I started my first company, Great Black Speakers Bureau, seven months after graduating from college as an electrical engineering major. Against my parents’ wishes, I turned down two corporate job offers to move to Syracuse, New York to help my older brother grow his professional speaking career. After some time, I found myself riding high on a euphoric streak of increased sales month over month. Since I had all of this extra money simply sitting in my bank account, I decided to make a huge investment in pay-per-click marketing to accelerate my company’s growth.
However, there couldn’t have been a worse time of year to make such an investment—the majority of our clients were universities that only booked speakers eight months out of the year, meaning that I did not make one sale for the three or four months that followed.