An entrepreneur’s life isn’t easy. The freedom to designate working hours often means working more of them. Russ Perry knew this struggle all too well. In an effort to please clients, business partners and employees at his creative agency, Perry and his family’s needs came last. He turned to alcohol to sedate his underlying depression.
In 2014 Perry “woke up,” sought help, closed his successful creative agency and went on to found Design Pickle—a flat-rate, unlimited graphic-design service based in Arizona—as a reliable and affordable design option for budding entrepreneurs. After a rocky start in January 2015, he refocused his target market and in turn improved sales and customer satisfaction. Perry is also writing about his battle with alcoholism and the struggles many entrepreneurs face with addiction. “The life of an entrepreneur is lonely and hard,” he says. “I was tired of the boring and drab books on this topic, so I decided to write one myself.”
Perry joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in 2013 and found a stronger support system than he could have ever imagined. He offers this advice for new entrepreneurs:
- Hustle your pickles off.
- Market shamelessly. Never apologize for being an evangelist for something you passionately believe in.
- Have a clear mission statement. It will help you make decisions when there’s no clear answer.
- Quickly iterate your service. The best solution is rarely the first one.
- Run lean. Don’t overspend bringing people on too early. Keep your organization as tight-knit as possible.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.