19 Apr My Journey to ClosedWon: Introduction & Part 1
Hey Team ClosedWon, along with anyone else who might be reading, my name is Alejandro Corral IV (yes I’m the fourth Alejandro in my family to walk this earth). I wear many hats, mostly involving client success, a little bit of operations, and overall hustling with Zen at our humble abode of an office in Las Vegas. I’ll kick things off by giving everyone some background information about myself, so all of you know who you are dealing with. I was born and raised in our company’s beautiful hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. The first 17 years of my life were spent here going to elementary, middle, and high school, doing sports, being a Boy Scout turned Eagle Scout and exploring everything this city and its surroundings have to offer. If anyone needs a tour guide, let me know, I’m sure I can help you find a good one. So you’re probably wondering what happened after those first 17 years?
Well, like a solid majority 17-18 year olds today, I graduated from high school in 2013 and decided to attend Loyola Marymount University in the City of Angels (LA) to pursue a BBA in Entrepreneurship. My time there was invaluable, meeting countless young students and professionals in the heart of an up-and-coming startup community that is known as Silicon Beach, all while learning what it takes to be an entrepreneur and having an entrepreneurial mindset. One of those individuals I met happened to be my college sweetheart who is now my fiancee and will be my wife as of this coming November unless of course she says no or gets cold feet. Stay tuned and keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
So now with that out of the way, you’re probably asking yourself some questions regarding my college experience like “What did you learn, what about work or internships, do professors really ‘teach’ you to be an entrepreneur, are they actually entrepreneurs or just tenured professors, were you in a frat, did you end up graduating? Etc.” The answer to these questions is a complex one that I’m going to share with all of you throughout a series of relatively short monthly blog entries where I’ll casually interview myself, because who wants to read a 5+ page essay, other than a college professor apparently. Ultimately, everything will come full circle and lead to how I got to ClosedWon 🙂
Let’s tackle the first question: “What did you learn?”
Great ambiguous question! Well, I definitely learned A LOT about myself, like the fact that I apparently had the courage to play guitar and sing at open mic night in front of an audience at my university (something I probably wouldn’t do today). Or that trying to start my own company at the age of 17 while I was a student committed to getting my degree was not the best idea. What kind of company you ask? It was a “college student-exclusive” event company called Axotic Entertainment, prioritizing students’ safety and the quality of the events. Ultimately, it failed for 2 main reasons: my grades began dropping faster than Usain Bolt’s 100m and I was by no means planning to drop out, and my university’s risk management department made it very difficult to even try out our service within the school. However, in retrospect, if I had pursued building my own startup, I would’ve wasted my parent’s money that was going towards tuition ($200k+ for a piece of paper as students would say), definitely not gotten my degree which was a personal goal, and I wouldn’t be in the amazing relationship I am in today with my fiancee. Lessons learned: Things happen for a reason and at the time they are supposed to. Be patient and don’t take life too seriously. Have a little bit of faith. Also, just because you fail at something doesn’t mean you are a failure as a person.
In all seriousness though, I learned quite a bit in regards to my journey in business and entrepreneurship. I confirmed I either wanted to be an entrepreneur myself or be involved with a start-up up led by entrepreneurs while being an “intra”-preneur, which can be defined as an individual working within any company (ideally a startup) with an entrepreneurial mindset. In essence, who I aspire to be at ClosedWon. The opposite of this mindset would be that of an employee who simply does his job, no questions asked, no innovation, nothing entrepreneurial. As Silicon Valley angel investor Jason Calacanis puts it, “the early true believers vs the clock punchers”.
Still reading? Props to you. To not make this too long of a read, I’ll continue on next month with my story of how I got to ClosedWon, including some more cool things I learned and the road bumps I hit along the way.