March 2017 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Guest Blogger: Josh Skidmore, UNCW CSB Class of 2016
I’ll start by saying that starting a business isn’t easy. I’ve practically lived off coffee and Redbull for the past three months. It’s literally building something from the ground up. But when it’s finished, and people are enjoying what you’ve created, it’s an awesome feeling.
It all started in Boston last summer. My girlfriend surprised me with tickets to see the Red Sox play and threw in a pair of tickets to Escape the Room Boston. The second we completed the room, we instantly fell in love with the concept! Since then, I’ve visited numerous escape rooms throughout the country and even abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Escape rooms quickly became my favorite hobby.
What’s an escape room? Well, you and a group of friends, family, coworkers, or strangers will be locked in a themed room for 60 minutes. You must solve a series of clues, riddles, and puzzles to reveal your escape route before the time run out!
One day, I was sitting on my sister’s couch after class when I thought, “I know what I want to do when I graduate.” My degree was important to me, so I pushed hard and finished school before proceeding with opening my own escape room. Immediately following graduation, I got to work. I was able to find the perfect location in the heart of downtown Wilmington. The name: The Exit Games.
My time in the Cameron School of Business as a Management and Leadership major has truly assisted in my entrepreneurial venture. Owning a business that has a strong focus on team building and communication, I’ve been able to use numerous skills and concepts that I acquired during my time as a Seahawk.
My one piece of advice for those that are looking to start their own business after graduation… be prepared for some long nights and a ton of unforeseeable obstacles. Nevertheless, you have to have the mindset and determination to keep grinding to make it happen.