My Journey to Here – Part One

 

Erica Stacy
Owner, Uncomplicated Business Solutions
 

 

I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirits for as long as I can remember…

Both of my parents were small business owners when I was a child. From them I learned both what to do and what not to do. Do treat your customers well, but don’t be a doormat. Do keep close track of your finances. Don’t micromanage. The list goes on and on. Lessons about trust, money, time management and balance have been flowing in since I was old enough to comprehend what I was being told.

My first venture was sewing & embroidering homemade pillows to sell to all of my neighbors. I’m pretty sure they only bought them because they felt bad for this scrawny little girl trying to push pillows, nonetheless, I was hooked.




Later, I went on to start several websites regarding my various interests – in many of which I angered adults when they found out they were philosophizing with a kid. Trust me, the subject were strange, a little geeky & very out there – I was a strange bird. I liked everything from fashion modeling to working on cars. My childhood adventures in entrepreneurship evolved from pillows to selling burnt CD’s to my schoolmates. I even got a job as a carhop at Sonic Drive-In a year sooner than I was supposed to by lying about my age. Hey! I wanted some cash. Who can blame me?

As I was growing up there were two things I was certain about in life – one being that I wanted to own my own business someday, and the other being that I wanted to live in New Orleans when I grew up. I visited New Orleans with my father on our one [only] vacation & promptly fell in love. I’m a nut for any kind of culture that is not my own.

I accomplished both. It’s a strange feeling to reach your only goals well before you’re 25 years old. Celebrating quickly becomes a “Uh oh, now what?” moment. More on that in part two…




I knew New Orleans was meant to be my home so I only applied to colleges in the city (yeah, I was a confident little shit.) I managed to get into Tulane University on the first try. So, at 18 I packed up everything I owned (way too much for the tiny dorm I was heading to) and hit the road. I was going to school for business, playing with the idea of law school. Soon after, adulthood smacked me around a bit & I quickly realized that the debt I was accumulating by going to Tulane wasn’t worth the degree – most of the stuff I was learning was just re-caps on what I’d spent my life learning. So, I quit school & returned to working in the service industry.

These experiences lead me to starting my first business, NOLA Food Delivery, at 22. After years of waiting tables & bartending, I took so many calls requesting delivery that I eventually spoke to my boss asking if it would be a good idea to give delivery a try. His reply was “I can’t have one delivery driver sitting around each day waiting on one or two orders” to which I replied “Oh, you should ask the other restaurants on this block if they would be interest in sharing a delivery driver!”

I almost gave away my business idea in that moment by thoughtlessly saying what was on my mind. Luckily, I did this quite often & my boss at the time dismissed it because today I can say I single-handedly revolutionized the food delivery industry in New Orleans…

This is part one of “My Journey”… Check in next week for the rest of the story!




 

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