Letter from Riley

Letter from Riley

A message from our Co-Founder to the class of 2022.

A message from our Co-Founder to the class of 2022.

president and co-founder of lume cube, riley stricklin

Dear Recent Grads,

When you started your college career 4+ years ago, none of us could have imagined what the world would look like on your graduation day in 2022. You've made it through a global pandemic, survived virtual zoom classes for over a year, and are now on the brink of starting an exciting career that I hope takes you beyond your wildest dreams.

I want to wish you a personal congratulations & encourage you to make the most of this next chapter in your life. For the first time in history, more than 50% of the graduating class will be starting jobs that either offer full remote or hybrid working schedules. Being fresh out of college, this presents a wonderful opportunity for you to explore what you truly want to do while living or traveling where you'd most like to be. No longer do you have to live in San Francisco to work at one of the world's leading tech companies, no longer do you have to work a traditional 9am-5pm to earn a livable wage. It's a new world and you can find success as long as you have a laptop & an internet connection.

Now is also the time where I would encourage you to follow your dreams, take risks, and scratch that entrepreneurial itch you might have like many others. With the tools at your disposal today (Macbook, Shopify, Amazon, Alibaba, Social Media, LinkedIn, etc), it's never been easier to start a side business to generate additional income (what many call a "Side Hustle"). This is actually how Lume Cube originally started! It was one idea among many, and for the first year getting the business off the ground, it was our "side hustle" where other streams of revenue were paying the bills. While a thrilling and scary ride, I was fortunate to have only been 25 at the time of our Kickstarter (2014), so I was in a place in life similar to you where I could take big risks & if they didn't work out, it wasn't the end of the world.

Through the last 8-years of building this business, I've learned more than I could have ever imagined. While it's been full of highs and lows, wins and losses, great days and challenging days, I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. I've learned some things along the way, a few things that have proven valuable when I look back on my journey, and I'd like to share them with you today.

1. Find a mentor (or multiple!): You're not the first one trying to hustle or build a company, wisdom from those who have done it before is priceless

2. Invest in the tools you need to succeed: The right tools can make a hard job much easier

3. Study your sector: There is SO MUCH free content and knowledge out there. Some of the best tips/tricks I've learned in business have been from YouTube videos or simply following a LinkedIn Thought Leader. Between books, YouTube, LinkedIn, and networking with others, you can gain immense knowledge without spending a dime

4. Find your "Why": Making money may be the initial reason to start a business, but I guarantee you there will be hard days, and wanting financial success is not a deep enough reason to carry you through the tough times. Figure out what you're passionate about in your business (the people, the problem you're solving, the vision you have, etc). The more clear you are on your Why, the more successful you will be.

5. Keep a balanced life: I spent many years believing that if I just worked a few more hours, and sent a few more emails, I would succeed faster. Turns out burnout is a real thing. Stay balanced, focus on mental and physical health, take breaks & vacations, it'll make your working days much more productive.

6. Be patient: In my experience, building something always takes longer than you think it will, sometimes years longer. If you truly believe in it, keep going, keep grinding, and success will come.

In conclusion, CONGRATULATIONS on closing this chapter & starting the next one. These are the days you'll look back on fondly, don't regret how you spent your time. Cheers to the journey & we hope to see you at the top!

Riley Stricklin
President & Co-Founder
Lume Cube, Inc

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