Nicholas Anagnostou thought he wanted to be a chemist after graduating from Eastern Michigan University. However, after meeting his co-founder, Bryan Harmon, during his junior year, he decided to plunge straight into the world of entrepreneurship upon finishing school.
Right after graduating, they moved into a 2-bedroom apartment in Ferndale, MI with their five-person team and worked day and night on developing a prototype. Eventually, they received funding from an angel investor and relocated to Naples, Florida.
Their big idea is simple: provide eCommerce solutions for today’s technologies. One of their applications makes it possible to list products online in lighting speed. Through this application, 15each.co (among other companies) was born.
15.each.co is an online clothing store where you can find lots of brand name items (including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Banana Republic…just to name a few) for a flat fee of $15. They source their new and slightly used clothing from the same places department stores and consignment stores do.
They hope to be the largest online seller of unique new and used clothing.
During our interview Anagnostou gave us three pieces of advice he wished he had known before making the decision to start his own business: connections, commitment, and communication.
“It is critical to build connections with elders in your field that have been there and done that. Whether they sold their company or it failed, you want to have people who are somewhat familiar with what you’re going through. They’ll be able to save you a ton of time, money, and stress.”
Nicholas’ tips on finding mentors include a culmination of the following: attending local meetups/groups, industry events/seminars, and similar events.
“You can’t be afraid to go out and connect. Don’t be afraid to show people passion. When people see your energy, they’ll naturally connect with you. Once you’ve found a potential mentor, you have to ask them if they’d be willing to be there when you have questions or would like to bounce an idea off of them. Eventually, things will become formal.”
“Once you start working on your venture, a lot of people will present opportunities to you. To stay focused, you must keep your major end goal in mind. This will keep you and your team focused. If you accept a bunch of opportunities, than your end goal might change. Sometimes this is for the best, too. Your initial goal may change and evolve as you go along.”
Nicholas’ advice on coming up with your end goal:
“You need to ask yourself this question, ‘when my journey is over, will I be happy with what I accomplished?’ It should also be feasible. The only way you will begin to understand your end goal is through a lot of meditation. You MUST eat, drink, and breathe this for 24 hours a day. It took us six months working 16-20 hours a day to solidify our end goal.
Again, note that your end goal isn’t set in stone. It can grow and adapt as you are presented with new information. It’s not an event; it’s a process.”
“Communication is so underrated. When opportunities or forks in the road arise you must thoroughly communicate with your team, council, and yourself. This is extremely important. You must make sure everyone fully understands the entire situation before making a decision. Make sure everyone is comfortable talking to each other and yourself.
So many obstacles can be avoided if you hold communication as a value and enforce it. As soon as communication stops, problems arise.”
Through their holding companies, GGIS.co and DreamWare Inc., Anagnostou is planning on launching 100+ ventures in the near future. He is truly a technology mogul on the upswing.
Please visit 15each.co by clicking here.