What Are You Afraid Of?

Brandon is a NYU graduate who hails from Southern California. He holds a degree in communications and has been active in multiple industries, working in hospitality, marketing, management, and finance. His expertise in various fields led Brandon to consulting for various start-up companies including Purpella, Preo, in BitCoin, and more. In 2013, Brandon began to form the initial concept of Jozii, which he brought to friend and business partner AJ Smith to further develop.

I can tell you exactly what I’m afraid of: failure. Starting a company has been the best and worst thing in my life. Why couldn’t I take the more practical path - graduate college, get a job, and try to move up the corporate ladder? Because people in positions of power can be incredibly egotistical.

Starting a company is not easy. Sometimes it can be downright scary. I personally applaud each and every person who takes the plunge. So why take the risk? For most, they have a specific niche market, often with pain points they have personally experienced. For others they want to be their own boss or haven’t found a fit for themselves in the workplace.

Regardless of the reason, these founders have one thing in common: they are risk takers. Coming up with an idea and getting super excited about it is the fun part (that true a-ha moment), but make sure to slow down and consider things you may not have thought of during that first inception of the idea. Take the idea to a friend or start working away on it and give it a go.

From the idea stage to the time you really sit down and get to work there is no time for both a full time job and building your company. You have now made the decision to be an entrepreneur, and until you secure a large amount of funding, you live every day like it’s your last. At least that’s the way I feel - and maybe some of you share that feeling.

Over a year ago today AJ Smith and I decided to say goodbye to the possibility of holding 9 to 5 jobs and waking up without a sense of purpose. I only say without purpose because I want my success to be my company’s success. I want to change the world in my own right, but to do it together. I saw a broken system when it came to students landing jobs, or having the proper experience to land those jobs.

You may say 'well there are thousands of job sites,' and 'it’s a tough space to break into.' We didn’t enter this blind. We know the challenges, but we truly believe we can make a difference.

NYU Entrepreneurial Institute's Summer Launchpad has taught us to go further and discover what our customers actually need, what they want, and how to build for a specific audience. It’s changed the way I think about our idea - and therefore how I pitch our product.

Every single day eight hard-working people (including my partner and myself) depend on us to get paid and it’s stressful and scary. But I will not fail without giving it 110%, and I'll never give into those who doubt me, or what we are trying to accomplish.

The struggles to succeed are real. I have no backup. I will fight for success until my final breath. How can you change the world? How can you make an impact? Change one life and you’ve already made a difference, change 1,000 and you’ve started a movement.

Meet some of NYU's top startups and founders, including Brandon, at the Summer Launchpad Venture Showcase. RSVP here!