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In the third part of Tony’s interview with CanvasRebel, he talks about big lessons learned in small business.


Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?

In 7th grade Mr Gust gave me a nickname, “Chuckles.” I was shy, like REAL shy. Instead of speaking he said he only ever heard me chuckle. Maybe I never felt my voice was valid? Maybe as a middle child I truly internalized my invisibility. I liked that name, it was an easy way to get some attention without being in the front or having to be seen. I was terrified to be the center of attention. I didn’t (and still don’t) even like opening birthday presents in front of people.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Cooper

Reflecting on the last 11 years… oh my this business has made me grow. Through ups & downs, I (Chuckles) have had to be very uncomfortable. Managing people is hard. Selling a product is hard. Putting my face on Instagram is hard. “Chuckles” would have never scripted these things, but I am so glad that I did. I had to unlearn those feelings about myself, I still am a work in progress. I would not say I am confident, but I trust myself more. I would not say I like to be the center of attention still, but I LOVE getting to talk with other people about entrepreneurship and share any nuggets that I believe may be helpful.

It’s important that we grow. As a parent of four kids, this is a constant theme I hope they absorb (and also not taking ourselves too seriously). Life is hard, we adapt. 

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