Michael Nemeroff is the CEO and co-founder of RushOrderTees, a family-owned and operated eCommerce custom apparel company. Founded in 2002 when Michael was a Junior in highschool, RushOrderTees specializes in quick turnaround times for anyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Over the past 18 years the company has focused on improving its processes and is currently the industry leader with its state-of-the-art design studio and quality guarantee.
What are some sacrifices you’ve made to get to where you are?
Growing a business takes more than I could’ve imagined. It’s a lot like raising a child — you have to give it all of your love and attention; otherwise, it’s gone.
My brother, sister and I started the business when I was only 17, and we all sacrificed school for it. I didn’t even finish high school. The only time I set foot on a college campus was to sign up for classes. But at the final step, I bailed. I realized I’d have to leave the family and the business behind, and I couldn’t do it. Really, we all sacrificed our childhoods — time with friends, socializing, partying, traveling, and spending money for fun were out of the question.
RushOrderTees is thriving and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, but it came at a cost.
What traits of yours do you think most contributed to your success?
Work ethic, pattern recognition, servant leadership, humility, self-awareness, resourcefulness, and being realistic. All of those traits I either gained or honed while running the business.
Do you have any advice for others looking to do what you’ve done?
Don’t do it — but if you decide to, don’t worry for a second about what people think and say while you’re building it. There’s a good chance no one will see things the way you do. You’re going to give up your time and relationships, and let people down along the way.
I think it can be really worthwhile, but be prepared for what you’re getting into. I’d set a plan of 3 years where you know that sacrifices will be made and accept that before you even start.