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About Steve

| Managing Partner - Ad Valorum | Co-founder - Tenzo Tea |
Home / About Me

I am a Social Entrepreneur

I've co-founded multiple companies including The Odd Job Brothers, KOTU, Inc, Tenzo Tea, and Ad Valorum . I attended UCLA before leaving to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. While at UCLA, I played volleyball, wrote op-eds for the Daily Bruin, and enjoyed time with friends. Going back further, I attended a Jesuit Catholic school in Rochester, New York which is also my hometown. I love reading, writing, going for walks, learning, and most recently, coding stylish websites. I also have a passion for the NBA, freestyling, and hip-hop culture.

Management, % 99
Startups, % 99
Entrepreneurship, % 99
Effort, % 99

"We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit."

Aristotle
On January 29th, 2016 I came home from class in the late afternoon, set my backpack down on the couch, and took a seat. Fed up with writing history papers, I asked my roommate Henry Pray if he wanted to learn how to build a website. We did. I never looked back.
At first, developing was hard. I didn't know anything about web architecture, or about coding. It was a huge struggle for the first few months. But, a close friend and legendary entrepreneur, Alejandro Rioja kept me going with a few words: "If you do it each day, it gets a little easier each day." Now, I can easily build a functional site in a few hours. Thanks, Ale.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe famously said "Boldness has genius". Well growth hacking demands boldness (and rejection). How do you do this? By bootstrapping startups, small businesses, and brands with the 3rd Door Mentality.
What is the 3rd door? Imagine a popular nightclub on a Friday at 11:30. There is a long line of eager party people waiting to get in. This is the first door, where 99% of people enter. The 2nd door is for the famous, the trust-fund babies, who easily walk right in. But me...I use the third door - the back door, the hidden entrance. This is the door, that only a few clever folk can find. Most people are too scared to try.

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

Chinese Proverb
Managing anything can be tricky. But, if you know a few important models, it can be simple.
The key to strong, and effective management is to hire the right people from the beginning. If you hire ethical and talented people and treat them fairly, they will in return give you good work.

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

Albert Einstein
There are two things you must do everyday: help someone and learn something new. If you go to bed each day completing those two items, it was a successful day.
In regards to the latter, I have dedicated my life to learning. I devour books, online lessons, and frequently perform mental audits.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

Ben Franklin
Mental training and endurance are important aspects of entrepreneurship. Lifting the mental load of running various enterprises requires the ability to learn and apply new skills incredibly fast.
One method to used to achieve quick learning results is called "mental models". Pioneered by Berkshire Hathaway Vice-Chairman, Charlie Munger, mental models are simple frameworks for more complex systems. These models can then be used be applied in other situations.
Get Started!
5
Companies Founded
364
~ Books Read
10000
Matcha Cups
abc
Poor Ideas! (too many to work properly)