John Kerry would look at this fellow profiled in this Seattle Times piece, and say, "I'll bet against you.":
It might have been the Airheads. Or maybe the keychains. Then again, there was the concession stand.
Jeff Becker caught the business bug during elementary school, selling candy at baseball games, then, later, right out of his locker.
But now, just over a year out of the University of Washington School of Business, his company, Kotis Design is doing it the right way: office, computers and employees (two, plus his business partner).
And he projects they'll bring in $700,000 this year designing, printing and shipping fraternity and sorority clothes, college apparel, corporate uniforms and other items such as water bottles and pens.
Becker is a rarity — a business-school graduate who goes out and starts a business. He was on a short list of recent UW graduates to do that, a list supplied by the university's media-relations office.
....Becker said that starting your own business right out of college is a good option that many recent grads don't consider.
...."I feel like friends complain about their jobs all the time and they're not complaining because they're working too much [or] they're not being paid enough," Becker, 24, said. "They're really complaining because they get no satisfaction out of their job. Every single thing I do, every single decision I make directly impacts me, and that's an unbelievable feeling. I go home, I feel satisfied."
Becker says this from a meeting table in his sparse office, bachelor pad-esque with its mini fridge, George Foreman grill and piles of clothes (up for sale, though, not waiting for the laundry).
He is intense with a nervous energy that pours out in spurts. He trips over streams of words then stops short, waiting for the next thing. Usually it's another call on his cellphone, which vibrates at least five times in an hour.
He is guarded about divulging secrets about how his business is run but says keeping your mouth shut about some things is good business advice.
He reluctantly agrees to say how much he's making right now (about $30,000 a year: "enough to get by") ... how much he'd like to be making himself ($500,000: "Is that too much?" he asks, laughing).
Sunday, October 10, 2004
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