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Tips to becoming a successful young entrepreneur

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Posted at 1:43 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 14:41:21-04

Starting a business can be scary. Starting a business while in your early twenties can be scarier.

MSU alumnus Nick Stachurski is the founder and executive producer of Eightfold Marketing & Creative, a commercial production company based in Lansing. He started the company as a sophomore in college with one of Eightfold's Directors Ryan Sundberg.

Stachurski graduated MSU in December 2014 with a business marketing degree. Since then, his company has had state-wide and national campaigns, creating video productions and commercials with six-figure budgets, and a prestigious client base. 

Stachurski is currently in his mid-twenties. How does a college student pull this off? He sat down with me to talk about his journey behind starting Eightfold and gave me some tips for becoming a successful young entrepreneur.

1) Find your passion. Stachurski loved snowboarding while growing up. At the age of 16, he began filming his adventures on the slopes. He spent over $6,000 on camera equipment and while paying it off, he said he began thinking entrepreneurial.

He asked himself, "How am I going to use this equipment to get a return on my investment?"

2) Market yourself. After deciding to use his camera equipment to help pay off the costs, Stachurski went on the hunt for jobs. He put himself out there, getting hired for weddings and sport-highlight films from his network around him. 

3) Get help. Stachurski realized he was getting way more jobs than one man could do. He began passing jobs off to other people who might help improve his business.

"I started to realize, 'Hey, you're a lot better at filming than me, but I'm better at dealing with the financials and actually getting the leads', so then I started to differentiate what personally my core talents were," Stachurski said.

He found he was better at the business side and began focusing more on that. 

4) Set goals. When Stachurski started earning a satisfying profit, he set up five goals for the company: have an existing client base, a team of people that share the same vision, an office space, insurance, and an existing portfolio of work. 

"I hit that goal right before I graduated, of all those 5 things, so as soon as I graduated I rolled right into our first year with a team of probably five people and we went from some of our first $5,000 projects to our first $125,000 job. That kind of helped build and grow our company and take us to that next level," he said. 

5) Don't get discouraged. Growing up, Stachurski had a lot of support from his mother in creating the company and following his dreams. He said some people will try to hinder you and tell you that your goal is impossible, but surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you makes all the difference. 

Stachurski was pushed around a lot in the industry at first. "If I could tell you how many times people have told me 'I've been in the business longer than you’ve been alive,' it's like -well, you're still working with me, so.."

He said that being a part of any company is all about passion, and the confidence comes with it. 

6) It takes sacrifice. Stachurski gave up internship opportunities and his social life during the last two years of college to focus on the growth of his company.  

"I decided I'm going to give up my social life and I'm going to give up a these internships to focus on the company so that when I do graduate, it's not just starting up from the ground," he said. 

7) Continue to build your reputation. Eightfold is building its reputation in the mid-west and nationally.

"This time, last year, we were at just a local level in mid-Michigan and I'm proud to say now we are working with Leo Burnett in doing a national advertising campaign for one of General Motors' companies, ACDelco.

'So, in one year to see the growth from doing some mid Michigan, state-wide campaigns to some regional campaigns, to doing a national campaign is really exhilarating for us."

 

I asked Stachurski what main advice he would give to any young entrepreneur just starting out and this is what he said:

"Don’t hide your idea, its not proprietary," he said. "Someone is probably already doing and already thought of it, but it's how you execute it and its about your energy and you're way of looking at it. So, don’t hide it until it's perfect because it will never be perfect, it will always be worked on."

Some of Eightfold's top projects include productions for Leo Burnett and ACDelco, Michigan construction, Dowding Industries, Tech Twirl Protection and MSU Empower Extroadinary. 

The company is currently in the process of moving to Detroit.