Being a high school athlete doesn’t seem like anything super unique. Everyone plays sports, everyone loves being on a team, everyone loves playing for their school.
But I had a enormous passion for lacrosse. From the time I picked up a stick I knew this sport would be part of my life forever. That’s when I realized the lessons I learned as an athlete that I use as an entrepreneur.
Growing up in Minnesota, a state with less exposure to the sport than many out East, I wanted to draw more attention to the sport and create a platform for more exposure. So, when I was 16 during my sophomore year in high school, I started a blog called Minnesota High School Lacrosse.
Creativity was not my strong suit, but it’s something I’ve been working on over the years.
The blog covered weekly top rankings, recent players that made college commitments, and training and workout tips. If it was happening in the high school lacrosse world, it was on the blog.
Here is a screenshot of my early days working on this blog. If you check out our portfolio you’ll see my work has come a long way!
If you haven’t noticed I was that lax nerd but over time, the blog grew, and so did the scope of subject matter as we highlighted lacrosse across the entire state.
I spent countless hours calling players and coaches for interviews, updates, and anything they could give me that the lacrosse community would want to hear, and people really seemed to enjoy it.
Here is a example of the coverage I was doing:
Even though I had no idea what I was doing, I quickly learned that web development and design were two passions of mine that I hadn’t considered before. What became a hobby based on my love of a sport turned into a full-fledged business idea.
Today, everyone has a blog. Your mom, your sister, even your dog. But back in 2010, not everyone did, and I was doing something weird, something unusual, and something that took time and practice to get good at. Had I not started Minnesota High School Lacrosse, I wouldn’t be where I am today, having developed over 20 websites from coast to coast.
Then, I took the jump.
Fast forward a few years: I’m attending Dev Bootcamp in Chicago learning web development in a immersive 12 week course.
From there, I expanded my understanding of developing excellent websites, and when I returned I worked at Snap Agency in Minneapolis for 9 months, where I fine tuned my knowledge.
Though I enjoyed working at Snap, I started receiving inquiries from family and friends to help them with their websites. I was rooming with Johnny, my business partner who went to Dev Bootcamp as well, and we became a web-designing dynamic duo.
There were many times we had to sacrifice our weekends to work on websites. I’m talking all nighters sometimes to hit deadlines! But that’s what we had to do when we were athletes: give up some fun times to reap some major successes in the future.
The values we learned in lacrosse and soccer were not lost on us in later years, if anything, they are the reason that we persisted so long. Because we know how good success can feel after so much hard work.
Some highlights of our past two years:
- Making over 20 businesses websites and helping them with digital marketing
- Doing work for clients that do anywhere from $100k to $100 million in annual revenue
- Doing work for clients not only from the Twin Cities but from coast to coast
Overall, maintaining a business in college is hard work. Johnny and I were busy in college and at times it was hard to balance school, our business, sports, and social life.
We’re happy that we were able to get to where we are today but we haven’t even scratched the service of where can be 6-12 months from now.
So what are you passionate about? Could you start something in that niche that could overlap into a side gig or maybe career!?