any 20-year olds. I didn't care, I just wanted to learn. I needed to know how everything worked.
When I learned enough about real estate, I knew investing my income for the long-term would be the way to set my family up for the future.
Shortly after turning 20, I purchased my first apartment. It was a small duplex that I was able to buy and rent out the other side as income. By doing this, I was able to kickstart my real estate investing business.
Over the years, every spare second I haven't spent working my day job, or building Gymreapers, was spent teaching myself about real estate. Today my portfolio spans 150,000 square feet in a mixture of multi-family, self-storage, and light industrial real estate.