Darshaun McAway is a young man with big ideas. He was in his early 20s when he made a choice that takes many people decades more to make, and he’s been building a successful business based on that choice for the last six years.
“I was extremely tired of working for other people, and having them make this large profit off of me. And me being nowhere near happy with the work I was doing,” remembers Darshaun.
So he decided to pave his own way and start a company, Darshaun.com. He now makes his living as an author, poet, voice-over artist and motivational speaker. He started his own publishing company, Dmac Poetry House, to publish his poetry, and is currently working on a series of self-help books called “The City of Heartbreak.” It’s quite a change for somebody who had previously worked as a truck driver, baker, and forklift operator. But it wasn’t such a difficult shift, he says. “Starting a business isn’t hard. It’s believing that you can do it — now that’s the hard part.”
Based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Darshaun.com employs four people, and has an unusual business model. “What makes my business unique is that everything is controlled, viewed, and even shipped from my mobile device. Whereas before, everything in the original business plan was a brick and mortar location and [there was] lots of on-hand shipping.”
Darshaun wrote that business plan using Business Plan Pro. “I used Business Plan Pro to get the foundation and education to properly seal the deal with the bank,” he says. And it worked — he got $15,000 in loans and investment and was able to fund his business.
“Business Plan Pro made it easier by guiding me step by step, giving me the luxury of working at my own pace, and teaching me to stay focused on the plan.” One thing the process taught him was the importance of the Executive Summary. “[It] has to really impress whomever you’re trying to do business with,” he comments. And like most entrepreneurs, he notes that getting the financial projections right was the hardest part of doing the business plan.
Being the man in charge isn’t always easy, either. “When it comes to running the business, the difficult part is, if you slack, the company slacks, and of course you get nowhere. All the pressure is on you,” Darshaun says.
But he clearly finds the pressure is worth it. “The most exciting part of being an entrepreneur is seeing your vision come to life and living what many people think is a dream. If I’m dreaming, then don’t wake me up.”