Human Events Media Group Publisher Jeff Webb offered advice to aspiring conservative entrepreneurs in a speech at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest on Monday.
Webb, a highly acclaimed entrepreneur, told the story of his founding of Varsity– now the leading provider of sports uniforms, equipment, and tournaments for American schools. Webb built Varsity from the ground up, and is credited with popularizing cheerleading as a sport on a global scale.
Webb detailed the compelling story of building Varsity from the ground up, beginning with providing resources, clinics, and apparel in the cheerleading space.
“We started out with cheerleading,” Webb explained, but added that when starting any company, it is very important to “keep your antennae up” for opportunities to expand.
“People say start with the end in mind. I like that saying too. But you don't have to have the end product in mind,” said Webb.
“Start with your concept. Do that really well. And keep your antenna up looking at avenues. See what's related to it, what can make it better. What can I take what I've got now and make it into? That's a real key.”
“Start with a concept, and you bolt on,” he explained.
Webb told the young entrepreneurs in the crowd that despite apprehension they may have about the economy “it’s a great time to start a business.”
“And I honestly believe in my gut that our country needs people like you,” he added. “It needs conservative, young entrepreneurs who are going to do something great. And you're going to involve other people, and you're going to affect lives. That's what we need. "
“We don't need these big woke companies who are spending all their time on things that make really no difference, and that will make us less competitive.”
“Think about the environment you want to build. Think about what you can do that makes a difference where you can do something great. And you can do something great with your colleagues. It's not easy. In fact, it's hard as hell. I'm not gonna lie to you…But it’s worth it.”
Webb shared with the crowd an “epiphany experience” that he had at the Disney Sports Complex several years ago, when the success of his business was blatantly apparent.
“You're at the Disney Sports Complex and there are different competitions. You’ve TV shows going on. You've got 30 or 40 thousand people all over the place,” Webb described. “I had a genuine kind of epiphany experience where I walked outside and can see all of this going on at one time, and I looked around…”
Rather than thinking, “look at what I did?” Webb says his thought at that moment was, “How lucky am I?”
“How lucky am I that I've been able to do this with my friends….And to be able to build this and make this opportunity” for others.
“I want to stress how important it is when you start a company to do something you believe is something good, because it's not about the money. We’ll take the money, okay? But if you are starting your company just because you want to make a lot of money, you're probably not going to make it. A lot of people do that.”
Instead, Webb stressed the importance of “bringing in people that you trust” and with whom you “share a common goal.”
“And you get up every day. and go: ‘I'm doing something really good here.’ That is what sustains culture. That is what builds a company.”