A long, graffiti-bombed school bus turned up out of the dust and opened its doors.
In the passenger seat, sat a tall and slender Caucasian in his mid-twenties with a handlebar moustache that reached down to his chin.
“We ain’t got all day, man. Come aboard.”
The bus belonged to none other than the innovators of the acclaimed Knockout, a smoking/drinking device that uses the fluid mechanics of a gravity bong in harmony with a beer funnel, resulting in a brilliantly efficient hose-like contraption of pure inebriating bliss. Any hitchhiker on Highway 1 lucky enough to catch a ride on the bus got a free trial of the Knockout’s awesome powers of intoxication.
These guys were the real deal. While their suit clad ex-classmates were out selling their souls for a chance at a Ferrari, these 3 Canadian university graduates had engineered a beer-bong smoking invention, which they were now selling cross-country out of a 40-foot acid bus. Even Snoop Dogg was quick to praise the Knockout as “fucking awesome”, presenting them with 2013’s stoner engineering feat of the year.
The interesting thing though, was that according to the captain of the bus, Alex, the trip was never intended for the purpose of advertising their product.
“The entire point of the trip was really just to do a road trip – break out of the norm – and maybe sell a few Knockouts along the way,” said Alex.
Despite sales in Hawaii, Australia, South America, Europe, and across the North American continent, to him the business is merely a tool, which he uses to extend his nomadic lifestyle.
Here was a group of successful entrepreneurs, who wanted nothing more than to live like hippy migrants selling paraphernalia out of an old bus. It was brilliant. They had solved the riddle of how to make money while on the road, and none of them had any desire to trade in their freedom for a nice pad or a big screen T.V.
Alex insisted their product was merely the result of making the decision to commit to an idea – one they had developed in the midst of a drunken spur of creativity. There’s no great secret, just following through.
“For the last 3 years, this entire business has been run out of my apartment bedroom with my laptop. It’s that simple. Too many people are sucked into the idea of having a five day/40 hour a week job,” says Alex.
Alex instead offers a unique approach in simplifying the achievement of entrepreneurial success. First off, he recommends investing in a portable notebook. Alex insists that recording and organizing one’s thoughts is essential. “Every time you hit a block or hit a problem, you just write it down, and it works its way out naturally,” claims Alex.
Furthermore, Alex elaborates on the benefits of keeping your friends close. Although some dismiss the idea of mixing friendship and business, Alex tells me that having the extra brainpower and capital was extraordinarily helpful in developing the Knockout.
Lastly, Alex stresses the importance of the shoestring budget. One should only spend on the absolutely necessary. If you require an $100,000 loan to get started, perhaps you should instead begin by developing a more cost effective business plan.
In Alex’s mind, entrepreneurialism is foremost about the ability to create your own freedom. Entrepreneurs who seek the glamour of a materialistically excessive lifestyle abandon their independence by adhering to a different kind of boss: consumerist dependency.
Alex clarifies, “The things you own end up owning you. Your stuff is like a giant anchor. For example, I’m currently selling my car, my bed frame – everything I know – and moving to Mexico in September, simply because I can.”
Most entrepreneurs, like Alex, are simply those who are driven by the freedom of independence. Curious it is, though, that many will continue to define their freedom by what they can afford to buy, and not by what they can afford to leave alone.