Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Roloff.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My career started during the summer of 2008. I was a high school student that was active in sports such as football, Jiu Jitsu and skateboarding. When you’re a high school student, it is hard to play sports and maintain grades while keeping a part-time job. It was exhausting, and I knew I wanted to be able to make money when I wanted and how I wanted.
I wanted to make money for myself, not work to make someone else rich. I always loved getting new clothes and accessories especially sporting/active wear. I came to my senses and realized I can make clothing goods to sell to my classmates. I picked up a t-shirt presser from a garage sale, Bought a bulk amount of t-shirts and sweatshirts and started designing logos to put on them.
I remember I made about ten t-shirts and showed them to my friends at school. They were t-shirts that had funny logos on them, designs my friends at the time drew or writing that poked fun at the teachers. I sold all 10 of them on the first day. I knew I was on to something and decided I would keep making these and selling them out every day after school.
About one year in, I was approached by the captain of the varsity basketball team and said they had a problem with an order they placed with a manufacturer and needed shirts asap. That was when my first company was born. Easy Target. The name came from a friend since my shirts were easily spotted with the funny captions and the kooky logos on them.
I immediately did all my legal work by researching online to form the business entity. I built a team of seven, and I began making custom jerseys for high schools all across California and even out of state. It was a pretty big success for a 16-year-old at the time. After three years in business, I decided I wanted to be apart of the next big thing which was software and development.
Luckily, the universe was on my side and long story short, I sold my business, rights, equipment and marketing material north of $500,000. This all took place while I was attending community college. A few years went by, and I started my second startup, Rental Pal and also a remote freelance agency. Rental Pal was the Airbnb for action sports experiences and equipment for travelers.
After about one year, I created a Rental Pal’s logistics platform for businesses used to manage their equipment and employees and landed a licensing deal in 2018. Between the two startups and freelancing, It allowed me to generate over $1 million dollars in revenue and allowed me to get into investing.
Today, I am the chief of product for a financial startup set to launch our new product this month, An active investor and startup advisor.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Entrepreneurship comes with many challenges and harsh realities. Realities such as you will make less than normal wages for a while when starting out or aspects of your business are taking twice as long to complete. The road can be a smooth one if you maintain vision and focus on the bigger picture. You are always closer to the goal than you think.
Steezz – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am currently an advisor/consultant for two startups while filling in the role of the chief of product for a local financial startup in Culver City. My goal as the chief of product is to ensure that we are building the right product. My current tasks are to prioritize product goals, maintain development of the product.
Develop a team of the best developers to execute product needs and making sure everyone is focused on the vision. I specialize in the user interface and launch strategies and have helped many clients of mine scale their business and gain awareness of there products.
I started out advising a few colleagues that watched me start, and they wanted to start their own business, word of mouth spread, and I started getting consulting deals with business or other entrepreneurs. As a startup advisor, I assist and mentor on areas the client needs a direct impact on.
My main specialties of impact are in mobile development, marketing strategies, and design. I also have other responsibilities such as negotiation, connecting clients to funding and more.
My latest impact was assisting in creating a development plan for 2019 which included assistance on recruiting developers and QA engineers while working on creating company culture.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is waking up in the morning, knowing that you love what you do and loving how you do it.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: mroloff
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mroloff09/